2020 Book #16 – Not That Kind of Guy by Andie J. Christopher

Title: Not That Kind of Guy
Author: Andie J. Christopher
Date finished: 4/22/20
Genre: Contemporary romance
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: April 14, 2020
Pages in book: 334
Stand alone or series: #2 in the series (#1 was Not the Girl You Marry)
Where I got the book from: Edelweiss
NOTE: 
I received this book for free from Edelweiss 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:

An office attraction becomes something more when they’re off the clock in this delightful romantic comedy by the USA Today bestselling author of Not the Girl You Marry.

State attorney Bridget Nolan is successful in all aspects of her life—except romance. After breaking up with her longtime boyfriend, she’s been slow to reenter the dating scene. To be honest, she has more important things to do like putting bad guys behind bars. But with her brother’s wedding right around the corner, she suddenly needs a date and fast. Lucky for Bridget, the legal intern is almost done with his program.

Matt Kido is dumbstruck by Bridget—total love at first sight—but there’s one problem. She’s totally off-limits while she’s his boss. But the moment he no longer reports to her, Matt decides to take a chance. An impulsive decision takes them to Las Vegas where, as the saying goes, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.

Unless you put a ring on it.

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 the previous book, Not the Girl You Marry, and while I liked it I didn’t love it – mostly because I don’t love the movie How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days which is what the book was loosely based on. But I really wanted to read this one and I’m so glad I did – it was so good! The chemistry between the two main characters was outstanding – jumping off the page emotional thrill ride. The character does an amazing job of drawing the reader into the emotions of the story, I felt my palms sweating with that feeling of intense can’t contain it infatuation and also my heart broke right along with both Bridget and Matt when they struggled to work things out. The plot line was interesting and the characters were all so entertaining. There were some parts of the story that didn’t quite click for me but it didn’t deter my enjoyment of the story at all. I still really enjoyed the book and I would definitely recommend it!

Link to author website

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

2019 Book #86 – The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell

41xn3v0LgqL.jpgTitle: The Family Upstairs
Author: Lisa Jewell
Date finished: 11/4/19
Genre: Thriller/suspense
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: November 5, 2019
Pages in book: 349
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:

From the New York Times bestselling author of Then She Was Gone comes another page-turning look inside one family’s past as buried secrets threaten to come to light.

Be careful who you let in.

Soon after her twenty-fifth birthday, Libby Jones returns home from work to find the letter she’s been waiting for her entire life. She rips it open with one driving thought: I am finally going to know who I am.

She soon learns not only the identity of her birth parents, but also that she is the sole inheritor of their abandoned mansion on the banks of the Thames in London’s fashionable Chelsea neighborhood, worth millions. Everything in Libby’s life is about to change. But what she can’t possibly know is that others have been waiting for this day as well—and she is on a collision course to meet them.

Twenty-five years ago, police were called to 16 Cheyne Walk with reports of a baby crying. When they arrived, they found a healthy ten-month-old happily cooing in her crib in the bedroom. Downstairs in the kitchen lay three dead bodies, all dressed in black, next to a hastily scrawled note. And the four other children reported to live at Cheyne Walk were gone.

In The Family Upstairs, the master of “bone-chilling suspense” (People) brings us the can’t-look-away story of three entangled families living in a house with the darkest of secrets.

My rating:  4.75 stars out of a scale of 5

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

I have read a couple of this author’s books in the past and enjoyed them, but this one really blew me out of the water. The twists and turns were outstanding, even the ones I saw coming and especially the ones that I didn’t. All of them really were “gasp-worthy,” I thought this was a really well done mystery. I also thought the book was really well paced. The chapters were short so it felt like the story was flying by, though there were a couple areas where I found it a little dry. Many of the characters were flawed but they were supposed to be. Henry’s character especially was intense and really mysterious – even after finishing the book I’m not sure that I trust how he portrayed himself in the chapters he narrated. Overall this was a really interesting story that absorbs the reader and keeps them engaged even after the book has ended. I really enjoyed it and I’d definitely recommend it.

