Crazy for Your Love – Lexi Ryan

Welcome back everyone, coming back to Jackson Harbour after not reading about it for a year was kind of weird. But I’m so glad I came back to it!

We’re down to one brother and the sister yet to meet their love match. Except of course they have met them. We just didn’t really know about it!

Teagan and Carter always seemed to be the fun ones that seemed to be in the centre of all the cool stuff and were always happy. I should’ve known there was more to their story. Especially Teagan.

Their back and forth, their fear, their inability to communicate was so relatable on so many levels. I can’t say too much without ruining the book but sometimes tragedy happens because people don’t think through the consequences of their actions. And sometimes tragedy happens because it’s been orchestrated by someone maniacal and that’s exactly how domestic violence happens and why so many women think they deserve it.

In some ways this book touches on and discusses domestic and family violence. Yet, it doesn’t really face it head on. Only the aftereffects are discussed and what happened is talked about generally, with no specifics.

The way Lexi talks about Teagan’s relationship with her family as a result of that relationship is amazing. I found it so powerful and really show’s how people can be twisted and manipulated, while also showing that even then, people can still stand by those they love.

I really enjoyed reading about Teagan and Carter, and yet I felt like something was missing compared to the other books. It wasn’t really anything tangible. It was this sense

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review; next week I’ll be reviewing the final book, If It’s Only Love by Lexi Ryan.

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Flying Solo – Zoe May

Welcome back everyone, also, welcome back to the genre of romance! It’s been almost a month since you’ve featured on a Monday review!

This was not the romance I thought it’d be either at the start, or end of the book. How many times can you say that about the romance genre?

The first thing I want to say is any woman dumped by a guy like Paul should be happy. He obviously lacks basic communication skills, so much so, even I wasn’t clear whether he was wanting a “break” or an end to the relationship. And from the blurb it kinda tells you she’s going to be dumped.

I also loved her point of view of things. This was first made clear to me when she made a comment about buying a pair of cheap sunnies coz she’s going to an ashram when she has perfectly fine sunnies already available. Even if they are Burberry.

All her conversations with Seb feel real. They’re both people who think through both sides to something, are willing to grow and question the information they’ve been given. It’s the kind of thing I’d do. I don’t take something as being gospel just because someone “better informed” than me says it. I want to know both sides before making a decision.

I also loved that the main focus of the book wasn’t the romance, even though it kind of was. To me it felt more like a story of self-discovery, building positive relationships with others and recognising what’s truly important to you.

I smashed through this pretty quickly, so it’s not too deep and soul searching. But it scratches the surface and makes you think. In some cases it made me think of how stupid some people can be and that I can totally see some people calling Zoe a racist for describing the colour of someone’s skin even though we can’t build an accurate picture of what someone looks like in our heads without these descriptions.

You can’t help some people. And I don’t know enough about Indian culture and their way of life to comment on that, but I did enjoy the spiritual feeling I got from it. I even got to the end and wished for an epilogue to find out how the non-romance stuff plays out. Zoe, if you’re reading this you know what I mean!

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review; on Friday I’ll be reviewing Crazy for Your Love by Lexi Ryan. Continue to read further down to find out about the author.

Author Bio

Zoe May is an author of romantic comedies. Zoe has dreamt of being a novelist since she was a teenager. She worked in journalism and copywriting in London before writing her debut novel, Perfect Match. Having experienced the London dating scene first hand, Zoe could not resist writing a novel about dating, since it seems to supply endless amounts of weird and wonderful material!

Perfect Match was one of Apple’s top-selling books of 2018. It was also shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Joan Hessayon Award, with judges describing it as ‘a laugh out loud look at love and self-discovery – fresh and very funny’.

As well as writing, Zoe enjoys walking her dog, painting and, of course, reading! She adores animals and if she’s not taking a photo of a vegan meal, she’s probably tweeting about the dairy industry. She is half Greek and half Irish and can make a mean baklava. Zoe has a thing for horror films, India, swimming, hip hop and Radiohead. She has an encyclopaedic knowledge of handbags having spent several years working in fashion copywriting and could probably win Mastermind if this was her specialist subject!

