Sunday, December 31, 2017

Best reads of 2017


Wow, 2017 has been a great year for reading. I found a lot of new to me authors that I now love, lots of great books from authors I already loved, just a lot of great reads. As always it was difficult to choose just 20 favorite reads from this past year that were my favorite reads. There were so many I loved I really had to narrow it down to one per author or I never would have been able to choose 20. So without further ado my top 20 books of 2017 - you can click the title to go to my full review - in no particular order. They are all amazing.


The Radium Girls by Kate Moore

This was definitely my favorite non-fiction book I have read. I don't read a lot of non-fiction, I don't come across that many that pique my interest, but The Radium Girls was fantastic. Horrific what happened to these poor women, but I did learn a lot from this book and they did accomplish what they wanted - to help others even though they were dying. 


Beard in Mind by Penny Reid

I love Penny Reid and she had a few fantastic reads this year that made it really hard to pick a favorite (I'm looking at you Dating-ish and Kissing Tolstoy), but since I can have only one per author I had to go with Beard in Mind. Shelly really stole the show for me in this one. I loved her hardcore and Beau was just as great. But Shelly....oh Shelly. I loved her so much. She grabbed me from the first moments until the last. She was more real than anyone I have read. I loved this story so so much.


Ball Peen Hammer by Lauren Rowe

I still cannot believe how much I love Ball Peen Hammer. I mean that name alone makes it seem like I wouldn't like it. It is about a conceited male stripper who calls people baby doll and such and yet I loved it. I seriously thought I would hate this story, but oh Peen...he is so much more than I ever expected. This was one of the most surprising books on my list. I never would have imagined I would love this story as I did. So you should definitely give it a try even if you don't think it will be for you. You might end up with a new favorite like me. 


Kulti by Mariana Zapata

Oh, Kulti. This was my first Mariana Zapata I read and I loved it. I loved this slow burn! I especially enjoyed it since at the beginning I kept thinking how in the world are these two people going to end up as friends much less in love? But it happened and it felt organic and real and right. Which is crazy. In a good way. 


A Thousand Letters by Staci Hart

This book tore me to pieces in the best of ways. There were moments when I legitimately hated the male lead and yelled at the female lead, and yet I loved this story. I hated them, but loved them at the same time. I was yelling at them, but also rooting for them to get everything they ever wanted. I couldn't put this story down, it was a rough one to read, but that always makes the good so much better. 



Okay I know I said only one book per author, but how in the world am I supposed to pick which Sara Ney book I loved the most? Seriously I can't. She was a new to me author and I started with the #ThreeLittleLies series, fell in love, and read everything else she had. And I loved it all. So when making up the list I thought okay, first to choose which favorite from each series. Well the liars series are all short and fun so I figured I could leave that as a whole. As one choice. Then the Kiss & Make Up series - I loved A Kiss like This. The main characters are so awkward and I loved them so so much. So that was an easy pick. But then we get to the Douchebag series. How in the world am I supposed to choose between Zeke & Violet and Rhett & Laurel? I mean they are so different. Zeke is a jerk, but a sweet one, and Violet is perfect for him. And Rhett was adorable & I loved that Laurel was the jerk of the two. Seriously it was too hard so I am leaving this one as Sara Ney in general. I don't think you can go wrong with any of her books. 


Irresistibly Yours by Lauren Layne

Lauren Layne was another new to me author this year and another tough one to choose just one books. I loved everything I have read of hers. She has a way of writing a story I go into thinking I have read before, but I haven't. Of making a plot that sounds simple so much more than I ever imagined it would or could be. I love her writing, I love her characters, I love her stories. But I think Irresistibly Yours was my favorite because these two were so sweet together! But again I don't think you can go wrong with any of her books. 


A Crown of Bitter Orange by Laura Florand

I love Laura Florand so so much. Everything I read of hers weaves this magic around me that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. She had a few great reads this past year, but A Crown of Bitter Orange was probably my favorite. Tristan and Malorie were so sweet together. Yes, they love to rile each other up, but underneath it all they really care about each other. 


Behind the Bars by Brittainy C Cherry

This was another hard choice. Which did I like more from this author, Behind the Bars or The Gravity of Us? I think Behind the Bars slightly wins out just because I read it more recently, but they are both great reads. I loved this author and the characters she creates. This one especially. The music, the soul, the feelings involved were wonderful. 


Unbreak My Heart by Nicole Jacquelyn

This story I didn't expect to enjoy as much as I did. It has so many things I normally don't like in a book, so many storylines that are not for me, but the author made it work. Made this beautiful story that I couldn't put down once I started reading. I love when an author can surprise me like that. Can make me love something I normally hate. 


Endurance by Jack Kilborn

Jack Kilborn is definitely my favorite horror author. His books are so amazingly messed up I don't know how he comes up with everything he does. Endurance was another great, horrifying read. His characters go through so much I don't know how they do it. I love it. 


