Review: Fake It Till You Break It by Jenn P. Nguyen – Blog Tour

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Title: Fake It Till You Break It
Author: Jenn P. Nguyen
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Publication Date: May 28, 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Source: Received a copy in exchange for an honest review on this blog tour

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Rating: 4 stars

Mia and Jake have known each other their whole lives. They’ve endured summer vacations, Sunday brunches, even dentist visits together. Their mothers, who are best friends, are convinced that Mia and Jake would be the perfect couple, even though they can’t stand to be in the same room together.

After Mia’s mom turns away yet another cute boy, Mia and Jake decide they’ve have had enough. Together, they hatch a plan to get their moms off their backs. Permanently. All they have to do is pretend to date and then stage the worst breakup of all time—and then they’ll be free.

The only problem is, maybe Jake and Mia don’t hate each other as much as they once thought…

Review:

I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again: the fake dating trope is the best trope of all in young adult books. I don’t make the rules, that’s just how it is. And I am happy to say that this is another novel that does the trope so well.

Jake and Mia’s mothers are best friends and because of that they have grown up alongside each other. The older they get, the more their mothers think they would be the perfect couple and try to push them together at the smallest opportunity. Jake and Mia have had enough of being thrown into each other’s lives and decide to fake date in the hopes that if they have an ugly enough break up, their mom’s will get off their backs and leave them to live their lives as they please. There’s only one tiny problem: they didn’t actually count on liking each other.

I like how the fake dating trope was done a little differently this time. Their main goal was getting their moms to cool it, not to make some other crush jealous so that they could be with that person.

This was a very family-oriented novel and I enjoyed that. Families aren’t always very prevalent in YA novels. When they are it’s usually pretty great, and that was definitely the case in this one. Mrs. Adler and Mrs. Le were so funny. And clearly great mothers.

The best part was the romance between Jake and Mia. It was so wholesome and sweet and cute. They were like an old married couple, but mixed in was the innocence of falling in love for the first time.

This was such an adorable book. If you’re looking for the perfect YA contemporary that will make your heart full and happy, then pick up this one. It’s worth the read.

About Jenn P. Nguyen:

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Jenn Nguyen fell in love with books in third grade and spent the rest of her school years reading through lunchtime and giving up recess to organize the school library. She has a degree in business administration from the University of New Orleans and still lives in the city with her husband. Jenn spends her days reading, dreaming up YA romances, and binge watching Korean dramas all in the name of ‘research’.

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Review: Vow of Silence by Melynda Price – Blog Tour

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Title: Vow of Silence
Author: Melynda Prince
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Publication Date: May 27, 2019
Genre: Adult, Romance, Suspense
Source: Received a copy in exchange for an honest review on this blog tour

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Rating: 4.5 stars

A killer is hiding in Plain sight…

The hunt for a serial killer leads Homicide Detective Josiah Troyer back to his Amish roots. To catch a madman preying on young women, Joe must return to Lancaster County and regain the trust of a shattered community.

The FBI knows Joe is the best chance they have of solving this case. By returning to Lancaster, he will face shunning, and resentment from the people he once called family and friends.

Hannah’s heart was broken when Josiah abandoned her eight-years ago to live with the Englishers. Forced to wed a man not of her choosing, her husband’s untimely death has left her struggling to put her life back together.

When unspeakable tragedy strikes again, Josiah unexpectedly returns, investigating the murder of her sister and two other young Amish women. Hannah quickly discovers the man that’s come back is not the same one she fell in love with.

Gone are Josiah’s easy smiles and gentle ways. He’s harder, colder—a true Englisher… But not even shunning can stop the attraction from consuming them both, and Josiah soon opens Hannah’s eyes to a world of passion and pleasure she never imagined. Choosing Josiah would mean walking away from the only world she’s ever known.

Josiah’s investigation begins to unravel when he discovers the killer is closer than he thought. Soon, he’s in a race against time to save the only woman he’s ever loved before she becomes the next victim.

Review:

This books you guys. This freaking book. It was so good. I flew through it, constantly wanting to know what was going to happen next with both the mystery and the romance. I was on the edge of my seat because it wasn’t too predictable. My first guess as to who the killer was wasn’t correct. The writing made it seem like there were quite a few options as to who the killer could have been and it made the story more compelling to not know from the start.

Second-chance romances are very hit or miss for me, because if it didn’t work out the first time, the past should probably stay in the past. But holy crap, I was rooting for Josiah and Hannah from the moment they met again. They were that kind of couple where you just knew they were meant to be together.

Melynda Price is such a good writer. The suspense, the romance, and the POV from the killer were all excellent and I’m looking forward to reading other books from her.

