Kind of Cursed by Stephanie Fournet

KINDOFCURSED_BlogTour

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Librarian Laura’s Review

This is a sweet new multicultural romantic comedy that will cause you to both laugh & swoon. I loved it!

Twenty-four year old Millie Delacroix has her hands full. Five months ago, her parents were killed in a freak accident, leaving her in charge of her three siblings: teenage twins Harry and Mattie, and 8 year old Emmett. Millie has worked hard to become a respected veterinarian. And now she has to work even harder to keep things in order in her family home, as well. In an effort to bring some change and joy into their home, Millie pursues her late mother’s plans to remodel the family kitchen. Enter the tall, dark, and handsome Mexican-American contractor, Luc Valencia. Luc doesn’t stand a chance with feisty, red-headed Millie and her no-nonsense, but playful attitude. As things heat up between Luc and Millie, two problems arise. One – the curse (kind of). The women in Millie’s family are highly subject to pregnancy, regardless of any type of preventative measures they take. Case in point: her little brother Emmet who came along 5 years after her father’s vasectomy. Birth control just doesn’t seem to work for them. As such, Millie has sworn off men and relationships, especially since the most recent one with Carter ended so painfully. Her life of celibacy all sort of goes to pot when sexy Luc starts demolishing her kitchen. (I could totally insert wickedly hilarious tool and hammer puns here!)

Problem number two is that Millie is Luc’s client. Luc’s father worked so hard to build a respectable business in America, and he doesn’t want to do anything to seem unprofessional or give the business a bad name. And his Papi doesn’t take too kindly to him finding a white girl to date, either. Despite all the obstacles in the way of true happiness for Luc and Millie, there’s no denying their attraction and Luc’s genuine love and care for Millie and her siblings.  I won’t let you know how the story ends, of course, because that would be a spoiler. You’ll just have to read it and find out for yourselves. I promise you’ll enjoy it!

Thank you to the author for providing me with an early copy in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase Links

KIND OF CURSED is a brand new, romantic comedy by Stephanie Fournet

PURCHASE NOW:

Amazon: http://bit.ly/KOCKindle

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Purchase in Paperback: http://bit.ly/KOCPaper

About the Author

Stephanie Fournet, Amazon bestselling author of FALL SEMESTER, LEGACY, BUTTERFLY GINGER, LEAVE A MARK, YOU FIRST, DRIVE, SHELTER, and SOMEONE LIKE ME, lives in Lafayette, Louisiana—not far from the Saint Streets where her novels are set. She shares her home with her husband John and their needy dogs Gladys and Mabel, and sometimes their daughter Hannah even comes home from college to visit them. When she isn’t writing romance novels, Stephanie is usually helping students get into college, setting up a tent in the woods, or running. She loves hearing from fans so you can follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or message her on Goodreads.

Website: http://www.stephaniefournet.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/stephanie.fournet

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/stephanie_fournet/

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2suNg7N

Twitter: https://twitter.com/stephanie4net

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/stephanie-fournet

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2Dif9Xt

Regretting You by Colleen Hoover

Regretting You

Librarian Laura’s Review

Having read all of Colleen Hoover’s books and knowing how amazing she is, I was overjoyed to see she had another book coming out this December. I had no idea that this book would surpass all her others for me, putting it at #1 in my CoHo lineup. If you don’t read any of her others (and I guess we can still be friends if this happens) read this one! This is the one I want you to remember – it’s just so well written and so heart wrenching. She ripped my heart out over and over…but in a good way!

First off, let me mention, that compared to the other CoHo books, the romance in this book is very tame (no steam!). So if that was holding you back from reading one of her amazing books, read this one! The story has the typical angst and romance, but it’s just a more tamed down version. It still gave me goosebumps and tears, so I’m not knocking it in any way!

Talk about an impossible situation, 34 year old Morgan is babysitting her 2 month old nephew, Elijah, for her younger sister and best friend, Jenny, on Jenny’s first day back to work at the hospital where Morgan’s husband of 16 years, Chris also works. She gets a call to come to the hospital because Chris has been in an accident. She arrives to find Jonah, Jenny’s fiance and father of her nephew also waiting for news. They soon learn that Chris and Jenny were together and both in an accident, and that neither survived. In an instant, Morgan’s husband and best friend are gone – her entire support system vanishing in a moment. Now, imagine you were Morgan for a moment – imagine the gamut of feelings you would feel when you then discover that Chris and Jenny were having an affair (for who knows how many years of your marriage) and keeping it secret right under your nose for years! How can Morgan begin to pick up the pieces of her shattered heart while caught in a whirlwind of anger, shock, disbelief, loss, betrayal, and grief. Though she never felt goosebumps or butterflies and married Chris when she found out she was pregnant at age 17, she did love her husband. He was the kind of guy everyone loved. How will she keep the hurt from her daughter, Clara, who thought her father hung the moon? She can’t tell Clara, because Chris was an amazing father to her. How can she ruin that for her own daughter? Morgan and Clara’s relationship was already a bit rocky before the accident, and now the foundation has shifted, causing an epic battle of the wills.

