Review: Always by Sarah Jio

Always by Sarah Jio
Published: February 7, 2017
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Format: via publisher
Rating: 4/5

While enjoying a romantic candlelit dinner with her fiance, Ryan, at one of Seattle's chicest restaurants, Kailey Crane can't believe her good fortune: She has a great job as a writer for the Herald and is now engaged to a guy who is perfect in nearly every way. As they leave the restaurant, Kailey spies a thin, bearded homeless man on the sidewalk. She approaches him to offer up her bag of leftovers and is stunned when their eyes meet, then stricken to her very core: The man is the love of her life, Cade McAllister.

When Kailey met Cade ten years ago, their attraction was immediate and intense everything connected and felt "right." But it all ended suddenly, leaving Kailey devastated. Now the poor soul on the street is a faded version of her former beloved: His weathered and weary face is as handsome as Kailey remembers, but his mind has suffered in the intervening years. Over the next few weeks, Kailey helps Cade begin to piece his life together, something she initially keeps from Ryan. As she revisits her long-ago relationship, Kailey realizes that she must decide exactly what and whom she wants.

Alternating between the past and the present, Always is a beautifully unfolding exploration of a woman faced with an impossible choice, a woman who discovers what she's willing to save and what she will sacrifice for true love.

My Thoughts
I’m not a real sap when it comes to romance but this one really got to me. It’s the story of Kailey and her fiance Ryan who are happily in love and one night out she sees a homeless guy and then notices that he looks very familiar he is none other than her ex-boyfriend Cade. Cade and Kailey had “it” from the start, their love was intense and passionate but something happened and it ended suddenly leaving Kailey to always wonder what exactly happened to Cade.

Going between the past and now we see their story. We see how they met and how their love was. We see how there was no denying they were meant to be. In the now we see Kailey and her relationship with her fiance and how while she does care for him she could never really love him, she has only loved one man in her life and that was Cade. So when she sees him she is determined to find out what happened to him and why is he homeless. She wants answers as to why he left and broke her heart all those years ago. She soon realizes that this isn’t the Cade she knew years ago she knows there is something wrong and wants him to seek help and figure out what is wrong. After they find out whats wrong she wants to be there for him but keeps it all a secret from Ryan. Soon she must make a choice and either pick Ryan or Cade and while its hard she knows what she must do.

I loved this story way more than I thought I would. Not only did I love the love story but I always loved how it did focus on homelessness and how people just see them as invisible people. I liked how the author brought them to the forefront and addressed the issue. This was first Sarah Jio novel and it definitely won't be my last, I am so glad I chose this as my first. It's a love story I soon won't forget.


Review: The Summer Sail by Wendy Francis

The Summer Sail by Wendy Francis
Expected Publication: May 1, 2018
Publisher: Touchstone
Format: via Edelweiss
Rating: 4/5

Three college roommates are celebrating a twentieth wedding anniversary by taking a cruise to Bermuda. As the ship pulls away from the pier, everyone is looking forward to lounging by the pool, sipping sunset cocktails, and reminiscing. Abby, the mother hen of the group, will be celebrating her wedding anniversary in style, even as she and her husband keep a secret from the group. Ambitious career woman Caroline happily anticipates several stress-free days away from her magazine job with her boyfriend, Javier, who may or may not be finally inspired to propose. And single mom Lee (annoyingly gorgeous and irresistibly popular in college) hopes she’ll win back the affections of her formerly sweet daughter Lacey, who after her first year in college, has inexplicably become a little bit of a monster.

As the balmy pink shores of Bermuda come into view, tensions simmer, and old jealousies flare, sending the temperature from soothing to scorching in this engrossing tale of three best friends on a vacation they won’t soon forget—but not for the reasons they expect.

My Thoughts
The Summer Sail is the quintessential summer read that focuses on a group of friends whom met at college and have stayed besties from that day on. Abby who is married and has two sons wants to bring together her friends for a week of sun, fun and relaxing on a cruise to celebrate her twentieth wedding anniversary. However, when all is said and done Abby might have interior motives than just a fun friends cruise, it could be something no one ever expected.

While it seems like a great vacation each of her friends is dealing with their own mini problems. Lee is single and has devoted her life to her daughter Lacey who is off in college but doesn’t know how to deal with being alone. It has always just been the two of them and Lee simply can't cut the strings when it comes to Lacey. Caroline is a successful magazine writer and while she has gotten everything she wants career-wise now she now wants nothing more but to get married but she is afraid her boyfriend doesn’t want that but she is determined to get a proposal on this cruise or she might just dump him.