I highly recommend this book. It was a good mix of suspense and romance and both will have you flipping those pages at record speed to get to the conclusion.

About Melynda Price:

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Melynda Price is a bestselling and award-winning author of contemporary romance. Her novels have finaled in and or won many awards such as the RONE, USA Today BBA, Golden Quill, National Readers’ Choice, Write Touch, and New England Readers’ Choice.

What Price enjoys most about writing is the chance to make her readers fall in love, over and over again. She cites the greatest challenge of writing is making the unbelievable believable, while taking her characters to the limit with stories full of passion and unique twists and turns. Salting stories with undertones of history whenever possible, Price adds immeasurable depth to her well-crafted books. She currently lives in Northern Minnesota with her husband and two children where she has plenty of snow-filled days to curl up in front of the fireplace with her Chihuahua and a hot cup of coffee to write.

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Review: In Other Words by Jennifer Woodhull – Blog Tour

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Title: In Other Words
Author: Jennifer Woodhull
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Self-published by Jennifer Woodhull
Publication Date: April 30, 2019
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Comedy
Source: Received a copy in exchange for an honest review on this blog tour

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Rating: 4 stars

Dexter

We became close friends in college. When Sinclair returns home to Dallas after two years in New York, I introduce her to my best friend Cole. The good-looking playboy ballplayer is the perfect kind of guy for the woman I’m sure would never be interested in me…even if seeing them together breaks my heart.

Sinclair

He was the nerdy PhD candidate. I was the cheerleader. We made unlikely friends. Moving back home after two years away, he looks hotter than ever. When I start dating his ballplayer best friend, things get complicated. He doesn’t see me as girlfriend material…but I can’t get him, or my feelings for him, out of my head.

Review:

If you’re looking for a great friends-to-lovers romance to pick up, then you should absolutely pick up Dex and Sinclair’s story. Two wonderful characters who have one of the sweetest romances I’ve read about.

My favourite thing about Dex was how real he was. Sure, he was basically described as the dream guy, but he used to be gangly and nerdy (his words) and had moments where those insecurities came out. Where he wasn’t always sure if he was the perfect guy.

A lot of time when the male leads seem to think a little bit less of themselves and put the female character on a pedestal, she isn’t really that great to anyone but him. But I absolutely adored Sinclair. She was smart and kind and nerdy and loved Dex throughout their entire friendship, even when he didn’t see himself as the kind of guy who deserved her love. They deserved each other and I mean that in the best way.

The one tiny thing that irked me was the fact that neither Clair or Dex could seem to figure out that the other one was also in love with them. It wasn’t as if there were a few moments spaced out between their friendship that had a ‘will they or won’t they vibe.’ Every single interaction of their friendship made it sound like they were already a couple or one more touch away from confessing their love and finding the nearest surface to bang on.

Overall, I did really enjoy this book. I thought it was a sweet friends-to-lovers romance and I would highly recommend adding this one to your summer reading lists.

About Jennifer Woodhull:

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Jennifer Woodhull is an author of romance with lots of wit, plenty of heat, and lots of heart. She is known for writing immersive settings that take readers to a wide variety of locales around the world. Her heroines are funny, strong make bad decisions, and get in their own way sometimes before finding their path to happiness. Her heroes are driven, funny, sweet, and sometimes complicated. Jennifer lives in Tennessee with her real life book boyfriend and their yellow lab who can be more persuasive than any roguish villain when he’s after a snack. A lover of travel, Jennifer has been known to plot novels and write pages of dialogue on her phone from planes, trains, and automobiles (though not while driving, because safety first).

Jennifer’s works include her debut Promise Series, the breakout hit The Dating Alternative, and the funny, sexy summer release, Sour.

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Review: Birth by Donna Russo Morin – Blog Tour

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Title: Birth
Author: Donna Russo Morin
Series: Once, Upon A New Time #1
Publisher: Creativia
Publication Date: February 15, 2019
Genre: Fantasy
Source: Received an copy from the author/Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review on this blog tour

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Rating: 2 stars

New worlds don’t appear. They are born from the labor of those who envision them.

Count Witon has grown weary of the constant war between the races. Together with his wife Belamay, and Persky – first of a rare Human / Elf breed – Witon plans to create a new society: a utopia for anyone who longs for peaceful coexistence.

They recruit pilgrims from every city and species; most to success, some to failure. Together, they set off to a small, yet promising island, found by chance in the middle of the churning ocean.

But the journey there is fraught with challenges, and none of them is as dire as the one they face once they reach their destination. Will they have the strength and determination to give Birth to this New Time?

