Charlie All Night by Jennifer Crusie

official blurb
Dumped by her boyfriend and demoted from WBBB’s prime-time spot, radio producer Allie McGuffey has nowhere to go but up. She plans to make her comeback by turning temporary DJ Charlie Tenniel into a household name. And if he’s willing to help cure her breakup blues with a rebound fling, that’s an added bonus. Charlie just wants to kick back, play good tunes and eat Chinese food. He’s not interested in becoming famous. But he is interested in Allie. And after all, what harm is a little chemistry between friends?  But suddenly their one-night stand has become a four-week addiction. Night after night on the airwaves, his voice seduces her…and all the other women in town. He’s a hit. It looks as if Charlie’s solved all Allie’s problems…except one. What is she going to do when he leaves?

my blurb!
A romance novel where coworkers attempt to not be attracted to each other.

2.75 out of 5

what i liked
I liked the world of a radio show. I’ve never really read about that life before, in fact I’ve never even thought about the people who work for the radio because… well I never listen to the radio.  Does anyone still listen to the radio?  I love anything about producers, I’m really into learning about their jobs, it’s always intriguing to me. (Remember that semi trashy tv show- UnReal?  I remember being like- woah THAT’s what producers do?  And then also the Newsroom [hollar Aaron Sorkin fans!} when I was like- dang you produce that segment! Do it!)

what i didn't like
I’ve read 2 of her books and they’re setup basically the same way.  As far as a shady ex-boyfriend trying to undermine a relationship and trying to get back with the main character. I’m not into that at all. In both books that just wasn’t my favorite part of the plot and I felt like it could’ve been left out.  But are we reading romance novels for the plot? haha

Overall, I liked this book less than Bet Me and less than The Wedding Date but I read it easily enough.

while reading you should
Listen: to the radio!
Eat: Chinese food
Watch: The Newsroom

if you would like to buy
Click here.

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The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

official blurb

Nemesis (n.) 1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome. 2) A person’s undoing 3) Joshua Templeman. Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman hate each other. Not dislike. Not begrudgingly tolerate. Hate. And they have no problem displaying their feelings through a series of ritualistic passive aggressive maneuvers as they sit across from each other, executive assistants to co-CEOs of a publishing company. Lucy can’t understand Joshua’s joyless, uptight, meticulous approach to his job. Joshua is clearly baffled by Lucy’s overly bright clothes, quirkiness, and Pollyanna attitude. Now up for the same promotion, their battle of wills has come to a head and Lucy refuses to back down when their latest game could cost her her dream job…But the tension between Lucy and Joshua has also reached its boiling point, and Lucy is discovering that maybe she doesn’t hate Joshua. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.

my blurb!
The perfect romance novel with love to hate you and hate to love you feelings screaming out of every page.

5 out of 5

First let me tell you – this is a 5 out of 5 romance novel! It IS a romance novel filled with steamy scenes. So if you don’t like romance novels- even though it’s 5 out of 5 stars, this book isn’t for you.

what i liked
I LOVED the trope. The whole – I hate this person, oh snap I like this person thing. Very enjoyable to read for me. I like that storyline so much that without the steamy scenes, I would’ve added this book to required reading fiction.
I read this book in 24 hours. I was loving every minute of it.
I am BRAND NEW to the whole romance novel scene. In fact, this is my fourth ever romance novel. But in my limited experience I think it did everything a romance novel should do! Solid love trope? Check. Characters you want to fight for? Check. Steamy love scenes. Check. Wondering how the book with end the whole time? Check.
I loved Josh our main guy.  He’s smart and gorgeous and has a strong scheme game.
I loved Lucinda- shout out to the awesome name choice by the way- her perspective throughout the book was hilarious.  Her train of thought was scatterbrained, unreliable and true to herself.  She wore amazing red lipstick throughout the book and she definitely influenced me to up my lipstick game.
(Update: since writing this review I have gone back and reread this book bringing my total times read to THREE – and a half… okay I started it again last night – times!)
You guys, I enjoyed this book so much that I joined the authors facebook group – the Flamethrowers.  And I don’t even have a facebook account! That’s right, I used my husbands facebook account to join this romance novelists book club.  To say I am obsessed is an understatement.

what i didn't like

Nothing! I loved it!

