Wednesday, June 13, 2018

[Review] MY LADY'S CHOOSING by Kitty Curran & Larissa Zageris

Source: Netgalley
Publisher: Quirk Books
Release Date: April 3, 2018
Number of Pages: 352 (Paperback)

DESCRIPTION

This scandalous chooseable-path romance novel demands you determine your own romantic adventure-and satisfy all your earthly desires along the way!

Endless scenarios of high romance, deep desire, and quivering...comedy await your tender caress in this chooseable path romance novel. You are the plucky but penniless heroine in the center of 19th-century society, the courtship season has begun, and your future is at hand...

  *  Will you flip forward fetchingly to find love with the bantering baronet, Sir Benedict Granville?
  *  Or turn the page to true love with the hardworking, handsome, horse-loving highlander, Captain Angus McTaggart?
  *  Or perhaps you will chase through the chapters a good man gone mad, bad, and scandalous to know, in the arousing form of Lord Garraway Craven?
  *  Or read recklessly on to take to the continent as the "traveling companion" of the spirited and adventuresome Lady Evangeline?
  *  ...or yet another intriguing fate?

Whether it's forlorn orphans and fearsome werewolves, mistaken identities and swashbuckling swordfights, or long-lost lovers and pilfered Egyptian artifacts, every delightful twist and turn of the romance genre unfolds at your behest! Prepare to open your heart, open your mind, and open-this book.

REVIEW

I went through MY LADY'S CHOOSING and tried out three different versions of the story, and I absolutely loved every single one! I've always been a fan of "Choose Your Own Adventure" stories, and I love, love, LOVE romance, so this was right up my alley! I loved that it didn't take itself seriously and that the authors had so much fun with the genre and with various tropes/stories that they were inspired by. It was a blast to read and you could tell they had a lot of fun putting it all together!

Now I'll tell a bit about each of the versions that I tried out. :)

The first time I chose Captain Angus "Mac" McTaggart: the rugged, philanthropic red-headed Scot...who also happens to share many similarities with a well beloved character some people know as Jamie Alexander Malcolm Mackenzie Fraser...or Jamie Fraser if you've never read Outlander. Mac was definitely similar to Jamie in some ways, but he was also still uniquely Mac! He was wonderful and constantly had me swooning, and the story was super sweet! It also had a bit of mystery going on which was a lot of fun!

The second time I chose Sir Benedict Granville, the Mr. Darcy character of the bunch! He was a bit of a broody butthead when the story started, but I won him over with my....assets. We partook in some witty banter and hung out in some secluded alcoves. This version had some mystery, too, and quite a few of those alcoves/dark corners that I spoke of. I had a lot of fun with this one and I loved that this version of the story had a ball, card games, and witty banter...all the fixings of some of my favourite Austen novels!

And the third and final time that I ran through MY LADY'S CHOOSING, I chose Lord Craven, who was the Mr. Rochester of the bunch. This one was definitely the most ridiculous and outlandish out of all of the storylines that I chose, but it was super amusing! I also loved the commentary on my choices from the authors...even though they did call me a hussy. :P This one also had some mystery, but it mostly just went full on gothic and it gave me serious Northanger Abbey, Jane Eyre, and Wuthering Heights vibes. I loved it!

In addition to the three storylines that I tried out, there's also a storyline where you can choose to be a companion to your female friend in case anyone is looking to try out a same-sex relationship. The companion and Lord Craven storylines pop up during the Sir Benedict and Mac storylines, so if you're looking to play out either of them, make sure to keep your eyes peeled! :)

Overall, I had a blast reading through the various storylines of MY LADY'S CHOOSING. I loved that each one pulled inspiration from classics and popular stories, but that they still managed to be unique so that you were still left with surprises. I really enjoyed all of the storylines, but I have to admit that Mac's was definitely my favourite! :D




What do you think?

Are you a fan of "Choose Your Own Adventure" stories?
Does MY LADY'S CHOOSING sound like something you'd enjoy?
And if you've read it/tried it before, what did you think?

Friday, June 8, 2018

[Blog Tour] SAVE THE DATE by Morgan Matson - Review + Written Piece


Source: Received an ARC from Simon & Schuster Canada to participate in the
blog tour and give my honest review.
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Release Date: June 5, 2018
Number of Pages: 432 (Hardcover)

DESCRIPTION

Charlie Grant’s older sister is getting married this weekend at their family home, and Charlie can’t wait—for the first time in years, all four of her older siblings will be under one roof. Charlie is desperate for one last perfect weekend, before the house is sold and everything changes. The house will be filled with jokes and games and laughs again. Making decisions about things like what college to attend and reuniting with longstanding crush Jesse Foster—all that can wait. She wants to focus on making the weekend perfect.