Link to author website

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

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 #11 – The Things We Wish Were True by Marybeth Mayhew Whalen

51MbMthRSSLTitle: The Things We Wish Were True
Author: Marybeth Mayhew Whalen
Date finished: 1/29/18
Genre: Fiction, suspense, thriller
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Publication Date: September 1, 2016
Pages in book: 290
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:

In an idyllic small-town neighborhood, a near tragedy triggers a series of dark revelations.

From the outside, Sycamore Glen, North Carolina, might look like the perfect all-American neighborhood. But behind the white picket fences lies a web of secrets that reach from house to house.

Up and down the streets, neighbors quietly bear the weight of their own pasts—until an accident at the community pool upsets the delicate equilibrium. And when tragic circumstances compel a woman to return to Sycamore Glen after years of self-imposed banishment, the tangle of the neighbors’ intertwined lives begins to unravel.

During the course of a sweltering summer, long-buried secrets are revealed, and the neighbors learn that it’s impossible to really know those closest to us. But is it impossible to love and forgive them?

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. This is from my 2016 Backlog list, I read this for the 2018 Bookish Reading Challenge for the “a book whose title uses alliteration” category.

This book delved into the minds and lives of a number of different characters in a small town, including a child and a matron of the community. A boy is rescued from the pool one day during the summer, unconscious and unresponsive. The people there too witness the event seem to form a bond over the shared experience but all of them have significant secrets to hide. I think that’s one of the things that bothered me about this book, everyone seemed to be betraying someone and (while its naive) its sad to me to think that people are so deceptive and selfish. All of the characters were so downtrodden and unhappy at different points of the story, it was slightly frustrating to get involved with such flawed (but realistic I guess) characters. That being said, I thought this was such a great story and I love how everything was laid out in the end and all the loose ends got tied up neatly. There were some great plot twists, most of which the reader can see coming due to being able to tie together multiple view points but were still exciting. This was a really good read and I would recommend it, I couldn’t stop thinking about it even after I’d finished it!

 

Link to author website

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

2015 Book #70 – How To Marry a Royal Highlander by Vanessa Kelly

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Title: How To Marry a Royal Highlander
Author: Vanessa Kelly
Date finished: 7/11/15
Genre:  Historical romance
Publisher: Zebra
Publication Date: June 30, 2015
Pages in book: 352
Stand alone or series: #4 in the Renegade Royals 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:

At sixteen, Alasdair Gilbride, heir to a Scottish earldom, fled the Highlands and an arranged betrothal. Ten years later, Alasdair must travel home to face his responsibilities. It’s a task that would be much easier without the distracting presence of the most enticing woman he’s ever met…
After one escapade too many, Eden Whitney has been snubbed by the ton. The solution: rusticating in the Scottish wilderness, miles from all temptation. Except, of course, for brawny, charming Alasdair. The man is so exasperating she’d likely kill him before they reach the border—if someone else weren’t trying to do just that. Now Eden and Alasdair are plunging into a scandalous affair with his life and her reputation at stake—and their hearts already irreparably lost…