I really did fall in the love with the scenery and got pulled into the storyline, and while I felt something was looming when it was finally revealed to everyone I just didn’t feel the impact I was expecting. I just felt when it finally came out it was rushed all of a sudden. Granted it was towards the end but I just felt like the payoff wasn’t there but overall I liked how we got to know each friend and each had their own storyline. I also loved the message of friendship and how each one had each others backs. They were true friends and would do anything for each other. I also wouldn’t mind a sequel of sorts I thought there was plenty of story that could still be told. This is one read that is a summer must!

Release Day Blitz: Maid for Love by Marie Force

Today we are celebrating the mass market paperback release of MAID FOR LOVE by Marie Force. This is the first title in her bestselling Gansett Island series. Check out the links for the book below, along with other books in the series coming out in mass market paperback this year.


Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Chapters Indigo | Booktopia AU


MAID FOR LOVE (Gansett Island #1) by Marie Force

Now Available in Mass Market Paperback!

Book Blurb:

She made her bed, but she doesn’t have to sleep in it . . . Single mom Maddie Chester is determined to leave her hometown of Gansett Island. For visitors, it’s a place for fun in the sun, but for Maddie, it holds only bad memories and ugly rumors. Yet no sooner than she’s decided to leave Gansett behind, she’s knocked off her bike en route to her housekeeping job at McCarthy’s Gansett Island Hotel—by none other than Gansett’s “favorite son,” Mac McCarthy. Mac has returned to the Rhode Island beach town to help his father prepare to sell the family marina—and he has no intention of sticking around a minute longer than necessary. But when he realizes he’s badly injured Maddie, he knows he has to do the right thing. When Mac decides to help her heal and care for her young son, he discovers he just may be “maid” for love . . .

Check out Marie's website for a huge release giveaway!


Praise for Marie Force and her novels “With the McCarthys of Gansett Island, Marie Force makes you believe in the power of true love and happily ever after. Over and over again.” —Carly Phillips, New York Times bestselling author of the Serendipity series “Force excels at creating characters readers can identify with and care about.” —Booklist

 An Official Military Spouse Book Club Pick



Coming May 29


Coming June 26






Marie Force is the New York Times bestselling author of more than 50 contemporary romances, including the Gansett Island Series, which has sold more than 3 million books, and the Fatal Series from Harlequin Books, which has sold 1.5 million books. In addition, she is the author of the Butler, Vermont Series, the Green Mountain Series and the erotic romance Quantum Series, written under the slightly modified name of M.S. Force. Altogether, her books have sold more than 5.5 million copies worldwide! Her goals in life are simple—to finish raising two happy, healthy, productive young adults, to keep writing books for as long as she possibly can and to never be on a flight that makes the news. Join Marie's mailing list for news about new books and upcoming appearances in your area. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter @marieforce and on Instagram. Join one of Marie's many reader groups. Contact Marie at marie@marieforce.com.  


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Release Day Blitz: Lie to Me by Natasha Preston

We are so excited to be sharing the release of #1 New York Times bestselling author Natasha Preston's LIE TO ME with you today. LIE TO ME is a brand new standalone contemporary romance lovers won't want to miss--be sure to grab your copy today!
Lie To Me by Natasha Preston
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: April 23, 2018

 About LIE TO ME
At nineteen, Savannah Dean escaped her family, leaving behind a note and the people who caused her so much pain. Now, she lives on her own and keeps to herself. At nineteen, Kent Lawson’s girlfriend betrayed him, leaving him behind with a broken heart and a whole lot of mistrust in women. Now, he lives on his own and shares himself with nearly every pretty thing that walks by but only for one night. When Savannah and Kent meet, they can’t stand each other. Kent knows she’s hiding something, and he despises liars. And Savannah has nothing but secrets. 

 Add LIE TO ME to your Goodreads TBR here!  

Grab your copy of LIE TO ME today!

Amazon US / Amazon UK / iBooks / B&N / Kobo

Don't miss Natasha Preston's other contemporary romance reads!

