2018 Book #80 – Intercepted by Alexa Martin

51oN1Oz4ZyLTitle: Intercepted
Author: Alexa Martin
Date finished: 9/9/18
Genre: Fiction, women’s fiction, romance
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: September 11, 2018
Pages in book: 320
Stand alone or series: #1 in The Playbook series
Where I got the book from: NetGalley
NOTE: I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

Marlee thought she scored the man of her dreams only to be scorched by a bad breakup. But there’s a new player on the horizon, and he’s in a league of his own…

Marlee Harper is the perfect girlfriend. She’s definitely had enough practice by dating her NFL-star boyfriend for the last ten years. But when she discovers he has been tackling other women on the sly, she vows to never date an athlete again. There’s just one problem: Gavin Pope, the new hotshot quarterback and a fling from the past, has Marlee in his sights.

Gavin fights to show Marlee he’s nothing like her ex. Unfortunately, not everyone is ready to let her escape her past. The team’s wives, who never led the welcome wagon, are not happy with Marlee’s return. They have only one thing on their minds: taking her down. But when the gossip makes Marlee public enemy number one, she worries about more than just her reputation.

Between their own fumbles and the wicked wives, it will take a Hail Mary for Marlee and Gavin’s relationship to survive the season.

My rating:  4.5 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review.

I had read a sample of the first couple chapters in this book as it was included in the BuzzBooks Romance sampler I read last month. I thought that the excerpt was pretty entertaining so I requested it. And oh wow was this book funny. Some parts were so drama-filled I was holding my breath and couldn’t look away, and other parts were just plain darn laugh out loud funny. Overall this book was extremely entertaining – the antics that Marlee manages to find herself in were astounding. There was a good amount of drama, and some pigheaded asshole-ish men, I was definitely high on the adrenaline roller coaster while reading this one. The story line was ok, although I thought it was weird that Gavin was so outstandingly perfect in the beginning and then he turns out to be such a hard headed dunce towards the end. I still really liked it though, I liked reading about the different hierarchy and struggles and drama of being a football player’s wife. And I ended up having really good timing for reading this since I was able to read it during our first football game viewing of the season (my in-laws and husband are avid Pats fans). I’d recommend this one, it was an interesting and funny read!

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Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

2018 Book #77 – One More Moment by Samantha Chase

51AsbX4k7TLTitle: One More Moment
Author: Samantha Chase
Date finished: 9/2/18
Genre: Contemporary romance
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: September 4, 2018
Pages in book: 353
Stand alone or series: Band on the Run #3
Where I got the book from: NetGalley
NOTE: I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

Julian Grayson is taking a break
…from his cheating fiancée
…from his band
…from his life in the spotlight

Charlotte Clark is devoted to her work
…to save the world
…to help the homeless
…to get a broken man back on his feet

When Charlotte Clark offers to pay for Julian Grayson’s coffee, the world-famous drummer assumes she wants something from him. But Charlotte has no idea who he is, and Julian can’t resist keeping up the charade—being incognito is a novelty and a relief. He’ll have to tell her…eventually. But as Charlotte cheerfully undertakes to transform his life, Julian realizes there’s something about her that gives him what he hasn’t felt in years: hope.

My rating:  2.75 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review.

The description of this book sounded like it would be interesting so I decided to give this one a try. This wasn’t my favorite contemporary romance I’ve read but it was interest enough. The plot was interesting enough to keep me reading but at the same time I wasn’t feeling overly invested in the novel. The characters were ok but Julian and Charlotte were both a little whiny / melodramatic. And I always have trouble getting invested in a story where there’s some rich dude that swoops in and saves the overworked female, because that’s just unrealistic and unfair. I also found the plot to be a tad anticlimactic, or maybe it was just creating drama where I didn’t think there needed to be any, but the tension wasn’t really creating any kind of emotions or anything in me. It was a decent romance novel and I think would be a good beach read for something light and entertaining but it didn’t really capture me.

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

2017 Book #66 – Leave The Night On by Laura Trentham

519Uqdwv8ELTitle: Leave The Night On
Author: Laura Trentham
Date finished: 8/3/17
Genre: Contemporary romance
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Publication Date: August 1, 2017
Pages in book: 331
Stand alone or series: #4 in the Cottonbloom series
Where I got the book from: NetGalley
NOTE: I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

Love, betrayal, and sweet revenge—life in Cottonbloom is about to get a whole lot hotter . . .