when to read
Really, anytime because this is a required read. But especially when you’re in a rut at your job and want to be inspired to try more.

while reading you should
Eat: cake
Play: Paintball
Watch: the smurfs
Listen to: Breathe In by Frou Frou

if you would like to buy

Click here: The Hating Game: A Novel

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The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker

official blurb
Calla Fletcher wasn’t even two when her mother took her and fled the Alaskan wild, unable to handle the isolation of the extreme, rural lifestyle, leaving behind Calla’s father, Wren Fletcher, in the process. Calla never looked back, and at twenty-six, a busy life in Toronto is all she knows. But when Calla learns that Wren’s days may be numbered, she knows that it’s time to make the long trip back to the remote frontier town where she was born.  She braves the roaming wildlife, the odd daylight hours, the exorbitant prices, and even the occasional—dear God—outhouse, all for the chance to connect with her father: a man who, despite his many faults, she can’t help but care for. While she struggles to adjust to this rugged environment, Jonah—the unkempt, obnoxious, and proud Alaskan pilot who helps keep her father’s charter plane company operational—can’t imagine calling anywhere else home. And he’s clearly waiting with one hand on the throttle to fly this city girl back to where she belongs, convinced that she’s too pampered to handle the wild.  Jonah is probably right, but Calla is determined to prove him wrong. Soon, she finds herself forming an unexpected bond with the burly pilot. As his undercurrent of disapproval dwindles, it’s replaced by friendship—or perhaps something deeper? But Calla is not in Alaska to stay and Jonah will never leave. It would be foolish of her to kindle a romance, to take the same path her parents tried—and failed at—years ago. It’s a simple truth that turns out to be not so simple after all.

my blurb!
City girl encounters sky cowboy in Alaska while trying to reconnect with her dad.

4.5 out of 5

Let me start by saying- this is not your typical romance novel.  I’m actually not ENTIRELY sure this is a romance novel- it could potentially be adult fiction.  But I feel like if sex is mentioned, then why can’t it be a romance novel?  Romantic movies and porn aren’t the same.  Neither are romance novels and erotica!  (You’re welcome for drawing that conclusion for you.  I know, I should be like a writing teacher or something right? So. Insightful).

what i liked
Wren- he was such a solid character.  I understood him and I liked him!
Simon- hello good stepfather! I mean, I am SO pro a good step parent- it could just be the old disney movies in my head, but I always assume they’re going to be the stereotypical step parent who should be banished to the ends of the earth.  Well, that’s not the case for Simon. You’ll love him, trust me.
I loved the name Calla – and overall I did like her.  I was nervous when she was proclaiming herself anti-confrontation, because in general I am pro confrontation and I really don’t like to read about characters who just whine in their heads all the time but never do anything about it.  So Calla wasn’t nearly as annoying as I thought she was going to be- and I did actually end up really liking her.
Agnes…. Okay wait. I’m sensing a pattern here.  I am actually going through the book and listing almost every main character.  Wow.  Okay, so I guess I enjoyed all of the characters in this book!
I LOVED the setting.  I mean, Alaska is DEFINITELY bucket list for me, and even more so after reading this book. I. Must. Go. To. Alaska.
I liked reading about the world of bush pilots! Something I never would have thought to ever spend any time imagining and now, I feel as if I’ve lived among them.

what i didn't like
I didn’t looooove Jonah. I know, this is going to be an unpopular opinion.  I didn’t dislike him, but I certainly wasn’t obsessed with him.  Here’s why- and this is FACT- he’s kind of a jerk.  I am NOT into the idea of someone who is SO judgemental of Calla so he totally messes with her just to entertain himself! Also he completely shames her for caring about her appearance, and nicknames her Barbie. Truth be told she may care too much about her appearance, but there’s no winning there- people who don’t care about their appearance have to have makeovers and people who do have to care less.  Down with the appearance shaming! The whole uppity girl- can’t help but fall in love with rugged jerk of a guy. NO! I’m done with that. I’ve watched Gilmore Girls approximately 12987059021 times – and have lived through Rory and Jess. Nope, I’m not into it.  Try to change my mind. Go ahead….
Really though, Jonah wasn’t awful- I just wasn’t personally remotely swooning for him.  What can I say, he just didn’t do it for me.

while reading you should
Eat: beef jerky
Listen to: Can’t Help Falling in Love by Kina Grannis
Do: Learn to drive a manual car
Request: My Oxford Year from the library because if you like this one then you’ll like that one!

if you would like to buy
Click here.

