6.21.2018

Mini Review: In Conclusion, Don't Worry About It by Lauren Graham

In Conclusion, Don’t Worry About It by Lauren Graham
Published: April 3, 2018
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Format: audiobook via Overdrive
Rating: 3.5/5

Synopsis
In this expansion of the 2017 commencement speech, she gave at her hometown Langley High, Lauren Graham, the beloved star of Gilmore Girls and Parenthood, reflects on growing up, pursuing your dreams, and living in the here and now. “Whatever path you choose, whatever career you decide to go after, the important thing is that you keep finding joy in what you’re doing, especially when the joy isn’t finding you.” In her hilarious, relatable voice, Graham reminds us to be curious and compassionate, no matter where life takes us or what we’ve yet to achieve. Grounded and inspiring—and illustrated throughout with drawings by Graham herself—here is a comforting roadmap to a happy life.

My Thoughts
As for as commencement speeches go this one was classic Lauren Graham, it light and funny with some inspirational things thrown in here and there. She tells us a few of her struggles trying to break into showbiz and how we shouldn’t let the stress of stuff get to us. It was short and sweet and gives us a view of adulthood that doesn’t weight us down, it gives us hope that things will work themselves out and if they don't then don't worry about it.

6.20.2018

Cover Reveal: Chaotic Love by Claudia Burgoa

Today we are celebrating the cover reveal of the CHAOTIC LOVE duet by Claudia Burgoa. The duet includes BEGIN WITH YOU (releasing July 26) and BACK TO YOU (releasing August 9).

Sign up for Claudia's newsletter to be notified when pre-order links are live!

   

Begin with You by Claudia Burgoa

Chaotic Love, #1 - Coming July 26

Add the book to Goodreads

Synopsis

From the outside, Abby’s life looks like a fairytale. Loving family, wealthy lifestyle, education at a prestigious university. The truth? She’s barely managing to survive. Few know the nightmare she lived before she was adopted. And no one knows the secret agony that still haunts her nightmares. With a degree from Berkeley, she could have gone anywhere, but she’s back in Colorado. Not for a fresh start—fresh starts are only an illusion—but for Wes Ahern. Her protector, who throws around words like “therapy” and “talk to me.” Her brother in every way but blood. The one man she wishes could be so much more. Maybe, just this once, she can stop running from her demons. But does she dare let Wes see inside the darkest closets of her pain…or will love be the biggest mistake of her life? An inspirational and emotional contemporary romance Begin with You is a heartbreaking tale of fresh starts and old wounds. This jarring and dark novel will leave readers at the edge of their seats. This is part one of a duet, thus containing a cliffhanger that leads into the next installment. It contains references to childhood trauma, kidnapping, and PTSD.

--------------------

Back to You by Claudia Burgoa

Chaotic Love, #2 - Coming August 9

Add the book to Goodreads

Synopsis

Wes is in love with Abby—but she’s no longer with him. The loss of Abby is more than Wes can take. No drugs or drink will erase her memory… nothing will numb the pain. He knew she had to leave the past behind; he never thought she’d leave him, too. Wes’s fallen for Abby harder than ever before, and he needs her to fall in love with him. Wes will do whatever he has to get the girl of his dreams back and save her from her demons. It’s the only way he can save himself. They once were inseparable. But will the shards of the past continue to keep them apart? A tear jerking end to a beautiful duet, Back to You is a hopeful contemporary romance of second chances and kept promises. Enjoy this novel of never giving up on your first love while finishing this inspiring duet by Claudia Burgoa today!

-----------------------------

AUTHOR INFORMATION

 
Claudia is an award-winning, international bestselling author. She lives in Colorado working for a small IT company, managing her household filled with three confused dogs, two daughters wrought with fandoms and a son who thinks he’s the boss of the house. And a wonderful husband who shares her love for all things geek. To survive she works continually to find purpose for the voices flitting through her head, plus she consumes high quantities of chocolate to keep the last threads of sanity intact.  
AUTHOR LINKS
InkSlinger-Blogger banner-New

Review: The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
Published: June 5, 2018
Publisher: NetGalley
Format: via Edelweiss
Rating: 4/5

Synopsis
Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases--a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old.

It doesn't help that Stella has Asperger's and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice--with a professional. Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan. The Vietnamese and Swedish stunner can't afford to turn down Stella's offer and agrees to help her check off all the boxes on her lesson plan--from foreplay to more-than-missionary position...

Before long, Stella not only learns to appreciate his kisses but to crave all the other things he's making her feel. Soon, their no-nonsense partnership starts making a strange kind of sense. And the pattern that emerges will convince Stella that love is the best kind of logic.

