BOOK REVIEW: Hot Asset by Lauren Layne

Title: Hot Asset
Series: Book 1 of 21 Wall Street
Author: Lauren Layne
Genre: NA Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: May 22nd, 2018
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Edition: Kindle (Buy it here)
Special thanks to NetGalley for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Via Goodreads: Ian Bradley is the definition of a Wall Street hotshot: seven-figure salary, designer suits, and a corner office. His drive off the floor is just as potent. Every woman who knows him has felt the rush. But now he’s met his match in Lara McKenzie—a woman with the power to bring Ian to his knees.

An ambitious, whip-smart daughter of FBI agents, Lara is a rising star in fighting white-collar crime. Her latest case—the investigation of Ian Bradley for insider trading—could make her career. She knows a scoundrel when she sees one. Ian fits the bill: a cocky, ridiculously handsome bad boy with a slick swagger.

She’ll do anything to prove he’s guilty. He’ll do anything to prove he’s not. But it’s only a matter of time before their fierce battle of wits gets oh so hot and personal. Now, taking down Ian has become more than business for Lara. It’s become a pleasure—and there’s more at risk than she ever dreamed.

I need the second book NOW! Although my time with the novel was cut short, due to reading it in one sitting, it was a memorable one. I Can’t believe I haven’t read a Lauren Layne book before! It’s easily addicting. Thank God this isn’t the end for the Wolves of Wall Street! I need more of the powerful men in suits!

Hot Asset was different from the typical NA romance I venture with. Can I just say that it was educating for me? I loved reading about the business and possible insider trading. So basically this book had more depth than just plain smut. 

The characters were very fun to read and Ian Bradley is a no-brainer book boyfriend. He was hiding behind the facade of being a Wall Street hot shot, but deep inside, he's still just a guy with issues, just like every one else. Lara was a badass. A career with the SEC and a dream to be a part of the FBI, she was screaming feminist in every angle. She had a heart of gold but tough as nails personality. The secondary characters were also great, and I hope to read more of them in the following books in the series. The romance was nothing original, it had the typical flow of a contemporary novel, but that didn't hinder how much I liked this book.

Hot Asset was a laugh-out-loud, can't get enough kind of novel. You'll crave more of the witty banters and the growing tension! A must-read for lovers of NA romance!

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BOOK REVIEW: The Start of Something Good by Jennifer Probst

Title: The Start of Something Good (Book 1 in the Stay series)
Genre: NA Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: June 5th 2018
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Edition: Kindle (PRE-ORDER IT HERE)
Special thanks to NetGalley for providing an advance copy
in exchange for an honest review.

When Ethan Bishop returns to the Hudson Valley, his body and spirit are a little worse for wear. As a former Special Forces paratrooper, he saw his fair share of conflict, and he came home with wounds, inside and out. At his sisters’ B & B and farm, he can keep all his pain at a safe distance. But quiet time isn’t easy when a fiery woman explodes into his life…
It’s business—not pleasure—that brings Manhattan PR agent Mia Thrush reluctantly to the farm. Tightly wound and quick tempered, Mia clashes immediately with the brooding Ethan. Everything about him is irritating—from his lean muscles and piercing blue eyes to his scent of sweat and musk.
But as the summer unfolds and temperatures rise, Ethan and Mia discover how much they have in common: their guarded histories, an uncontrollable desire, and a passion for the future that could heal two broken hearts. But will their pasts threaten their fragile chance at a brand-new future?
"Your heart can only take so much pain before you feel a need to protect yourself."
"Celebrate every small victory in life. You never know when they'd come around again"

This book turned out better than I expected! It made me laugh and it melted my heart into a useless puddle of goo. I was up for an easy read but boy, was I wrong! I loved every minute of reading this book!!

Now, dialing down the exclamations, The Start of Something Good was such a roller coaster of emotions quite literally for me. At first I was a bit hesitant about it, then I started enjoy it, I was laughing from pure joy, then it drops down and I panicked, next thing I know the ride was over and I was happy because of it.

There were so many things that I loved about this book but one of my favorites is the the banter between Ethan Bishop and Mia Thrush. The level of sass and tension was just enough to keep me on my toes. Ethan is definitely going up into my book boyfriend rank. He's a bit cocky but was also a big sweetheart. 

Even the supporting characters were so much fun to read about. The daddy-daughter duo of Chloe and Jonathan. Their misunderstandings and reconciliations were one of the highlights of the book. Ethan's sisters-- Harper and Ophelia. I thought of them as magical fairies just because they brought a sense of whimsicality in the story. And the town folks were quite enjoyable to read as well!