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The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

official blurb
Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases–a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old. It doesn’t help that Stella has Asperger’s and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice–with a professional. Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan. The Vietnamese and Swedish stunner can’t afford to turn down Stella’s offer, and agrees to help her check off all the boxes on her lesson plan–from foreplay to more-than-missionary position… Before long, Stella not only learns to appreciate his kisses, but to crave all the other things he’s making her feel. Soon, their no-nonsense partnership starts making a strange kind of sense. And the pattern that emerges will convince Stella that love is the best kind of logic…

my blurb!
Pretty Woman reversed. And with a lot more sex scenes.

1.75 out of 5

what i didn't like
This was the kind of romance novel that I was afraid of reading when I started reading romance novels!  It was totally the type that I generalized into the category of romance novels.  Heavily laden with tropes and and uncomplex characters.
This novel was DIRTY. Like x-rated. So much so that I couldn’t finish it. It wasn’t steamy like some others, it was- hide your kids, hide your wives – wow.  (Side Note – I read this book BEFORE I read the Winston Brothers series.  And looking back- for the life of me I cannot remember how this steam compared to the Winston Brothers steam.  I do, however, remember being shocked by the steam in this book- so I am classifying it 5 flames for steam level).

what i liked
The main character is on the Autism Spectrum. I enjoyed reading a book from that perspective. (Though, if I were to recommend a book with a main character along those lines it would undoubtedly be Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine).

while reading you should
Listen to: Without You by Parachute
Watch: Pretty Woman

if you would like to buy
Click here.

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Dr Strange Beard (Winston Brothers #5) by Penny Reid

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official blurb
Ten years after Simone Payton broke his heart, all Roscoe Winston wants is a doughnut. He’d also like to forget her entirely, but that’s never going to happen. Roscoe remembers everything—every look, every word, every single unrequited second—and the last thing he needs is another memory of Simone.  Unfortunately, after one chance encounter, Simone keeps popping up everywhere he happens to be . . . Ten years after Roscoe Winston dropped out of her life, all Simone Payton wants is to exploit him. She’d also like some answers from her former best friend about why he ghosted her, but if she never gets those answers, that’s a-okay. Simone let go of the past a long time ago. Seriously, she has. She totally, totally has. She is definitely not still thinking about Roscoe. Nope. She’s more than happy to forget he exists. But first, she needs just one teeny-tiny favor . . .

my blurb!
A guy who remembers everything proves trying to forget about the love of his life is easier said than done.

3.75 our of 5
I cannot wait for Billy’s book- I’m actually sad to know that his romance hasn’t taken place yet and he’s lived so long in his life without the love of his life (in my guess- Claire!)
I read all of the winston brothers books super fast.  Cletus and Roscoe have been my favorites.  Shout out to Jethro and Duane. Beau bringing up the rear- but still with a book I read in the span of 3 days.  These books are great for romance novel lovers- which I would now consider myself! BUT they didn’t make the required reading list because of the high level of steam.  If you’re up for a steamy read, or up for skimming parts of a fun series- then these ones are for you!

what i liked
I love an interracial couple. It might be because I’m a little biased (hollar to all the other mixed kids out there!) but I love reading about an interracial couple.  You know, I had never read a story with interracial protagonists until I was an adult. And I read a lot of YA… just saying.  (Seriously, I’m saying that it’s a real thing that kids grow up reading books but not seeing themselves or their possibilities in the books they read.)  I should also note that the most diverse protagonists I have ever read have been in romance novels! (This actually really nails why I am so into reading romance novels right now. I love a romcom and I LOVE reading a story involving people of color. I didn’t know I was missing that until …. well until I noticed).
This book also tackled some racism- what it’s like to be an affluent black family living in the south.  Simone had real conversations with her friends about how to support her, and how she wanted to handle situations that directly influenced her.
Can we talk about how all of Penny Reid’s heroine’s are freaking awesome? She always writes smart heroines who aren’t twiddling their thumbs when a smarter man comes and whisks them away.  So far her heroines have been an actress, a business owner, an FBI agent\scientist, and a teacher who brought STEM to her school.  Also, all of them were independently financially stable  (or were by the end of the books) so that’s pretty cool to me.

