#ARC Review || The Feeling of Forever by Jamie Howard || Let’s Talk Positivity

The Feeling of Forever by Jamie Howard

Published Feb 7, 2017
eARC via NetGalley + St. Martin’s Press
Juliet St. Clair has spent her life under Hollywood’s spotlight. While being America’s favorite girl next door has had its perks, having to testify against her stalker to put him behind bars certainly wasn’t one of them. But when she thinks about walking away from it all, she can’t help remembering the enormous pile of medical bills her family is drowning under. Bills that just keep on coming.
Felix Donovan had it all–stunning good looks, gorgeous women, and a spot as the drummer to a band that’s sitting pretty at the top of the charts. Until one life-altering decision left him paralyzed from the waist down. He doesn’t know whether to laugh or cry when he wins this year’s Sexiest Man award, but the one thing he immediately does is send out a Non-disclosure agreement. Hiding his condition from the public is hard as hell, but he’s not ready to face the world while he’s still struggling to accept his new reality.
Except this year’s Sexiest Woman–Juliet St. Clair–never looks at him with pity, only desire. But falling for Juliet means a permanent spot in the tabloids, a decision Felix isn’t sure he’s ready to make. And when Juliet’s stalker re-emerges from her past, Felix’s secret isn’t the only thing at stake, it could cost Juliet her life. 
Hello collection of beautiful people—quite literally. We open this story at the photography session for the Most Beautiful Woman and the Most Beautiful Man. Juliet is gorgeous, and is severely frustrated that no one sees past her surface (she’s curious, and a reader, and addicted for Fringe). Felix was just in a horrible (sort of?) accident that left the lower half of his body immobile. This is a huge hit to his ego, his sense of self, and his hope. When these two meet at the session, it’s all sly joking and surprises that they’re both more than what is shown on the outside. And I mean hidden depths, epiphanies, and pasts that aren’t meant to be relived…
This book is packed full of positivity, so this post is going to three positive point that were brought home in this book—because we all need a bit of a pick-me-up.
THIS TOO SHALL PASS; NOTHING LASTS FOREVER
Let’s be real here—bad things are going to happen in life. Some things are worse than others. Some things are much, much worse than others. You’re going to see something that someone else has that you don’t, and you’re going to want it.
I can talk about how I have positive quotes on my walls in all the colors of the rainbow all I want; this helps me when the negative thoughts get too negative. I have to remind myself that I am okay, that this isn’t the end. Sometimes it works, and sometimes I need something more. Whatever that horrible thing is, it’s going to pass eventually. It could be tomorrow, next week, or twenty years from now.
I’m sorry that it takes so long sometimes, but look the people who love you in the eyes. Hug your pets tighter. Embrace the material things you love (LIKE BOOKS!) and let yourself wander.
So many things in THE FEELING OF FOREVER were out of the person who is affected by it’s control. I admire these people for not letting their disappointments consume them, for transforming their sadness into bravery and into hope. They were able to recognize that the moment they were living in is only a split second in time. I really like that notion.
(All that being said I REALLY want a book with our MC’s sister. I feel like she’s actually here to kick some serious butt.)
LOOK FOR THE PERSON WHO SEES ALL OF YOU; THEY’RE OUT THERE
I don’t know about you, but this girl is def not aromantic. I need romance like hot milk needs some scoops of chocolate. For me, there battle cry should have been “give me romance or give me death” though, not going to lie, liberty is real nice. Especially if we’re chatting about Lady Liberty.
When you’re looking for someone who sees all of you, I think it’s important to remember that that person may not be a romantic someone. It could be a best friend or a family member. I think that person is an incredibly important to have in anyone’s life. Who is anyone without al the preconceived notions that society shoves on their shoulders?
Whoever that is, hold on to them tight.
This is the story of people holding on tight, not giving up, and of resisting the easy path.
BE FEARLESS IN THE PURSUIT OF WHAT YOU DESERVE; IT’S OKAY TO MESS UP A BIT
Be blunt. Our MC isn’t afraid to lay her heart on the line, but she doesn’t do it in a way that makes you think that she expects anything in return. It’s more like “this is how I feel” and I love it. I think that’s brave, and I think that gets her more of what she wants in life. Which, as we all can acknowledge, is pretty fantastic.
Do the things that make you happy in life—whether that be acting, or watching Netflix, or reading all the books and learning all the things. Be productive and strive for success, but take the time to do the things that bring you that infinite joy.