The Last One by Alexandra Oliva

The Last One was a really great read about a lady who is on a survival reality TV show and trying to make her way home. It is split between the shows start and what is happening now and I loved how intense it was. How you don't really know what is going on, what is real and what isn't. I hope the author comes out with some more books as this was a fantastic first read. 


Thicker Than Blood by Madeline Sheehan and Claire C Riley

Thicker Than Blood is kind of like The Walking Dead. It is about some people after the zombie apocolypse and what they go through. How the world is now and what happens to them. It is not focused on the zombies, how they got there, any of that. It is about the people and what life is like now. And man, these characters go through a lot. The authors kept surprising me with how the story would go. Lots of twists and turns and I loved it. 


Mister Romance by Leisa Rayven

This was another new to me author and I loved this story so much!! I loved Max and the whole time I was reading it I was hoping he would take Eden down. Show her how judgemental and mean she is for no good reason. Make her fall in love with him and then crush her! Now that may or may not be what happens, but I loved this story. I love Max and watching how he was with Eden. It was great. 


Most of all You by Mia Sheridan

Oh, I love Mia Sheridan. Her characters love each other the way you would be lucky to be loved. They are always there for each other and my heart hurts for them when anything bad happens. They love fiercely and don't give up even when things get rough. Really any of her books are great reads, but Crystal and Gabriel were my favorites from this year. 


Tap Left by A. Zavarelli

Tap Left was pretty much the perfect book for me. It has everything I love. A bit of angst, some drama, some characters who hate each other but really don't, the super hot alpha male sexy times, everything I want. They start out as enemies, but were they really? Oh, it was great. 


Hearts of Blue by LH Cosway

I love the Hearts series, and I read two of them this year, but I think Hearts of Blue is my favorite. The cop and the criminal were so great together. They have the connection, but have to figure out how in the world they could make it work. It shouldn't work, but it does. Loved it!


Tony & Susan by Auston Wright

Tony & Susan was an intense read. I saw the Nocturnal Animals movie, loved it, so decided to pick up the book and read it. It seems like since I knew where the story was going (if the movie stayed true to it) it shouldn't have been as intense, but it was. I don't know how but the story kept me on the edge of my seat wanting to see what would happen next. Edward's story is dark and raw and intense in the best way. If you have seen to movie and enjoyed it give this book a read. If not then read it or go see the movie. Both are amazing.


The Brightest Sunset by Aly Martinez

This story is part two of a duet and man, it got to me. I stayed up way too late reading because I noticed it on my Kindle just as I was headed to bed. It was totally worth the lack of sleep because this story...it broke my heart. These characters broke my heart, but the darkest of times make the light so much lighter. 


Fifty Shades of Grey by EL James

Now this is actually the biggest surprise on my favorites list for this year, which is why I saved it for last. I was certain that I was going to absolutely hate this story, but my friend talked me into reading it earlier this year and I loved it so so so much. Not because I think it is a fantastic story. No, because it is one of the most hilariously bad stories I have ever read. This book gave my husband and friends so much humor that we were literally crying laughing so hard at some of the scenes. Funniest book I ever read and for that I loved it. I know most people seem to either love it for real, feel meh about it, or hate it with the fire of a thousand fiery suns, but I loved it because it was so bad it was amazing. 

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Someplace Secret: A Holiday Romance by G.G. Andrew

Now available on

Synopsis:

What happens when you can't get over the past?

It's been two years. Zoe has moved on. She's got a great teaching job in Boston, friends, and the sweetest boyfriend.

She shouldn't still be thinking about the man who turned her life upside down two winters ago...

Trouble is, he's staring at her from across the bookstore.


Review: 

If you have read Somewhere Warm then you got to see the beginning of Zoe and Evan. When I saw the author was writing another novella with these two I was super excited to start reading. I mean what happened nex? Someplace Secret is the continuation of their story. And I loved it! Maybe even more than the first one. Oh Evan and Zoe were so hot together!

Zoe left Evan two years ago. Things were hot and great between them, but then she left. She had to get back to her life. She tries not to think about what happened between them as she has moved on. She has a boyfriend who is sweet and kind and everything she should want, but sometimes she still thinks of Evan. Especially in the wintertime. With the snow. How could she not? When Evan comes back into her life unexpectedly things get a little...iffy. What would happen if she gave into the pull they have to each other? What about her perfectly nice boyfriend who is probably too good for her? And what happens when other old friends stop by and everything gets a bit muddy?

I really liked Zoe in this story and I really enjoyed seeing these characters as they have gotten a little older and a little wiser. If you have read Somewhere Warm then definitely pick up a copy of this story. If not what are you waiting for? Though you may be able to get by without reading it first, it is a fun, quick read so why not get the backstory of these two before you venture on?