UK native Natasha Preston grew up in small villages and towns. She discovered her love of writing when she stumbled across an amateur writing site and uploaded her first story and hasn’t looked back since. She enjoys writing contemporary romance, gritty Young Adult thrillers and, of course, the occasional serial killer. 


Excerpt Reveal: Lie to Me by Natasha Preston


We are so excited to be sharing an excerpt from #1 New York Times bestselling author Natasha Preston's LIE TO ME with you today. LIE TO ME, a new standalone contemporary romance will be released on all platforms on April 23.


At nineteen, Savannah Dean escaped her family, leaving behind a note and the people who caused her so much pain. Now, she lives on her own and keeps to herself. At nineteen, Kent Lawson’s girlfriend betrayed him, leaving him behind with a broken heart and a whole lot of mistrust in women. Now, he lives on his own and shares himself with nearly every pretty thing that walks by but only for one night. When Savannah and Kent meet, they can’t stand each other. Kent knows she’s hiding something, and he despises liars. 

Add LIE TO ME to your Goodreads TBR here!    

Pre-order LIE TO ME today!

Amazon / iBooks / B&N / Kobo

Read an excerpt from LIE TO ME

Wednesday rolls around way too fast. I have a whole evening with Savannah. It’s been really nice these past four days that she’s been out of my life. Yet, the whole time, I’ve been craving the way we snip at each other.
I need help.
I cut my engine outside her building and look up. Apparently, she lives up on the first floor and faces out toward the road.
Is she looking at me right now?
Why I feel the need to get out and buzz her apartment, I don’t know, but somehow, I find myself getting out of the car and walking toward the building. I stop at the front door, realizing that Heidi told me what floor Savannah is on but not the number. Or she might have told me, and I just didn’t listen.
This is a great start.
I’m about to call my sister when I see Savannah through the glass, walking down the stairs to ground level.
Fuck me.
Has she always looked like that?
She’s wearing a pair of dark blue skinny jeans and a grey off-the-shoulder shirt, but she looks sexier than any other woman I’ve ever seen in a little dress.
Why don’t I like her again?
Her steely eyes, looking even more prominent with the color of her top, warily eye me. Our last encounter wasn’t exactly pleasant.
She opens the door and smiles. “Hi, Kent.”
My back stiffens. “Savannah.”
“Are you sure you don’t mind taking me tonight? I can Uber.”
And there it is. This is why she fucking bothers me so much. I feel like telling her to call a fucking Uber then. She always sounds so unsure of herself, like every tiny thing a person does for her is some massive inconvenience. Why?
“It’s fine,” I spit.
She folds her arms, carefully because her fractured arm hasn’t healed. It does take away a little of the dramatic flair she was going for. “Do you need to take a nap before we go?”
“You’re cranky.”
“You’re too polite.”
“Being polite is a bad thing?”
I flex my jaw. “Yes.”
“Fine. Get in the car, and take me.”
The intent behind her words is clear; however, I hear it completely different and laugh.
She rolls her eyes. “Don’t be a knobhead, Kent. Take me to your parents’ house, I mean.”
“Knobhead. I’ve not heard that one in a while.”
Savannah takes another long breath. “I really don’t know why I thought accepting a lift from you would be a good idea. In fact, I didn’t. I still think it’s a bad idea.”
“You always follow through with bad ideas?”
“Tonight, I am.”
Fuck yeah. I love this fighting side of her. It’s like, when I rile her up enough, the coverslips, revealing the real Savannah. I’m not sure if she’s hiding something the way Freya was.
“You should work on that. I don’t do anything I don’t want to.”
She tilts her head to the side, fire, and determination in her eyes. “Oh, you wanted me to come tonight? And you wanted to be the one to pick me up?”
“You’re hot when you’re angry, Savannah.”
Actually, she’s hot all the time. It’s just, right now, she’s the whole package.
“You always use bullshit like that to deflect from someone calling you out?”
“You’re the first woman to call me out.”
“Why doesn’t that surprise me?” she mutters.
“Do you want to argue on your doorstep all night or get to my parents’ for dinner? I’m cool with either, just checking to see which way you’re leaning.”
She drops her arms, one still bound tightly in a splint. “I’m hungry.”
“Excellent, let’s go then.”


UK native Natasha Preston grew up in small villages and towns. She discovered her love of writing when she stumbled across an amateur writing site and uploaded her first story and hasn’t looked back since. She enjoys writing contemporary romance, gritty Young Adult thrillers and, of course, the occasional serial killer.