Okay, so if you can’t tell, I really enjoyed this book. It has some intrigue, some hidden elements. It had romance and (some) diversity. It had a believable plot that moved at a nice speed. I’m not super picky when it comes to that though. Overall, just do yourself a GIANT favor and grab yourself a copy when it comes out. Or, better yet, pre-order it.
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#ARC Review || Ready Set Rogue by Manda Collins

Ready Set Rogue by Manda Collins
ARC via Publisher + Netgalley
Goodreads || Amazon
Published: January 10, 2017 || St. Martin’s

WHO WILL WRITE THE BOOK OF LOVE?

When scholarly Miss Ivy Wareham receives word that she’s one of four young ladies who have inherited Lady Celeste Beauchamp’s estate with a magnificent private library, she packs her trunks straightaway. Unfortunately, Lady Celeste’s nephew, the rakish Quill Beauchamp, Marquess of Kerr, is determined to interrupt her studies one way or another…

Bequeathing Beauchamp House to four bluestockings—no matter how lovely they are to look at—is a travesty, and Quill simply won’t have it. But Lady Celeste’s death is not quite as straightforward as it first seemed…and if Quill hopes to solve the mystery behind her demise, he’ll need Ivy’s help. Along the way, he is surprised to learn that bookish Ivy stirs a passion and longing that he has never known. This rogue believes he’s finally met his match—but can Quill convince clever, skeptical Ivy that his love is no fiction?

When Lady Celeste Beauchamp suddenly dies, she leaves her entire estate to four ladies who, if they’d been born male, would most likely be at the very top of their field. These ‘bluestockings’ are the feminists of Victorian society, smart beyond belief, free thinkers, and just generally too amazing to comprehend. Luckily, they’re surrounded by the relatives of Lady Celeste, who was also a female scholar. These relatives adored her. When our leading lady, Miss Ivy Wareham, receives a letter from the deceased claiming that she’d been murdered and that Ivy and her nephew, the handsome marquees who is dead set against any of the four lady scholars inheriting the estate, with finding out who wanted her dead. Mystery, romance, scandal, and feminism. What could be better?
Reason Number One.These ladies are fierce as hell. They challenge the ideals that confine woman in Victorian society. By questioning the differing standards that men and women are held by—the word ‘ruin’ being placed on women and not men, and thereby treating females like rotten meat instead of living, breathing people—they make the people around them also re-evaluate how the world is run. I adore this more than I adore the romance. And y’all, I freaking love romance.
Reasons Number Two.THE ROMANCE. Did I not just inform you that the romance has me swooning? CONSENT IS CLEAR AND EXPLAINED. There are ramifications for actions. *muffles laughter* And Y ’ A L L, choices are given and not forced upon people. These folks don’t act like pretentious assholes when it comes to the romance. Who knew a working moral compass and the genuine ability to listen to what people are saying are helpful contributions to a relationship? Seriously? Who freaking knew?
Reason Number Three.The mystery. I am SO here for it. Unexplained death? The murderer still at large? WHO IS IT? What secrets are lurking in the mansion? What is lurking in the shadows? Our linguist turns into a regular detective for this segment of awesome. Her puppy-dog like sidekick follows closely behind.
BONUS: this is because I love all y’all. I ALSO LOVE THE FRIENDSHIP. Even more than romantic relationships (or however you wish to see them) basic friendships are incredibly important. These ladies are not accepted by the world that they live in because they are females who are smart and refused to conform to what the society believes a woman to be. In each other they find shared existences, experiences, and people who really appreciate and accept who the others are, and what they love. Isn’t that what everyone wants? Total acceptance? Understanding? Camaraderie?

Overall, this book was stellar. I laughed and swooned. How much more can I ask for?