Wrapped in Love – Lexi Ryan

Welcome back everyone, we’ve reached the end of what I’d read up until now. Fingers crossed I’m able to read the last 2 before I’d planned to release reviews for them!

I kinda liked that we had a little bit of the past that we already know at the start of this story. It sets you up and orientates you as to what’s happened in previous books, who we’re following in this one and where we’re up to in their relationship. And a few missing pieces were given to us as well which was handy to put things into perspective.

Overall, I think the struggle Molly has coming back to a town where she doesn’t have a great reputation and trying to make the best life possible for her son is admirable. Braydon’s attitude that those actions don’t define who she is today is amazing.

After being kicked out of her rental because she wouldn’t sleep with the landlord, I wasn’t sure where things were going to go. Do people seriously do that? Or is that why you should always rent through an agency with a proper rental agreement?

The fact that a seemingly innocent and NICE kid decides he has a right to sleep with her was downright creepy. I really didn’t understand where this change came from. In Ava’s book (Straight Up Love) he was this really shy, quiet kid who kept his head down, got good grades and was involved in drama. What could possibly make him flip like he did?

Braydon’s actions after the kid turned into a creep was amazing. The fact that he explained it as something along the lines of “If you walked past a guy you slept with in high school and demanded he sleep with you. Would he do it? No. So they have no right to expect the same that from you.”

This is so true, and I wish more guys could understand that. There’s a line between appreciating that a girl looks good (in a friendly non-creepy way) and eyeballing her while imagining her naked. At the same time, there are plenty of decent guys who feel like they can’t compliment a girl on hard work at the gym paying off in case they get accused of sexual harassment. Braydon’s example feels like it sums it up perfectly. And I love it!

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review; on Monday I’ll be reviewing Flying Solo by Zoe May.

Dirty, Reckless Love – Lexi Ryan

Welcome back everyone, I’m continuing The Boys of Jackson Harbour series and WOW!

This one threw me on a bit of an emotional roller coaster!

Not only did it turn out we didn’t know some pretty important info about 3 of the semi-main characters that have been in the previous 2 books. But one of them, Ellie has lost her memory of all her time in Jackson Harbour so we’re learning things about her, Colton and Levi at the same time she is!

Obviously, some of this was quite shocking, while others we did KIND OF know about.

It felt weird having to relearn some of these characters, but I really liked that what we were relearning wasn’t the same side of them that we’d known up until this point. It felt great that it was a completely different side and it showed their development and desire to change for the better.

There were twists and turns throughout this story that I struggled to predict, even all the way up until the final chapter or two. If you’re not really familiar with what I enjoy, I LOVE it when a book can still surprise me at the end!

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review; on Monday I’ll be reviewing Circle-A Killings by Sean Heary.

Straight Up Love – Lexi Ryan

Welcome back everyone, from sci-fi to contemporary romance, what a change! After finishing The Wrong Kind of Love I was in the mood to read for me, rather than read the next book in my schedule. So, I read the next book in the series for the fun of it!

I was a bit up and down with my enjoyment of this sequel, which does tend to happen a bit for me these days. I liked that it wasn’t quite the same recipe as the first book. But there were still moments when I wasn’t really sure where it was going.

The fact that our couple went through various ups and downs before getting together is pretty normal for a romance novel. But then right when I thought they were happy together, BAM!

We get blindsided by something we never expected that changes the narrative entirely.

I loved that Lexi did this. It added another dimension to the story that made it so much more interesting and threw me off balance a little bit. I love it when authors can do this to me because I usually find it to easy to anticipate the plot twists so it’s not really a surprise anymore.

Lexi also added a new element compared to the first book where she threw us back to 5 years earlier when Jake first professed his love for Ava and she shot him down. I was a little bit against this at the beginning. But by the end of it I think it added value and was done in a meaningful way. I don’t think I would have connected as much to the story without this, so I’m glad Lexi added this element in.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review; on Monday I’ll be reviewing The Summoned Ones by Darryl A. Woods.

The Boundary Fence – Alissa Callen

Welcome back everyone, have you ever picked up a book thinking it’s a stand-alone only to find out after you’ve started that it’s a book in a series, and that it’s not the first one?

