The Happy Ever After Playlist ARC Review

The Happy Ever After Playlist by Abby Jimenez

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: April 14, 2020

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Heat Rating: 🔥

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher.

One of the reasons why I love the book community so much is because there are so many wonderful and caring people! I’ve met a lot of wonderful friends through Instagram (bookstagram) and one of them let a whole group of us borrow her copy of The Happy Ever After Playlist last year (thanks Kate!). I felt like opening up a Christmas present when it got to me! I was equally as excited to send it on to the next person because it’s such a joy to be able to read an early copy of a book that you are anticipating. These kinds of friendships and kind gestures are ones that I will never forget and one of the main reasons why I love the book community so much 💕💕

After reading The Friend Zone last year, I was left wondering what exactly happened to Sloane? In The Happy Ever After Playlist, we get to visit Sloane two years after the accident that left her fiance in a coma. She’s grieving the death of a life she thought she would be living and not quite sure how to move forward. That’s when a puppy named Tucker enters her life!

Tucker is hilarious and I love how he was able to get Sloane out of her shell a bit. She tries to contact Tucker’s owner – some guy named Jason – but she doesn’t hear back and decides that Tucker is her dog now. That’s when Jason and Sloane have their meet-cute. I loved the way Abby Jimenez is able to create this great chemistry between two characters who don’t even meet yet! You see, Jason is a singer and has been overseas for a few weeks. He thought he left his pup in capable hands, but his pup got lost and Sloane was the one who found him. Now Jason wants his dog back, but Sloane won’t agree. The witty banter had a grin on my face the whole time.

I absolutely loved how Sloane and Jason got to know one another. It was slow and sweet and Jason was so respectful of Sloane’s feelings. He knew to be tender with her heart. Sloane’s feelings were so transparent and I loved that. She was excited and hopeful, but wasn’t sure if she was moving too fast.

The relationship between Sloan and Kristen that I loved so much in TFZ, was also here in The Happy Ever After Playlist. These two are always there for each other no matter what. We should all be so lucky to have friends like that in our lives. I also loved Jason’s family and how much they support him. There were parts in this book that reminded me of how tight I am with my family and my husband’s family. When someone needs help, whether that’s around the house or on a property – we all show up and help the best way we can. That family dynamic was so very special in this book and it hit home for me in so many ways.

I won’t spoil the rest of the book for you, but just know that I loved it so very much. The feelings between these two people were so genuine and real. They are a team and are willing to take on anything and to always keep each other happy. The level of angst that Jimenez writes is so so so good. My heart strings were being pulled on so hard and I couldn’t help it when there were tears streaming down my face. If you get a chance to read The Friend Zone and can’t wait to read Sloane’s story – you won’t be disappointed! I can’t wait to re-read this beautifully written book. The Happy Ever After Playlist is set to release April 14, 2020.

p.s. each chapter has a song that corresponds to what is happening in that chapter. Listen to the music – I loved it so much and it added another dimension to this book.

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{partner @authorabbyjimenez @readforeverpub } 💬What book are you most looking forward to in 2020? The Happy Ever After Playlist by Abby Jimenez is a book that has been on my radar since reading The Friend Zone earlier this year and I was so happy to read an ARC of it earlier this month 🤗⁣ ⁣ One thing that I love most about this community – and I say it over and over again – is how amazing book friends are 💕💕. I turn to my book friends on bookstagram when I want to discuss a specific portion of a book or when I'm not sure exactly how I should word a post. When Kate of @kate_reads_ got an ARC of The Happy Ever After Playlist and decided to share it with a group of book friends I was so stoked to be a part of the #heaplaylisttravelingbook ! Considering how much I was looking forward to reading this book, it felt like opening up a Christmas gift when I got the package in the mail! ⁣ ⁣ I don't want to say too much because The Happy Ever After Playlist doesn't release until April 14, 2020, but this was a definite 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 read for me. I loved the way that Abby is able to create this great chemistry between Jason and Sloane. The witty banter between the two had a grin on my face the whole time. And if you guys thought Josh was book boyfriend material…watch out for Jason 😍. The feelings between Jason and Sloane were so genuine and real. The level of angst that Abby writes is so so so amazing! My heart strings were being pulled on so hard and I couldn't help it when I had tears streaming down my face. If you get a chance to read The Friend Zone and can't wait to read Sloane's story – you won't be disappointed! I'm already waiting to re-read this beautifully written book ❤️⁣ ⁣ ⁣ #thehappyeverafterplaylist #abbyjimenez #readforeverpub #foreverromance #bookreview #travelingARC #bookclub #travelingbookclub #contemporaryromance #notjustaprettybook #instabook #bookfriendsarethebestfriends #bookfriends #bookish #booknerd #booklover