And then there’s Jonah…Morgan is still unhappy with him for leaving town after high school without a word or a visit since. She and Jonah were always able to communicate without words, and she felt a special connection to him back then, even though Jonah was dating her sister Jenny and Morgan was pregnant with Jonah’s best friend Chris’s baby. So, of course, Morgan stifled her feelings and went on with her life, putting all her energy into raising Clara and keeping a happy household, while her dreams of going to college slowly faded into the distance. But, Jonah, being the upstanding man she knew he would become, has come back home to raise Elijah and marry Jenny. Now, Jonah is left alone with a 2 month old baby and some of the same crippling feelings of anger, betrayal and grief as Morgan. Can you see the writing on the wall, my friends? Only, Morgan is strong willed and selfless. She is determined to keep her feelings for Jonah bottled up, taking the blame from her daughter in order to keep her from knowing the painful truth about her father and Jenny, who Clara was closer to than her own mother. Morgan will have a tough time, however, with the ever-present, ridiculously handsome, attentive and loving Jonah back in her daily life. 

There’s also a parallel story going on with Clara and her love interest, Miller. Her father was against her dating Miller, but Jonah “Uncle Teacher” is both she and Miller’s history teacher, and he assures Morgan that Miller is in fact one of the good ones. Clara and Miller’s story feels like a wonderful YA book that is interspersed with Morgan and Jonah’s story and I loved them both so much! Clara and Miller’s story has humor, awkward dating moments, setbacks and so much love.

I will forever associate watermelon jolly ranchers and the color orange with these wonderful characters you have created, Colleen. You are everything that I aspire to be as an author someday. And, pretty please, keep ’em coming!

Thank you to Montlake Romance for the advanced reader’s copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Q&A with Author Colleen Hoover

You are ‘label-less’ in the fact that you write in several genres. Readers never know what to expect next. If someone asks, how do you label yourself?

When I self-published my first novel I had no idea what genre to put it in. I thought I had written a drama but it turns to that I had written a romance. I’ve learned a lot since then, but I still don’t put a lot of weight in genre when I write. When your best friend is begging you to read a book, it’s not going to matter what genre it is when someone you trust is passionate about the story.

To keep all of your stories and characters straight, you must be very organized.

I’m the most disorganized person you will ever meet! I have no schedule. I can’t wake up before nine in the morning. I probably don’t go to bed until like three in the morning. I usually work about 16 hours a day.

What happens if you get blocked when you are writing?

If I get stuck writing, I go for a drive and play music. Music really helps me plot. I love The Avett Brothers, X Ambassadors, Airborne Toxic Event…I could go on and on.

What can you tell readers about your latest release Regretting You?

I would spoil it if I told you about it! Most of my books are like that. I can’t say what they are about or it spoils it. But I can say that Regretting You is told from a dual point-of-view centered on the inner lives of both a teen and adult protagonist.

Sounds like lots of different types of readers will be interested!

Absolutely. I wanted to write a book that bridged the gap between young adult and contemporary romance so that mothers can read with their daughters. I think it’s exciting to see people sharing reading experiences.***

Excerpt: Regretting You by Colleen Hoover

Despite knowing I just pissed my mother off by being half an hour late for curfew, I still can’t stop smiling. That kiss with Miller was worth it. I bring my fingers to my lips.

I’ve never been kissed like that. The guys I’ve kissed in the past all seemed like they were in a hurry, wanting to shove their tongue in my mouth before I changed my mind.

Miller was the opposite. He was so patient, yet in a chaotic way. It was like he’d thought about kissing me so often that he wanted to savor every second of it.

I don’t know that I’ll ever not smile when I think about that kiss. It kind of makes me nervous for school tomorrow. I’m not sure where that kiss leaves us, but it felt like it was a statement. I just don’t know what exactly that statement was.

My phone buzzes in my back pocket. I roll over and pull it out, then fall onto my back again. It’s a text from Miller.