My Thoughts
The Kiss Quotient is a cute romantic read about Stella who is way more comfortable with numbers than she is with the opposite sex. After her mother keeps bugging her about meeting someone she sets her eyes on a fellow co-worker but before she can ask him out she decides that she needs more experience so she looks for an escort to help her out on that front.

Michael is the escort that Stella is set up with and soon Stella can't help but fall for him. Michael is a good guy who takes care of his mother and sisters and is getting tired of doing what he does but does it because the money is good and it helps him help his mother. Michael slowing starts to help Stella get out of her shell and while he has always been a professional he can't help falling for Stella also, she sees him for more than what he does she sees his potential and no one has done that before.

While Stella tries to understand her feelings for Michael, her Asperger’s makes things challenging she knows that she wants more from him, meaning sex and deals with how she can do that and not let her Asperger’s stop that. Michael, on the other hand, has his own issues, mainly with dealing with his past with his father. He has to come to terms with the fact that he isn’t him and that he is a good guy with a great heart. He also begins to find out about Stella’s Asperger’s and wants to understand it and tells her that it doesn’t change how he feels about her. These are two characters that you would never think could be together but they fit so well that they are the missing puzzle piece in each other's lives. Their road isn’t an easy one and things challenge them along the way but in the end, you can't help but root for them and want them together despite everything telling them they shouldn’t be.

I loved and adore everything about this read. I loved the representation of Asperger’s and how it shows that people with it can live full lives and also find love, and  I also loved the diversity of all the characters. This book was fun, flirty, romantic and steamy without being trashy which is a fine line to do. This is a quick and easy read that will make you have all the feels and it’s a great book for these long summer days. So if you want something that will put a smile on your face look no further than The Kiss Quotient.

Blog Tour: Rainy Day Friends by Jill Shalvis

RAINY DAY FRIENDS
Following the USA Today bestseller, Lost and Found Sisters, comes Rainy Day Friends, Jill Shalvis’ moving story of heart, loss, betrayal, and friendship.

Six months after Lanie Jacobs’ husband’s death, it’s hard to imagine anything could deepen her sense of pain and loss. But then Lanie discovers she isn’t the only one grieving his sudden passing. A serial adulterer, he left behind several other women who, like Lanie, each believe she was his legally wedded wife. Rocked by the infidelity, Lanie is left to grapple with searing questions. How could she be so wrong about a man she thought she knew better than anyone? Will she ever be able to trust another person?  Can she even trust herself?

Desperate to make a fresh start, Lanie impulsively takes a job at the family-run Capriotti Winery. At first, she feels like an outsider among the boisterous Capriottis. With no real family of her own, she’s bewildered by how quickly they all take her under their wing and make her feel like she belongs. Especially Mark Capriotti, a gruffly handsome Air Force veteran turned deputy sheriff who manages to wind his way into Lanie’s cold, broken heart—along with the rest of the clan. Everything is finally going well for her, but the arrival of River Green changes all that. The fresh-faced twenty-one-year old seems as sweet as they come…until her dark secrets come to light—secrets that could destroy the new life Lanie’s only just begun to build.

ABOUT JILL SHALVIS
New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras full of quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental. Look for Jill’s bestselling, award-winning books wherever romances are sold and visit her website, www.jillshalvis.com, for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.

Connect with Jill

BUY LINKS for RAINY DAY FRIENDS

Chapter 1

Anxiety Girl, able to jump to the worst conclusion in a single bound!

