Review: Weekend Wife by Erin McCarthy

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Title: Weekend Wife
Author: Erin McCarthy
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Self-published by Erin McCarthy
Publication Date: February 3, 2020
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Received a copy in exchange for an honest review

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Rating: 2 stars

Billionaire businessman in need of a fake fiancée…

It should be the easiest job ever for an out-of-work actress, right?

All I have to do is pose as Grant Caldwell (the Third)’s fiancé for a fancy-pants weekend in the Hamptons. Easy. Wear designer clothing and sip champagne? Don’t mind if I do. Flirting with Grant? It’s so delicious I should be paying him.

Nothing can go wrong as long as I can just keep my hands off of him.

But that’s the hard part. And I do mean hard.

Because Grant is sexy.

And bossy.

And surprisingly sweet, a real rarity in his pretentious family.

Oops. I’m not as good at faking it as I thought. Or maybe they call this method acting. Because it’s getting harder to figure out where my character ends and I begin…

It just might be the role of a lifetime.

Review:

I know I’m in the minority, but oh wow this was not the book for me.

Going into this I had such expectations of a cute love story. They make their arrangement, spend a weekend in the Hamptons and realize that “oh no this person is pretty great how do I deal with that” and then go back to their lives in New York and try to navigate around these feelings for one another and eventually (strong emphasis on the EVENTUALLY) fall in love. That sounds cute, right? Yeah, that was not what I got.

Everything seemed like it was done to the extreme. For example, Grant’s family. They were a caricature of what we would imagine a mean billionaire family to be like. His family would have been perfect for the dramatics of the CW. They were what I assume the family on Dynasty is like.

Then of course, there was the insta-love between Leah and Grant. To me, insta-love is a complete turnoff so when I read about it, it’s hard for me to come back from that. Sure, he went to the restaurant once a week for six months, but all he did was eat chocolate chip pancakes broodingly while Leah did her job. Staring at a woman once a week for six months does not a relationship make. After two weeks of knowing each other they’re both the human version of the heart-eye emoji saying “I love you” in the Hamptons. No. I can’t deal with that.

It probably didn’t help that I wasn’t too fond of either of the characters. I had no feelings towards either of them so I wasn’t even a little bit invested in their love story. Which made the dramatics at the end seem so much worse to me than it probably was.

This book just did not vibe with me. It wasn’t my thing. It wasn’t for me.

About Erin McCarthy:

Erin McCarthy

USA Today and New York Times bestselling author Erin McCarthy sold her first book in 2002 and has since written over seventy-five novels and novellas in the romance and mystery genres. Erin has a special weakness for high-heeled boots, martinis, and Frank Sinatra. She lives with her renovation-addicted husband (he built her a bar, so it’s all good!) and their blended family of kids and rescue dogs.

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Review: Rules of Engagement by J.T. Geissinger

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Title: Rules of Engagement
Author: J.T. Geissinger
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Self-published by J.T. Geissinger
Publication Date: January 28, 2020
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Received a copy in exchange for an honest review

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Rating: 5 stars

As the owner of Perfect Pairings matchmaking service, Maddie McRae earns her living helping others fall in love. Dubbed the Wedding Whisperer due to her success getting couples down the aisle, the sweet Southern belle knows that the foundation of wedded bliss is built on similarities: opposites might attract, but they don’t stay together.  

Which is why she’s holding out for her own Prince Charming, a perfect gentleman who will arrive one day and sweep her off her feet with his devotion, kindness, and charm. 

Enter Mason Spark. 

Rude, arrogant, and notoriously allergic to monogamy, the hottest quarterback in the NFL is Maddie’s polar opposite. He’s also her new client. Her gorgeous, infuriating new client who’s paying her an outrageous sum of money to find him a wife. With his multi-million dollar contract on the line due to his behavior on and off the field, bad boy Mason is willing to pretend to settle down.  

But when he starts to fall for the adorkable matchmaker who can’t stand him, the playboy finds himself in the game of his life to keep something he never thought he’d lose—his heart.

Review:

This book is everything I wanted in a rom-com. Everything. I want to shout it from the rooftops that you all need to pick this up and read it immediately.

Rules of Engagement gave me R.S. Grey vibes in terms of the heroine of the novel (which is a high compliment because in my eyes she is the rom-com queen). Maddie was sassy and sarcastic without ever actually being mean. Her sense of humour was her shining point. She could dish it and take it and that is the best kind of heroine you could ask for in a rom-com. She was also a little bit clueless about Mason, but in the way you would come to expect in a romance. That little bit of back and forth that makes things more interesting.

The romance between Maddie and Mason was the cutest. I can’t remember the last time I’ve rooted for a couple so hard despite knowing that they are obviously going to end up together. They were the perfect match. Opposites who complimented one another so well. They had also each gone through some familial trauma when they were younger and I think that allowed them to understand the other better in terms of how they react and adapt to more difficult situations.

Each of the side characters added their own flair to the story. They all had their place that added to Maddie and Mason’s romance. I love that Aunt Waldine and Dick each had a chapter or two from their perspective. It made the story that much more authentic and really added to the comedy aspect of rom-com.