what i didn't like
My biggest knock on the book is that it was too steamy for me. This was a total 5 out of 5 steam level!  This, I think, was the steamiest of the Winston Brothers books… oh wait, I say that with each review? okay I guess they’re all steamy.
My next knock is that I was kind of confused in the ending- let’s just say there was a lot going on with the towns biker gang and I’m not sure I followed all of it. (This could be partly because, as previously stated in other reviews, I’m not into this plotline so I may be skimming sections involving the biker gang). Now that’s not to say that she won’t write more about it in the next books and it will all resolve itself – but as is, I was confused.  I did actually reread part of the ending to try to clarify some biker gang madness and I still didn’t follow it all.

while reading you should
Watch: Miss Congeniality
Listen: New Light by John Mayer
Eat: donuts from a mom and pop shop.

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Beard in Mind (The Winston Brothers #4) by Penny Reid

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official blurb
Beau Winston is the nicest, most accommodating guy in the world. Usually. Handsome as the devil and twice as charismatic, Beau lives a charmed life as everyone’s favorite Winston Brother. But since his twin decided to leave town, and his other brother hired a stunning human-porcupine hybrid as a replacement mechanic for their auto shop, Beau Winston’s charmed life has gone to hell in a handbasket. Shelly Sullivan is not nice and is never accommodating. Ever. She mumbles to herself, but won’t respond when asked a question. She glares at everyone, especially babies. She won’t shake hands with or touch another person, but has no problems cuddling with a dog. And her damn parrot speaks only in curse words. Beau wants her gone. He wants her out of his auto shop, out of Tennessee, and out of his life. The only problem is, learning why this porcupine wears her coat of spikes opens a Pandora’s box of complexity—exquisite, tempting, heartbreaking complexity—and Beau Winston soon discovers being nice and accommodating might mean losing what matters most.

my blurb!
When the guy voted Most Likely To Charm Your Pants Off finds himself falling for the girl who would’ve never even bothered voting.

2.75 out of 5

what i liked
I liked reading about the Winston Brothers more!  As the books progress you get so many good little snippets of the previous characters and where they are now in their lives.  This is why I would recommend reading them in order- even though you don’t have to. Because you’ll miss out on how exciting it is to experience Cletus, Duane and Jethro in their current state of affairs.
I love how Penny Reid writes complex female characters- she has not let me down with a heroine being complicated yet!

what i didn't like
I’ve read that a bunch of people were super excited to read about Beau. I wasn’t in that camp.  I didn’t find him nearly as likeable as his brothers – especially Cletus- but he’s still a Winston so he has likable in him.
I’m not into plot lines where the character could talk things through with someone, but instead purposefully keeps secrets from them. There was a bit of Duane and Beau drama in this book like that, and I could’ve done without it.  I cannot be the only one who feels like this- but I swear this is actually in the majority of books! The whole- I’m going to deal with this myself even though it directly affects other people.  LAME.
I am hesitant to write much about Shelly- our main girl in this book because, to my VERY limited OCD knowledge- she seemed to also struggle from other issues, and is maybe even on the spectrum- which was never mentioned.  She couldn’t read sarcasm and was very blunt. She SAID she used to lie all of the time, though the reader never experienced that- and maybe this new personality trait of overt bluntness was meant to counteract that?  But it really seemed more like she was on the spectrum, rather than her just being blunt.  Anyways, (in my limited knowledge) it’s a whole separate thing from OCD so that was not in the pro column for me.  Overall I didn’t really like Shelly.
Would you believe me if I told you this book was verrrrry steamy?  Haha.  I know, I’ve said it for the previous books too.  Well, like the rest of the Winston Brothers books- this one was a bit too graphic for me. I find myself skimming over some of the steamier parts.  I know you’re wondering, why read them or finish the series? 1. Because this the 4th of 6 books. 2. Because I wanted to read a romance series and 3. Because I am reading these to experience romance novels and dive into the genre- and I think I certainly am with these ones!

