This Chick Read (Audio Review): Fiercely Emma (Cake #3) by J. Bengtsson

Fiercely Emma tells the story of not only Emma and Finn’s budding romance, but also how Emma’s life was shaped after the kidnapping of her brother Jake when she was just sixteen. This situation at such a young age put Emma in the position of mother to her two younger siblings and the post trauma when Jake was recovered shaped all of her siblings albeit in different ways. Emma’s self preservation came in the form of a wall that she built around her heart. Finn is the guy that broke down that wall and their story is heartbreaking and heart mending.

After having read Rogue Wave recently which is the fourth book in this series, I went back and listened to the audiobooks for the first three. I had previously read books one and two, but for some reason stopped with Fiercely Emma came out. Emma hadn’t been my favorite character and I think because I wasn’t drawn to her I put off reading the book. I’m going on record to say that I made a bad decision. Whereas Emma is still a tough nut, I LOVED Finn and the two of them together are such good awesome sauce! So I’m now spreading the love for Fiercely Emma and advising everyone to listen to the audio books for this series. The narration by Andi Arndt and Zachary Webber is done so well and the humor comes through and made me laugh out loud.

Finn has his own difficult back story and J. Bengtsson uses his story as a comparison to Emma’s to show the reader how someone can overcome their tough beginnings. Finn uses humor to hide his pain and that humor while funny at times broke my heart. Emma also uses humor to hide, but hers is not warm, until she meets Finn who becomes the bright light shining through the cracks in her wall. It is because of Finn and how his relationship changes Emma that she is able to mend her relationships with her own family, which is essentially what these books are all about.

Fiercely Emma really needs to be read as it stands in the series. Each book is uniquely tied to the kidnapping of Jake and I’d love to say it can stand on it’s own, but really, it can’t. This is a family saga, and each novel re-tells the story from a different viewpoint and as you read each book you see scenes from different perspectives and each perspective really sheds new light and makes for an aha moment that would be lacking otherwise. I will say that I skipped this book to read Rogue Wave first and I don’t think I messed up the flow of the series too much, but it would’ve been better for me (the reader) to have read them in the order they are released. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

On it’s own this was a great book. How it ties to the series makes it outstanding. Loved.

Click this link to purchase!* Fiercely Emma: Cake Series Book Three

Copyright 2019 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

*Amazon Associate

Advertisements

This Chick Read: Rogue Wave (Cake Series #5) by J. Bengtsson

Synopsis: A love story that survives the test of time.

Keith McKallister is the king of the stoners. You know the type. Every school has one – the hot, fun, dopey guy beloved by the student body but despised by, well, just about everyone else. He spends his early mornings in the ocean and his days trying to get to class on time. Life is as easy as it gets until one poor choice too many catches up with him and he’s forced to reevaluate his path. 

Samantha Anderson sits in the front row. You know the type. Every school has one – the quiet, faceless, studious girl who fears the taunts of her peers and fades into the background. Life has never been simple for Samantha, and it’s about to get a little more complicated when Keith slides into the seat beside her with a partnership plan designed for his benefit only. But what Keith brings to the table is more than either of them could imagine. 

Sometimes the person you least expect to make a difference will change your life forever. Sometimes the person you love the most might be better off without you.

REVIEW:

Rogue Wave tells the story of Keith and Samantha, but in two parts. The first half taking place in High School before Keith’s brother Jake is kidnapped and has a very young adult feel, and the second half of the novel takes place after Jake’s kidnapping and is most definitely a second chance adult romance novel. The combined story takes the reader on such an emotional journey. We’ve read about the kidnapping from Jake’s view point (Cake), but now we see how it affected Keith and how his choices drew him further from happiness.

I don’t recall ever reading a romance that 1) revolved around a main character who was a stoner and 2) where I really liked him. Even though Keith made bad choice after bad choice, he was so dang likable! Typically, I’m not comfortable with stories that revolve around drugs, drug problems, et. al. However, there was just something about Keith that made me want to see his story to its conclusion and root for him. Another surprising element was that even though Sam was the love of his life, she was not written in the role of savior. That made me like this story even more because it made it so real. Just as in real life, for them to finally be happy Keith would have to find his own way out of addiction and do it for himself. The question was, did I want to read that story? Yes, I really did.

