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.

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.

Worth Fighting For – Lasairiona E. McMaster

Welcome back everyone, I seem to be scheduling most of the AJ Williams trilogy on Saturdays!

We continue the story by picking up with AJ midst depression crash. In Lisa’s books all we knew was that he wasn’t responding to her and that his phone was broken, and his wife took his laptop charger with her. Reading AJ’s perspective was kind of shocking.

I know down swings can be bad, but I had no idea loss of time etc could be a part of it. The was Lasairiona was able to describe his emotional state of mind, his physical reactions and his general surroundings made me feel like I was standing next to him, seeing his house and what he looked like.

One of the things I liked about his opening book Game Changer, was that we got to see his thoughts throughout everything. That gave us the difference between Lisa’s trilogy and his. Yet it felt like we didn’t get as much of his thought processes this time.

When we did, it was usually him talking to himself to try and behave better, especially in his reactions to Lisa. Yet he often ignored his own advice. At least that’s what it felt like to me.

If you know you should act a certain way, or say certain things, then why would you? That reasoning was missing and jarred me a little bit coz it just made me hate AJ a little bit. Knowing what’s coming (kind of) in the final book next month means I can’t totally hate him. But I honestly couldn’t comprehend how someone could be so selfish and self-absorbed, yet somehow have so many friends and family love him so much.

It just didn’t make sense to me. 

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review; on Monday I’ll be reviewing If I Never Met You by Mhairi McFarlane. 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.

Summer in Provence – Lucy Coleman

Welcome back everyone, after finishing off the second quartet from Emelan we’re back to Earth with a romance that doesn’t seem quite so perfect.

Like many books, this one spans quite some time. Unlike a lot of books, it spans from March 2018 through to December 2020 with a few pit stops along the way. As soon as I saw this structure in the contents, I knew a lot would have to happen and that I’d probably love it. Especially since I’m a fan of the authors previous works.

The journey Lucy follows in this book is one many couples go through. Having been together since they were in school, getting married and buying a house shortly after graduating uni, they never really had a chance to be young and free. They never dated around, never did the gap year traveling thing.

In Fern’s case, she hasn’t slept with anyone other than her husband.

In many ways they grew up and matured together without discovering and forming their own individual identities. I believe this is what “rushing into things” means. In this case it leads to a gap year in their marriage. A year away from each other, their jobs, their home and everything they’ve known so far.

It’s a year to discover who they are separate from each other before coming back together to continue life as they’d previously known it.

Of course, what’s the point of a story if there’s no drama, right? Well, with love interests, discoveries of new talents, family hiding secrets etc this book is filled with slow burn drama that boils over into an amazing ending. There’s one detail I don’t like about how Aiden behaves. But if I tell you what it is it’ll ruin the book for you.

I also loved the ending and the discussions had around marriage, what it means and why people get married. At the time I read this I was chatting to a friend about that very topic and in so many ways Lucy captured the very essence of what we were saying.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this review, next week I will be reviewing Light of the Spirit by Lisa Kessler. Continue to read further down to find out about the author and any extra giveaways available.

Author Bio

From interior designer to author, Linn B. Halton – who also writes under the pen name of Lucy Coleman – says ‘it’s been a fantastic journey!’

Linn is the bestselling author of more than a dozen novels – including Summer on the Italian Lakes, Snowflakes over Holly Cove, The French Adventure and A Cottage in the Country. She is represented by Sara Keane of the Keane Kataria Literary Agency.

When she’s not writing, or spending time with the family, she’s either upcycling furniture, working in the garden, or practising Tai Chi.

Living in Coed Duon in the Welsh Valleys with her ‘rock’, Lawrence, and gorgeous Bengal cat Ziggy, she is an eternal romantic.

Linn is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and the SoA and writes feel-good, uplifting novels about life, love and relationships.

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