Miller: I don’t know about you, but sometimes when something significant happens, I get home and think of all the things I wish had gone differently. All the things I wish I would have said.

Me: Is that happening now?

Miller: Yes. I don’t feel like I was entirely forthcoming with you.

I roll onto my stomach, hoping to ease the nausea that just passed through me. It was going so well…

Me: What weren’t you honest about?

Miller: I was honest. Just not entirely forthcoming, if there’s a difference. I left a lot out of our conversation that I want you to know.

Me: Like what?

Miller: Like why I’ve liked you for as long as I have.

I wait for him to elaborate, but he doesn’t. I’m staring at my phone with so much intensity that I almost throw it when it rings unexpectedly. It’s Miller’s phone number. I hesitate before answering it, because I rarely ever talk on the phone. I much prefer texting. But he knows I have my phone in my hand, so I can’t very well send it to voice mail. I swipe my finger across the screen and then roll off the bed and head to my bathroom for more privacy. I sit on the edge of the tub.

“Hello?”

“Hey,” he says.

“Sorry. It’s too much to text.”

“You’re kind of freaking me out with all the innuendos.”

“Oh. No, it’s all good. Don’t be nervous. I just should have said this to you in person.” Miller inhales a deep breath, and then on the exhale, he starts talking. “When I was fifteen, I watched you in a school play. You had the lead role, and at one point, you performed a monologue that went on for like two whole minutes. You were so convincing and you looked so heartbroken I was ready to walk onto the stage and hug you. When the play was finally over and the actors came back out onto the stage, you were smiling and laughing, and there wasn’t a trace of that character left in you. I was in awe, Clara. You have this charisma about you that I don’t think you’re aware of, but it’s captivating. I was a scrawny kid as a sophomore, and even though I’m a year older than you, I hadn’t quite filled out yet, and I had acne and felt inferior to you, so I never worked up the courage to approach you. Another year went by, and I continued to admire you from afar. Like that time you ran for school treasurer and tripped walking off the stage, but you jumped up and did this weird little kick and threw your arms up in the air and made the entire audience laugh. Or that time Mark Avery popped your bra strap in the hallway, and you were so sick of him doing it that you followed him to his classroom, reached inside your hoodie, and took off your bra and then threw it at him. I remember you yelling something like, ‘If you want to touch a bra so damn bad, just keep it, you perv!’ Then you stormed out. It was epic. Everything you do is epic, Clara. Which is why I never had the courage to approach you, because an epic girl needs an equally epic guy, and I guess I’ve just never felt epic enough for you. I’ve said epic so many times in the last fifteen seconds—I’m so sorry.”

He’s out of breath when he finally stops talking.

I’m smiling so hard my cheeks ache. I had no idea he felt this way. No idea.

I wait a few seconds to make sure he’s done; then I finally respond. I’m pretty sure he can hear from my voice alone that I’m smiling. “First of all, it’s hard to believe you were ever insecure. And second, I think you’re pretty epic, too, Miller. Always have. Even when you were scrawny and had acne.”

He laughs a little. “Yeah?”

“Yeah.”

I can hear him sigh. “Glad I got that off my chest, then. See you at school tomorrow?”

“Good night.”

We end the call, and I don’t know how long I sit and stare at my phone.

***

About the Book

Title: Regretting You
Author: Colleen Hoover
Release Date: December 10, 2019
Publisher: Montlake

Summary

Morgan Grant and her sixteen-year-old daughter, Clara, would like nothing more than to be nothing alike.

Morgan is determined to prevent her daughter from making the same mistakes she did. By getting pregnant and married way too young, Morgan put her own dreams on hold. Clara doesn’t want to follow in her mother’s footsteps. Her predictable mother doesn’t have a spontaneous bone in her body.

With warring personalities and conflicting goals, Morgan and Clara find it increasingly difficult to coexist. The only person who can bring peace to the household is Chris—Morgan’s husband, Clara’s father, and the family anchor. But that peace is shattered when Chris is involved in a tragic and questionable accident. The heartbreaking and long-lasting consequences will reach far beyond just Morgan and Clara.

While struggling to rebuild everything that crashed around them, Morgan finds comfort in the last person she expects to, and Clara turns to the one boy she’s been forbidden to see. With each passing day, new secrets, resentment, and misunderstandings make mother and daughter fall further apart. So far apart, it might be impossible for them to ever fall back together.