My rating: 3.75 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: This book will be counting towards my goal for the Pop Sugar Reading Challenge 2015 checklist under the “a book set somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit” check box since I can not think of anything more amazing than going to Scotland (or Ireland) and touring the old castles there. You can even stay at some of them, they have been converted into like hotels. Can you think of anything more awesome for a vacation? Staying in a freaking CASTLE?!
So this book was about Eden Whitney, twin to Evelyn Whitney who I believe was the heroine in book #3 in the Renegade Royals series. Eden is tired of sitting around waiting for her Prince Charming so she decides she’s going to make some moves and see if she can find him on her own. Unfortunately she does this by making out with one of the ton’s well-known rogues and even worse she gets caught by the ton’s worst gossiping matron. This recipe for disaster leads to her being shunned by the ton and having to go somewhere for the winter until some of the scandal dies down. Luckily her twin’s husband’s best friend owns a castle in Scotland that he’s finally returning to after 10 years of running away from his duties to his family.
While overall I did like the plot line of this story and I didn’t 100% know who the bad guy was going to be at the end (though I did suspect quite a bit), I did have a couple small issues. The part where the hero (Alasdair Gilbride) decides that he wants Eden for his wife (the first time he realizes it I mean) happened so quickly that I think I missed it, I even went back looking through trying to figure out when he all of a sudden decided this. And Eden seemed a little slow to catch on that she actually liked Alasdair. But Alasdair’s crazy family (while somewhat annoying for their extreme persistence) was actually really entertaining and kept me on the edge of my seat trying to find out what awful thing they were going to do next. I also thought that Edie’s mother was a very interesting character, I was continually alternating being annoyed with her and admiring her throughout the book. While it did become frustrating at times that no one was listening to the “younger folk” (Alasdair, Eden, and Donella) its definitely realistic that something like that would happen during the time period in which the book was set, when arranged marriages were prevalent. The conversations between the family members though was quite well done, there was evident tension but it was not at all stilted or awkward and did not feel rehearsed.
I loved the descriptions of Scotland since I’ve always wanted to go to Scotland/Ireland and look at the castles and just the general landscape. I’ve heard nothing but how beautiful it is and all the pictures I see online just make me want to go so much more!
The bottom line: I thought this was a very good book, definitely a great read if you are a historical romance fan! I am looking forward to reading the rest of the series.

Link to author website
Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

2015 Book #5 – Something Borrowed

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Title: Something Borrowed
Author: Emily Giffin
Date finished: 1/20/15
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Publication Date: June 1, 2004
Pages in book: 322
Stand alone or series: Stand alone kind of but there is a related sequel, Something Blue

Blurb from the cover:

Rachel White is the consummate good girl. A hard-working attorney at a large Manhattan law firm and a diligent maid of honor to her charmed best friend Darcy, Rachel has always played by all the rules. Since grade school, she has watched Darcy shine, quietly accepting the sidekick role in their lopsided friendship. But that suddenly changes the night of her thirtieth birthday when Rachel finally confesses her feelings to Darcy’s fiance, and is both horrified and thrilled to discover that he feels the same way. As the wedding date draws near, events spiral out of control, and Rachel knows she must make a choice between her heart and conscience. In so doing, she discovers that the lines between right and wrong can be blurry, endings aren’t always neat, and sometimes you have to risk everything to be true to yourself.

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 “Pink Cover” square. I have had this book on my to read list for quite some time and I saw the movie adaptation a month or two ago (even though it came out in 2011) and loved the movie. I haven’t ever read anything by Emily Giffin but her books always have looked good to me and almost all her books are on my to read list. And just as a side note I think they did a great job with the movie adaptation, the cast they selected to play the characters in the book was superb and though they skipped some details and swirled some others around, the emotions portrayed in the book came through loud and clear.
I loved this book, I just couldn’t put it down. Even having already seen the movie and knowing what was going to happen, I was drawn into the emotions of the book. It was fascinating to me to read a book where the heroine was someone I normally would’ve classified as the villain. Rachel has sex with her best friend’s fiance. A girl that she has known and thought of like a sister since she was a child and she betrays her in the most awful way. And yet somehow I find myself rooting for her, hoping that everything works out for her in the end. I can feel her pain in hurting her best friend but also her fear of losing the one thing that has ever mattered to her and the one man she’s ever truly loved. I love that this story contains a romance that isn’t cut and dried because that’s life. Life isn’t neat and tidy where everyone lives happily ever after. Real life and even real love is heartache and sadness and sacrifice. I can not say enough good things about this book, I just loved it.

The bottom line:  I would definitely recommend this book! I loved it! The movie is good too!

Author website:
 http://www.emilygiffin.com/
Link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Something-Borrowed-Emily-Giffin/dp/031232118X/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=8-3&qid=1421811075