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: 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

Goodreads
Amazon

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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Then Came You by Kate Meader – Release Day Blitz + Giveaway

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Title: Then Came You
Author
: Kate Meader
Series: Laws of Attraction #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: May 7, 2019

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In the courtroom, they’re rivals. In the bedroom, they’re . . . divorced. But could the road trip from hell lead to a second chance at love?

Aubrey Gates is the hottest divorce lawyer in Chicago, a barb-tongued stiletto with legs that go on for miles. When her cool gray eyes meet mine across the battlefield, I want her like I’ve never wanted anyone or anything. Then I remember who she is: the woman who brought me to my knees. The woman who destroyed my faith in relationships.

The woman I used to call . . . wife.

And she needs a favor from me, Grant Lincoln.

It seems my ex forgot to mention the demise of our marriage to her dear old grammy, and now we’re both expected to attend her ninetieth birthday party. In Boston. And because it isn’t already awkward enough, Aubrey and I are driving there together from Chicago. That’s more than a thousand miles of tension, heartbreak, and barely concealed lust.

A little piece of paper might say we’re over, but this road trip is the true test. I intend to get my wife back . . . and I won’t stop until “I do.”

Enter the giveaway here!

  • Prize: $25 Amazon gift card
  • International
  • Ends May 16, 2019

About Kate Meader:

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Originally from Ireland, Kate cut her romance reader teeth on Maeve Binchy and Jilly Cooper novels, with some Harlequins thrown in for variety. Give her tales about brooding mill owners, oversexed equestrians, and men who can rock an apron or a fire hose, and she’s there. Now based in Chicago, she writes sexy contemporary romance with alpha heroes and strong heroines who can match their men quip for quip.

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A Touch of Darkness by Scarlett St. Clair – Excerpt + Giveaway

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Hello lovelies! Today is my day on the A Touch of Darkness tour. Take a peek at an excerpt of the upcoming novel below!

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Title: A Touch of Darkness
Author
: Scarlett St. Clair
Series: Hades & Persephone #1
Genre: Adult, Mythology, Retelling, Romance
Release Date: Spring 2019

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Persephone is the Goddess of Spring by title only. The truth is, since she was a little girl, flowers have shriveled at her touch. After moving to New Athens, she hopes to lead an unassuming life disguised as a mortal journalist.

Hades, God of the Dead, has built a gambling empire in the mortal world and his favorite bets are rumored to be impossible.

After a chance encounter with Hades, Persephone finds herself in a contract with the God of the Dead and the terms are impossible: Persephone must create life in the Underworld or lose her freedom forever.

The bet does more than expose Persephone’s failure as a Goddess, however. As she struggles to sow the seeds of her freedom, love for the God of the Dead grows—and it’s forbidden.

Excerpt:

Persephone sat in the sunlight.

She’d chosen her favorite spot at The Coffee House, an outdoor table just out of view of the shop’s window. Shade trees and box gardens teeming with purple aster and pink and white sweet alyssum lined the crowded pedestrian street. A light breeze carried the scent of spring and the honeyed air was mild.

This was her season. She should have felt more relaxed.

But her eyes drifted to a bunch of narcissus flowers that sat in a slender vase on her table. It was a sparse bouquet, and one flower’s petals were crisp and brown, curling like the fingers of a corpse.

The narcissus were the flower and symbol of Hades, the God of the Dead. They did not often decorate tables, but coffins instead. Their presence at The Coffee House probably meant that the owners were in mourning. Few mortals worshipped Hades, and even his cult—a group of mortals who maintained his temple—was small, and used only when death loomed.

Persephone wondered how Hades felt about that—to only be worshipped when the fear of death was imminent. Perhaps that was why he was so merciless.

“Don’t waste your time rationalizing his behavior, daughter,” Demeter, her mother and the Goddess of Harvest, had said. “Hades is a manipulator.”

And from what Persephone had heard since she moved to New Athens, her mother seemed to be right. Hades might be the God of the Dead, but he was also known as the Rich One. He controlled most of the world’s wealth, and had invested that money into a several clubs throughout New Greece—and not just any clubs. These were gambling dens. It was said Hades liked a good bet, and rarely accepted a wager other than the human soul.

Persephone tore her gaze from the flowers, and focused instead on her laptop and notes. It was Thursday, and she had left school an hour ago. She ordered her usual vanilla latte, and needed to start working on her research paper. She wanted to finish today so she could concentrate on her new internship at New Athens News, the leading news source in New Athens. If she did well, she’d have a job after she graduated in six months.

And she was eager to prove herself.

Her internship was located in the Acropolis. It was the tallest building in the city at one-hundred-and-one floors. One of the first things Persephone did when she moved to New Athens was take an elevator to the top so she could see the city in its entirety. Now, four years later, it was hard to believe she would be going there on an almost daily basis for work.

Persephone’s phone buzzed on the table.

She looked down and found a message from her best friend, Lexa Sideris. Lexa was Persephone’s first friend when she’d moved to New Athens four years ago. Through Lexa, Persephone had learned to be mortal, and though Lexa did not know it, she would always have Persephone’s protection and favor. What little she could offer, anyway.

Where are you?
Persephone responded, The Coffee House.
Why? We need to celebrate!
Persephone smiled. Ever since she’d told Lexa about her new job two weeks ago, she’d been hounding her to go out for drinks. Persephone had managed to postpone the outing, but she was quickly running out of excuses and Lexa knew it.

I am celebrating. Persephone text. With a vanilla latte.
Not with coffee. Alcohol. Shots. You + Me. Tonight.
Before Persephone could respond, a waitress approached holding a tray and her steaming latte. Persephone came here often enough to know the girl was as new as the narcissus. Her hair was in two braids, and her eyes were dark and laced with heavy lashes.

The girl smiled and asked, “Vanilla latte?”
“Yes,” Persephone said.
The waitress sat Persephone’s mug down, and then tucked her tray under her arm.
“Need anything else?”
Persephone met the girl’s gaze. “Do you think Lord Hades

has a sense of humor?”
Her eyes widened, and she responded, “I don’t know what

you mean.”
The girl was clearly uncomfortable, probably at hearing

Hades’ name. Most tried to avoid saying it, or they called him Aidoneus, to avoid drawing his attention, but Persephone wasn’t afraid. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that she was a goddess.

“I think he must have a sense of humor,” she said. “The narcissi are a symbol of spring and rebirth,” her fingers hovered over the petals. If anything, the flower should be her symbol. “Why else would he claim it as his?”

Persephone stared back at the girl, and her cheeks flushed. She stammered, “L-let me know if you need anything.”

She bowed her head and went back to work.

Enter the giveaway here!

  • Prize: $25 Amazon gift card
  • International
  • Ends May 16, 2019

About Scarlett St. Clair:

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Scarlett St. Clair lives in Oklahoma with her husband. She has a Master’s degree in Library Science and Information Studies and spends a lot of time researching reincarnation, unsolved murders and Greek mythology-all of which made it into her debut novel, When Stars Come Out.

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