Review: The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis

The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis
Published: September 20, 2016
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Format: audiobook via Overdrive
Rating: 4/5

Alex Craft knows how to kill someone. And she doesn’t feel bad about it.

Three years ago, when her older sister, Anna, was murdered and the killer walked free, Alex uncaged the language she knows best—the language of violence. While her own crime goes unpunished, Alex knows she can’t be trusted among other people. Not with Jack, the star athlete who wants to really know her but still feels guilty over the role he played the night Anna’s body was discovered. And not with Peekay, the preacher’s kid with a defiant streak who befriends Alex while they volunteer at an animal shelter. Not anyone.

As their senior year unfolds, Alex’s darker nature breaks out, setting these three teens on a collision course that will change their lives forever.

My Thoughts
I didn’t know exactly what to expect from this book but I really liked it. We meet Alex who is trying to deal with her sister’s death and we see what it has done to her family. From the beginning we know that she is a killer, really she is she killed her sister’s killer. We also know that she doesn’t have any remorse, she is simply a cold-hearted killer and she makes no excuses for it.

We see her open herself up to make friends and while she tries to fit in she knows that darkness she has will never go away. She becomes friends with PeeKay and she even falls for Jack but she can't suppress all that anger and she knows those feelings aren’t normal. Meanwhile, Jack is falling for Alex but feels bad because he knows something about the night her sister died and is scared to tell her knowing she may never forgive him. As they get closer Alex wants to be honest with Jack and tell him her secrets but knows if she confesses she will lose him forever. What is she to do?

I found this read dark and at times very uncomfortable to read but I get it. I get that Alex has issues and that it has more to do than just her sister's death. These issues come from deep within her and she has to deal with them. This novel was a good read even though it deals with dark issues but I liked how they were dealt with and its one read that you should take a chance on.


Review: The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner

The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner
Published: March 8, 2016
Publisher: Crown BYR
Format: audiobook via Overdrive
Rating: 5/5

Dill has had to wrestle with vipers his whole life—at home, as the only son of a Pentecostal minister who urges him to handle poisonous rattlesnakes, and at school, where he faces down bullies who target him for his father’s extreme faith and very public fall from grace.

The only antidote to all this venom is his friendship with fellow outcasts Travis and Lydia. But as they are starting their senior year, Dill feels the coils of his future tightening around him. The end of high school will lead to new beginnings for Lydia, whose edgy fashion blog is her ticket out of their rural Tennessee town. And Travis is happy wherever he is thanks to his obsession with the epic book series Bloodfall and the fangirl who may be turning his harsh reality into real-life fantasy. Dill’s only escapes are his music and his secret feelings for Lydia—neither of which he is brave enough to share. Graduation feels more like an ending to Dill than a beginning. But even before then, he must cope with another ending—one that will rock his life to the core.

Debut novelist Jeff Zentner provides an unblinking and at times comic view of the hard realities of growing up in the Bible Belt, and an intimate look at the struggles to find one’s true self in the wreckage of the past.

My Thoughts
This book is simply amazing! In The Serpent King we meet Dill, Travis and Lydia three friends from a small town who are embarking on adulthood and trying to figure out who they are, who they want to become and hoping that their past doesn't ruin their future.

Dill is trying to get out of the shadows of his father who was a minister and who is now in jail for doing some awful things. Lydia has had the best life out of all of them, she comes from loving parents and has a great future ahead of her. She is college bound and has a future in fashion and can't wait to leave her small town behind but will definitely miss her two closest buds. Travis has had a hard life with a father who is abusive and with both parents who can't get over the death of his oldest brother. Travis is a guy who lives by the beat of his own drum but who has recently met a girl online who accepts him for him and genuinely likes him.

I loved this book so much. I loved the characters who were complex yet so relatable. They were misfit kids who each had their own problems but found solace in each other. All they wanted was acceptance and to feel like they had a chance in this world despite their upbringing. This novel is well written, you felt their pain and you wanted them to succeed. There was one part that truly wrecked me but I won't spoil it for those who haven’t read it but man was I a mess! This book will make you laugh and cry but it also makes you want to cheer for these kids. You want them to live their lives to the fullest and to know that their past doesn’t have to dictate their futures. This is a truly great portrayal of teens and how lives can be in the small town South. This is one book that should be read by all.