The only problem? The weekend is shaping up to be an absolute disaster.

There’s the unexpected dog with a penchant for howling, house alarm that won’t stop going off, and a papergirl with a grudge.

There are the relatives who aren’t speaking, the (awful) girl her favorite brother brought home unannounced, and a missing tuxedo.

Not to mention the neighbor who seems to be bent on sabotage and a storm that is bent on drenching everything. The justice of the peace is missing. The band will only play covers. The guests are all crazy. And the wedding planner’s nephew is unexpectedly, distractingly…cute.

Over the course of three ridiculously chaotic days, Charlie will learn more than she ever expected about the family she thought she knew by heart. And she’ll realize that sometimes, trying to keep everything like it was in the past means missing out on the future.
G E T   Y O U R   C O P Y   N O W !
Amazon US | Amazon Canada | Indigo | B&N | Kobo


REVIEW

I've been a huge fan of Morgan Matson ever since I stumbled upon a copy of Amy & Roger's Epic Detour in the library during my first year of University. Amy & Roger hooked me on Morgan's writing, and I've eagerly picked up every book that she's written ever since! Needless to say, as soon as I heard about Save the Date, I was super excited! It immediately reminded me of Father of the Bride, a favourite movie of mine growing up, and it was from Morgan Matson, so double yay!

Unsurprisingly, as soon as I started Save the Date, I didn't want to put it down! I was pulled in right from the first chapter. All of the characters were so vibrant and well defined, especially Charlie's siblings and parents! I absolutely adored Charlie, and I loved every single moment with her family. I loved how we clearly got to see her relationship with each of her siblings, too...and I really loved how different they were! I grew up with one brother, so big families with a bunch of siblings have always sort of fascinated me...and I loved getting to see Charlie's! I loved how each of the siblings had different ways that they connected with each other...and I loved how they had so many shared jokes, games, and memories. It actually made it feel like you were a Grant right alongside Charlie! I loved all of the siblings, but I definitely had a soft spot for JJ and Danny! JJ constantly had me laughing, and I think I loved Danny and Charlie's relationship the best!

In Morgan's previous books the romance has always been one of my favourite elements, and I did love the little romantic elements that were in Save the Date, but I definitely loved the family parts even more. Partly because the romance isn't really as big in this book as her previous ones, but for the most part it was because this book was so centred around Charlie and her family. It really did remind me of Father of the Bride that way. There were so many unexpected roadblocks, and I loved seeing the family come together and tackle them all.

I always love that Morgan's books have so many layers, and Save the Date is no exception. Even though it mostly only takes part over the span of three days, so much happens for Charlie, and I loved seeing how all of the elements that were changing in her life helped her evolve over such a small span of time. I ended up reading the book over the span of a few days and it made the story flow in a really organic way, and I loved that! I also cannot finish this review without mentioning Waffles, the aforementioned unexpected dog from the description. I'm a sucker for a dog in a story, and Waffles was adorable! The entire book was adorable. It had me laughing, smiling, and it even had me crying.

Overall, I absolutely loved Save the Date! It was a wonderful story that was extremely funny and gave me all the feels! I think anyone who already loves Morgan Matson will be a fan, and I thhink it'd be perfect for any readers looking for a family-centric young adult novel! If you're like me and you absolutely loved movies like Father of the Bride growing up, I'm also pretty sure that you're going to absolutely love Save the Date, too! 


WRITTEN PIECE

FINDING INSPIRATION & POP CULTURE
I asked Morgan, "Where do you find inspiration for your novels? Does popular culture come into play, or do you find inspiration within pop culture?"

And here was her fabulous response:
The inspiration for my novels always seems to come from a different place with each one – and usually when it’s least expected or convenient.  The kernel of the idea for Save the Date actually did come from a place of pop culture, as I was thinking a lot about the newspaper comics I’d grown up reading, like FoxTrot, Zits, and For Better or For Worse.  I was thinking about what it would be like to have grown up seeing your life transformed into a comic strip, and the idea flowed from there – the idea of a big family, one big event, and everyone returning home for it.