Sutton Mize is known for lavishing attention on the customers who flock to her boutique on the wealthy side of her Mississippi town. So when she finds a lace thong in her fiancé’s classic cherry-red Camaro, she knows just who she sold it to: her own best friend. In an instant, Sutton’s whole world goes up in flames. . .

Wyatt Abbott has harbored a crush on Sutton since he was a young kid from the other side of the tracks. He witnessed Sutton’s shocking discovery in the Camaro at his family-owned garage—and it made him angry. What kind of man could take lovely, gorgeous Sutton for granted? But then Sutton comes up with an idea: Why not give her betrothed a taste of his own medicine and pretend that she’s got a lover of her own? Wyatt is more than happy to play the hot-and-heavy boyfriend. But what begins as a fictional affair soon develops into something more real, and more passionate, than either Sutton or Wyatt could have imagined. Could it be that true love has been waiting under the hood all along?

My rating:  3.5 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. This book tells the story of Wyatt Abbott, a mechanic, and Sutton Mize, a judge’s daughter. Wyatt has had a crush on Sutton since they were kids, but being from the wrong side of Cottonbloom, he never acted on it. Well that isn’t entirely true, he acted on it in the sense that, like a young boy does, he teased her and played pranks on her, but Sutton appropriately interpreted this as him being mean rather than him liking her. Now that they’re all grown, Sutton brings her fiance’s car into Wyatt’s family shop to get renovated. She’s completely thrown for a loop when she finds another woman’s panties under the front seat of the car. She’s thrown for an even bigger loop when her fiance (Andrew) admits to everything she feared, and so in a spur-of-the-moment decision Sutton tells Andrew that she doesn’t really care anyway since she’s been fooling around with Wyatt. And so begins a tangled web of lies that really only end up acting as a cover for Sutton and Wyatt’s growing infatuation. But with a relationship that began on so many unfounded facts (aka lies), can they really build something lasting?

Overall I like this book okay. It was a pretty solid read for a romance novel, it didn’t do anything to wow or surprise me but at the same time I did enjoy it for the most part. Some of the conversations are a bit cheesy, and the miscommunication between the hero and heroine was frustrating since the reader can read their thoughts the whole time. Books like that I always get frustrated thinking ‘if you could just be honest with each other we wouldn’t have these issues.’ Maybe that’s something that we as humans should strive more for is being honest with people around us whether we know them super well or not. But I think that’s a talk for another time. Anyways Wyatt and Sutton’s love story was sweet and cute and I like the setting of the book especially. This one had a bit of a Grease (like the musical) feel to it since the goody-two-shoes girl is a good influence on the guy and the guy is a little bit of a bad influence on the girl (just enough to let her experience some different things). In the end they develop great affection for each other and it’s a pretty good love story. I would recommend, especially in connection with the series, which I enjoy.

 

The bottom line: I thought this was a fairly good romance novel. I think the series overall is pretty cute, I would recommend it.

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

2016 Book #10 – A Small Indiscretion by Jan Ellison

51aKu5z1x8LTitle: A Small Indiscretion
Author: Jan Ellison
Date finished: 2/6/16
Genre: Fiction, women’s fiction, suspense
Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: January 20, 2015
Pages in book: 318
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
Where I got the book from: BookBrowse NOTE: I received this book for free from BookBrowse in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

At nineteen, Annie Black trades a bleak future in a washed-out California town for a London winter of drinking and abandon. Twenty years later, she is a San Francisco lighting designer and happily married mother of three who has put her reckless youth behind her. Then a photo from that distant winter in Europe arrives inexplicably in her mailbox, and an old obsession is awakened.
Past and present collide, Annie’s marriage falters, and her son takes a car ride that ends with his life hanging in the balance. Now Annie must confront her own transgressions and fight for her family by untangling the mysteries of the turbulent winter that drew an invisible map of her future. Gripping, insightful, and lyrical, A Small Indiscretion announces the arrival of a major new voice in literary suspense as it unfolds a story of denial, passion, forgiveness—and the redemptive power of love.