Most of the time Karma was a bitch, but every once in awhile she could be surprisingly nice, even kind. Lanie Jacobs, way past overdue for both of those things, told herself this was her time. Seize the day and all that, and drawing a deep breath, she exited the highway at Wildstone.
The old wild-west California town was nestled in the rolling hills between the Pacific Coast and wine/ranching country. She’d actually grown up not too far from here, though it felt like a lifetime ago. The road was narrow and curvy, and since it’d rained earlier, she added tricky and slick to her growing list of issues. She was already white-knuckling a sharp turn when a kamikaze squirrel darted into her lane, causing her to nearly swerve into oncoming traffic before remembering the rules of country driving.
Never leave your lane; not for weather, animals, or even God himself.
Luckily the squirrel reversed direction, but before she could relax a trio of deer bounded across the road. “Run, Bambi,” she cried, hitting her brakes, and by the skin of their collective teeth, they all missed each other.
Sweating, nerves sizzling like live wires, she finally turned onto Capriotti Lane and parked as she’d been instructed.
It took a moment for her pulse to come down from stroke level. She’d been taught anti-anxiety techniques, but she’d never quite figured out how to make any of them work while in the actual throes of an anxiety attack.
It’s all good she told herself but because she wasn’t buying what she was selling, she had to force herself out of the car like she was a five-year-old starting kindergarten instead of being thirty and simply facing a brand new job. Given all she’d been through, this should be easy, even fun. But sometimes adulthood felt like the vet’s office and she was the dog excited for the car ride -- only to find out the real destination.
Shaking her head, she strode across the parking lot. It was April, which meant the rolling hills to the east were green and lush and the Pacific Ocean to the west looked like a surfer’s dream, all of it so gorgeous it could’ve been a postcard. A beautiful smoke screen over her not-so-beautiful past. The air was scented like a really expensive sea-and-earth candle, though  all Lanie could smell was her forgotten hopes and dreams. With wood chips crunching under her shoes, she headed through the entrance beneath which was a huge wooden sign that read:

Capriotti Winery, from our fields to your table…

Her heart sped up. Nerves, of course, the bane of her existence. But after a very crappy few years, she was changing her path. For once in her godforsaken life, something was going to work out for her. This was going to work out for her.
She was grimly determined.

6.19.2018

Review: When Katie Met Cassidy by Camille Perri

When Katie Met Cassidy by Camille Perri
Published: June 19, 2018
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Format: via Edelweiss
Rating: 4/5

Synopsis
Katie Daniels is a perfection-seeking 28-year-old lawyer living the New York dream. She’s engaged to charming art curator Paul Michael, has successfully made her way up the ladder at a multinational law firm and has a hold on apartments in Soho and the West Village. Suffice it to say, she has come a long way from her Kentucky upbringing.

But the rug is swept from under Katie when she is suddenly dumped by her fiance, Paul Michael, leaving her devastated and completely lost. On a whim, she agrees to have a drink with Cassidy Price-a self-assured, sexually promiscuous woman she meets at work. The two form a newfound friendship, which soon brings into question everything Katie thought she knew about sex—and love.

When Katie Met Cassidy is a romantic comedy that explores how, as a culture, while we may have come a long way in terms of gender equality, a woman’s capacity for an entitlement to sexual pleasure still remain entirely taboo. This novel tackles the question: Why, when it comes to female sexuality, are so few women figuring out what they want and then going out and doing it?

My Thoughts
Katie and Cassidy have a kind of met cute at work when both are opposing lawyers on a case. Katie who has recently just been dumped by her pretentious fiancée is down in the dumps and is just trying to get her life back on track when she takes an interest in Cassidy. She doesn't know what it is exactly but all she knows she that she hasn't felt this way for anyone in a long time, including her ex.

Cassidy is a known ladies girl who hasn’t met a girl she can't hook up with.  So when she sees Katie she is instantly attracted to her but doesn’t know if Katie is into her in that way. They keep meeting up so Cassidy decides to ask her out and while Katie at first says no she soon decides why not she could use a friend. Cassidy soon brings Katie into her favorite gay bar and into her close group of friends and while Cassidy’s friends think Katie is just the flavor of the month, Katie feels at home there and Cassidy soon finds herself having real feelings for someone which she hasn’t in a long time. Katie is beyond confused, she tries to deny her feeling for Cassidy, all while she tries to decide who she is. Is she gay or bi and while she tries to push her feeling away she realizes after an incident between them that she does love Cassidy and all those questions she has about herself and them don’t matter, she is simply in love with someone.

I really enjoyed this cute and crazy at times book. It shows us that sexual orientation shouldn’t matter and that labels don’t mean a thing. Love is simple love, to be able to find someone in this wild and crazy world that you can talk to and be real with is something that is a gift and that we all should be blessed to have. If you are lucky enough to find your other half in the universe then who or what they are shouldn’t matter. And while I will admit Katie did get on my nerves at times, Cassidy was my favorite character she was the one who let herself go and allowed herself to truly love again after all these years.  She took a chance on Katie and no matter what she thought or what others said she knew what they had and knew that she wanted to explore that. This is one novel that was funny yet touching and taught us a simple lesson in love and that it is worth fighting for when you find the one.