*Note: I received a free copy of this book for voluntary review consideration

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★1/2

Friday, December 29, 2017

The Rule Book (The Rule Breakers #1) by Jennifer Blackwood

Available on

Synopsis:

Starr Media Second-Assistant Survival Guide
1. Don't call your hot boss the antichrist to his face.
2. Don't stare at hot boss's, um, package or his full sleeve of tattoos. (No. Really. Stop!)
3. Don't get on the malicious first assistant's bad side.
4. Don't forget to memorize the 300-page employee manual.
5. If you value your cashmere, steer clear of boss’s dog.
6. Boss’s dimples are lust-inducing. Do. Not. Give. In.
7. “The elevator ate your clothes” is not a valid excuse for showing up to important meetings half dressed.
8. Don't break seven of the rules within the first week of employment if you, ya know, are in dire need of money to support your sick mom.
9. Whatever you do, don’t fall for the boss. See rule eight about sick mom.
10. Never forget the rules.

Review:

The Rule Book was such a great read! I loved Lainey and Brogan and it was so much fun (and funny! which is hard to find for me). 

Lainey just started working at Star Media as second assistant. She needs this job. She cannot mess up as she needs the money to help her mom. So she is determined to make it here and follow the rules. The super long list of rules that she received on the first day. Only in that first week she breaks so many of them in hilarious ways. Including calling her boss, Brogan, the antichrist to his face. Of course she didn't know it was him, but oh the humiliation. I loved Lainey so so much. She doesn't stop to think before she says something and she was fun. A bit snarkey and the situations she gets herself into were awesome. 

I was expecting Brogan to be the typical alpha male head of the company. The guy who is gorgeous and controlling and all caveman like to his lady. Only he wasn't. He was gorgeous for sure (with tattoos even!!), but he is a nice guy. A really sweet, nice guy who is determined to have his company succeed. He is strict with work things, but outside of that pretty laid back. And I loved him too. Sure he has some trust issues, he can be a bit crazy with the rules at work, but he is doing it so he can hopefully succeed. I understand and man I don't know how you wouldn't fall for him. His employees love him, he is so kind and caring, he was great. 

Now there is an attraction between these two right from the start, but nothing can happen there. It is one of Lainey's rules for sure - no sleeping with her boss. She needs this job. Only when they start spending more time together things get a bit sticky. I mean how could this work? And what will happen when a few kinks get thrown into the mix? When real feelings get involved? 

"He was everything I could ever want in a man. He didn't complete me, because hell, I was complete to begin with, but he was the perfect compliment, one that I'd be hard pressed to find in someone else."

Seriously this book was a lot of fun to read and I can't wait to read more from this author. 
The story was cute and sweet and funny and everything I could want in a story. So. much. fun!

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★1/2

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Somewhere Warm: A New Year's Eve Romance by G.G. Andrew

Available on

Synopsis:

What if you fell for your best friend’s ex—the one that had made her life a living hell?

All Zoe had to do was pick up a box of her best friend Haley's things from Haley's brooding ex-husband, Evan.

She didn't expect her car to get hit by a snowplow. She didn't expect for the icy Maine blizzard to start early. She didn't expect to be stuck inside Evan's warm cabin—alone with him—on New Year's Eve.

And, most of all, she didn't expect to come undone by the heat in Evan's eyes.


Review:

Somewhere Warm was a cute read. Zoe is in a bind. She has gone to pick up a box of her best friend Haley's stuff from her terrible ex-husband. She knows all about him. How mean Evan was and how horrible he was to Haley. She just wants to get there, get her stuff, and get to Haley's new years eve party. Only a snowplow hits her car stranding her with Evan.

What is Zoe to do when things start to get hot with Evan? When she starts questioning if he really is as Haley said he is. This was a super quick, fun read. Perfect for when you want a little wintertime romance. I liked these two together and it was a perfect for the holidays.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Fifty Shades of Grey (Fifty Shades #1) by E.L. James

Available on

Synopsis:

When literature student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating. The unworldly, innocent Ana is startled to realize she wants this man and, despite his enigmatic reserve, finds she is desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her, too—but on his own terms.

Shocked yet thrilled by Grey’s singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success—his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving family—Grey is a man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a daring, passionately physical affair, Ana discovers Christian Grey’s secrets and explores her own dark desires.

Erotic, amusing, and deeply moving, the Fifty Shades Trilogy is a tale that will obsess you, possess you, and stay with you forever.

This book is intended for mature audiences.


Review:

Oh man. Fifty Shades of Grey. Yes, I know all of you have heard of this book by now. I am sure you have either read it, or read a lot about it. I am late to the game, but honestly I never thought I would read it. I guess I should start off with a little bit of background about me and this book. My one friend is someone who likes all the celebrity gossip and keeps me up to date on the new big things. She gave me the Hunger Games book before I had heard of it as she heard it was going to be the next big thing in one of her magazines, and it was. Well she has subscriptions to People and all those magazines and she would give them to me when she was finished. I first saw Fifty Shades of Grey in one of them and it said it was Twilight fanfic and I thought eh. I am not a fanfic fan really so I wasn't planning on reading it. She asked me about it, said it would be the next big thing, but still I said no thanks. I don't like fan fic.