#ARC Review || The Edge of Everything by Jeff Giles || Searching for a Friend When Everything Goes to Hell

The Edge of Everything by Jeff Giles
ARC via Publisher
Published: January 31, 2017
Goodreads || Amazon

It’s been a shattering year for seventeen-year-old Zoe, who’s still reeling from her father’s shockingly sudden death in a caving accident and her neighbors’ mysterious disappearance from their own home. Then on a terrifying sub-zero, blizzardy night in Montana, she and her brother are brutally attacked in a cabin in the woods–only to be rescued by a mysterious bounty hunter they call X.

X is no ordinary bounty hunter. He is from a hell called the Lowlands, sent to claim the soul of Zoe’s evil attacker and others like him. Forbidden to reveal himself to anyone other than his victims, X casts aside the Lowlands’ rules for Zoe. As X and Zoe learn more about their different worlds, they begin to question the past, their fate, and their future. But escaping the Lowlands and the ties that bind X might mean the ultimate sacrifice for both of them.

Gripping and full of heart, this epic journey will bring readers right to the edge of everything.

It all begins with Zoe’s dad falling down the depths of a cave and never coming back out. Fast-forward and we encounter X. As in unknown variable. As in one of the most adorable, naïve guys that I’ve ever had the pleasure of encountering. All X has ever known is the Lowlands, someplace that basically equates to hell. Our lovely main dude is tasked with killing the humans whose souls are basically evil and dragging them into the ever-neath before the Lords, who do who the hell (haha) knows what with them. When he meets Zoe, something in the air just changes. And he makes a choice that could very well change his fate, along with her’s, and that of everyone they care about.

With that brief summary out of the way, let’s talk a bit more about Zoe. She’s seriously cool. Not as cool as Ripper, but cool enough to make a zombie of a human look twice. After he dad dies she is sort of stuck in this give-and-give relationship with the world. And she’s just so dang tired of it. However, she’s positive. She tries to keep her annoyed but adorable younger brother happy and safe. She maintains a healthy relationship with her best friend, and a decent relationship with her ex, who she broke up with after it all went down.

She’s a bit of a fixer. I think that’s why her and X work so well together, and develop the romance that they do. With everything that’s thrown at them they’re still just young adult in a strange, magical world having to make hugely impactful decisions. Decisions that no other being ever really has to make.

Besides the gorgeous writing, there’s a bit of a moral story to this tale that is just the freaking cherry on top of the awesome sundae.

Now, I know what you’re thinking.

You’re thinking, Jackie, why did you not even give the book four stars when all you’re doing is going on (and on and on and on) about everything awesome in THE EDGE OF EVERYTHING? Well, dear reader, I’m getting there. Because I really do have some complaints.

I didn’t really buy the romance. It felt a bit forced on both sides, and also a little bit like clinging to the last bit on sunlight before the glowing ball of cosmic gas sinks beneath the horizon. X never really knew anyone to have a romance with besides her, and Zoe….I mean I just though the girl was making a few not so fantastic choices. Granted, she’s actually been through more horrid stuff than I’m able to comprehend. So, there’s that.

I also had a bit of a problem with the layout of the story itself. I can’t give much away without spoilers, so I’ll just say this: it felt a bit disjointed.

Overall, I liked it. I liked the write and Ripper the best. For a seeking a friend when everything goes to hell kind of book, I’d say this one is pretty good.

#ARC Review || Hit Man by Michele Mannon || I May have a Thing for Mercenaries? Maybe?

Hit Man by Michele Mannon
eARC via NetGalley + Publisher
Goodreads || Amazon
Published || December 6, 2016

He always gets what he wants.

The seasoned seducer, who probably charms the panties off of every woman he meets. Diego is handsome. Arrogant. Dangerous. Far more dangerous than anyone I’ve ever met. And with one look from across a crowded room he has me; hook line and sinker, I’m his for the night.

Diego is not a man to mess with, I know that. I just can’t seem to resist his kiss, his touch. But can I trust him with my heart, with my body?

I’m being hunted for something I may or may not have seen, and Diego is my only way out of a world of death and destruction. If only I can believe his dark promises.

Happy Christmas Eve to all who celebrate!