Once, Upon A New Time is a medieval fantasy with a double-edged sword: one of blood, the other of lust.

Review:

For me, fantasy novels are either the best thing I’ve ever read or I’m just not into it. Unfortunately, this book just wasn’t for me.

I did love the bravery of Witon to strike off on his own and gather other kinds of creatures to go and create their own world filled with a peaceful coexistence of almost every breed of creature. It’s a damn big risk to take, especially in a world full of hatred. So props to him for doing that.

But oh man, I just couldn’t get into the story itself. Sometimes there was a lot of action for a brief period and then for long bouts of the book, it was straight up information being thrown at you. And yet with so much information, I still felt like it was all so surface level and I wasn’t learning much about all of the creatures and the new land they made their life on. It seemed like it was one thing after another, but was lacking the flow that makes it all go together naturally.

About Donna Russo Morin:

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Donna Russo Morin is an award-winning historical fiction author. Donna has dabbled as a model and actor, working on Showtime’s Brotherhood and Martin Scorsese’s The Departed. Branching out with her storytelling skills, Donna is now a screenwriter. A graduate of the University of Rhode Island, Donna lives on the south shore of Rhode Island close to the ocean she loves so very much. She is the proud mother of two sons, Devon and Dylan, her greatest works in progress.

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Review: Lead the Way by Brittany Carter – Blog Tour

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Title: Lead the Way
Author: Brittany Carter
Series: Dirty South #1
Publisher: Swoon Romance
Publication Date: April 20, 2019
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Source: Received an copy from the author/Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review on this blog tour

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Rating: 4 stars

Fresh off the high of college graduation, Melody James is back in her Podunk town. She needs a job, but first, she’ll spend a lazy summer with no agenda at all.

But life’s got other plans for Melody, ones she’d sooner ignore. When the next-door neighbor passes away, his son returns home to take care of his affairs. Thane Cohen hasn’t been home in ten years. The last time he was, someone accused him of murdering Melody’s parents. Now, after major efforts to recover his self-worth and start a construction company, Thane wonders if enough time has passed for him to clear his once good name.

At the time of the murders, Melody was the only person who didn’t believe Thane was responsible. But how could she even suggest otherwise when just about everyone in town was convinced of Thane’s guilt? Her brothers would never allow it. With nothing to lose before, Thane packed up and left, leaving the town and Melody behind. Now that he’s back, rekindling an old flame in Melody and proving his innocence are critical.

When several car windshields get broken and fires start unexpectedly, the world inside their little town is tossed upside down. With Melody’s brother against her, and Thane fighting every attempt she makes at breaking down his walls, Melody’s push for answers leads her to a frightening conclusion. Thane may actually know more about her parents’ death than she was lead to believe. Can she trust him, or has everyone else been right about him all along? Only time will tell if she can let love lead the way.

Review:

This book had a lot going on, between the romance between Melody and Thane, and the suspense of the secret knowledge of Melody’s parents’ death that Thane knew. But it wasn’t too much. I was a little nervous going into this because of the romance and the suspenseful mystery aspect, but it ended up being pretty good and blended together nicely.

I won’t hint a single thing about the secret, but I will say, you won’t be disappointed when things come out. It’s big. A lot of novels do that thing where the romantic interest is hiding some kind of secret and when it all comes out, the secret is boring and didn’t even need to be some hidden thing to begin with. My lord this was not the case. The wait was worth the reveal.

Another aspect of the book that I enjoyed was the southern authenticity of Brittany Carter’s writing. There were so many adorable southern expressions said by the characters and I like how that made the setting of the country/south feel that much more real.

Melody and Thane were both very raw and real characters with an intense romance. Melody had such a kind heart and Thane had somehow managed not to let the cruelty of the world around him turn him into an awful person. Even all of the side characters managed to bring out various emotions from me. If a couple of the guys from the book somehow stepped on some broken glass, I wouldn’t be mad about it.

One small thing, but it’s more a word of advice to a future reader than an actual complaint about the book itself. Go into reading this without reading the synopsis. I feel like some parts of it are a little misleading or some things that do happen, occur way later on in the novel so you’re just kind of waiting for things to happen. I still enjoyed the novel a lot and would very much recommend it. Just avoid the synopsis, if possible. This is one of those books where it would be nice to go into it without knowing anything.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. When I first started it, I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about it, but it ended up being a 4 star read, which is pretty great for me. I hope you guys get the chance to pick this one up and that you enjoy it as well.

About Brittany Carter:

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Brittany Booker Carter previously writing as Alla Kar. I’m a Christian, lover or romance, a wife and mother to a wild-child!

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