Release Day Blitz: Tattered by Devney Perry


     
Thea Landry has always known her place in modern-day society. It’s somewhere just above the trash can her mother dumped her in as a newborn but below the class where much comes easy. With her tattered shoes and bargain-bin clothes, her life has never been full of glamour. So when a rich and charismatic man takes interest, she doesn’t fool herself into thinking their encounter is anything more than a one-night stand. Months later, she’s kicking herself for not getting his phone number. Or his last name. She’s given up hope of seeing him ever again. Until one day, years later, Logan Kendrick waltzes into her life once more and turns everything she’s built upside down. This time around, she won’t make the same mistake. She’s going to fight to keep him in her life—not for herself. But for their daughter. 
        

AVAILABLE NOW

Amazon | iBooks | B&N | Kobo

      
Thea and I had agreed on just one night. One incredible night. The next morning, we’d walked away from each other with no strings attached. She’d gone back to her life. I’d gone back to my hectic work and social schedule, just glad that I’d had the chance to meet her. What I hadn’t expected was for Thea to pop into my thoughts so often after that night. I’d think of her smile whenever I was at a hotel bar. I’d think of her laugh when I was at a boring fundraiser. I’d think of her whenever I saw a woman with long, sleek dark hair. After months of her on my mind, I’d finally given in. I’d gone back to the bar to see her one more time. Except she’d been gone. With my child. I’d waited too long.      
      
Devney is the USA Today bestselling author of the Jamison Valley series. She lives in Montana with her husband and two children. After working in the technology industry for nearly a decade, she abandoned conference calls and project schedules to enjoy a slower pace at home with her kids. She loves reading and, after consuming hundreds of books, decided to share her own stories. Devney loves hearing from readers! Connect with her on social media. 

EXCERPT
Thea and I had agreed on just one night. One incredible night. The next morning, we’d walked away from each other with no strings attached. She’d gone back to her life. I’d gone back to my hectic work and social schedule, just glad that I’d had the chance to meet her.
What I hadn’t expected was for Thea to pop into my thoughts so often after that night. I’d think of her smile whenever I was at a hotel bar. I’d think of her laugh when I was at a boring fundraiser. I’d think of her whenever I saw a woman with long, sleek dark hair.
After months of her on my mind, I’d finally given in. I’d gone back to the bar to see her one more time.
Except she’d been gone.
With my child.
I’d waited too long.

6.18.2018

Review: Any Man by Amber Tamblyn

Any Man by Amber Tamblyn
Expected Publication: June 26, 2018
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Format: via Edelweiss
Rating: 5/5

Synopsis
A violent serial rapist is on the loose, who goes by the name Maude. She hunts for men at bars, online, at home— the place doesn’t matter, neither does the man. Her victims then must live the aftermath of their assault in the form of doubt from the police, feelings of shame alienation from their friends and family and the haunting of a horrible woman who becomes the phantom on which society projects its greatest fears, fascinations and even misogyny. All the while the police are without leads and the media hound the victims, publicly dissecting the details of their attack.
What is extraordinary is how as years pass these men learn to heal, by banding together and finding a space to raise their voices. Told in alternating viewpoints signature to each voice and experience of the victim, these pages crackle with emotion, ranging from horror to breathtaking empathy.

As bold as it is timely, Any Man paints a searing portrait of survival and is a tribute to those who have lived through the nightmare of sexual assault.

My Thoughts
Any Man is like no novel I have ever read. In this read, we met men victims who are left assaulted by a female they named Maude. We get to know each victim and we hear of the assault that they dealt with by Maude. Some cases are worse than others but nevertheless, each one is gruesome and we are left to wonder why did she do this? Did she do this as revenge, was it personal, or was this just some sick and twisted individual who did this for kicks.

This novel really brings up some great questions, it shows us that sexual assaults towards men happen more than we realize. Due to the stigma, they are even more unaccounted for because of the shame of it. People tend to think how can a woman overpower a man like that and rape him. He must have wanted it and enjoyed it. Society can't begin to understand and comprehend that a man could possibly be a victim.

I cant begin to shine enough praise on this read. It opened by eyes to what goes on, this isn’t a pretty read its raw, uncomfortable and at times hard to read but its one we all need to read. We have to open up our eyes to whats going on and know there are more victims that hide in shadows and we must let them know that they shouldn’t be afraid to report these crimes.

Maude has to be the most diabolical character I have ever read. Even though we don’t really get to know her until the end and at that, it’s a small insight into her she is pure evil in my eyes. The things she does and how she gets her victims is just… I honestly don’t have the words to express it. I do know though she is so complex that she is intriguing at the same time. Amber Tamblyn gives us a novel that is so on point for this moment in time but with a twist that makes us see things differently. This is one read that while is a hard subject is one that we all need to learn more of and understand. This is a topic that definitely needs more discussion and this novel can be the thing to get the ball rolling.