Then it blew up. Everyone was talking about Fifty Shades. It was everywhere, and still I kept thinking how it was fanfic and still didn't want to read it. Then I saw some examples of the writing and thought yeah, I really don't want to read this. The writing is terrible and I am not sure I could handle that. The years went by and I read more and more about it. I read a ton of negative reviews of the book, how it is abuse not BDSM, how it is just the worst and it reinforced my not wanting to read it. One thing I absolutely cannot stand in a book is when they try to pass abuse off as BDSM. They are not the same things, and if that is what this is then no. Just no. So I was pretty sure I would never read Fifty Shades. Eventually I got into blogging and reading all the time and people kept asking me about it. What my opinion was. And I could only reply how I didn't read it, but don't think, based on what others have said, that I would enjoy it. I knew eventually I would have to give it a try as it was such a huge cultural thing, everyone knows it, and the movies were coming out and yeah. You can't escape it and I knew I should try and read it so I would be able to share my opinion of it. Without reading it you can't say much about it except well I heard x, y, and z. Which is not good.

I love BDSM books, yeah they are hot, and I recommended one of my favorites to a friend who likes the same thing. Afterwards we were talking about how awesome it was and I asked her if she read Fifty Shades. She said yes, it was okay, very light BDSM, but nothing crazy or anything. She didn't hate it, but she didn't love it and she talked me into giving it a try. As I said I knew I should read it to have an opinion, and that was the push I needed to try. I checked it out of the library and started reading.

Now I was like 99% sure I would hate this book. From everything I read it sounded terrible. And I started reading with that mindset, and the first chapter I thought I don't know about this. Then I kept reading and oh my goodness. This is the funniest book I have ever read. Seriously. It is hilarious!! I had sooooo much fun reading this book. So. Much. Fun. I laughed till I had tears running down my face. It was amazing. If you would have told me going in that I would LOVE this book, and actually recommend it to people, I would have laughed. Said no way. But oh, this book is comedy gold! It is not supposed to be, but I have no idea how you can not find this book hilarious! Well that is not true. I can see you hating it, but yeah. I love bad movies and TV shows and everything. The stuff that is so bad it's good, and that is what Fifty Shades is. While reading I told every single person I talked to how amazing this book was. How you should read it. How it is so so so funny. How I can't believe I am saying this, but do yourself a favor and give this book a try. Oh it was great.

There are so many things about this story that are so wrong they are so right. While reading I kept writing lines to my one friend and oh, we had some fun times. It got to the point where I was just like I have to stop. I would send her almost every line it felt like, because they were all so bad they are good. Oh, this book. Oh Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey and Katherine Cavanaugh. I am usually really bad with names, but the author uses the characters names so much, both first and last names, that I cannot forget them. It was glorious. The books starts off with Anastasia Steele intrviewing Christian Grey for Katherine Cavanaugh. Because Katherine Cavanaugh is sick and can't do it. Oh, Anastasia Steele, if she would have been written just slightly less entertaining, she would have been one of the most annoying characters I have ever read. Instead she is one of the most entertaining. She is so incredibly stupid and naive and I don't know how she has lived as long as she has. Or why Christian Grey would want to be with her so much. She was...horrible in such a delightful way. I...she was awesome. She thinks things that I find not sexy AT ALL, things that are just no, that I would NEVER want to happen are just the best thing ever. Anything that comes from Christian Grey's mouth is so much better. There was one time when he put wine in his mouth, then put it in her mouth, and that scene I almost died laughing. It was sexier than the toothbrush! Cause using someones toothbrush was previously THE sexiest thing ever. No. Just no.

So yeah. I'm not really going to go into details as I would be here all day. I could tell you all the amazing, gloriously terrible parts of this story that had me, my friend, and my husband cracking up. All the things that had us laughing so hard we cried. All the things that we still talk about and enjoy even months later. This book. This book is better than I could have ever imagined. This book is the funniest thing I have ever read. This book is everything I never expected. I expected it to be terrible, the worst, but that made it the best.