This was my least favorite Winston Brothers novel but I wouldn’t be discouraged from reading it if you read the rest.  And you may also really like Beau more than I did! #teamcletus
Winston Brothers Predictions:
Billy and Claire (where is my Billy and Claire book already?!).  Roscoe and Simone.

while reading you should
Listen to: What Makes You Beautiful by One Direction
Watch: John Tucker Must Die
Learn: How to jump a car (Seriously, you should know how to change your own tire and how to jump a car. I promise it isn’t hard and you’ll feel empowered just by watching a youtube tutorial!)

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Beard Science (Winston Brothers #3) by Penny Reid

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official blurb
Jennifer Sylvester wants one thing, and that one thing is NOT to be Tennessee’s reigning Banana Cake Queen. Ever the perpetual good girl and obedient daughter, Jennifer is buckling under the weight of her social media celebrity, her mother’s ambitions, and her father’s puritanical mandates. Jennifer is officially desperate. And desperate times call for Cletus Winston. Cletus Winston is a puzzle wrapped in a mystery covered in conundrum sauce, and now he’s in a pickle. Despite being convinced of his own omniscience, extortion by the exalted Banana Cake Queen of Green Valley has taken him completely by surprise. So… what’s a maniacal mastermind to do? Likely, the last thing you expect.

my blurb!
The Danny Ocean of rural Tennessee gets manipulated by the person he least expected.

4.5 out of 5

what i liked
OMG you guys, this one was the best one so far.  I read it so quickly.   Let me tell you, I did expect this to me my favorite because I’m slightly obsessed with Cletus and his manipulative ways throughout the previous books. I was NOT disappointed. Cletus is the best!!! Let me tell you why he’s been my favorite since book one – he is so odd and quirky and vindictive and and sneaky – I love it all!
A lot of pros in this book- also the pros of reading the books in order- you get so many snippets of the previous characters lives in the other books! It’s so fun.
Jennifer is a fun and sad and open. She is an amazing heroine in the book.  I’m also slightly obsessed with her.  Do you remember in Truth or Beard when I said I just wasn’t in love with Duane and Jess?  That is clearly not the case for these two love birds.  I loved Jenn’s response to Cletus when he asked her what she wanted to be:

“A mother,” I said simply, because it was true.  That’s what I wanted first and foremost.  “And a really excellent wife and partner.  And homemaker.  I want to have a family to take care of, to love and fuss over and think about.  That’s what I want.  I know it’s not progressive or flashy, and I know people don’t place much importance on that stuff anymore, just like people don’t put much importance on humility and kindness, forgiveness and compassion.  But those things are important to me.  I know people will look down their noses at me for being just a mom, but I’m used to being marginalized for what I do and what I look like.  And I think being a great mother is the most difficult and most important job in the world.”

I mean, you guys! This quote is the bees knees!  It reminded me of Mona Lisa Smile when Julia Stiles says a similar sentiment to Julia Roberts.

what i didn't like
Now that I’ve been raving about this book you are wondering yourself why I didn’t rate it 5 stars.  Well you are right to wonder and I did almost rate it 5 stars but there are still two things as a whole in this series that I don’t LOVE.
The steam level. Truth be told, in this book it is lower than the others but then it gets right up to bat with the other books towards the last 8th of the book or so.
The biker gang plot.  I know- I should just accept it. It’s part of the plot! I just don’t like it, I’m sorry!

while reading you should
Listen to:  The Best of You and Me by Number One Gun
Watch: Mona Lisa Smile
Do: Bake! (And a tip from me to you, bake precisely as the recipe instructs.  It’ll be a game changer).

Future predictions for the other Winston Brothers books:
Claire and billy. Beaue and Shelly. Roscoe and ? (Who will Roscoe end up with?!)

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Grin and Beard It (Winston Brothers #2) by Penny Reid

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official blurb
Sienna Diaz is everyone’s favorite “fat” funny lady. The movie studio executives can’t explain it, but her films are out-grossing all the fit and trim headliners and Hollywood’s most beautiful elite. The simple truth is, everyone loves plus-sized Sienna.  But she has a problem, she can’t read maps and her sense of direction is almost as bad as her comedic timing is stellar. Therefore, when Sienna’s latest starring role takes her to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park she finds herself continually lost while trying to navigate the backroads of Green Valley, Tennessee. Much to her consternation, Sienna’s most frequent savior is a ridiculously handsome, charming, and cheeky Park Ranger by the name of Jethro Winston.  Sienna is accustomed to high levels of man-handsome, so it’s not Jethro’s chiseled features or his perfect physique that make Sienna stutter. It’s his southern charm. And gentlemanly manners. And habit of looking at her too long and too often.  Sienna has successfully navigated the labyrinth of Hollywood heart-throbs. But can she traverse the tenuous trails of Tennessee without losing her head? Or worse, her heart?

my blurb!
A guy who isn’t into reading E-online articles accidentally falls for a celebrity in rural Tennessee.