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Cowboy Come Home ARC Review

Cowboy Come Home by Carly Bloom

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Series: Once Upon a Time in Texas #2

Release Date: March 31, 2020

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Heat Rating: 🔥🔥

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher.

After recently reading Big Bad Cowboy (book #1 in the Once Upon a Time in Texas series) by Carly Bloom and seeing a glimpse of the relationship between Claire and her rancher cowboy Ford, I couldn’t wait to get to their story in Cowboy Come Home! I’m a total sucker for second chance romances so this book seemed like the perfect follow up to Big Bad Cowboy (which I loved).

Claire has always loved living on her family’s ranch, Rancho Canada Verde, but some recent natural disasters have made ranch living just a bit hard at the moment. Claire may have taken living on the ranch for granted a bit, but she needs help running the ranch for the time being and has to rely on the one person that she doesn’t really want to ask help for – Ford Jarvis.

Claire and Ford were together for a bit a few years ago, but Ford broke Claire’s heart when he decided to leave Big Verde after his time on the ranch was done. But he’s back now and Claire will have no other choice then to rely on Ford to help her run the ranch while her dad deals with a few issues of his own.

I really enjoyed this sweet second chance romance. Both Claire and Ford were wary of falling back into the relationship they had a few years ago. Claire wants a prince charming, and Ford isn’t willing to settle down any time soon…will they decide to keep their relationship professional or is their magnetic pull to one another too strong?

I also really loved the family dynamics with Claire and her mom and dad. But just as easy as it is for Claire and her family to show their affection with one another, it’s just as hard for Ford to have that same easiness with his family. His issues are complex, but maybe if he has a little hope he can finally let himself think about settling down in the wonderful community that is Big Verde.

I loved revisiting with the characters of Big Verde. The secondary characters are so well rounded. Not only did certain scenes have me laughing out loud, but they also made me feel the sense of community in Big Verde. I can’t help, but want to be a part of this amazing community!

I really enjoyed Cowboy Come Home and can’t wait to see what Carly Bloom has in store for Big Verde. Cowboy Come Home releases March 31, 2020.

Yours in Scandal ARC Review

Picture from GoodReads

Yours in Scandal by Lauren Layne

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Series: Man of the Year #1

Release Date: March 10, 2020

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

Heat Rating: 🔥🔥

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher.

Mayor Robert Davenport’s current time in office is almost coming to an end, but he has political aspirations on becoming the next governor of New York City. Adeline Blake has stayed away from New York and it’s political scene for quite some time. She doesn’t want to associate anything to do with her father, the current governor of New York, or anyone that crosses paths with him. So when Mayor Robert Davenport asks Adeline to plan a black tie affair at his mansion, can she trust him?

I enjoyed getting to know what made Adeline the way she is and how/why she built her business. Her relationship with her father was so sad and really made me feel for her. I also like how Robert’s vulnerabilities were no less important than Adeline’s and these two had a shared connection because of that.

I liked the relationship between Adeline and Robert. Lauren Layne gave us a slow slow burn between these two headstrong individuals, and I enjoyed the ride. I will be honest and say that the story was a bit predictable for me, and I wasn’t always sold on the attraction between Robert and Adeline. I still enjoyed Yours in Scandal and am looking forward to the next book in the series.