Sam also had a lot of growing up to do. Not quite in the same way as Keith, as she wasn’t fighting an addiction to drugs, but she was fighting insecurity, problems at home, and the sudden suicide of her older brother. Also serious subjects! The fact that they found each other and could see through their outer shells to the good people within was pretty amazing. Sam had a very strong moral compass despite her difficult upbringing and that was a strength Keith needed in his life. Did he always choose to follow the right path? Well, you need to read the book.

There are some really great characters in the Cake series. Obviously Jake and Casey are fan favorites but Keith and Sam have found a special place in my heart. If you haven’t read the previous novels don’t read Rogue Wave until you’ve at least read the first novel, Cake. You need the background story of Jake’s kidnapping even though you get Keith’s side of it in Rogue Wave. I just think the emotional impact is stronger if you’ve read at least that first novel. BUT, if you choose not to pick up Cake I think you’ll enjoy reading about Keith and Sam. If you have triggers for drugs, suicide, mental illness, or kidnappings of small children, avoid this one. It’s a pretty emotional journey, but a very good one. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Goodreads: http://smarturl.it/RogueWaveGR 

Amazon: http://smarturl.it/RogueWaveAmazon 

About the Author

A professional stay-at-home-mom for twenty-one years, Jill started her writing career in 2016 after reading a really bad rockstar romance. Although she had no previous writing experience and no desire to become an author, Jill was convinced she could write a better story.

And so began Cake: A Love Story. She wrote the novel for fun and added every single thing she’d ever wanted to read in a romance. Embarrassed by her newfound hobby, Jill kept her writing a secret from her family.

When the story was complete, she turned to Amazon to get the feedback she desired. Not thinking the book would ever sell, Jill planned to pull Cake off Amazon once it got a review or two but that never happened because, within a week of its release, Cake began to soar up the bestseller charts. Not only was Jill shocked by Cake’s success but now she had a whole new burgeoning career on her hands…and some explaining to do. Needless to say, the news of Jill’s secret book bay came as a complete shock to her husband and three children.

Jill is now a full-time writer.

Website: https://jbengtssonbooks.com/ 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jbengtssonauthor/ 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CakeALoveStory 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/j._bengtsson/ 

It’s Monday, What are you Reading? (3/18/19)

Happy Monday everyone! I ran across this post on Book Date and liked the idea of sharing what I’m currently reading, so here goes!

JUST FINISHED

Gimme Some Sugar (Southern Eclectic #6) by Molly Harper

Last Sentence Read: “Lucy sat back on the seat, watching her son laugh into the wind, and knew that no matter what the future brought, they were going to be just fine.”

JUST STARTED

Rogue Wave (Cake series #5) by J. Bengtsson

First Sentence: My hands jammed safely in my pockets, I kept my head down as I made my way across the quad on legs as spindly as sticks.

Have you read either of these books? What did you think?

If not, what are you reading today? It’s Monday! Give me a shout!

Deborah

Cover Reveal! Like the Wind by J. Bengtsson- an Audible Original romance!

We are thrilled to be sharing with you the cover for LIKE THE WIND by J. Bengtsson, a new Audible Original romance coming January 2019. Be sure to pre-order your copy exclusively from Audible today!

About LIKE THE WIND

Prepare to laugh, cry, and fall in love with this enthralling new romance from J. Bengtsson – available in audio first! When a letter from his supposedly deceased mother finds its way into his hands, life changes in an instant for international pop star Bodhi Beckett. Reeling from the deception of those closest to him, Bodhi spirals out of control and is sent to a secluded mansion in the coastal mountains of Southern California for some rest and relaxation. But the retreat proves to be anything but relaxing when a raging wildfire sets the landscape around him ablaze.