My rating: 3.75 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. Also, this book will count towards my “PopSugar 2016 Checklist” reading challenge, marking off the “a book set in Europe” square as probably about half of the book took place in Europe (London, Paris, Ireland, etc.). This book was sent to me for participation in Book Browse’s Book Talk. I have never participated in an online book discussion before but I am looking forward to it! I think this book will be particularly interesting to discuss due to the moral and ethical questions raised by some of the events in the novel. The discussion group for this book opens on the site on February 9th so if anyone else is interested in joining in on the discussion you are welcome!
Anyways, so this book is about Annie Black. The book starts off in September 2011, when her son Robbie is involved in a significant automobile accident that has left him in a coma. The narrator (Annie) tells the reader at the beginning of the book that her marriage had fallen apart days before her son’s accident. From there, Annie uses the book as a sort of journal/letter where she talks to her son Robbie. As the book unfolds, Annie explains to Robbie how her and his father came to be together, and the events that shaped not only their relationship in the beginning but also her as a person. The story for Annie really began in 1989 (22 years ago) when she leaves her childhood home to travel (first to Maine to confront her father but this is explained later on in the book) to Europe to start over and find her place in the world.
Overall I liked this book. It had a really interesting story line, definitely different from anything I’ve read before. There was a lot of commentary strung into the story on marriage and forgiveness, which I enjoyed a lot. For some reason though the story line just didn’t really grab me. There were some good plot twists but I saw them coming so it took away from the surprise a little for me. And while I wouldn’t say that overall I was thrilled with this story, there were a lot of things that I liked about the book. One of the things was that I found it interesting that even though Annie is extremely flawed, we are still lead to feel sympathy for her as the main character of the book. While I personally had trouble connecting to some of the characters, there were complex layers of wants and needs in each character in the book.

 

The bottom line: I liked this book, it was interesting and had some great toughts included in the story on marriage and forgiveness. I would recommend it for reading.

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

2016 Book #2 – Too Close to Home by Susan Lewis

518p6FZfawLTitle: Too Close to Home
Author: Susan Lewis
Date finished: 1/5/16
Genre: Fiction, thriller, women’s fiction
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Publication Date: December 15, 2015
Pages in book: 512
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
Where I got the book from: NetGalley NOTE: I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

Jenna Moore finally feels that she and her family are exactly where they should be. Leaving busy London behind, they’ve moved to the beautiful, serene Welsh coast. There Jenna, her husband, Jack, and the couple’s four children have found a little slice of heaven. In the house of their dreams, Jenna and Jack are ramping up for the launch of their new publishing business, and the kids are happier than they’ve ever been, wandering the wild, grassy moors that meet white sand beaches and wide ocean.

But a fissure cracks open. The once open and honest Jack suddenly seems to be keeping secrets, spinning intricate lies. And fifteen-year-old Paige has become withdrawn, isolating herself from her family and her new friends. Frightened of the darkness enveloping her family, Jenna struggles to hold her loved ones together. But a cruel disturbance has insinuated itself into her home, threatening to take away everything she holds dear.

My rating:  4.25 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. This book will count towards my “Holiday 2015 Bookish Bingo” reading challenge, marking off the “2015 Release You Missed” square, since I was supposed to read this book for its 2015 release on NetGalley and fell a little behind therefore I missed it. This book tells the story of Jenna Moore, her husband Jack, and her four children (from oldest to youngest) Paige, Josh, Wills and Flora (twins). Paige is fifteen now and even though they just moved from London to Wales, she is making lots of new friends at her new school and she is thriving in her new school environment. She is working on a film project for school with the help of her step-father Jack and she was also given a lead role in an upcoming school play.
Jenna is happy with her family’s move and is looking forward to the business she is building with her husband. Though Jenna has already published a couple novels, she is currently experiencing some writer’s block and has fallen behind with her agent on her deadline for her next book. Other than that though things seem to be going along well. And then all of a sudden things start falling apart. Jenna starts noticing that her husband Jack is disappearing a lot. And his stories about where he’s been aren’t really adding up. Jenna starts to suspect that something awful may be brewing, but she isn’t prepared when Jack finally decides to reveal the truth. Also Paige has been distant, withdrawn, and downright mean lately to her family and Jenna can’t figure out why (though to be fair she doesn’t try overly hard to figure it out). What Jenna doesn’t realize is that Paige is dealing with her own demons, ones that she really needs help with but has no idea who or how to ask. And if Jenna isn’t careful, she may lose her firstborn to these events.
It is hard for me to say that overall I liked this book but I did. Obviously no one likes the story matter of this book, these are tough items to deal with. Divorce and bullying can make anyone’s stomach turn but even though these are hard topics to read about, they are so important. This book had an extremely important message about bullying and the trauma it can cause. The raw emotion in this book was just astounding to me, as a reader I was filled with tension and anxiety and apprehension for most of the book. I was on the edge of my seat with my stomach in flutters getting ready for the next fight. If you as a reader connect emotionally with the story then this may be a tough one because you will feel pain and desperation and frustration like you’ve never felt before in a book. I didn’t like this book because there was a happy ending, I liked this book so much because it was powerful. It had a powerful message that it delivered with powerful emotions through well developed characters. I think this is a book that everyone should read, if only to see the pain that bullying can cause.