This was a solid 3.5 read for me.

Chasing Cassandra ARC Review

Chasing Cassandra by Lisa Kleypas

Genre: Historical Romance

Series: The Ravenels #6

Release Date: February 18, 2020

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Heat Rating: 🔥🔥🔥

I received a complimentary advance title of this book from the publisher.

I have been reading Lisa Kleypas for about a year now and my first book was Devil in Spring (Ravenels #3). I didn’t realize how witty, funny and sexy a historical romance could be. I was a fan and immediately read as many Lisa Kleypas books that I could get my hands on!

 The Ravenels series has been such a strong series and it has been so much fun watching the characters in this series develop and get their own stories. After reading Devil’s Daughter last year, I couldn’t wait to get to Cassandra and Tom’s story in Chasing Cassandra.

I will admit, I wasn’t sure what kind of hero Tom Severin was going to be. I kind of hated how arrogant he was in the previous books although I know his motives were always well intentioned and for the interest of his business. He still seemed cool and aloof and I just couldn’t see him pairing with Cassandra.

That’s where I was wrong, the relationship between these two was so wonderful. The chemistry between Cassandra and Tom was there right from the beginning of the book. But could Cassandra settle for anything less than love, when Tom wasn’t willing to even acknowledge the feeling?

I ended up adoring Tom and his unique quirks. He seems so cold hearted, until we find out what makes him the way that he is. The love these two had for one another was so sweet. Neither of them judging each others pasts or the mistakes/circumstances that they find themselves in.

I do feel that the ending was a bit rushed, but I still really enjoyed Chasing Cassandra. I am sad to see The Ravenel series come to an end, but can’t wait to see what book Lisa Kleypas will give us next!

You can find the order of the series on GoodReads.

Big Bad Cowboy by Carly Bloom

Genre: Contemporary Romance/Cowboy Romance

Series: Once Upon a Time in Texas #1

Released October 30, 2018

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Heat Rating: 🔥🔥🔥

I received a complimentary finished copy of this book from the publisher

I will be honest, I haven’t had the best of luck with cowboy romances. A lot of times I feel like the author tries too hard, and it doesn’t always come across as authentic. When Forever (publisher) decided to have a readalong of Big Bad Cowboy on Instagram/Bookstagram I jumped at the chance! A set amount of chapters each day and discussion with other bookstagrammers reading the same book? I LOVE nothing more than discussing the current book I’m reading. Hint – I finished faster than the readalong, which is always a good sign 😉

This is the sexiest re-telling of Little Red Riding Hood that I have read and I LOVED it! In Big Bad Cowboy, Travis Blake has returned to Big Verde, Texas to take care of his nephew Henry. Travis had just gotten out of the army and was planning on moving to Austin when he got back, but now his plans have had to change.

Travis hasn’t had much experience running his family’s ranch and instead is relying on other forms of income taking on a few landscaping jobs to make ends meet. Maggie Mackey runs Petal Pushers a landscape and garden business in Big Verde and now she has competition in the form of one Travis Blake. Maggie doesn’t like him just on principle.

When Maggie and Travis end up having to work together on a project together sparks fly. I loved their initial hate towards one another and how that slowly evolved into friendship. The witty banter between Travis and Maggie was so great and the chemistry was undeniable. The Halloween party and the Little Red Riding Hood and Big Bad Wolf scenes were hot hot hot and I loved each and every one of them!

One of the best parts of this book was the relationship that Travis had with his nephew Henry. A lot of times I feel like when there is a romance with a single dad or father figure, I don’t always connect with the child in the scenario. But in this case, Henry was one of my favorite characters. His relationship with Travis was so real and I appreciate that so much in a romance novel. The parts with Travis and Henry always had me laughing or my heart catching.