3.5 out of 5 stars

what i liked
The Winston Brothers book two! Wahoo! Are you as excited as I am that I decided to tackle an entire romance novel series?!  Okay let’s get to it…
I liked this one better than the first one.  The main girl – Sienna- was a person of color (shout out to more diverse narrators!) She was awkward and really funny.  She was confident in herself – her personality and her body and her career. She was close with her family.  Did I mention she was really likable?
Jethro was our other protagonist- another Winston brother. He was so…likeable.  I know, I know, you’re sensing a theme.  Jethro was really trying to redeem himself of his shady past.  He was a park ranger and an overall kind person. He understood that seeking forgiveness for his past actions meant a long journey and not just a single apology. (Life lesson anyone?)  He spoke his feelings and was very thoughtful.  Shout out to Jethro!
I like getting tidbits of other characters in the town and guessing if they’ll be a love interest in another Winston brothers book!
SPOILER ALERT: my TOTAL guesses for future couplings so far are : Claire and Billy.  Cletus and Jennifer. Roscoe and … no idea on that one.  Beau and…. nope not sure yet on that one either.

what i didn't like
I am not into the whole biker gang plot of these books. I just don’t care enough about that aspect and want to skim the sections where they bring up those parts of the plot.  And let me tell you- this is part of the world of theirs in Tennessee- so it’s in the books quite a bit.
This book was steamy. Wowzah.  It started off not NEARLY as steamy as the first book- which I liked personally.  Then towards the last quarter of the book it upped its steam rating.

So far these have been what I would have expected out of a romance novel.  They are steamy, funny, quick reads.  If you enjoy romance novels- these aren’t the best of the best in the world (Hello, I’m looking at you, The Hating Game) but they are fun to read!

Watch: groucho marx
listen: – Tina Fey’s audiobook – Bossypants
do: have an outdoor picnic.

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Truth or Beard (Winston Brothers #1) by Penny Reid

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official blurb
Identical twins Beau and Duane Winston might share the same devastatingly handsome face, but where Beau is outgoing and sociable, Duane is broody and reserved. This is why Jessica James, recent college graduate and perpetual level-headed good girl, has been in naïve and unhealthy infatuation with Beau Winston for most of her life.  His friendly smiles make her tongue-tied and weak-kneed, and she’s never been able to move beyond her childhood crush. Whereas Duane and Jessica have always been adversaries. She can’t stand him, and she’s pretty sure he can’t stand the sight of her…
But after a case of mistaken identity, Jessica finds herself in a massive confusion kerfuffle. Jessica James has spent her whole life paralyzed by the fantasy of Beau and her assumptions of Duane’s disdain; therefore she’s unprepared for the reality that is Duane’s insatiable interest, as well as his hot hands and hot mouth and hotter looks. Not helping Jessica’s muddled mind and good girl sensibilities, Duane seems to have gotten himself in trouble with the local biker gang, the Iron Order.  Certainly, Beau’s magic spell is broken. Yet when Jessica finds herself drawn to the man who was always her adversary, now more dangerous than ever, how much of her level-head heart is she willing to risk?

my blurb!
A funny book that starts with mistaken identity and ends in X’s and O’s.