Verdict: I’m in love; somebody hold me

Lord have mercy, but do I ever love mercenaries and romance and accents and YES talk dirty in different languages. And then maybe translate so I know what you said. And then switch back to the foreign language please, because it sounded a hell of a lot hotter that way. SWOON. In Michele Mannon’s newest novel HIT MAN there is all of this and soooo much more. Like things being blown up. A woman with novel aspirations so do amazing things. Incredibly amazing things. Of course, then there’s the hit man who-much to his dismay-is falling head over heels for her. Things don’t go as planned, and people get caught in the crosshairs of unimaginable horrors…

Let’s begin this review journey with some character analysis: Aubrey and Diego. As you may have figured out via pronoun usage, Aubrey is out resident do-gooder and Diego is out hired exterminator of human beings. Obviously his job has left him a little rough around the edges—and he claims he’s loved only three people in his entire life: his mother, father, and sister. When Aubrey comes crashing into his mission in a suspicious way, he takes it upon himself to figure out what this American is doing. I’m sure you know what follows: things are shot into the sky, cartels are run by powerhouses, and government conspiracies. It’s all rather dramatic in the best way possible.

And then we’ve got Aubrey, who, despite all of her amazing intentions, is fantastic at getting herself into situations that most people wouldn’t walk away alive from. Of course, they don’t have a hit man following them around like a protective puppy dog.

So cute. 

As you can probably tell, I love both of these characters so much. I think it’s kind of hard to craft a human with real flaws that don’t seem overdone, or oversimplified. You’ve got to make them 3-D. Diego and Aubrey are. Full color. Living. Breathing. Freaking hot as hell. Make incredibly poor decisions. Are actually really rude.

BUT. Despite being rude is all about consent when it comes to sex. So, you know, ALL THE STARS. This right here is a HUGE thing for me. It’s a button pusher, as well it should be for everyone. Something shouldn’t be done to/with your body without your permission. The fact that Diego made sure that the active consenting of sex was clear was my favorite. Like, yes. Please pass this valuable skill on to every human being ever. PLEASE.

All that being said, I did grow annoyed with these two folks on occasion. This is the reason for the deduction of the half star. I think four and a half though is a quite nice rating.

I wasn’t expecting to love this book as much as I did. It did take me a bit to get to it, and then a bit more to commit to actually reading it. Then, still, I had finals in college. However, now that I’ve finished, I kind of want to read it all over again. YES. It was that good.

#ARC Review || Pack Enforcer by Lauren Dane

Pack Enforcer by Lauren Dane
Published || December 1, 2016
Goodreads || Amazon || Website
ARC via Publisher + Netgalley

This wolf mates for life…

Nina Reyes knows trouble when she sees it, and Lex Warden, Enforcer for the local werewolf pack, is nothing but. When her brother gets in too deep with some dangerous wolves and comes to Nina for help—dragging super alpha protector Lex into her life—she can handle it. She might have put her grifter past behind her, but she’s still got what it takes. If only she didn’t find Lex—his body, his scent, even his domineering nature—so intoxicating.

As Enforcer, it’s Lex’s job to protect his people. Nina might be more capable of handling herself than he initially thought, but that doesn’t mean she’s safe from their enemies. His need to protect her is more than just pack business—Nina, a human, is his mate. Bedding her once is not even close to enough; to satisfy his wolf, he needs a true bond.

The heat between them scares Nina, but sometimes the reward is worth the risk, and the thought of living without Lex terrifies her more than any threat the werewolf mafia can pose. Lex will do anything to keep her safe. And when the Rogues catch up to them, he’ll get a chance to prove it…

Y’all, I’m in Houston writing this review right now, and I’m freezing my toes off. And I have socks one. While reading this, I strongly recommend brewing yourself a cup of coffee, and, if you’re feeling as adventurous as I am, add yourself a nice hot chocolate package. I guarantee you won’t de disappointed. The ending of this book though? That might disappoint you a little. At least if you’re like me and like a side of drama with your morning pancakes.