Author Biography

Colleen Hoover is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of several novels, including the bestselling women’s fiction novel It Ends with Us and the bestselling psychological thriller Verity. She has won the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Romance three years in a row—for Confess (2015), It Ends with Us (2016), and Without Merit (2017). Confess was adapted into a seven-episode online series. In 2015, Hoover and her family founded the Bookworm Box, a bookstore and monthly subscription service that offers signed novels donated by authors. All profits go to various charities each month to help those in need. Hoover lives in Texas with her husband and their three boys. Visit http://www.colleenhoover.com.

Social Media Links

Website: http://www.colleenhoover.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorColleenHoover/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/colleenhoover
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5430144.Colleen_Hoover

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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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Waiting for Fitz by Spencer Hyde

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Originally published in School Library Journal, March 2019.

Gr 9 & Up – Midway through her senior year, 17-year-old Addie Foster is sent for inpatient psychiatric therapy at Seattle Regional Hospital for OCD. Quick-witted and literary-minded, she dreams of being a playwright. Making some unlikely, but unique friends from the first day of group therapy, Addie accepts that she needs help, while handsome, mysterious Fitz is desperate to leave after two years of treatment. Grieving and guilt-ridden, Fitz, a schizophrenic, mentions San Juan Island and the name Quentin, but not offering any details to Addie. Unlike Addie, whose supportive mother visits, Fitz’s mother blames him and has never visited. Innocent romance sparks for Fitz and Addie, their shared passion for literature kindling their companionship. When the truth of Fitz’s past is revealed to Addie, she is forced to take a painful look at their relationship and her own future. The ending is hopeful, albeit a touch predictable. Author Spencer Hyde, having spent much of his high school years in inpatient therapy for severe OCD, provides an accurate, honest rendering of teenage mental illness. VERDICT: Fans of John Green and Jennifer Niven will enjoy this realistic, yet PG portrayal of some heavy subject matter.

Little Big Love by Katy Regan

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Originally published in Library Journal, March 2018

A modern family drama unfolds in alternating points of view of authentic voices between a 10 year old named Zac who likes to collect facts and cook, his single mother, Juliet, and her father, Mick.  Juliet and Zac live on Harlequin Estate in Grimsby, a seaside town in England which was a major fishing port. Zac’s father, Liam, left under mysterious circumstances after the tragic death of Juliet’s brother, Jamie, ten years ago. Only Mick, a recovering alcoholic and retired fisherman, knows the truth, but he hides behind grief, guilt, and his opinionated wife. Juliet drowns her sorrow with alcohol and food, and she and Zac have become overweight, causing Zac to be bullied. When the bullying at school escalates, Juliet is determined to get Zac healthy and happy. Convinced it will please his mom, Zac’s mission, a secret with best friend Teagan, is to find Liam. Soon, finding Liam becomes Zac’s top priority, but when the truth is revealed, there’s no going back, no matter the pain it brings. VERDICT: Fans of Jane Green and Susan Wiggs will enjoy Regan’s debut novel with strong family bond that explores the age-old question of what if and the aftermath of one poor decision.

 

Map of the Heart by Susan Wiggs

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Map of the Heart will be published August 22, 2017. I was in the mood for a love story, and this one was a perfect fit. This is a modern-day romance mixed in with a healthy dose of historical fiction, historical mystery, and a forbidden historical romance.

36 year old widow and single mother, Camille, has shut off her own heart from feeling happiness or true love, since her husband died in a tragic accident five years prior. At that time, she also gave up her favorite past-time which brought her the most joy – photography.

Camille spends her days trying to figure out the best way to deal with her moody teenage daughter and aging father, whose cancer is fortunately in remission. Part owner of Oh-La-La, a home-goods shop in downtown Bethany Bay, the New England touristy beach town she calls home, Camille also has a film developing business. She specializes in developing and restoring very old film.

Enter Finn, Malcolm Finnemore, but known only as Finn. He’s a handsome historian and professor who specializes in war and military history and volunteers his time recovering lost soldiers remains to give families closure. His own father, a soldier, disappeared during the Vietnam War before Finn was born, and Finn has been unable to find any clues to locate him, until a lost roll of film from his father’s camera was uncovered. The film could be images of the last place his father was alive, and it could even lead to his whereabouts. Giddy with excitement at the prospect of getting closer to finding his father, he contacts an expert, Camille, to restore and develop the very old, important film for him.

What follows is a series of sparks, then fires, then uncertainty, and passion in a romance made for the movies. Oh la la, indeed!