I really really loved this book. I had high expectations going in, and it smashed them all out of the park. This is a rom-com you need to add your TBRs.

About J.T. Geissinger:

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J.T. Geissinger is a bestselling author of emotionally charged romance and women’s fiction. Ranging from funny, feisty rom coms to intense, edgy suspense, her books have sold more than one million copies and been translated into several languages.

She is the recipient of the Prism Award for Best First Book, the Golden Quill Award for Best Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, and is a two-time finalist for the RITA® Award from the Romance Writers of America®. She has also been a finalist in the Booksellers’ Best, National Readers’ Choice, and Daphne du Maurier Awards.

Her first novel was published in 2012. Since then she’s written eighteen more novels. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, drinking wine, surfing the internet, and daydreaming about all the things she’s going to be when she grows up. She lives near the beach in Los Angeles with her husband and deaf/demented rescue kitty, Ginger.

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Review: Dead Ringer by Kat Ross – Blog Tour + Giveaway

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Title: Dead Ringer
Author: Kat Ross
Series: Gaslamp Gothic #5
Publisher: Acorn Publishing
Publication Date: December 13, 2019
Genre: Mystery, Paranormal
Source: Received a copy in exchange for an honest review on this blog tour

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Rating: 5 stars

A poisonous secret.

A terrifying curse.

And a client she’d just as soon see dead in a ditch…

Summer 1889. Harrison Fearing Pell hoped for adventure when she signed on with the Society for Psychical Research as an occult investigator. Slogging through New York’s sewers in pursuit of a “mud man” wasn’t exactly what she had in mind. But the reeking monster terrorizing the dance halls of the Tenderloin leads her to an even more peculiar mystery — and the last man on earth Harry wishes to become entangled with. 

James Moran is a prodigy in music, mathematics . . . and crime. Harry’s older sister, the famed detective Myrtle Fearing Pell, has vowed to put him behind bars. But Harry owes Moran a personal debt, so when he demands her aid she can hardly refuse. It turns out that the brilliant black sheep of New York Society is part of a secret club at Columbia College whose members have started dying in bizarre ways that may not be accidents. 

Thus begins one of the strangest cases of Harry’s career, a tale of murder, cold-blooded revenge and fairytale bogeymen to make the Brothers Grimm shudder. As the bodies pile up, each preceded by sightings of the victim’s doppelgänger, Harry and her stalwart friend John Weston must race against time to save a man who arguably deserves his macabre fate.

Review:

This is the third book I’ve read in the Gaslamp Gothic series and I must admit, it’s easily becoming one of my favourites. I adored A Bad Breed and The Necromancer’s Bride and my feelings toward Dead Ringer are no different.

James Moran has been one of my favourite characters of the series by far. Despite being the number one crime lord of the city, he was just so damn adorable. The way he would flirt with Harry (who was having absolutely none of his boyish charm)  had me grinning like an idiot every time. I also loved how vulnerable he was with her (and John when he was there). There was none of this macho crap. He realized the gravity of the situation surrounding his friends’ death and took it seriously.

I also loved Harry. She was a strong badass lady who was just a little bit sarcastic and took no crap from anyone. She takes her job very seriously and is 100% committed to her cases. If my life was in her hands, I’d have confidence I’d live to see another day. Her and John were great to read about as well. I loved their working relationship. They complimented each other so well. The way they figured out things together proved how great of a team they were.

The story and mystery itself was so good. I was absolutely flying through the novel wanting to know how the secret society came to be targeted and by who. With seven men in the society and James Moran being an untouchable crime lord, that leads to a lot of options of people that could want to kill them. Add in the paranormal and this story was just *chef’s kiss*

Seriously though. You guys need to pick up this series. I’m obsessed with it and I can’t wait to see what Kat Ross brings to the world next because everything I’ve read from her so far has been beyond amazing.

Giveaway:

  • Enter HERE
  • Prizes: $20 Amazon gift card, 5x eBook copies of A Bad Breed
  • International
  • Ends February 6, 2020

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: Woman on the Edge by Samantha M. Bailey

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Title: Woman on the Edge
Author: Samantha M. Bailey
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: November 26, 2019
Genre: Thriller
Source: Received a copy via the publisher in exchange for an honest review

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Rating: 5 stars

A moment on the platform changes two lives forever. But nothing is as it seems…

‘Take my baby.’

In a split second, Morgan’s life changes forever. A stranger hands her a baby, then jumps in front of a train.

Morgan has never seen the woman before and she can’t understand what would cause a person to give away her child and take her own life.

When the police question Morgan, she discovers none of the witnesses can corroborate her version of events. And when they learn Morgan longs for a baby of her own, she becomes a suspect.

To prove her innocence, Morgan frantically tries to retrace the last days of the woman’s life. She begins to understand that Nicole Markham believed she and her baby were in danger. Now Morgan might be in danger, too.

Was Nicole a new mother struggling with paranoia?

Or was something much darker going on?

Pulse-pounding, heartrending, shocking, thrilling. This is one book you won’t be able to stop thinking about.