After all hell breaks loose from Nina’s already unraveling life, she encounters the bold, the testosterone-ridden, and the wolfy Lex Warden. He’s the pack enforcer, and he’s all over Nina like Catholic on the Pope. Nina’s more than the cute as a button, nerdy to the core florist that she projects to the world: she’s actually a hardcore hacker. When these two collide: sparks folks. Of the acutest kind.

And, yes, I do mean cute. (hehehe)

Okay, y’all, I’m just going to come right out and say it: as much as I like a whole bunch of the concepts in PACK ENFORCER, some things just rubbed me the wrong way. The pet name that Nina insists on using—some of them were a bit much. In the beginning it was an endearing part of her quirky personality, but eventually I was all like gag me with a spoon. Y’all couples do you, but that was just so not my cup of tea.

The other thing that I just wasn’t happy with was the fall following the climax of the novel. I mean, when we’ve been building up, getting invested into this Thing, shouldn’t more be expected? Instead of this total flat falling-ness. I wasn’t happy. Literally I just looked at my Kindle for a bit thinking “Is that it? Really?”

Both of those things being said, there were plenty of things about this book that I loved: Nina’s independence, Lex’s protectiveness but inability to keep Nina from doing what she wants, our resident Alpha whose both amused/ longing in reference to Nina. The characters were awesome. I’ll take one of each, please. There was also this really cool addition to the pack dynamic which, when you read about it, will just add a whole new level to the family structure that we’ve all come to know and love with werewolf books.

Gah, I love werewolf books. Shape-shifting in general, really. This one is no exception. That being said, I had some issues with said book. These issues won’t stop me from saying that reading it is a pretty great idea, but I personally won’t be reading it again.

#ARC Review || Left at the Alter by Margaret Brownley || Happy Release Day!

Left at the Alter by Margaret Brownley
Published: November 1, 2016
eARC via Publisher + NetGalley
Amazon || Goodreads 

Welcome to Two-Time Texas: 

Where tempers burn hot

Love runs deep

And a single marriage can unite a feuding town
…or tear it apart for good

In the wild and untamed West, time is set by the local jeweler…but Two-Time Texas has two: two feuding jewelers and two wildly conflicting time zones. Meg Lockwood’s marriage was supposed to unite the families and finally bring peace. But when she’s left at the altar by her no-good fiance, Meg’s dreams of dragging her quarrelsome neighbors into a ceasefire are dashed.

No wedding bells? No one-time town.
Hired to defend the groom against a breach of promise lawsuit, Grant Garrison quickly realizes that the only thing worse than small-town trouble is falling for the jilted bride. But there’s something about Meg’s sweet smile and determined grit that draws him in…even as the whole crazy town seems set on keeping them apart.

Who knew being Left at the Altar could be such sweet, clean, madcap fun?

Welcome to the Wild West. Gunslingers and petticoats. Boston lawyers and jilted brides. Fierce female leads and..well..Texas.

Two feuding families were supposed to end said feud with the marriage of childhood best friends. When Meg is stood up, the new lawyer in town is there to witness it all go down. He’s also the legal representation for the jilter, and has the hots for the jiltee. LEFT AT THE ALTER is the tale of Grant and Meg, the town with two times, and overcoming tragedies.

I’m just going to start my opinions with this: this is what I needed. I miss my family and my books and my friends. LEFT AT THE ALTER is a good scoop of Blue Bell chocolate ice cream on a hot summer day. It’s comforting. Not something new, or fantastical. It’s not going to leave your earth shattered. What is it going to do? It’s going to make you remember sitting pool side with your toes in the water, when you can’t stay out of it because it’s hot AF outside, and the pool is way too cold to jump into. It’s going to feel a bit nostalgic with a good dose of family ties.

And while I say it’s not earth shattering, but, instead, supremely cozy, I mean it in the way that only some books can actually do. I was rooting for the characters, but not emotionally invested. I was expecting the best and I got to watch the twists and turns unfurl. It’s fun. And all over the place. And surprisingly girl power for the time period. I really want to hear Meg’s youngest sister’s story since she’s a suffragette, animal lover.

Then there’s the romance. I didn’t completely buy into it, and that’s pretty much why it’s a three-star and not a four-star. It’s cute in the way puppies are cute, but it just did not really work for me. I think the reason that it didn’t was because, while I do genuinely like the characters, I don’t really feel like I know them well enough for me to be in love. I like being in love, and with Meg and Grant, I just totally wasn’t.