I honestly loved every character in Big Bad Cowboy (JD, Claire and Bubba were always making me laugh) and can’t wait to read more books set in Big Verde! Thank you Carly Bloom for writing such a great book!

Wild at Heart ARC Review

Wild at Heart by KA Tucker

Genre: Romance/Women’s Fiction

Series: Wild #2

Release Date: February 18, 2020

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Heat Rating: 🔥

I received a complimentary advance title of this book from the author and Social Butterfly PR

Wild at Heart is book #2 in the Wild series. I would definitely advise reading book #1 The Simple Wild in the series before picking up this book.

When I started The Simple Wild last year, I already knew that KA Tucker was writing the sequel, but I didn’t quite understand why so many people were excited for the sequel. After absolutely loving The Simple Wild I was ready for the next book in the series! And I will admit that I was a bit scared to pick up Wild at Heart, because I wasn’t sure how it would measure up to The Simple Wild. Well, safe to say I LOVED Wild at Heart so much and have already read and re-read my favorite passages multiple times 💕

Wild at Heart picks up right where The Simple Wild left of. Jonah and Calla are ready for their new adventure, with Calla agreeing to move to Alaska so her and Jonah can be together again. Reading about these two again was like revisiting a favorite couple. I simply could not get enough. I loved their journey together and the little things that make up a couple – whether that was making small trivial decisions or the hopes and dreams that couples have together that you don’t really see in romance books.

At the heart of Wild at Heart is the love story between Jonah and Calla. I loved the fun and witty banter between the two. Jonah’s bluntness is still very much there – which resulted in quite a few funny scenes. But there was also a new vulnerability and tenderness between Calla and Jonah, now that they were starting their new life together. Everything that they do revolves around their love for one another. It’s the hurdles that they don’t expect that are the hardest.

As with The Simple Wild, I feel like KA Tucker does such a great job with weaving in the secondary characters of a book. In this case we get to meet a few members of the community where Calla and Jonah now live. There were funny moments, heartfelt moments and moments that had me fighting back tears. By the end of the book I came to love Muriel, Roy and Toby just as much as I love Agnes and Mabel.

Just as in The Simple Wild, KA Tucker is able to bring her story full circle. With each character playing a valuable role in Calla’s journey in Alaska. I was honestly so sad when Wild at Heart ended, because I could read another 10 books about Calla and Jonah’s adventures in Alaska. Thank you KA Tucker for writing such a wonderful followup to The Simple Wild!

Heartland ARC Review

Heartland by Sarina Bowen

Genre: Contemporary Romance/New Adult Romance

Series: True North #7

Release Date: January 28, 2020

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Heat Rating: 🔥🔥🔥

I received a complimentary advance title of this book from the author.

Chastity is still learning the ways of the outside world. She was raised in a compound as part of a cult and didn’t really know much about the outside world until she decided to escape. She ran away from Wyoming to her cousins place in Vermont and that’s where she met her best friend Dylan Shipley. Dylan and Chastity are now going to the same college where Chastity secretly pines for Dylan.

Dylan needs the break away from his family and specifically big brother Griffin. He goes to school Monday through Friday but still heads home every weekend to help his family with their farm. Sometimes life is a bit hectic, so why can’t he enjoy college life with hook-ups, frat parties and occasionally smoking some pot?

I loved this sweet friends-to-lovers story between Dylan and Chastity. I feel like this trope can be tricky sometimes, but immediately you can sense the bond between Dylan and Chastity. Dylan was the sweetest with Chastity, even though at times that’s not what Chastity wanted. I loved how she eventually came out of her shell after being sheltered for so many years. The chemistry between these two was sizzling hot even though they tried to deny it at first.

One of my favorite parts of the whole True North series is the focus on family and friendships. I love the Shipley family and it’s meddling ways, but in Heartland I truly enjoyed the relationships that Dylan had with Rickie and Chastity’s relationship with Ellie. These were such great characters and the parts of the book with banter between the friends was always so fun (and funny!)