Oh, and just a note. This book doesn't really have much BDSM in it. It is pretty much vanilla sex. He spanks her like two or three times, he ties her hands up once, then the rest is just vanilla. Oh, and if you would have told me that I would feel bad for Christian Grey at the end I would again have laughed and said no way. But I did. Anastasia Steele was ridiculous. *Spoilers if you don't know how this ends already* So Anastasia Steele asks Christian Grey to show her how bad it would be. The worst he can do. And so he spanks her like 7 times or something and then she is all you monster! I can't be with you! You are the worst! It was just like what?!? First off seven spanks is the worst it will get? Umm...okay. I think even I could handle that. Plus, you asked him to show you this. And it is not much worse than anything that happened before. So I have no idea why she freaked out so much. But I did feel bad for Christian Grey. I can see where some wouldn't like this book because of the older lady that introduced Christian Grey to the BDSM stuff, but that was just in the background. Also all the people that said this was abuse....I don't see it. And as I said I normally hate that, so...Anastasia Steele always consented to anything that happened. So not abuse. I also felt bad for Christian Grey as he really did start to change for Anastasia Steele. She wasn't sure she wanted all of this light BDSM stuff, and he tried to be more like what she wanted. Because he wanted to be with her and make her happy. It was sad then that she was just all you monster! And left him. Now to read the next book. Hopefully it will be as entertaining as this one has been.

One last thing before I sign off - if anyone knows of any other reviewers who have loved this book as I have, who have found this book hilarious - please let me know. I read through a lot of reviews and they seem to be either a) I love this book! Christian Grey is the best!! I wish he were my boyfriend!!, b) this book is meh, whatever or c) I hate this book! It is the worst thing I have ever read! No option d) that this is hilarious. That you should read it because it is so bad it is good. So yeah. Let me know of any you see that think the same as me. I want to connect with more of my people. And go read this book. It is incredible. So bad it's good. I never thought I would give this more than 1 star, I never thought I would actually recommend it, but I am. Incredible.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Monday, December 25, 2017

Wrapped Up In You (Mystic Island #1) by Stephanie Rowe

Available on

Synopsis:

New York Times bestselling author, Stephanie Rowe, unveils her heartwarming new Mystic Island series, where love always finds a way in this enchanting coastal Maine community. In Wrapped Up In You, can a moonlight kiss from twelve years ago heal two hearts that no longer believe in love?

Haunted by his tragic past, Cole Charbonneau has returned to Mystic Island to sever the final ties to the place he once loved so dearly. His only goal is to walk away forever, until a woman from his past winds up on his doorstep, needing from him the one thing he can't give.

After a heartless betrayal by those she trusted dearly, Willow Morgan has escaped to Mystic Island, hoping the magic of an island Christmas will heal the emptiness in her heart. The last thing she wants is love, but Mystic Island has its own plans for her…and they include a kiss she'd almost forgotten and the devastatingly handsome business mogul who touched her heart so long ago. Can she afford to fall for him a second time?

Review:

Wrapped Up in You was a sweet Christmas read. Willow is returning to Mystic Island for the holidays in the hopes of finding the same feeling she got the last time she was there when she was younger. She always thinks of her short time there as this magical time when she could just be herself and she really needs that now. Her life is a bit crazy and she doesn't have anyone she is really close to and she could use some time to relax and recharge.

Cole is coming back to Mystic Island hopefully for the last time. He needs to fix up the old inn that is in his family. He had a lot of good times on the island, but a lot of not so good as well. He hasn't been back in a while, but he wants to get in and get everything squared away so he can sell the hotel and severe his ties to the island for good.

When Willow shows up on Cole's doorstep needing help things get more heated than either of them expected. Neither of them are looking for love, they both have to leave the island, but when they realize they shared a magical kiss twelve years ago they both start to wonder if they could get that same thing they had then now. Things were just easy and perfect between them, but how can they make things work now when they are in two different worlds?

Through the holidays these two spend more time together and grow closer. Can the island's holiday magic give them the happily ever after they didn't know they were looking for? It was a cute read. I would love to go somewhere like Mystic Island for Christmas. It sounds like so much fun.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Friday, December 22, 2017

Undone (Unknown #3) by Wendy Higgins

Available on

Synopsis:

USA Today and New York Times bestselling author, Wendy Higgins, brings you the gripping, sensual conclusion to her apocalyptic trilogy.

Amber Tate never dreamed their heart-wrenching escape from the enemy’s attack would lead them to the most beautiful place she’s ever seen, marred by one ugly fact; it’s under enemy control. Like everywhere else in the world, Elmendorf military base in Alaska has been captured, and it’s time to take it back—all of it—one base, one city at a time. After losing so much, Amber clings to the only precious person she has left, and vows to sacrifice everything to help save the Earth.

Remy Haines is a lover, not a fighter, so when she finds herself in enemy territory, expected to feign allegiance while gathering intel for the rebel cause, she’s never been more out of her element. Tensions only increase when her feelings for Jacob “Tater” Tate won’t go away, and the enemy’s leader takes an interest in her. She’s torn between what her heart wants, and what she knows she should do. As for what her body needs…well, it’s always had a mind of its own.