Besides the romance, the actual plot follows the lawsuit Meg’s dad lobs against her jilter and how Grant deals with juggling his emotions and the case itself. He’s trying to find out what there’s to love about Texas, and how to not fall for Meg.

To rephrase Meg’s words, Two-Time is all about the people, the endless sky, and sea of bluebonnets. Those who love it stay forever. And Meg? She’s here to stay.

I liked LEFT AT THE ALTER. I read it in one sitting. And, if I’m in need of a quick pick-me-up, I’ll read it again.

#ARC Review || Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco || Guts and Blood and Romance

Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco
ARC via Andye @ Reading Teen
Published September 20, 2016
Amazon || Goodreads

Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.

“I was determined to be both pretty and fierce, as Mother had said I could be. Just because I was interested in a man’s job didn’t mean I had to give up being girly. Who defined those roles anyhow?” 

I adore gore. I like my Halloween (all of October, bring on the ghouls and vampires and werewolves) reads to be feisty and bloody and filled with feminist power. Stalking Jack the Ripper was a slam dunk for all of these criteria. When were adding a darling Victorian backdrop, a cold case, and an equally snarky and swoony main guy? I am so here for all of it.

When our darling Audrey Rose loses her mother, she begins to develop a fascination with the dead. With her Uncle as a mentor, her father desperately trying to shield her, and her brother trying to keep her happy, she’s struggling to find her balance between the work she loved (dissection) and the life she’s being shoved into living. When she runs in to her Uncle’s super dashing and super angsty apprentice, Thomas, he makes it known that he’s along for the ride that is her own personal quest to solve the case of Jack the Ripper.

In this she puts together the puzzle pieces, pulls apart bodies, and is betrayed just as often as she trusts.

SQUEEEEEE.

I’m so sorry. I just had to. This book deserves squealing and skipping and swooning. Talk about a good book. People lurking in the dark, ladies up to their elbows in guts and blood, and a twist in the classic real life mystery: Jack the Ripper. This is one of my favorite murders to read about. It’s so gruesome—showing some of the darkest parts of the human psyche. It’s so interesting—I mean, how could a person rip open another human’s body so brutally and steal their organs? What possesses someone to do that? Are they in their right mind? Can someone be in their right mind if they are able to commit such a horrific act of violence?

These are the thoughts that Audrey Rose is bound to have during her investigation. 
The characters, mainly Audrey Rose and Thomas (but I do so adore her fierce cousin too, a true lion wearing sheep skin), are incredibly well fleshed out. I felt like I knew them both. Their fears and hopes and confusion were mine. This, I believe, is one of the most important things in a book. You’ve got to be able to root for something. Why else are you reading the book? 

#ARC Review || Only You by Denise Grover Swank

Only You by Denise Grover Swank
Published October 25, 2016
Amazon || Goodreads
ARC via Publisher + NetGalley

Never say never . . .

Romance isn’t an option for Holly Greenwood. With her wedding planner career on the line she needs to stay focused, and that means pleasing her demanding boss, not getting distracted by her mind-alteringly hot neighbor . . . 


Ex-Marine Kevin Vandemeer craves normalcy. Instead, he has a broken-down old house in need of a match and some gasoline, a meddling family, and the uncanny ability to attract the world’s craziest women. At least that last one he can fix: he and his buddies have made a pact to swear off women, and this includes his sweetly sexy new neighbor. 

After one hot night that looks a whole lot like a disaster in the light of day, Kevin and Holly are about to learn that true love doesn’t play by the rules . . . 


Way back in May, I made the decision to read this ARC instead of the ARC I was currently reading that was being published at an earlier date. In short, I regret nothing. ONLY YOU was incredibly sweet, believable, and I can relate to the main character. That last plus is something I’ve had a bit of trouble doing lately. Whether this be because I’m getting pickier, or the stress of new beginnings is finally sinking in, I’m not really sure. What I do know is that this book hit the spot. I was laughing, cringing, and cheering on Holly and Kevin. 

