Review: Bad for You by Taylor Holloway

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Title: Bad for You
Author: Taylor Holloway
Series: Lone Star Lovers #9
Publisher: Self-Published by Taylor Holloway
Publication Date: October 2, 2019
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Received a copy in exchange for an honest review

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Rating: 5 stars

The boy next door.
Star of my teenage fantasies.
My tormentor.

After serving as an army doctor in some of the most dangerous places on Earth, Brandon has finally come home. And he’s brought his cocky, alpha attitude and rugged good looks with him. To my hospital. He’s still a loose cannon and I’m right in his sights.

But instead of begging for him to stop, this good girl is having to stop herself from begging for more.
I thought I put my obsession with this moody bad boy to bed.
It now appears that’s right where he wants me.

I’ve always made good choices.
But this time I’m worried I’ll pick the one that’s bad for me, even if Brandon feels oh so right.

Review:

Wow. That’s the first word that comes to mind when I think of Bad for You. Just… wow.

Enemies-to-lovers is pretty high up on the list of tropes I love. It usually leads to crazy intense sexual tension and a lot of sass and snark, which makes my heart very happy. I am pleased to inform you that Taylor Holloway did not disappoint. In fact, she exceeded my expectations (and I was expecting a lot).

This book starts off with a bang right from the prologue. It tugs at your heart and makes you feel for Aimee and Brandon because of the awful circumstances of their childhoods. You get a vivid picture of how their hate for each other started, and let’s be real. Aimee has every reason to hate Brandon.

One of the best parts about Bad for You was the pacing. The last thing you’re going to find is insta-love. It takes place over quite an extended period of time and because of that the romance that develops between Aimee and Brandon feels much more believable and real. It allows you to be fully immersed in the story and all of the events that take place.

Speaking of events taking place, oh boy. For a contemporary romance, there were so many twists and turns and I loved every second of it. It reminded me of Grey’s Anatomy in the early days and I am here for that. Somehow everything just seemed to fit into the story perfectly and it had my on the edge of my seat needing to know what was going to happen next.

Taylor Holloway is an incredible writer and I can’t wait to pick up the other novels in her Lone Star Lovers series. Her ability to write swoon-worthy romance while also tugging at your emotions is off the charts amazing and I highly suggest you grab a copy of Bad for You immediately.

About Taylor Holloway:

Taylor Holloway is a bestselling romance author who writes sweet and sexy stories with just enough of an edge to offset all the feels. Her books are specifically Taylor-ed to make you blush, cry, laugh, ans swoon. She’s an Austin native with a penchant for bad puns, strong margaritas, expensive shoes, and shiny things. When she’s not writing, she’s working a hilariously bland corporate job, spoiling her husband and cat, or going for long walks in the dark.

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Review: The Necromancer’s Bride by Kat Ross – Blog Tour + Giveaway

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Title: The Necromancer’s Bride
Author: Kat Ross
Series: Gaslamp Gothic #4
Publisher: Acorn Publishing
Publication Date: September 6, 2019
Genre: Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal
Source: Received a copy in exchange for an honest review on this blog tour

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Rating: 5 stars

Forgiveness is not Gabriel D’Ange’s strong suit.

A self-appointed soldier of God with a penchant for ruthlessly punishing his enemies, he vanished after Anne Lawrence stabbed him with his own dagger.

The smart thing would be to let him go.

Unfortunately, Anne’s life isn’t just lonely without Gabriel. It’s insufferably boring.

Determined to heal the rift between them, she goes in search of her tempestuous former lover, black parasol in hand and daeva magic crackling at her fingertips. But Gabriel has his own plans afoot and Anne finds herself drawn into one of his tangled webs, much against her better judgment.

Gabriel’s nemesis has reappeared in Brussels, a vile slaver who’s plundering the Congo Free State with the blessing of King Leopold. Gabriel might be willing to give Anne a second chance, but not until Jorin Bekker’s head is lying at his feet.

Back in London, the quasi-reformed necromancer Balthazar sets his sights on the same quarry. He holds a very personal grudge against Bekker — and killing him might be the only way to keep Gabriel D’Ange from Balthazar’s own throat.

When the hunters collide at a lavish gala thrown by the king, Anne learns just how far she’ll go to save the man she loves.

Review:

So a few months ago I was lucky enough to get my hands on a copy of A Bad Breed by Kat Ross (the third book in the Gaslamp Gothic series). I freaking adored it. It’s rare for me that I anticipate the next book in a series because a lot of fantasy stories don’t catch my attention the way they used to. But my god, when A Bad Breed ended the way it did I knew I needed the next book as soon as I could get it. And let me tell you, The Necromancer’s Bride did not disappoint. It was worth the wait.