Another thing is the Disney references in this book! There was a ton, and one fact about me is that I am a huge Disney geek, so my soft ass Disney heart was full of joy. Even the animals in this book was full of character. I've never read about chickens and horses with such personalities! Of course, my favorite would be Hei Hei the crazy chicken, just like from Moana. Little details like that just makes a book more personal and in-depth. 

The easy flowing writing style was perfect for the rush of the story. This was my first book by Jennifer Probst but I have heard of her books before. The only thing I regret is not picking up one sooner! And I am so glad I had the opportunity to read of one her novels in advance. This book was the perfect way to get introduced to her writing. I will definitely be adding her to my auto-read authors. And I’m really excited for the next book in this series! I have a good feeling it will be another laugh-out-loud, heart-melting story.

I highly recommend you pick up this book when it comes out. If you're anything like me, a sucker for a good funny yet emotional novel, this will be a thoroughly enjoyable one.

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BOOK REVIEW: All the Little Lights by Jamie McGuire

Author: Jamie McGuire
Genre: .YA Contemporary
Publication Date: May 29th 2018
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Edition: Kindle (Buy it here)
Special thanks to NetGalley for providing a copy 
in exchange for an honest review.

The first time Elliott Youngblood spots Catherine Calhoun, he’s just a boy with a camera, and he’s never seen a sadder and more beautiful sight. Both Elliott and Catherine feel like outcasts, yet they find an easy friendship with each other. But when Catherine needs him most, Elliott is forced to leave town.
Elliott finally returns, but he and Catherine are now different people. He’s a star high school athlete, and she spends all her free time working at her mother’s mysterious bed-and-breakfast. Catherine hasn’t forgiven Elliott for abandoning her, but he’s determined to win back her friendship…and her heart.
Just when Catherine is ready to fully trust Elliott, he becomes the prime suspect in a local tragedy. Despite the town’s growing suspicions, Catherine clings to her love for Elliott. But a devastating secret that Catherine has buried could destroy whatever chance of happiness they have left.

"Catherine, every time I;m close to you, I'm aware of every breath you take. When we're not, everything reminds me of you. I know because nothing else matters."

Okay, Jamie McGuire was one of the first contemporary romance authors I fell in love with when I read her novel Beautiful Disaster. So when an opportunity to read an advance copy of her latest novel is upon me, I pounced. Surprisingly enough, this book turned out to be two things. It went from utterly boring to extremely disturbing. Now, even though Jamie McGuire is one of my favorites, I will not sugarcoat this review just because I love her writing.

While I was reading it, there was a really big chance of me plummeting down to yet another dreadful reading slump. And really, who loves reading slumps? No one.
I was in the verge of putting this book down. I couldn't get through that fifty percent mark fast enough. But through those awful days, I thought to myself, will this book be worth it? And boy, was I glad to have finished it. 

Writing this review, I still have very mixed feelings about it. The main character, Catherine Calhoun, was so dry. She lacked personality which made it difficult for me to love her. She quoted herself as plain and ordinary and I agree. There was nothing exciting about reading her story from the beginning because I found her dull. 

On the other hand, Elliott Youngblood, I can categorize as an ‘okay’ character. He was a really romantic guy  but I didn’t really feel any connection to him or to their relationship. He had a steady burn and I admired his loyalty and faith throughout the story. But overall, I think Catherine and Elliott as a couple was just meh.

Since I found the characters underdeveloped, I clung onto the possibility that the plot was good. The build up was definitely slow. For me, I didn't get interesting enough for at least a thirdof the way to finishing it. So really, what made me power through it? Besides the fact that I hate leaving books in the ‘DNF’ category, I had a feeling that this book was hiding some kind of surprise. And in those few days that I struggled with the story, it backfired really bad.

I knew Jamie Mcguire wouldn’t let me down. The plot twist was a big WTF. I had to admit, this book gave me the creeps and I had to put on a rom-com to help me stop thinking about it. That was how disturbing I found it. In a good way. And it was so worth reading. The book just came alive and everything just clicked. Suddenly, everything made sense and then it was over and I was craving more. 

So my final verdict is, this book is definitely worth reading if you can get past a slow build up. 

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BLOG TOUR: Pete and Daisy by Tani Hanes Review + Giveaway

Pete and Daisy tour banner.jpg

Author: Tani Hanes
Genre: NA Romance
Publication Date: May 14th, 2018
Edition: e-book (Buy on Amazon), also available in Paperback
Tour Organizer: YA Bound Book Tours

Daisy is a fun-loving college student at prestigious Columbia University, in New York City, who finds herself pregnant and alone. Pete is an exchange student from Italy with a chronic case of poverty. She needs a baby-daddy, he needs a place to live, so they decide to help each other out by engaging in the time-honored device used by people in need the world over: a marriage of convenience. She’s beautiful and smart, he’s a gorgeous and talented musician, surely they can live together as husband and wife for one academic year? In a one-bedroom on the Upper West Side? With her old-fashioned granny living on the first floor, Pete and Daisy move into a tiny, rooftop apartment, ready to be roommates, husband and wife in name only, for nine months. 
Real life has a way of getting in the way, though, of messing with the best laid plans...
A sweet, lighthearted quick read! I love how this book didn’t beat around the bushes and just went straight into the story.