Thank y’all for acting your age. (this is where I’m offering all the stars) I’m not super sure what it is with 25-30 year olds acting like high-school students but it makes me annoyed. Annoyed to the point of no return. I would love to say I’m super forgiving on this aspect of personalities, but that would be a lie. Holly and Kevin were presented with obstacles in their relationship (this should read Kevin’s mother, who happened to be Holly’s boss and ticket into being a big-time wedding planner) and they dealt with them beautifully. The will-they won’t-they was the driving tension through the book and I LOVE IT. The writing of it in all caps should properly display my enthusiasm. 

I liked them a whole bunch. They were genuinely good humans. I haven’t grown wearing of the less-savory characters (no, that never going to happen) at all, but I really liked getting to know nice people as opposed to idiots who can’t seem to get their head screwed on straight. Or make the right choice until the end of the book…ever. ONLY YOU is a good change of pace from that. 

Now that I’ve ranted about the characters for a bit, let’s chat about the plot. This book basically follows the two characters struggling with their want to be together, their jobs (more-so his than hers), and his mom. That sounds weird; his mom prevented them from being together. But she did! Holly is working weddings this entire book, and we’re just following her around for the ride. She’s a fantastic planner, and is trying to make a name for herself so that she can start her own business. Holly is struggling to balance her personal and her professional life. I really liked seeing how to handled everything (the man, the crazy brides). 


Overall, I really liked this book. The characters were fantastic, which is why I like the book so much. They were funny, relatable, and easy understand. They made decisions that made sense and really were just nice folks. ONLY YOU was an easy read. It’s a nice break from the heavier stuff. 

#ARC Review || Stolen Away by Jennie Marts || Cute but Predictable

Stolen Away (3, Hearts of Montana) by Jennie Marts
aARC via Publisher + NetGalley for an honest review
Amazon || Goodreads
Published September 26, 2016

Elusive charmer Cash Walker is a tough-as-nails cowboy, except when it comes to the shy woman who shows up with a pretty smile, a wounded spirit, and a goat riding shotgun in her passenger seat. 

Recently divorced from an abusive husband, Emma Frank has come home to Broken Falls, Montana. Lost, alone, and unable to escape the bullying tactics of her ex-brothers-in-law, she finds solace and friendship at the Tucked Away farm and with the handsome cowboy who believes in her and who helps her find her own courage. 


There’s a darkness in Cash’s past that’s kept him from ever letting anyone get too close, but he can’t seem to stay away from Emma, who seems to be the one to finally break through his tough exterior and steal this cowboy’s heart. 

After escaping an abusive relationship, Emma Frank ventures back down to the town she grew up. There she runs into the man she had a crush on through high school, Cash Walker. All grown up, Cash has a few issues of his own weighing down on him. Emma can’t seem to shake off the tendrils of the past. STOLEN AWAY is about how these two people survive and thrive and grow. This is all the while the reader get’s some intrigue and suspense, begging the question: how do you get away from someone who is wherever you look, and, when you do get free, how do you begin again?

The Characters

I THINK WE NEED TO GIVE BEST CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT TO THE KITTENS BECAUSE THEY’RE JUST SO DANG CUTE AND FUZZY. But in all seriousness, this book did good letting me get to know the characters, who they are, and what makes them who they are. Emma’s been through some super horrible times, and so has Cash. Both varying degrees of similar abuse patterns. This makes it so that they have a human that understands where they’re coming from when they say they feel unlovable and broken. They’re not alone.

Besides them, there are also all the snazzy chicks and dudes from about town who help to keep Emma safe from her ass of an ex husband.

The Plot

The heartbreak! The drama! The learning to love again! The letting yourself be loved again! The twists and turns!

I may not completely adore this book, but it definitely kept me entertained. The premise was easy to follow, not overtly complicated (which, in my honest opinion, is both a good and a bad thing), and did not lack in romance.

I didn’t highlight the quote (I know, I’m cursing myself too) but in the beginning, Emma said something about re-building/discovering herself before getting into anything. Although I wish she had stuck with that idea a little bit more though the book (but, let’s be real—how many can resist a sweet+hot cowboy?) I think she did re-find herself, and heal. It may have not been the way that I was hoping, but it was how I was expecting.