Review:

Morgan is a woman who has already been through a lot in her life, more than most people should have to go through. She’s in the process of trying to rebuild what’s left after her husband’s suicide and the discovery of his fraud.

One night on her commute home from work, a woman she has never seen before approaches her. She looks frantic and frazzled and shoves her infant daughter towards Morgan saying, “take my baby.” In a state of complete shock, Morgan just kind of takes her and in the blink of an eye the mother jumps in front of the incoming train. And so begins another absolute state of chaos in Morgan’s life.

Told in alternating perspectives between Morgan’s life after Nicole jumps and Nicole’s life before she jumps, Woman on the Edge is a psychological thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat up until the conclusion. It was so fast-paced, I couldn’t put it down. This is one of those books when you need to know what happens next.

The fact that this is a debut thriller novel blows my mind. It was so carefully written and crafted with the experience of a veteran in the genre. I can’t wait to see what Samantha M. Bailey will bring to us next, because if Woman on the Edge was just a hint of what she has to offer the genre, then oh my god give me her next book now.

About Samantha M. Bailey:

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Samantha M. Bailey is a Toronto-based novelist, freelance editor, and journalist who has written extensively for Now Magazine, Oxford University Press, and many other publications. She is the co-founder of “BookBuzz,” a promotional and interactive author event held in New York City and Toronto. She holds a Master of Education in Applied Linguistics and credits that degree with her writing career because she wrote her first (unpublished) novel after taking a course on imagination.

Now her imagination leads her to create dark and twisty stories. Her debut psychological thriller, WOMAN ON THE EDGE, is published by Simon and Schuster Canada and Headline UK, and will be translated into seven languages.

She loves reading as much as writing, so when not tapping away on her computer, she’s probably curled up with a really good book.

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Review: Lost Girl by Holly Kammier Blog Tour + Giveaway

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Title: Lost Girl
Author: Holly Kammier
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Acorn Publishing
Publication Date: January 5, 2020
Genre: Suspense, Thriller
Source: Received a copy in exchange for an honest review

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Rating: 2 stars

AN APPALLING ACT OF VIOLENCE AND AN UNSOLVED DOUBLE MURDER.

SMALL-TOWN INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER, SHELBY DAY, IS DETERMINED TO HUNT A KILLER. 

As her search draws closer to uncovering the twisted truth, she begins receiving ominous warnings to stay quiet and drop the story. The young journalist is in danger. Her cameraman and best friend, a person with his own secret past, says he wants to protect her. But Shelby is headstrong and dodging anything that could lead to love. She can’t allow anyone to distract her as she fights for the two women who deserve justice. 

She never expects along the way she’ll have to stop and save herself.

Ticktock… If Shelby doesn’t solve the crime soon, she’ll become the killer’s next victim. 

Review:

Shelby Day is an investigative reporter in a small town. On Halloween night, two young women are killed in their home. She gets the lead on the story and is determined to find the killer to help these women and their families get the justice that they deserve.

Shelby was the worst. I’m sorry, but she was. You know when you’re watching one of those cheesy horror movies about a cabin in the woods and the character constantly does the opposite of what common sense dictates? Oh, there’s a noise in the basement when a crazed murderer has already tried to kill you twice? Let’s go check that out! That was Shelby.

When the killer started leaving threatening notes on her door, she decided to not tell anyone and continue with the investigation because allowing fear to distract her would apparently make her weak. Listen. I get it. She felt some connection to these women and wanted to get justice for them but when a person who just killed two women slasher style starts threatening your life, at least tell the police.

The romance though. No. Nope. One big huge nope. There should not have been a romance in this book. There was absolutely no connection between Jack and Shelby. I didn’t even realize that there were any feelings between them until it started being forced and awkward. Jack was possessive. So possessive and gross to the point that he became a suspect in my eyes. And Shelby. Well. I said what I said about her. Imagine how that lack of common sense adds to a romance.

The ending was choppy. I felt like the book dragged on and then suddenly it was over. It was disappointing because I wanted way more action after all the threats and the buildup to the reveal of the killer. Even after the fight when their lives returned back to normal when the killer was caught. It just didn’t fit.

Giveaway:

  • Prize: $15 Amazon gift card
  • International
  • Ends January 16, 2020
  • Enter HERE

About Holly Kammier:

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Co-owner of Acorn Publishing, the UCLA honors graduate is an accomplished content editor/writing coach (her authors have gone on to become USA Today best-sellers and a New York Times best-seller). With a background in journalism, Holly Kammier has worked everywhere from CNN in Washington, D.C. and KCOP-TV in Los Angeles, to the NBC affiliate in small-town Medford, Oregon.

She is the best-selling author of the novel, Kingston Court (Acorn Publishing 2015), and Could Have Been Hollywood, a memoir. Holly recently published her third book, Choosing Hope, a harrowing story of passion and deceit, and the things we do for love. Her next novel, the YA Romantic Suspense, Lost Girl, is scheduled for release in early 2020.

Holly resides in her hometown of San Diego, California, close to family and friends. An avid reader with a passion for timeless books and beautiful writing, she also enjoys long walks, romantic movies, and pink peonies.

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