3.25 out of 5
So get ready to buckle up because I am about to embark on reading an entire romance novel series! That’s right- this is a 6 book series! (Well, okay maybe a few more, but those are novella’s I think.  Do those count?)  I knew I wanted to try to read a romance series and had randomly picked up this book based off of the bearded man on the cover.  Let’s all just agree that bearded is better! Fast forward to me posting a picture of me holding the book on my bookstagram.  I made a statement in my post that you can be a Christian and read romance novels.  Well Penny Reid replied to my post and said “Of note, you can also be a Christian and write romance novels.”  And with that statement alone, I knew I would read this entire series!  So without further ado…

what i liked
This book started off SO strong. I was cringing with embarrassment and laughing out loud to myself in the first few chapters.  I read it quickly and did I mention this book was funny?  Oh I did… because it’s funny.  I loved that the heroine kept hearing music in her head all of the time with different moments.  (I mean, that’s coming from me- the blogger who includes music to listen to while reading these books).  Looking back on this book- I remember the good moments- which makes me want to rate it higher than I am rating it. But alas, along with the good comes the bad.

what i didn't like

There were a lot of sex scenes in this book. A. Lot. Prepare yourself.
I wasn’t obsessed with the relationship between Duane and Jess- and that’s kind of lame for a romance novel.
Parts of the book didn’t make sense. Duane has forever been in love with Jessica, yet when he finds out she’s leaving he is SOMEHOW able to not invest himself completely into their relationship because he doesn’t want to get hurt… by this girl that he’s been pining after for 10+ years.  Ya, it was not remotely believable.
There were also a lot of plot elements (cough, cough… tropes) that were just too much for me. Duane’s need for speed allowing for Jess to have the moment of being mad/thrilled when Duane is fine.  Duane’s super possessive and jealous.  A love triangle of sorts… twice.  There were a lot more plot stereotypes but I feel like I can stop there.

Overall I didn’t love this book but I did enjoy it enough to be interested in the plots of the other brothers.  What other brothers you ask? This is a romance novel series! The Winston Brothers novels are all stand alone novels but have crossover characters, as each book is the love story of one of the 6 brothers.  I know, how could I not read on?  Wait what did you say?  Sorry, I couldn’t focus because I already started reading the second book…

while reading you should
Make: a list of placed you’d like to visit overseas
Listen: Your ex-Lover is dead by Stars (When I thought of this song while reading the book- I had NO idea this was the title.  And the song really doesn’t seem morbid to me at all. haha)
Say: “Holy moly Moses”

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Punk 57 by Penelope Douglas

official blurb
“We were perfect together. Until we met.”
Misha
I can’t help but smile at the words in her letter. She misses me.
In fifth grade, my teacher set us up with pen pals from a different school. Thinking I was a girl, with a name like Misha, the other teacher paired me up with her student, Ryen. My teacher, believing Ryen was a boy like me, agreed.
It didn’t take long for us to figure out the mistake. And in no time at all, we were arguing about everything. The best take-out pizza. Android vs. iPhone. Whether or not Eminem is the greatest rapper ever… And that was the start. For the next seven years, it was us. Her letters are always on black paper with silver writing. Sometimes there’s one a week or three in a day, but I need them. She’s the only one who keeps me on track, talks me down, and accepts everything I am.  We only had three rules. No social media, no phone numbers, no pictures. We had a good thing going. Why ruin it?  Until I run across a photo of a girl online. Name’s Ryen, loves Gallo’s pizza, and worships her iPhone. What are the chances? F*ck it. I need to meet her. I just don’t expect to hate what I find.
Ryen
He hasn’t written in three months. Something’s wrong. Did he die? Get arrested? Knowing Misha, neither would be a stretch. Without him around, I’m going crazy. I need to know someone is listening. It’s my own fault. I should’ve gotten his number or picture or something.  He could be gone forever. Or right under my nose, and I wouldn’t even know it.

my blurb!
Teen pen pals with secrets finally meet.

1 out of 5

what i liked
I liked…. nope. Can’t think of anything

what i didn't like
I was legitimately nervous that there would be a rape scene in this book because Ryen’s semi- love non interest was way too agressive for me.
Also, this MAY be marketed YA. It is for sure for audiences 18+
I actually am pretty sure I did read this book a while ago and quit it because it was… intense and dirty. Now going through a romance novel phase, a friend suggested it. (I appreciate all suggestions as we get closer to finding my niche in the romance novel scene! We now know that this one didn’t do it for me.)  Ps. If you have suggestions for me, send them my way!
It was too crass for me.  Hide your kids, hide your wives language in it.

while reading you should
Listen to: Done For Me by Charlie Puth
Watch: Switched at birth (Random but there is a graffiti storyline in that show and in this book!)

if you would like to buy

Click here.

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