I don’t remember the last time I’ve done this, but I read the last half of the novel in an evening. So many things were happening and I just couldn’t put the book down. There was so much action and I was emotionally involved with the main characters. I wanted to know what was going to happen and how their big plans were going to go down.

Speaking of the characters, I love Anne and Gabriel. I will literally go down with that ship. She’s a badass and Gabriel is stubborn but in the best way. They compliment each other the way a true couple should. I also love Balthazar and Lucas. Their mentor relationship is my favourite thing ever because Balthazar looks out for Lucas and wants more than anything to get that revenge for him. It makes my heart so happy that they’ve been with each other for so long.

This book has absolutely sold me on Kat Ross and her writing. The way she blends fantasy and paranormal with a touch of romance is flawless. She knows how to write a story that keeps you on the edge of your seat and her action scenes can be seen in your mind like a movie. During my time reading this, I thought so many times that this book should be made into a movie. The novel is fast-paced but also descriptive at times and in all the right places.

To summarize: you NEED to read this. Read A Bad Breed first, and then pick up The Necromancer’s Bride immediately after. It is so wonderful and I highly suggest picking it up. It’s worth your time and the gothic atmosphere is perfect for the upcoming fall season.

Enter the giveaway HERE

  • 1 signed copy of A Bad Breed
  • 1 of 10 ebook copies of A Bad Breed
  • International
  • Ends September 19, 2019

About Kat Ross:

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Kat Ross worked as a journalist at the United Nations for ten years before happily falling back into what she likes best: making stuff up. She’s the author of the Fourth Element and Fourth Talisman fantasy series, the Gaslamp Gothic paranormal mysteries, and the dystopian thriller Some Fine Day. She loves myths, monsters and doomsday scenarios. Check out Kat’s Pinterest page for the people, places and things that inspire her books.

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Review: A Bad Breed by Kat Ross – Blog Tour

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Title: A Bad Breed
Author: Kat Ross
Series: Gaslamp Gothic #3
Publisher: Acorn Publishing
Publication Date: May 31, 2019
Genre: Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Retelling
Source: Received a copy in exchange for an honest review on this blog tour

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iBooks | Kobo | Google Play

Rating: 5 stars

Pricolici.

A creature out of folklore. And nightmare.

January 1889. When a Romanian village suffers a series of brutal attacks, occult investigator Anne Lawrence is dispatched to the forests of the Old Country to hunt the killer – only to vanish without a trace.

The trail leads her mentor Vivienne Cumberland deep into the Carpathians to a remote monastery. As a blizzard rages outside, trapping them all with the pricolici, Vivienne risks sharing the fate of the woman she came to find. But is the culprit truly a werewolf … or something even more dangerous?

A man bent on revenge. And a love that was never meant to be.

Imprisoned in a decaying castle, Anne finds herself ensnared in a web of dark enchantment, at the mercy of a mysterious captor with a beast inside – and a memory as old as the ancient legends.

As the weeks pass, Anne learns his real identity, and slowly uncovers a complex and deeply passionate man. But is she willing to pay the price for falling under his spell?

Author’s Note: This darkly magical reimagining of Beauty and the Beast is the third book in the Gaslamp Gothic series, but can be read as a standalone with no need to start with Book #1, The Daemoniac.

Review:

This book is everything I needed in my life. It’s the perfect blend of fantasy, romance, and suspense. And don’t let the fact that it’s a retelling worry you because I know many people can be skeptical of books that say they’re a retelling. There are definitely elements of Beauty and the Beast, but A Bad Breed is so much more than that.

This is the third book in the Gaslamp Gothic series, but it can easily be read as a standalone. There are course some references to things that I’m assuming happened in the previous novels (I haven’t read them… yet), but there won’t be anything that leaves you confused or has you feeling like you’re out of the loop.

I can’t even begin to tell you guys how incredible this book was. It was a ride in the best way possible and I wish I could read it for the first time again. I flew through it because the entire thing was captivating. It had me on the edge of my seat.

One of the best things about this novel, besides the romance aspect that relates to Beauty and the Beast, nothing was predictable. There were so many things that would happen that would shock me. It’s been a while since I’ve stayed up because I can’t put a book down to props to you Kat Ross.