Pop culture plays more of a part in Save the Date than in any of my previous books.  The idea of a big, messy family wedding where things go wrong is one of my favorite movie genres, and I love films like Father of the Bride, Sixteen Candles, The Philadelphia Story/ High Society, and Rachel Getting Married. I definitely rewatched these movies – and a number of other screwball comedy films – as I prepared to start writing Save the Date. I wanted it to have that same fun, madcap feel, but grounded by real characters, emotions, and change.

The inspirations for my other novels have come from a variety of places, and never the same one twice. I got the idea for The Unexpected Everything when I was on book tour in Washington, DC, and started thinking about what it must be like to grow up in the shadow of politics, and always thinking about political ramifications – and the idea of Andie, a Congressman’s daughter, began to emerge.  And I got the idea for my next book after seeing a photograph on a wall during a school visit. So you never know where inspiration is going to come from.  After five books, I try and be open to the fact that it can come from anywhere – and will pop up when you least expect it to!

ABOUT MORGAN MATSON

Morgan Matson was born in New York City and grew up there and in Greenwich, Connecticut. She attended Occidental College as a theater major, but halfway through, switched her focus to writing and never looked back. She received an MFA in Writing for Children from the New School, and then a second MFA in Screenwriting from USC.

She is the New York Times bestselling author of five books, all published by Simon & Schuster.

She currently lives in Los Angeles with her rescue terrier, Murphy, in a house with blue floors that’s overflowing with books.

Connect with Morgan:
Twitter | Instagram | Spotify | Website


I think that Morgan managed to capture the fun, madcap feel of the messy family wedding and screwball comedies that she mentioned in her written piece, and I definitely loved getting some insight into where he inspiration comes from! :)

What did you think of Morgan's written piece?
If you've already read Save the Date, do you think Morgan captured the same essence of those films?
If you haven't read it yet, is it on your to-read list?

Friday, May 18, 2018

[Blog Tour Review] BANE by L. J. Shen


Bane, the highly-anticipated next standalone in the Sinners of Saint Series by L.J. Shen is LIVE!


Bane by L.J. Shen
Source: Received a copy from the author to
give an honest review.
Release Date: May 10, 2018
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Cover Designer:  Letitia Hasser at RBA Design
Photographer: Pavel Lepikhin
Model: Vadim Ivanov

DESCRIPTION 

Bane

Naked surfer. Habitual pothead. A con, a liar, a thief and a fraud.

Last I heard, he was extorting the rich and screwing their wives for a living.

Which is why I’m more than a little surprised to find him at my threshold, looking for my friendship, my services, and most puzzling of all—looking humbled.

Thing is, I’m on a boycott. Literally—I cut boys from my life. Permanently.

Problem is, Bane is not a boy, he is all man, and I’m falling, crashing, drowning in his sweet, perfect lies.

Jesse Carter

Hot as hell, cold as ice.

I wasn’t aware of her existence until a fat, juicy deal landed in my lap.

She’s a part of it, a little plaything to kill some time.

She is collateral, a means to an end, and a side-bonus for striking a deal with her oil tycoon stepdad.

More than anything, Jesse Carter is a tough nut to crack.

Little does she know, I have the f****** teeth for it.


Download today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!
Amazon US | Amazon Universal

ADD TO GOODREADS


Start the Series of Standalones Today!


VICIOUS

REVIEW

Ever since I read L. J. Shen's VICIOUS she's been one of my absolute favourite authors. Her books never fail to touch every single one of my emotions. I love her writing, and I'm constantly impressed by just how much she manages to pull me into her stories. BANE was no exception! It was amazing and I couldn't put it down!

I'd been eager to read BANE ever since L. J. Shen announced it after SCANDALOUS released...and it was soooo worth the wait! It was raw, passionate, intense, and addictive! I loved it so much! Roman “Bane” Protsenko was absolutely magnificent! I was pretty sure when we met him in SCANDALOUS that I'd love him, and I was so right! He’s brash, and a bit ruthless, but underneath it all he’s unerringly good and kind. It was an interesting dichotomy when you think about him in comparison to Vicious. They’re both pretty cruel when you get on their bad side, but while Vic never cares about other people’s feelings (Emilia being the rare exception for the most part), Bane always tries to be “nice” about things, even if it’s just on the surface sometimes. ;) I loved the power and dominance he wielded, and I really loved how he interacted with Jesse right from when they first met to when he was utterly consumed with her...sooooo good! And Jesse: I hurt for her so much throughout the story, but I also admired her and was so proud of her. She was so strong, and I absolutely loved her wit and definitely related to her love of romances! 