This is exactly what happened with this book.

I got it off NetGalley thinking it was a stand-alone, only to realise when I set up all my tracking that I’d started the seventh book in the Woodlea series. Normally I hate coming into a series mid-way through, yet the way Alissa wrote this one I didn’t feel like I had come in part way.

Knowing that it was the seventh book only made one difference to my reading, it made me wonder who all the other seven couples were. I could only pick three, so it’d be interesting to go back and find out who they are and their journeys.

The self-doubt, the emotions, the second guessing that both Ella and Saul experienced throughout this book felt so natural. I think the time this was spread over helped make it believable. I’m not sure exactly how long it’s set over, but its longer than a few days or weeks.

The feel of a small country town was so palpable throughout the story. Everyone knowing each other, the community spirit etc. It all felt so authentic to small, rural towns of Australia. I’m sure these aren’t unique to Australia, but when they make references to the hay truck convoys it reminded me how hard our farmers have it at the moment.

If I remember rightly, we’ve been in draught for close to 10 years. Our farming communities are struggling to provide feed and water to their animals, let alone themselves. And then our supermarkets buy their meat and dairy at cost and price it at profit for them. Sorry for the rant, but it really frustrates me to have these communities romanticised in books like this without showing what they’re going through financially.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review; on Wednesday I’ll be reviewing the second Venators book, Promises Forged by Devri Walls.

Always Been You – Lasairiona E. McMaster

Welcome back everyone, I feel like I’m kinda getting back into my groove. Having a couple of weeks not having to work 50+ hours certainly helped!

I’ve gotten to the final book in the AJ Williams trilogy, meaning I’m also at the end of both Lisa’s and AJ’s stories. In a way I’m glad it’s the end. Purely because 6 books about the same two people can be a lot. But I was also super pumped about finding out his side of that final turbulent book.

I spent a fair while wondering how much we’d see, including how he’d get divorced. I gotta say I wasn’t as emotionally invested in this book as some of the others. I think this comes more from how eager I was to know his side of the Mexico trip and his divorce than anything else.

Overall, I found myself underwhelmed by the emotional upheaval AJ went through and the way it was written. Other than the moments involving Lisa (much of which was taken directly from her books), the emotional rollercoaster that I’m used to experiencing just wasn’t there.

I got the feels in all the right moments, just as intended. Yet I found myself just waiting for all the moments with Lisa to see what AJ was thinking and feeling. When you’re reading a book, I don’t believe you should be waiting for moments to happen. Instead, I think you should be enjoying the moment you’re in and the story.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review; on Friday I’ll be reviewing Dance of the Heart by Lisa Kessler. Continue to read further down to find out about the author.

Author Bio

Lasairiona McMaster grew up dreaming of an exciting life abroad, and, after graduating from Queens University, Belfast, that is exactly what she did – with her then-boyfriend, now husband of almost ten years.

Having recently repatriated to Northern Ireland after a decade abroad spanned over two countries (seven and a half years in America and eighteen months in India), she now finds herself ‘home’, with itchy feet and dreams of her next expatriation.

With a penchant for both travelling, and writing, she started a blog during her first relocation to Houston, Texas and, since repatriating to Northern Ireland, has decided to do as everyone has been telling her to do for years, and finally pen a book (or two) and get published while she tries to adjust to the people and place she left ten years ago, where nothing looks the same as it did when she left.

The Gin Lovers Guide to Dating – Nina Kaye

Welcome back everyone, I’m sorry for being a bit sporadic recently. But I need to try and balance everything in my life which is proving difficult at the moment.

It took me almost 2 weeks to read this book, through no fault of its own! The writing was well done, the character was interesting and there was a lot of difficulties she had to face and work through. It was purely that I was lucky to find 45minutes each day to read. So it just took me forever!

One of the things I enjoyed about Liv was how real her struggles were. Much of it was out of her control, yet her reactions to them was within her control. The one I understood the most was her struggle to keep her apartment.