Review:

Okay I know I wasn't expecting much from Undone after those first two books and...it didn't get any better. Man this series was seriously annoying. I hated the characters, the romance was super lame, everything was just not good. I am still surprised as I loved Sweet Evil and those books so I expected more. At least the same level of storytelling, but if I didn't know better I would say this was the first thing the author wrote and she wrote Sweet Evil later. I actually went back and re-read Sweet Evil after I finished this just to see if I was not remembering the writing style and such correctly, but no that is a MUCH better book. The writing, the characters, the story, everything is sooooo much better than in this series. I don't get it. *spoilers ahead*

So Undone is the conclusion of this series. Where our heroes and heroines take down the aliens and save the world. Or what is left of it. The story is told from Amber and Remy's point of views. And maybe a few other people, but they were the main ones. Remy and Tater and lady who liked Rylan and is super tough were captured by the aliens and they pretended to be on the aliens side so they could live at their main camp and try and take them down from the inside. Which...okay here is a HUGE issue I have with this story. Which I didn't really think that much about until this happened. Until people were captured and interviewed by the aliens, they told the aliens lies, and the aliens just said okay and let them in. So it was set up in the first book that the aliens have these mind control powers. They can make you do what they want, say what you really think and feel, if they use them. So why don't the aliens use these powers? Why not use them when interviewing these suspect people? Why just ask them questions normally and they say whatever and just believe them? That makes no sense. None. I mean...I don't get it. But after I thought of it I realized there were so many times when they could have made things easier and just used the mind control to get things done. Like why wouldn't they use it all the time to keep the humans compliant and doing what they wanted? You gave them this power and then it is only used once or twice for not much which doesn't make sense. Like when grandpa wouldn't hand over the keys in the first book instead of having Tater and Rylan move out of the way, why not just have grandpa hand over the keys? That would have been simpler and easier and then the family wouldn't get upset and would be easier to round up and kill them all as a whole. Or why not just kill everyone right then? So yeah, the whole mind control thing the aliens had was way underused and I didn't understand why. It was almost useless to them as they used it so ineffectively.

So Remy was still just as stupid as she was in the other books. The senator turns out to be the leader of the aliens and at first she is super upset, but then of course the senator thinks she is all that and treats her special so Remy is all he is not bad! At the end she even tries to save the senator and the kids because golly gee guys we can all get along and live peacefully even though the aliens killed everyones family and friends and were absolutely horrible to humans. Who cares that they bombed everyone I cared about except the few who managed to get out, we can all live in peace and harmony with these aliens. Sure. Yeah. Really. No. No. Sorry no. You kill my entire family I don't care how "nice" you are now that you are not in charge I will never trust you and won't want to live amongst you. I would want you locked up somewhere far away so you can't hurt anyone else I come to care about. Yeah. So Remy was all wide eyed optimist still with the huge heart and no. It was too much.

On the other hand Amber is up in Alaska with everyone else planning their final siege. It is very lucky that the aliens all procreate at the same time and it makes the guys crazy when they do so they good guys have a great window of opportunity. But first they have to take down the outpost in Alaska so they know the aliens plans and when exactly the sexy times were planned. And man Amber was still acting like a stupid 12 year old the whole time. She was taken along when they were taking down the Alaskan post and she is incredibly stupid when she hears someone coming her way it can only be one of the good guys right and she goes crazy getting to them only *shock surprise* it was an alien and then a gun fired and alerted the rest of the aliens that they were under attack. Great job Amber. I see why you wanted to come along. To mess things up and get people killed. Yes, she feels terrible afterwards, but geez she was stupid. I get it can be hard to think straight in difficult situations, but man. It was hard to believe she was as old as she was supposed to be. Because she never acted like it.

So the main battle, taking down the aliens and getting control of earth back, was a bit disappointing. It was all way too easy. And way too quick. Just like woohoo! We won. End of story. I don't know. I don't really understand why everyone seems to love this series. The writing is not that good, the characters are not realistic and feel like they are young children, everything is too easy, the aliens have powers they don't use, it was all just a mess. I don't know what happened with this, or maybe the Sweet series was just a fluke. This wasn't good. Not at all. I don't understand.

*Note: I received a free copy of this book for voluntary review consideration

Rating: ★1/2

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Unrest (Unknown #2) by Wendy Higgins

Available on

Synopsis:

Being on the run in the desert means food and sanctuary are hard to come by, but Amber Tate and her crew are not about to give up. Not after having so many of the things they love brutally ripped from them by an unknown enemy who sent their world into the apocalypse.

Survival takes precedence, but once safe shelter is found, their guards fall and the emotions they’ve been holding in are finally released. Anger, insecurities...lust. In their tight quarters, Amber, Rylen, Tater, and Remy can't escape it. The past must be faced, and passions run even stronger in the darkest of times.

In the midst of unrest, their worlds are rocked again when they discover the truth about the war that’s ruined their lives. They thought finding out the enemy's identity would give them the edge; instead it’s revealed terrifying dangers they never thought possible.