I gushed about Bane and Jesse already a bit, but I have to continue to gush a bit more about Bane! My ultimate L. J. Shen book is still VICIOUS and Vicious is still my favourite of her leading men, but I have to admit that Bane has come the closest to topping my love of Vicious--both character and book-wise! He's so sexy, and this book was soooo good! I loved the romance between Bane and Jesse, and I loved how Bane helped Jesse realize her own strength and grow! I loved their friendship, but I loved when it became a full-fledged romance and relationship even more. The chemistry between the two of them was sizzling! As far as plots go, BANE was pretty heavy. Jesse had a some pretty rough moments in her past, and Bane grew up being pretty much the only kid on the wrong side of the tracks in a town where there wasn't really a lower class. I loved how they helped each other move on from their hang-ups from their pasts...and while parts of BANE were tough to read and face, L. J. Shen did a wonderful job telling this story.

Overall, I absolutely loved BANE! It's moved right up to the top of my favourite L. J. Shen books alongside VICIOUS, and I think that romance readers who like their romances a little rawer, darker, and on the sexier side will absolutely love BANE! And just in case this is your first experience with L. J. Shen, BANE can be read as a standalone, but it also fits into her series of standalones, the Sinners of Saints, so feel free to choose this as your first L. J. Shen book! And then if you love it, you can go back and see where her stories set in Todos Santos all began. ;)



About LJ Shen

L.J. Shen is an International #1 best-selling author of Contemporary Romance and New Adult novels. She lives in Northern California with her husband, young son and chubby cat.

Before she’d settled down, L.J. (who thinks referring to herself in the third person is really silly, by the way) traveled the world, and collected friends from all across the globe. Friends who’d be happy to report that she is a rubbish companion, always forgets peoples’ birthdays and never sends Christmas cards.

She enjoys the simple things in life, like spending time with her family and friends, reading, HBO, Netflix and internet-stalking Stephen James. She reads between three to five books a week and firmly believes Crocs shoes and mullets should be outlawed.

Connect with LJ Shen:
Facebook | TwitterPinterestInstagram | Website | Newsletter


Have you read anything by L. J. Shen yet?
If you've read Bane already, what did you think?
If you haven't read it, do you plan to?

Friday, May 11, 2018

[Review] ARROGANT DEVIL by R. S. Grey

Source: Received a copy from the author to
give an honest review.
Release Date: May 10, 2018

DESCRIPTION

Everyone in Cedar Creek, Texas, knows Jack McNight is an arrogant devil. Physically, I get it: he’s tan and fit, with coal-black hair that’s clearly been scorched by hellfire. Oh, and his personality? It burns just as hot.

When I show up on the doorstep of Blue Stone Ranch, I’m run-down and rockin’ my last pair of underwear. I’m hoping for a savior, but instead, I find him.

My opinion of Jack is marred by a dismal first impression, but his opinion of me is tainted even before I arrive. He’s heard I’m a spoiled princess there to take advantage of his goodwill. To him, I’m more trouble than I’m worth.

Our button-pushing banter should get under my skin. His arrogance should be a major turn-off. Problem is, devils are known to offer their own form of temptation.

Every one of his steely glares sends a shiver down my spine.

Every steamy encounter leaves me reeling.

Sure, it could be the Texas heat messing with my head, but there’s no way I’ll survive the summer without silencing him with a kiss and wrestling him out of those Wranglers.

Who knows…going to bed with the devil might just be the salvation I’ve been looking for all along.

Buy It Here: Amazon 


REVIEW

I first stumbled upon R. S. Grey during the Rio Summer Olympics when she wrote two Summer Games titles. I absolutely LOVED them, so I quickly one-clicked some of her other titles, and I haven't looked back since! She quickly became one of my favourite rom-com authors, and her books always have me laughing, smiling, and swooning! As soon as I heard she had a new book coming out, I added it to my to-read list...I have to admit that with Arrogant Devil, I didn't even read the description...just automatically added it on Goodreads. That's how much I love her books...doesn't matter what she writes, I'll read them, and she never disappoints!