The bottom line: I would recommend this book, it was riveting and heart-breaking and tension filled. Just be forewarned that if you are a reader who gets emotionally involved in the stories, this one may be a tough one to get through. Definitely recommend it though! Powerful stuff.

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

2015 Book #91 – Goddess of Suburbia

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Title: Goddess of Suburbia
Author: Stephanie Kepke
Date finished: 8/27/15
Genre: Women’s fiction
Publisher: Booktrope Editions
Publication Date: August 10, 2015
Pages in book: 218
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
Where I got the book from: NetGalley NOTE: I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

Suburbia meets scandal in this hopeful and honest portrayal of that moment in every woman’s life when it’s time to make a change, even if that means risking losing it all. Goddess of Suburbia by Stephanie Kepke is a must-read for women looking to reconnect with their passions, and live authentically. When pillar of the community and PTA mom, Max, allowed her husband, Nick, to record a sex video of them on his cell phone, she thought of it as simply a way to keep Nick interested and entertained during his frequent business trips. But suddenly, Max is trending everywhere—her video lighting up the blogosphere and Twitter, thanks to the fact that she’s a genuine, imperfect woman. Now the paparazzi are chronicling her every move; her daughter wants to disown her; and her marriage has completely fallen apart. Just as things can’t get any more chaotic, Max’s college boyfriend, shows up two decades after he broke her heart. Now Max must learn to stop going through the motions of her life on auto-pilot and start living authentically, or risk forever being a suburban lemming running towards the cliff of old age.

My rating: 3.25 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: This book will be counting towards my goal for ARC August reading challenge, it is #12 on list from my sign up post. I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. This book is about Max Green, who overnight turns into a local celebrity when a sex tape of her is leaked to the press and spreads in popularity on the internet. Everyone starts being all judge-y, which honestly I felt was pretty stupid since the sex tape was of her having sex with her husband, not some random stranger. I don’t want to go too far into plot and what goes on because there was a lot happening and I don’t want to ruin the story for anyone with spoilers.
Overall I liked the book. It was edging towards fast-paced and it kept my interest throughout the story. Max really grew as a character through the story and it was excellent to see her ending up more sure of her strength than ever. It was hard to watch her suffer in the beginning of the book, she suffered from a lot of self-doubt and it affected a lot of different pieces of her life. She had support from her best friend Andi, who was a little too pushy at a couple points but that was exactly what Max really needed to get her but in gear and figure out what she was doing with herself. One of the things I didn’t necessarily like about this book was that I didn’t think the bad guys really got their karmic punishment in the end. I know everything ended the way it did on purpose for the sake of the children in their family but I really thought that there should have been some kind of punishment served in this scenario. Other than that and the lengthy amount of time that Max suffers from self-doubt, I ended up liking the story a lot and I liked most of the characters. It had a sweet ending and I was happy that Max ended up happy and fulfilled in the end!

The bottom line: I liked this book ok. There was a lot going on and it was a pretty quick read so it was easy to stay interested.

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

2015 Book #10 – Dare Me by Megan Abbott

First of all, I’d like to announce that today is the one year anniversary of the RebeccaBookReview blog! Thank you to all of my readers and followers. The past year has been full of exciting twists and turns, and I am looking forward to growing even more with my blog in the coming year.

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Title: Dare Me
Author: Megan Abbott
Date finished: 2/5/15
Genre: Weird thriller? Maybe YA?
Publisher: Reagan Arthur Books
Publication Date: July 31, 2012
Pages in book: 290
Stand alone or series: Stand alone

Blurb from the cover:

Addy Hanlon has always been Beth Cassidy’s best friend and trusted lieutenant. Beth calls the shots and Addy carries them out, a long-established order of things that has brought them to the pinnacle of their high-school careers. Now they’re seniors who rule the intensely competitive cheer squad, feared and followed by the other girls — until the young new coach arrives.
Cool and commanding, an emissary from the adult world just beyond their reach, Coach Colette French draws Addy and the other cheerleaders into her life. Only Beth, unsettled by the new regime, remains outside Coach’s golden circle, waging a subtle but vicious campaign to regain her position as “top girl” — both with the team and with Addy herself.
Then a suicide focuses a police investigation on Coach and her squad. After the first wave of shock and grief, Addy tries to uncover the truth behind the death — and learns that the boundary between loyalty and love can be dangerous terrain.
The raw passions of girlhood are brought to life in this taut, unflinching exploration of friendship, ambition, and power. Award-winning novelist Megan Abbott, writing with what Tom Perrotta has hailed as “total authority and an almost desperate intensity,” provides a harrowing glimpse into the dark heart of the all-American girl.