Review:

Man somehow Unrest was even worse than Unknown. At least in that first book you didn't know what was happening, but Unrest? Ugh. It was painful to read. *spoilers ahead*

Unrest is a continuation of the story that started in Unknown. I didn't really enjoy that one, but didn't hate it enough to stop reading. I was hoping this story would get better as it went along, but it didn't. All of the characters are still just as stupid as they were. Especially Remy. Are there really people who have never heard of military time or don't know how to make time from 12-hour increments to 24 hours? Like they have never heard of the idea of 24 hour time? Never heard 24 hours in a day? Nothing like that? Apparently so...I just...the stupid hurt.

So in this installment, we have the gang traveling to a base that was in a morse code signal they heard on the radio. And getting there took forever and I wanted it to be over. I thought that would be the hard part of the story, but then they got to the base and Amber is just a super jealous awful person when there is a lady there who seems to like Rylan. And she gets super pissed every time she sees them talking even though they work together. She is just like he is not ready bestest friend stay away!! And the other lady is like he is a big boy, he can make his own decisions little girl. I swear Amber acted like she was 12 and it was so so so annoying. Then we find out that she finds it REALLY difficult to talk about things. Anything. Ugh. Did not like. I understand it can be hard, but Amber was sooooo annoying!! She can't seem to say two words about anything at times. Ugh. Especially not to Rylan as it was just lame teenage angsty drama rama.

So they spent a good chunk of the story underground at this new base and it was kind of boring. It was just the jealous Amber show, but she wouldn't do anything to let Rylan know how she felt either. Even though he kept giving her GIANT clues that he liked her, she was still poor me! That other girl likes him and I can't do anything but cry myself to sleep like a little kid because other girl likes him. I know I was told she has a hard time with words, but I just wanted to grab her and shake her like come on! Woman up and do something or stop your whining. Seriously. Apparently, all the guys liked her and Remy, but they were stuck on Rylan and Tater so the other guys didn't have a chance *que huge eye roll* There was a bit of action at the end, but the rest of the story was pretty predictable and felt so high school drama not twenty-something end of the world that it should be. Maybe the last book will wrap everything up better? I doubt it, but we shall see. I have made it this far might as well see how it all ends.

*Note: I received a free copy of this book for voluntary review consideration

Rating: ★1/2

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Unknown (Unknown #1) by Wendy Higgins

Available on

Synopsis:

Amber Tate believes the worst thing she’ll suffer in life is dealing with the unrequited love she feels for her brother’s best friend, Rylen Fite. She also believes war is something unfortunate that happens places far, far away from her rural Nevada town. She’s wrong on both counts.

When an unknown organization meticulously bombs major cities in the United States and across the globe, a trickle-down effect spreads to remaining towns at an alarming speed—everything from food and water sources to technology and communications are compromised. Without leadership, the nation is split between paralysis and panic, but Amber isn’t one to hide or watch helplessly. She’s determined to put her nursing skills to use, despite the danger, even if it means working alongside the man she can never have.

In this first installment of NY Times bestselling author, Wendy Higgins’s debut New Adult series, a frighteningly realistic apocalyptic America is brought to life, entwined with searing romantic tension that will leave you eager for more.


Review:

*Note: Spoilers ahead*

This story started off not so good for me. It was history of Ambers life up until whatever happened. Her brother Tater, their neighbor/her brothers bff/her crush Rylan and her bff Remy. It was all just told to you and it...it was kind of boring to read honestly. I was trying to get through that part so we could catch up to the present and it could stop sounding like a story being told to me after the fact. Only when we get to the present it was still written like that. It was alright, but not my favorite writing style.

So the story idea itself is interesting. And as it went along there were some parts near the end where it was a bit intense and I was like eek! What is going to happen?!?! And when it ended I was a little curious where the story would go, hoping the next book would be better, but overall it was just okay.

My main problem with the book was the characters. I have only read the authors Sweet Evil series prior to this and I absolutely loved that series, loved the characters, so I was surprised that these characters came off more...childish and not like adults? Incredibly stupid at times? It was a bit much. The worst by far was Remy. I know she is supposed to be a wide-eyed optimist, believing the good in everyone, but come on. How long can she think the people rounding people up, using some bad people in society to help their cause, killing indiscriminately, are still good. She sees them bomb a flipping "camp" where they rounded up everyone left alive and forced them to go (our main characters managed to escape) and still is well it could be okay. People leading the charge might not know what is going on. They have always been good people so they are probably still good. Really? They just killed your family and everyone else that was left in your town and you are still not sure the world is being run by bad people now? Okay.