Camille’s father, Henri, who grew up in Bellerive, France, receives a box found in the attic at Sauveterre, and estate in southern France where he grew up and that he owns. Inside are some puzzling items that belonged to Henri’s mother, Lisette, who died during childbirth. There is little to no resemblance between Henri and his presumed father, Didier. Camille and Henri begin to question whether Didier Palomar, mayor of Bellerive and a Nazi supporter who was killed shortly after WWII ended, is actually Henri’s birth father.

Henri and Julie, Camille’s daughter, decide to spend the summer in southern France at Sauveterre, despite Camille’s resistance. She finally gives in after Julie is involved in an accident at school and Camille is unsure whether Julie is the bully or the bullied. Julie is miserable, and a summer away with a mystery to solve may be just what she needs to snap back into a happier childhood. And, of course, Camille realizes that Aix-en-Provence where Finn lives is very close to Bellerive. A summer in beautiful southern France AND a handsome, charming, single man dying to meet up with her as soon as possible – any woman in her right mind would be crazy to turn that down! Thank goodness, for the sake of the story, Camille lets go and heads to France.

The story switches back and forth to the 1940’s as readers get to know young Lisette and her remarkable story. Once the truth about Henri’s real father and Lisette’s past are revealed, readers will not be able to put the book down. I know I certainly couldn’t!

Map of the Heart is well-written with equal parts heartbreak and romance. The romance isn’t too steamy, but subtle and implied. I felt transported back and forth between the beach town of Bethany Bay and the picturesque estate of Sauveterre in the Var – both places that I would love to be. I loved the story and even the ending, which I sometimes do not like in romantic fiction. Fans of Elin Hilderbrand and Kristin Hannah will love this story.

The Identicals by Elin Hilderbrand

9780316375191_91b3aThe Identicals will be released on June 13, 2017. It’s definitely going to be a hit summer beach read, as are most of Elin’s novels.

Elin Hilderbrand’s novels have a way of transporting me into the story with such force that I can think of nothing else but the characters. I’ve no shame in admitting that my mind was wandering during the sermon on Sunday, thinking about Harper and Tabitha, looking forward to finishing the book during naptime. I look forward to her books with such intense anticipation, but then I read them too fast. Then, I am left wishing that I would have savored them at a slower pace.

Twin sisters Tabitha and Harper are as different as can be, even though they look identical. It’s fitting for Hilderbrand to write this story, as she is also a twin, though not an identical. Readers will appreciate her authentic voice as the author, fully aware of the unique relationship between twins. The story unfolds in alternating points of view between Harper and Tabitha, but also between the islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket themselves.

Harper lives with her father, Billy, on Martha’s Vineyard and Tabitha lives with her mother on Nantucket. Where Harper is laid back and reckless, her twin sister Tabitha is dignified and methodical. Harper is often the subject of gossip on the island, and her current love interest happens to be Billy’s married doctor. She’s made a few mistakes, but she could care less what people think of her. Their mother, Eleanor Roxie-Frost, a famous fashion designer, owns clothing boutiques which carry her brand and designs. Tabitha works for her mother in the Nantucket boutique, and caters to Eleanor’s every whim, while also trying to ride out the moods and rebellion of her teenage daughter, Ainsley. Though the twins only live 11 miles apart on separate islands, they haven’t seen each other for more than a decade. Since they were teenagers and the fateful day they were forced to split up, one moving to Martha’s Vineyard with Billy and one staying on Nantucket with Eleanor, Harper and Tabitha have avoided each other at all costs.

The drama escalates when the twins decide to switch islands in order to handle matters for their parents in the best possible way. Billy’s house needs remodeled and sold, a task which Tabitha is best fit. What she discovers over in the Vineyard may change her outlook on the future, at least where her love life is concerned. Over in Nantucket, however, the boutique needs a fresh outlook and Ainsley needs some adult supervision and encouragement. Will Harper be able to handle her sister’s matters, or will she disappoint her and drive them further apart? Her love life is a hot mess, so she figures that getting a little distance from the Vineyard and all the gossip won’t hurt.

You will not be disappointed with this story. It is full of humorous moments, tender family situations, heartbreak, love, and even a few (sorta) steamy romantic scenes. It has everything readers would want for a summer beach read. I read the book in one evening! Elin also compares and contrasts Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket as sister islands which are unique, much like Harper and Tabitha.

The Identicals ripped my heart out and pieced it back together with the final chapter, narrated by Fish (a dog), Harper’s faithful companion and best friend. This was a clever and fitting way to end such a beautiful story. I can hardly wait for her next summer novel to be released!