A lot of this story resonates with me personally. Growing up in a small rural farming town, it was expected that if you went to college you to still had to come back on (most) weekends and help the family. So I completely understand how Dylan has these obligations and what a burden that can be sometimes even if he truly loves his farm and everyone on it. Those scenes really got to me and I feel like Sarina Bowen does such a wonderful job with that.

Heartland has it all – there’s cute goats, some pretty fun caramel making and a sweet and sexy love story between two best friends. I really really enjoyed Heartland and cannot wait to read more of these characters that I have grown to love so much (who’s story could be next? Rickie? Daphne? I can’t wait!)

A Heart of Blood and Ashes ARC Review

A Heart of Blood and Ashes by Milla Vane

Genre: Fantasy Romance

Series: A Gathering of Dragons #1

Release Date: February 4, 2020

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Heat Rating: 🔥🔥🔥

I received a complimentary advance title of this book from the publisher.

Maddek, a warrior prince has just lost his mother and father who were also king and queen and vows to find the reason why they were slain. Yvenne, a king’s daughter is also mourning her mother, but proposes a marriage to this warrior to achieve a shared goal. But can Maddek trust her when he realizes that she may have been part of the king and queens murder?

To say that I loved A Heart of Blood and Ashes, would be an understatement. I immediately fell in love with both Maddek and Yvenne. Maddek who was so strong and had the strength of his dragon (the immediate warriors that he trusts to surround him) and Yvenne who was the opposite – so very alone, weak and yet she was so sharp and had her wits about her. These two were immediately a perfect pair even though it may have taken some time for them to come around to one another.

One of the reasons I really enjoyed this book was the camaraderie between Maddek and his dragon, but also the beliefs that Yvenne has in her people. Even though there are great secrets being discussed in the throne room, the belief that their people are good is what fuels a great king and queen.

The attraction between Maddek and Yvenne was sizzling from the first moment these two met each other. I was definitely not expecting so much heat between these two and Milla Vane surprised me in the best of ways. The steamy scenes between Maddek and Yvenne were so damn hot and I loved it! Maddek and Yvenne are so primal and their attraction to one another doesn’t fool anyone. But it’s what’s beyond just the physical attraction that had me rooting for these two. Once their relationship is established, I loved the intimacy between Yvenne and Maddek. Alongside his dragon I was rooting for Maddek to make Yvenne his queen.

If you’re looking for an adventurous fantasy romance then look no further and pick up A Heart of Blood and Ashes. You will be suspended into fantastic world where you will feel the passion as well as the adventure taking place around you. I am so looking forward to the next book in the series!

Almost Just Friends ARC Review

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Series: Wildstone #4

Release Date: January 21, 2020

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Heat Rating: 🔥

I received a complimentary advance title of this book from the author.

I always like reading a Jill Shalvis book because I know without a doubt that it will make me laugh and have me rooting for the characters involved. Almost Just Friends was no different. There was family drama, sweet romance (between a few different characters) and of course scenes that had me laughing!

Piper Manning has been carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders. She’s been living in Wildstone working as an EMT while fixing up the house her grandparents left her and her two siblings, Gavin and Winnie. Piper has worked hard at supporting her siblings and they are now mostly adults who have their own lives. What she doesn’t expect is for Winnie and Gavin to return to Wildstone, both having the clear intentions to stay. All three of the Manning siblings have their own secrets and reasons for coming back. It’s breaking down those walls and getting to know one another again that will be the hardest for all three.

Not only do her siblings make an appearance in town, but so does the New Hot Guy that everyone keeps talking about. New Hot Guy turns out to be Camden Hayes – DEA agent/Coast Guard extraordinaire. Cam has his own demons that he is facing and yet the attraction between him and Piper is sizzling and they each are drawn to each other.