Marguerite, also known as Daisy was a bit of a mess throughout the beginning. She was a party girl, which I guess you can’t really take out of your system with a snap of your fingers. She was a woman with good intentions but didn’t know where to start. I love how not only I witnessed the growth of her belly in this book, but also her own personal growth as a human. Having a baby is a big responsibility, so I’m happy that she was able to take the high road and be a better person. 

Meanwhile, Pietro, or Pete was such a charming character! For me, he was the highlight of the book. He was such a well-mannered, respectful man and all the while swoon-worthy! He was nothing but a good “husband” to Daisy. A+ for male characters like him!

Was the story anything original? Not really. But I highly enjoyed it. It was more of a character-driven book than a plot-driven one. The chapters were mostly repetitive and I didn’t really know what was up with ending chapters, almost every time, with them falling asleep together. But I liked it nonetheless. It was a cozy read perfect for an all day sit down with a book!

IMG_1863.jpegMy  name  is  Tani  Hanes,  and  I  am  a  51  year  old  substitute  teacher.  I'm  from  central  California  and  am  a  recent  transplant  to  New  York  City.  The  most  important  things  to  know  about  me  are  that  I'm  punctual,  I  love  grammar  and  sushi,  and  I'm  very  intolerant  of  intolerance.  The  least  important  things  to  know  about  me  are  that  I  like  to  knit  and  I  couldn't  spell  "acoustic"  for  40  years.  I've  wanted  to  write  since  I  was  ten,  and  I  finally  did  it.  If  you  want  to  write,  don't  wait  aslong  as  I  did,  it's  pointless,  and  very  frustrating! Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr | Pinterest | Wattpad

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BOOK REVIEW: Only With You by Nicole McLaughlin

 Title: Only With You
Publication Date: June 5th 2018
Pulisher: Swerve (St. Martin's Press)
Edition: Kindle (Buy Here)
Special thanks to NetGalley for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review.
This review will be spoiler-free.
National Guardsman Aiden King has been attracted to Hannah Walters for a while, but he never made a move because of her close relationship with his best friend. But when circumstances change, Aiden is surprised when his friend gives his blessing. Problem is, there’s a reason he’s still alone after all these years, and as much as he wants her, that secret keeps him from acting on his desires.
Hannah has finally decided to wait for the kind of love you read about in books and see in movies. After her failed engagement, Aiden’s unassuming support has become a touchstone for Hannah. It soon becomes apparent that he may be exactly the kind of man she’s been looking for. But the closer they become, the more he keeps her at arm’s length.
When Aiden suggests a road trip to take Hannah’s mind off her troubles, the two of them go on a journey neither one expected. She just hopes that the final destination is them together for good.
First of all, I just wanted to quickly say, HA! I KNEW IT! I am an anticlimactic person, which is a character flaw and nothing to do with the book. But since the beginning, I suspected the “big secret” to be what it was. This is going to be a SPOILER FREE review, as always, so don’t be scared to continue reading. 

I am no Sherlock Holmes but my imagination is a wild one that can not, in all circumstances, be tamed. So when I figured out the plot twist, I was one happy camper. Because again, anticlimactic

But enough about that, Only With You was such a heartwarming story! This book is part of a series, but can be read as a stand-alone. I haven’t read any of the other books, and had no problem with this one. 

Hannah, who recently got out of an engagement, is having doubts about her ability to love. Like for all 30-something woman, the society has painted this invisible line of when a person is supposedly thinking of settling down. But for that summer, Hannah vowed to do some self-reflecting and soul searching. Only this time, she found something else.

Now, Aiden, was a military guy who owns a bar. You’d think he will have women all over his badass feet, but that’s not really his thing. He’s had a crush on Hannah since they met a few years back through a mutual friend, but Aiden always had a fear of ruining what’s there to make a move on her. 

So when the story progressed and their friendship grew, I couldn’t help but root for them! Hannah with her non-stop talking and obsession with real estate sales, and Aiden, a man of few words and a giant, sensitive teddy bear. Their relationship was just something that I admired. It was non-toxic and full of hope.

But as much as I love the two main characters, I also love the flow of the story and how everything ended. Their journey through love and healing and self-acceptance was amazing.This book is not for the faint-hearted. It dealt with some very serious topics that I think, the author did a fantastic job handling.

I recommend this book for those who want romance, but with a much bigger picture! 
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