My rating: 2.75 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: This book will count towards my “Bookish Bingo” reading challenge, marking off the “Forgotten Friday” square. The Forgotten Friday category is from the Bookish Bingo site, they read books that were published over a year ago that they never got around to reading. You can see their post on the book here.
Honestly, this book was weird. I read through the posting on the Bookish Bingo site and I have to agree with Lyn when she said “F*** this book.” I felt like I was lost through the whole book, the story line was scattered and the plot twists didn’t really make any sense and nothing was connected. Around halfway through the story I did become interested in the outcome. There were parts of the book that made me like the overall story, in kind of a train wreck sort of way. You know, you know you shouldn’t look and that what’s going on shouldn’t be “interesting” but you can’t seem to look away. The relationships in this book (all of them) were extremely screwed up and unhealthy. There was not one healthy relationship in the entire book. How awful is that. Addy and Beth’s relationship (though way more screwed up) did remind me a tiny bit of Rachel and Darcy’s relationship from Something Borrowed.
I did find certain pieces of this book interesting. Like how the girls in the cheerleading squad became almost like women warriors. The book was dark and kind of scary and scrapes at you in a way. Beth should probably be under some kind of psych evaluation.
If you’re interested, the Reading Guide for this book can be found here. Reading these questions made me like the book a little more because I could see more where the author was trying to go with the story line of the book.

The bottom line:  I don’t think I would recommend this book. I was riveted by the middle but overall I can’t in good conscience say I liked the book. It might make a good book for a book club accompanied with the reading guide though.

Author website:
 http://www.meganabbott.com/
Link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Dare-Me-Novel-Megan-Abbott/dp/0316097772/ref=tmm_hrd_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1423177442&sr=8-1

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2015 Book #6 – Something Blue by Emily Giffin

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Title: Something Blue
Author: Emily Giffin
Date finished: 1/23/15
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Publication Date: March 21, 2006
Pages in book: 338
Stand alone or series: Stand alone kind of but there is a related prequel, Something Borrowed

Blurb from the cover:

Darcy Rhone has always been able to rely on a few things: Her beauty and charm. Her fiance, Dex. Her lifelong best friend, Rachel. She never needed anything else. Or so she things until Dex calls off their dream wedding and she uncovers the ultimate betrayal. Blaming everyone but herself, Darcy flees to London and attempts to re-create her glamorous life on a new continent. But to her dismay, she discovers that her tried-and-true tricks no longer apply – and that her luck has finally expired. It is only then that she can begin her journey toward redemption, forgiveness, and true love.

My rating: 4.5 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: This book will count towards my “Bookish Bingo” reading challenge, marking off the “Blue Cover” square. I absolutely loved Something Borrowed, and after reading it I just couldn’t wait to find out what was going to happen to selfish, narcissistic Darcy. I even left work early (8pm but that’s early by tax season standards) and went straight to Barnes and Noble to buy Something Blue because I could not wait one more day to start reading it! This is the second book I’ve read by Emily Giffin and I have to say I just absolutely love her books. I am excited to read her other books that she’s published as well. She infuses such emotion and depth into her characters. Even with this book, I went into it not sure what to expect since after Something Borrowed I couldn’t help but think of Darcy as a bad person. But her growth throughout the novel was astounding. And there is so much put into each characters’ personalities, I feel as if I know them. They become real to me as I read the story and I find myself unable to put the book down. I think it was a wonderful story about love, friendship, and how much a person can change for the right reason. Darcy was determined to become a better person for her sons and I am so glad that she found love.

The bottom line:  I would definitely recommend this book! I loved it! The previous book, Something Borrowed, is great too!!

Author website:
 http://www.emilygiffin.com/
Link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Something-Blue-Emily-Giffin/dp/0312548079/ref=tmm_mmp_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=8-1&qid=1422112177