Which isn’t a bad thing. But, the plot followed that. And, really, I liked it. She’s a heroine we can all root for. Her and her kitten pal.

So, In the End

While I do genuinely like the characters, the book wasn’t one-hundred percent for me. There were ups and downs. I wasn’t completely feeling it, and it was SUPER predictable. Not a bad thing—just not really what I was in the mood for.

#ARC Review || Cloudwish by Fiona Wood || When You Wish Upon a Star

Cloudwish by Fiona Wood
ARC via Publisher
Published: October 18, 2016
Goodreads || Amazon

For Vân Uoc, fantasies fall into two categories: nourishing or pointless. Daydreaming about attending her own art opening? Nourishing. Daydreaming about Billy Gardiner, star of the rowing team who doesn’t even know she’s alive? Pointless.

So Vân Uoc tries to stick to her reality–keeping a low profile as a scholarship student at her prestigious Melbourne private school, managing her mother’s PTSD from a traumatic emigration from Vietnam, and admiring Billy from afar. Until she makes a wish that inexplicably–possibly magically–comes true. Billy actually notices her. In fact, he seems to genuinely like her. But as they try to fit each other into their very different lives, Vân Uoc can’t help but wonder why Billy has suddenly fallen for her. Is it the magic of first love, or is it magic from a well-timed wish that will eventually, inevitably, come to an end?

CLOUDWISH arrived on my door step without be ever having heard of it before. And I read it because it was the one being published earliest out of the three novels that I received. It wasn’t because I though it sounded the best, or I liked the cover the best, or because this was the one that I though would top both of the other books. However, after having finished it, I’m not incredibly certain that the other two books that I received are going to be able to live up to the cuteness, and the importance, of the story that is CLOUDWISH.

Van Uoc is practical beyond belief, but when one simple wish made in English class turns into something she never believed possible, she’s forced to confront the possibility of magic. As well as think about the possibility of Billy, the boy of her dreams, liking her without magic. Juggling the IB program, with I am a graduate of, her floating friendships, her parents’ expectations and her mother’s PTSD is difficult enough. Trekking through real life and fantasy?

Well, darlings, that’s another monster in itself. And this girl spends her days trying to navigate it all.

Gonna be real honest here and just come out and say it: pretty sure one of the reasons I like this book so much is because of the fact that I wasn’t expecting to like it all that much. AND, Y’ALL. THAT ASSUMPTION HAD NO PARTICULAR REASONING, AND OBVS, IT DIDN’T ACTUALLY CORRELATE WITH MY VERY REAL EMOTIONAL STATE.

I mean I literally opened and read the first chapter and fell in love with Van Uoc. She’s so easy to relate to (practical and wary, yet a TOTAL romantic) and her interaction with other characters made her so likeable. She questions the world around her because that’s what she has learned, and she’s navigating through a world her immigrant parents can’t understand, but is the only one she’s ever known.

We have her, her fabulous posse of fiends, and then we also have Billy. Now I’m going to mince my words here and say that Billy, while, yes, apparently attractive, has super sketchy picks for friends and is, more often than not, kind of a nasty human being. Van Uoc is also very practical (my girl) in this measure because she’s all like ugh stupid emotions, I know logically that I shouldn’t like you because I mean pranks, and uppity uppity, and friend choice, and ignorance, and general disregard to other people’s emotions. But she’s also like he was super sweet that one time and What Would Jane Do.

I definitely never saw him through whatever candy-rimmed glasses she wore, but I can see that he has the potential to be a decent human. Maybe. Y’all are going to have to decide that for yourself, I suppose, when you read this book.

Is it or is it not magic? Will she follow her dreams or fulfill her parent’s hopes for a doctor daughter? Will she ever summon Jane Eyre into her vocal chords and speak up for herself? WILL SHE EVER KNOW IF THE WISH CAUSED THE BOY TO START ACTING FUNNY?

And, most importantly, will she ever know her family’s history? And will her mom be okay?

All of these questions, dear reader, are for you to read about in CLOUDWISH.