I won’t say more about the plot, because each of these characters are so interwoven together. I was feeling so much on behalf of every single one of these characters. Not only Piper, but also Gavin and CJ, Winnie and even Piper’s neighbor Emmitt.  There was a bit of insta-love between Piper and Cam and parts of the story were a bit predictable, but I still really enjoyed Almost Just Friends.

Although this book is part of a series, it stands as a standalone and you don’t have to read the book that came before it.

Undercover Bromance ARC Review

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Series: Bromance Book Club #2

Release Date: March 10, 2020

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Heat Rating: 🔥🔥

I read a complimentary copy of this book.

When I first read The Bromance Book Club (book #1 in the series), I immediately loved how brash and bold Braden Mack was. I love a hero who is confident and so full of himself and Mack is definitely all of those things. The setup/chemistry between Mack and Liv was definitely there even in Bromance Book Club and I couldn’t wait to see how Lyssa Kay Adams would show us more of these two interacting.

Liv is a pastry chef at a famous restaurant, but the owner Royce is a complete jerk. Not only does he terrorize the staff, but he also harasses the young women who work for him. After Liv catches Royce trying to put the moves on a young hostess, she makes a plan. She’s had enough, quits and decides to take him down. This is where Mack enters the scene. He kind of accidentally got Liv in trouble in the first place (super funny scene) and to make up for it he’s decided to help her with her plan to take down Royce.

Undercover Bromance was a classic enemies to lovers trope with a side of romantic suspense and I really enjoyed it! There were so many parts of this book that had me laughing out loud (talk about chickens), but also moments that had me swooning on behalf of both Liv and Mack. These two are so tough and so cocky, but underneath they are both vulnerable. When they let their guard down, it had my heart catching. I’ve highlighted so many sweet moments between Liv and Mack. Mack comes across as this macho, tough guy but he’s such a sweet softie and I loved that.

I will admit that it was a bit predictable and there was a bit of insta-love between Liv and Mack, but I still really enjoyed this book. The book club meetings with the bros were so funny! I really loved the addition of Rosie and Hop too. I hope we’ll get to see the bromance book club guys again soon!

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{ #partner @berkleyromance #edelweiss } Question: Do you like to read the "hyped" books right away or wait them out? ⁣ ⁣ I need to read all of the books and I want to read them right now! I read the synopsis for The Bromance Book Club, and immediately knew that it was a book I needed to read. A contemporary romance that centers on two married individuals who are having a rough time? Sign me up! You hardly see any romances that deal with married couples, and this book was so refreshing and so so worth the hype ❤️⁣ ⁣ Thea and Gavin have been married for a few years, but have hit a rough patch in their marriage. Thea is now asking for a divorce and Gavin is feeling completely lost. What happens next is both hilarious and so heartwarming. Gavin's teammates (he's a professional baseball player) and some of their friends initiate Gavin into their book club. I loved Gavin's reaction when the men in this club try to talk him into the book club. I was laughing out loud so much🤣⁣ ⁣ The way the regency romance, Courting the Countess, that Gavin is reading mirrored what was happening with his relationship to Thea was so creative and I loved both of the stories. Gavin and Thea's story really resonated with me. Marriage is A LOT of work and these two people who obviously love each other so much can't get past this bump in the road. Communication is the key to any relationship and I loved that both Thea and Gavin had to work on themselves before they could actively work on their marriage together. ⁣ ⁣ I immediately fell in love with @lyssakayadams writing style and the "bros" who were part of the book club. To have men discuss relationships and help each other out when one of them is having a rough time was so sweet and also very very funny! I can't recommend this book enough, and I am already counting down to the next book in the series – Undercover Bromance 💕😍⁣ ⁣ The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams | Releases November 5, 2019 | ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⁣ ⁣ ⁣ #thebromancebookclub #lyssakayadams #berkleyromance #edelweissplus #contemporaryromance #bookaddict #bingeread #pickthisbookup #buythebook #secondchanceromance #booklove #daisies #regencyromance #bookreview #arc

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GoodReads Review of The Bromance Book Club
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