But it was everyone. There kept being instances of things happening that screamed something is not right, and yet no one would question them. Amber was angry with the doctor when she was getting her vaccine and didn't want to say who she was attracted to, but then suddenly she is calm and blurts it out? She doesn't think that is odd? Or Rylan when he did the same thing? Or when Rylan and Tater tried to save their grandpa and then just moved out of the way against their will? No one is going to question that and say hey something odd is going on here? Really I don't understand why they didn't leave after they killed the grandpa. Why go to the town meeting and plan to leave after that? I didn't get it. They were all a bunch of idiots at times, completely oblivious to the weird things that were happening. Or maybe not oblivious, but not really thinking about it or trying to do anything sooner. Except the grandpa - he knew what was up! He was ready to go!

They also seemed to be able to just roam around the dessert mountains no problem. Like...I don't know. They said about shooting something for dinner and Amber was like you can't set off a gun! And they were just like eh - we are miles away. It is fine. Now I am sure the shot might echo depending on what the mountains are like so you might not be able to get an exact location, but still. It seems like it might let the bad guys know at the very least that there is someone with a gun somewhere out there! I don't know. Plus why aren't the bad guys looking harder for them when they know they escaped being rounded up?

Oh one other example of the them being not so smart - the military was basically shut down and sent home (and probably most of the higher ups killed) and then an air force jet comes and the main characters see it and think yey! Finally the military has arrived! But then the air force jet bombs the "camp" and are confused as to why the military is killing everyone. It takes them WAY too long to think that maybe the bad guys are using the jets for their own use. I mean they took over control of everything so why wouldn't they use the air force planes?  It made no sense.

So yeah I liked the idea of the story itself, but the characters could get on my nerves. That and they didn't quite feel real and it was just an okay read for me. Like I said at times it was intense and I couldn't put it down, but overall just a meh book. Sad as I expected more from this author. I still am going to give the second book a try to see if, hopefully, it gets better.

*Note: I received a free copy of this book for voluntary review consideration

Rating:  ★

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

The Doctor's Christmas Proposal (The Gallaghers of Montana #3) by Eve Gaddy

Available on

Synopsis:

Betrayed by his ex-fiancĂ©e, Dr. Wyatt Gallagher turns to the one woman he can always trust – his best friend, Mia Watson. After moving away, Wyatt has realized he wants more than friendship with the beautiful artist. With that in mind, he convinces Mia to come to Marietta for the Christmas holidays. But wooing Mia is surprisingly difficult — especially given the passionate night they’ve already shared.

Though Mia Watson has loved Wyatt Gallagher for years, he's always seen her as a friend, never a lover. Except for one unforgettable interlude when comfort turned to passion. Then Wyatt moved back to Montana, leaving Mia with an unexpected consequence of their night together--and soon, heartbreak to follow.

Faced with the fulfillment of her dreams, Mia knows she must reveal the consequences of their night together to Wyatt. But having withheld the truth for so long, will her confession destroy his trust in her, ending their friendship and any hope of a future together?

Review:

The Doctor's Christmas Proposal was my first fun Christmas read of the year! I love Christmas romances. Love them. And this one was really cute. 

Mia has loved Wyatt for years, though they have only ever been friends. Except for that one night when he seeks comfort from her when he is betrayed by his ex-fiance. And Wyatt has always turned to Mia when things get rough. She is always there for him and he never realized until that night just how much she means to him. 

So now it is a few months later, Mia hasn't heard much from Wyatt since he moved back home pretty quick after their one-night stand. So she thinks it meant nothing to him. I mean why would it have? He had been drinking and she has to try and protect her heart and move on. With someone who sees her as more than just a friend. 

Wyatt has realized that he wants Mia as more than a friend, but he is unsure of how she feels about him. He had to take some time and get his head straight after his ex had him not really trusting people. He dated a few girls in the interim, but it never worked out. Mainly because they weren't Mia. So when his brother is getting married days before Christmas and his other brother is having a baby he thinks this is the perfect opportunity to get Mia to come visit him. And maybe with all the holiday cheer and festivities, he can convince her that maybe she likes him as more than a friend. Maybe they can make this work between them. Because he misses her and wants her in his life, but he has to convince her of that first. 

Now Mia is hiding something from Wyatt. Something she meant to tell him sooner, but just never did. It was easy when they were living in different cities and hardly talking, but now that she is staying with him and he seems to want to be more than friends she has to figure out what to do. How to tell him even though once she does that would put an end to him ever wanting to be with her. I really enjoyed this story. I loved Wyatt and how dedicated he was to Mia, but Mia was a bit...annoying at times. She was all doom and gloom and kept coming up with reasons why things wouldn't work between them. I loved when Wyatt finally had enough and it is just like look, if you don't want to be with me that is fine but just say so. Stop putting roadblocks in our path that aren't really there as nothing you come up with is that important in the long run. We can figure this out if we want to. It was like yes! Thank you! 

Overall this was a sweet read. I loved Wyatt and watching these two figure everything out. 

Rating: ★ ★ ★1/2