Kat Ross’ writing was incredible. The settings she created in each country were so vivid. It was easy to picture all of these beautiful places that were home to such haunted characters. The characters and the romance as well were fantastic. I find in fantasy, I tend to ship characters less than usual because I’m so focused on the fantastical world, but oh my god. Kat Ross hit it out of the park with every single aspect of this book and I can’t wait for the next one.

I’m so happy this book came into my life because it was perfect. And if you’re looking for a gothic fantasy novel with a touch of romance and suspense, then please pick this up. It will definitely make your reading life better.

About Kat Ross:

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Kat Ross worked as a journalist at the United Nations for ten years before happily falling back into what she likes best: making stuff up. She’s the author of the Fourth Element and Fourth Talisman fantasy series, the Gaslamp Gothic paranormal mysteries, and the dystopian thriller Some Fine Day. She loves myths, monsters and doomsday scenarios. Check out Kat’s Pinterest page for the people, places and things that inspire her books.

Website | Facebook | Twitter |Goodreads

 

Review: In the Neighborhood of True by Susan Kaplan Carlton – Blog Tour + Giveaway

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Title: In the Neighborhood of True
Author: Susan Kaplan Carlton
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Publication Date: April 9, 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Ficton
Source: Received an copy from NetGalley/the pubsliher/Fantastic Flying Book Club in exchange for an honest review on this blog tour

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Indigo | Amazon | TBD
Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Rating: 5 stars

A powerful story of love, identity, and the price of fitting in or speaking out.

After her father’s death, Ruth Robb and her family transplant themselves in the summer of 1958 from New York City to Atlanta—the land of debutantes, sweet tea, and the Ku Klux Klan. In her new hometown, Ruth quickly figures out she can be Jewish or she can be popular, but she can’t be both. Eager to fit in with the blond girls in the “pastel posse,” Ruth decides to hide her religion. Before she knows it, she is falling for the handsome and charming Davis and sipping Cokes with him and his friends at the all-white, all-Christian Club.

Does it matter that Ruth’s mother makes her attend services at the local synagogue every week? Not as long as nobody outside her family knows the truth. At temple Ruth meets Max, who is serious and intense about the fight for social justice, and now she is caught between two worlds, two religions, and two boys. But when a violent hate crime brings the different parts of Ruth’s life into sharp conflict, she will have to choose between all she’s come to love about her new life and standing up for what she believes.

Review:

From the moment I began this story, I was instantly hooked. It started with Ruth in a courtroom about to testify about the hate crime that occured during the novel. What was the hate crime? What was she specifically there to testify for? What was she going to say? So many questions popped into my mind in the first few pages, and I knew I needed to have all of them answered.

Ruth, her mother, and her sister have moved from New York to Atlanta to live with her grandparents after her father’s sudden and unfortunate death. Fontaine and Mr. Hank (the grandparents) are Christian, but Ruth and her family are Jewish. In Atlanta in 1958, being Jewish was not something that was very accepted. Ruth hides this part about her as she goes to a Christian school and is influenced by Fontaine to get involved in debutante life.

The glitz and the glamour capture Ruth, along with Davis, the boy with the lovely smile and cute dimple. In her infatuation, Ruth continues to hide the real her. Until a violent hate crime occurs, and Ruth must ultimately decide the person she wants to be.

This book was incredible. Incredible. I was sucked in from the very beginning and just couldn’t put it down. The writing really brought the setting of the 1950s to life. I could picture the fashion, the speech, and the manerisms so clearly in my mind. It was almost like watching a movie.

But what was most important about this book was how Susan Kaplan Carlton chose to tackle such a prevalent issue. Sure, this was book set in 1958 and schools and busses and movie theatres are no longer segregated and you won’t be turned away from a debutante ball if you’re Jewish, but you can’t sit there and tell me that people do not experience awful prejudices in 2019. It may not be as clean cut as 1958, but it sure as hell exists.

And just as it was important in 1958 for Ruth to decide whether or not to do the right thing, it is also important for us to absolutely decide to do the right thing in 2019.

Susan Kaplan Carlton has graced us with a lovely novel and I think you should all pick it up when you have a chance. Every single thing about it was great. When someone can present such a vital topic with a beautiful story and elegant writing, it’s not something you want to miss out on.

Check out the tour schedule here!

Enter the giveaway here!

  • Prize: Win (1) of (2) copies of IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD OF TRUE by Susan Kaplan Carlton (US Only)
  • Ends April 16, 2019

About Susan Kaplan Carlton:

Susan Kaplan Carlton, a longtime magazine writer, currently teaches writing at Boston University. She lived for a time with her family in Atlanta, where her daughters learned the fine points of etiquette from a little pink book and learned the power of social justice from their synagogue. Carlton’s writing has appeared in Self, Elle, Mademoiselle, Seventeen, Parents, and elsewhere. She is the author of the young adult novels Love & Haight, which was named a Best Book for Young Adults by YALSA and a Best Book by the Children’s Book Committee at Bank Street Books, and Lobsterland.