Having a background working in debt recovery I had one perspective that wasn’t as dire as the book made out. Especially since she never seemed to talk to the bank. So unless the UK is DRASTICALLY different to Australia. Since I knew someone who worked in this field in the UK for a few years and their process wasn’t too different to Australia’s. Which kept throwing me a bit.

Since most people don’t have this insider knowledge, I highly doubt anyone else will have that issue.

The rest of the book blended gin, emotional growth and development, workplace romance and online dating into a great story. Who Graham is was a little obvious, but the impact he had to Liv and the overall story was great.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review; I don’t think I’ll make my scheduled review for Monday. So please stay tuned to Twitter or Facebook to see when my next review goes live. OR you could sign up so you get an email letting you know it’s ready for you! Continue to read further down to find out about the author and any extra giveaways available.

Author Bio

Nina Kaye is a romantic comedy author who writes fast-paced, entertaining reads with a deeper edge. Nina started writing her first novel when she was 17 (locked in her room, supposedly studying). It was a short-lived experience that ended as soon as Nina’s exams did, but the dream of writing never left her.

Nina Kaye is a romantic comedy author who writes fast-paced, entertaining reads with a deeper edge. Nina started writing her first novel when she was 17 (locked in her room, supposedly studying). It was a short-lived experience that ended as soon as Nina’s exams did, but the dream of writing never left her.

Giveaway – Win a copy of The GIn Lovers Guide to Dating, a bottle of Tiger Gin and a copy of The Little Cocktail Box (UK 18+ only)

To celebrate this blog tour for The Gin Lover’s Guide to Dating, there seemed no better way than to give away some gin-related goodies! Nina has teamed up with specialist gin producer, Tiger Gin, to offer one lucky winner: a copy of her debut novel (Kindle Edition), a bottle of multi-Gold award winning Tiger Gin, and one copy of The Little Cocktail Box.

To enter, all you need to do is retweet and comment (just once!) on Nina’s pinned tweet on her Twitter page (@NinaKayeAuthor), telling her which blog tour post you have read. Nina will then choose the lucky winner at random after the closing date, which is 6pm (BST) on Thurs 29th April 2020.

This prize draw is only available to UK residents over the age of 18.

Full terms and conditions apply – bit.ly/2V6AdJ1. Always drink responsibly.

If I Never Met You – Mhairi McFarlane

Welcome back everyone, I’ve got another NetGalley review for you and I hope you’ll like the sound of it.

I’m not sure how I’m going to get through writing this review without spoiling it for you. Because OMG!

I can’t believe how involved I got with this story. I mean. The girl that’s so much like me it’s not funny, and the guy who sounds like he’s trying to be something he’s not. I love the trope of the opposites attracting yet I’m not sure how that’s going to play out in this situation.

The first thing I want to say is that Laurie is a half-white, half-black. Which to me means nothing because I honestly don’t care what your skin colour is. I only care what you’re like as a person. Yet the comments she makes throughout the book (including explaining why she asked if Jamie’s parents knew she was black) tell me so much about the indecency of others.

I always thought the media was playing up how racist people were about Meghan Markle since marrying Prince Harry. Yet reading this book gave me the feeling that it might be worse than what the media has made out. I mean. How crazy is that?! Who cares if someone is a woman, man, gay, straight, white, black or any other “variation”?!

The grace Laurie displayed throughout the book in the face of blatant sexism, chauvinistic ass holes and racism is amazing. Personally, I would’ve punched someone in the face, gotten my revenge etc well and truly before Laurie (who by the way is 36). The fact that the workplace allows that kind of behaviour is astounding and makes me wonder why any woman would want to work there.

Yet the office man whore seems to be the only man in the office who doesn’t feel that way about Laurie (other than her gay mate). The transition they go through is amazing. The confidence and growth they gain is amazing. I loved it the whole way through.

Right up until the end. That ending just killed it for me. How is that going to work?! How is that a happy ending?! I can’t see it as anything other than a disaster we haven’t read yet. Just tweak it a little bit and it’d be perfect! But nope. I don’t like that last little bit. If, or when, you’ve read it, I’m sure you know what I mean.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, next week I will be reviewing Devoted to Destiny by Lisa Kessler.