Just as I expected, Arrogant Devil was absolutely wonderful! From start to finish it was extremely funny, and it constantly had me laughing. When I was reading it on the bus, I was struggling to keep a big goofy grin off my face almost the entire time. I didn't realize just how much I was craving laughter and something a bit lighthearted until I started reading Arrogant Devil and it instantly made me feel more relaxed and refreshed...even though I stayed up way too late during the work week because I didn't want to stop reading. ;)
  
One of the things that I always love about R. S. Grey's books is the fact that she really, really knows how to write dual POVs. She does an amazing job of showing both characters and she manages to make sure you get both sides of the story while never making a story feel repetitive! In the case of Arrogant Devil, Meredith and Jack were fantastic! I absolutely loved Meredith! I wanted to hug her close and I wanted to protect her from everyone who was judging her. She was so sassy, and sooooo funny! I loved her snappy lines, and I really loved how she interacted with Jack! And Jack...holy hot cowboy! I'm a sucker for an amazing rom-com...throw in a sassy heroine and a sexy hero...especially one who's a bit broody, distant, and so, so, strong and I'm so there for it. Chemistry-wise,  Meredith and Jack were absolutely off-the-charts! Their dynamics were fiery and I loved seeing them battle each other with their banter! I also loved the calmer moments between them...it all left me feeling so content and happy! I finished Arrogant Devil with a seriously big grin on my face and I'm already looking forward to the next R. S. Grey book that I read!

Overall, I loved Arrogant Devil! It was hilarious, sexy, and packed full of so much swoon-worthy goodness! Once I started reading, I didn't want to stop! I'd recommend Arrogant Devil (and any of R. S. Grey's other wonderful books) to readers who like stories that are full of humour and heart with some good ol' steamy sexiness thrown in!



ABOUT R.S. GREY

R.S. Grey
is the USA Today bestselling author of thirteen novels, including THE FOXE & THE HOUND. She lives in Texas with her husband and two dogs, and can be found reading, binge-watching reality TV, or practicing yoga!

Visit her at rsgrey.com

Follow R.S. Grey: Website | Twitter | Facebook
R.S. Grey's Little Reds Facebook GroupNewsletter | Instagram



So I guess I'm just going to sit here and eagerly wait for R. S. Grey's next rom-com, but while I wait, I'll just have to keep encouraging all of y'all to read her books! (Couldn't resist the y'all after reading Arrogant Devil. :P I've always wanting to "say" it you know. haha)

What do you think?
Are you a fan of rom-com books?
Does Arrogant Devil sound like one that you'd like?

Thursday, May 10, 2018

[Release Day Blitz] BANE by L. J. Shen


Bane, the highly-anticipated next standalone in the Sinners of Saint Series by L.J. Shen is LIVE!


Bane by L.J. Shen
Release Date: May 10th
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Cover Designer:  Letitia Hasser at RBA Design
Photographer: Pavel Lepikhin
Model: Vadim Ivanov

DESCRIPTION 

Bane

Naked surfer. Habitual pothead. A con, a liar, a thief and a fraud.

Last I heard, he was extorting the rich and screwing their wives for a living.

Which is why I’m more than a little surprised to find him at my threshold, looking for my friendship, my services, and most puzzling of all—looking humbled.

Thing is, I’m on a boycott. Literally—I cut boys from my life. Permanently.

Problem is, Bane is not a boy, he is all man, and I’m falling, crashing, drowning in his sweet, perfect lies.

Jesse Carter

Hot as hell, cold as ice.

I wasn’t aware of her existence until a fat, juicy deal landed in my lap.

She’s a part of it, a little plaything to kill some time.

She is collateral, a means to an end, and a side-bonus for striking a deal with her oil tycoon stepdad.

More than anything, Jesse Carter is a tough nut to crack.

Little does she know, I have the f****** teeth for it.


Download today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!
Amazon US | Amazon Universal

ADD TO GOODREADS


Start the Series of Standalones Today!


VICIOUS


About LJ Shen

L.J. Shen is an International #1 best-selling author of Contemporary Romance and New Adult novels. She lives in Northern California with her husband, young son and chubby cat.

Before she’d settled down, L.J. (who thinks referring to herself in the third person is really silly, by the way) traveled the world, and collected friends from all across the globe. Friends who’d be happy to report that she is a rubbish companion, always forgets peoples’ birthdays and never sends Christmas cards.

She enjoys the simple things in life, like spending time with her family and friends, reading, HBO, Netflix and internet-stalking Stephen James. She reads between three to five books a week and firmly believes Crocs shoes and mullets should be outlawed.

Connect with LJ Shen:
Facebook | TwitterPinterestInstagram | Website | Newsletter


I've been eagerly waiting for this one!!!

What about you? Are you ready for Bane?