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Review: Fleeting by Carrie Aarons – Blog Tour

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Title: Fleeting
Author: Carrie Aarons
Series: Nash Brothers Series #1
Publisher: Self-published by Carrie Aarons
Publication Date: March 14, 2018
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Received an ARC from the author/Inkslinger PR in exchange for an honest review for the purpose of this blog tour

Goodreads
Amazon

Rating: 5 stars

Presley McDaniel lives her life from moment to moment.

Making permanent decisions means obligation, and that would force her to stop being the family disappointment. Waitress, fitness instructor, dog walker … you name the hourly job and she’s probably held the position.

But when her grandmother can no longer run her book shop in Fawn Hill, a town so small it barely has its own zip code, Presley steps up to help.

The move from bustling city to green pastures may be exactly what she needs to sort out her life. But she didn’t ask for that happy ending to include a gorgeous veterinarian with an all-American smile and a penchant for snuggling puppies. The good doctor is reliable, responsible, and just the kind of man Presley has always avoided.

Love and commitment are predictable.
So why, the moment she lays eyes on him, are they all she wants?

Keaton Nash has never questioned his steady path.

His brothers may tease him about settling into his father’s passed-down role of small town veterinarian, but Keaton has never minded his rural roots. And after tragedy struck two years ago, he has a duty as the eldest Nash man to look after his family.

What he doesn’t need is the sexy, flighty stranger who shows up in town and gets his broken heart beating again. Presley McDaniel is a distraction, a red-headed temptation that is the definition of a bad idea.

He’s barely recovered from the love who left him to chase bigger dreams, and this woman is bound to do the same.

Except for the first time ever, he wants to abandon stability.
She makes him want to be reckless.

Review:

“Don’t worry, Presley. I’m not going to kiss you on this Ferris wheel. You’re not a cliché moment kind of girl, that much I can tell. And we haven’t even gone on a date yet. You should know I’m a gentleman. A gentleman who doesn’t play games. When I kiss you, we’ll both be ready for it.”

This was the second book that I’ve read by Carrie Aarons and I have to admit, I’m really becoming a fan of hers. She is a wonderful writer and definitely has a gift for it when it comes to writing in the contemporary romance genre.

Presley and Keaton are two people who are completely opposite from one another, but match together so well. Opposites attract, right? Presley is a (kind of) lost city girl from NYC who has moved to Fawn Hill to help her ailing grandmother with her bookshop/post office business. Keaton is a Fawn Hill native, the oldest of the four Nash brothers, and the responsible town vet. On paper this probably sounds like two people who should not be trying out anything resembling a relationship, but they do. And their story is pretty dang awesome.

“I’m still that girl, the spontaneous nomad who enjoys living without strings. Falling in love and staying in one place doesn’t have to change that. I can still have adventures. It’s just that now, I have someone who might want to adventure with me.”

Carrie Aarons, welcome to my list of auto-buy authors. This woman knows how to write an excellent contemporary romance that has all of the important elements executed perfectly. I flew through this novel so quickly. Every step of the way I was interested in the lives of these characters and invested in their romance.

One thing about the plot that I appreciated the most was how Aarons put in just enough information about the other three Nash brothers to make you excited about their stories without distracting from the main story of Presley and Keaton. It was the perfect set up of what is to come and each of the brothers, despite how close they are, seem like they’re all going to have very different stories from one another.

I appreciated the pacing. There was no overwhelming insta-love. Presley and Keaton had time to develop their feelings for each other and truly come to terms with how special their relationship was each in their own time.

Overall, I absolutely adored Fleeting and I can’t wait to read the stories of the other Nash Brothers. The second I can get my hands on the next one, featuring Bowen, you can bet large piles of money that I’m going to spend my entire day reading it in one sitting.

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About Carrie Aarons:

Author of romance novels such as Red Card and Privileged, Carrie Aarons writes books that are just as swoon-worthy as they are sarcastic. A former journalist, she prefers the stories she dreams up, and the yoga pant dress code, much better.

When she isn’t writing, Carrie is busy binging reality TV, having a love/hate relationship with cardio, and trying not to burn dinner. She lives in the suburbs of New Jersey with her husband, daughter and dog.

 

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