While escaping the flames, Bodhi rescues Breeze, a quirky, pet-loving woman, and together the two fight their way to safety. In the aftermath of the fire, Bodhi and Breeze hit the road to uncover the truth about his family. What neither of them expected is to forge a powerful connection that will change their lives forever…but can it survive the real world, or will it disappear like the wind?

Pre-order LIKE THE WIND exclusively from Audible!

About J. BENGTSSON

A professional stay-at-home-mom for twenty-one years, Jill started her writing career in 2016 after reading a really bad rockstar romance. Although she had no previous writing experience and no desire to become an author, Jill was convinced she could write a better story. And so began Cake: A Love Story. She wrote the novel for fun and added every single thing she’d ever wanted to read in a romance. Embarrassed by her newfound hobby, Jill kept her writing a secret from her family. When the story was complete, she turned to Amazon to get the feedback she desired. Not thinking the book would ever sell, Jill planned to pull Cake off Amazon once it got a review or two but that never happened because, within a week of its release, Cake began to soar up the bestseller charts. Not only was Jill shocked by Cake’s success but now she had a whole new burgeoning career on her hands…and some explaining to do. Needless to say, the news of Jill’s secret book bay came as a complete shock to her husband and three children. Jill is now a full-time writer. Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

This Chick Read: The Theory of Second Best (Cake #2) by J. Bengtsson

The series, Cake, centers on an incident that happened to Jake, the protagonist of the first book Cake. Jake was kidnapped and held captive as a child until he escaped his abductor, returning to his family. These books are love stories, but this incident has shaped this families psyches and how they interact with people, including those that they love. Don’t get me wrong, both Cake and The Theory of Second Best are very funny and mostly light hearted, but the depths in these characters are often dark and deeply emotional.

Kyle, Jake’s brother, has surfed through life, letting others make his choices for him. He tours with his brother (Jake’s a rock star), and basically mooches off him, not really holding any kind of job. He decides to become a contestant on a Survivor type program, where the players live off the land and vote each other off each week. Kyle is the comic relief, and truly, he is funny. J. Bengtsson has written some great dialog! Kyle charms everyone, including the reader. More interstingly are the things Kyle learns about himself by isolating himself on an island with a bunch of strangers.

Kenzie is from a very small town in northern California. When her mother dies giving birth to her triplet siblings Kenzie was thrust into a mother type role at a very young age. She enters the show because she hopes to win the money so she can become independent from her family. When she meets Kyle, she is just as charmed and they join forces, also starting a light flirtation that is fun to read. It’s when they get back to the real world that the work in their relationship starts.

Even though the first part of this book is a recap of some of the events from Cake, but seen through Kyle’s eyes, you really do need to read this series in order. In fact, that recap to me was a time waster. I would’ve been happy if the author had just started with the island escapades because I think Kyle and Kenzie gave us plenty of insights into their characters by their reasons for entering that contest. Other than the slow start, I really enjoyed this novel. Kyle was a funny guy, and the two of them together were sweet!  ❤️❤️❤️❣️

Click link to purchase! The Theory Of Second Best: Cake Series Book Two (Volume 2)

Copyright 2017 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

This Chick Read: Cake-A Love Story by J. Bengtsson

If you are a fan of RockStar romances you are going to really enjoy Cake. This debut novel by J. Bengtsson had depth, humor, and a ton of emotion. Our rockstar Jake McKallister has the reputation for being close mouthed and a bit of a loner. He has good reason to be, you see, when he was a child he was kidnapped by a serial killer and endured abuse and torture before escaping. That dark past would make you think that this romance would be dark and disturbing, and at times it is, but from the moment our heroine Casey Caldwell gets paired up with Jake at his brother’s wedding, I found myself laughing out loud at her antics.

Casey is not shy, isn’t in awe of Jake, other than at his handsomeness, and most importantly is the perfect foil to his more serious nature. Reading about their courtship was a lot of fun. However, with every romance novel our couple must overcome obstacles, and in this novel the biggest obstacle is Jake’s past abuse. Those scenes were deftly told and had an emotional punch. I was reaching for the box of kleenex on my nightstand and quietly blowing my nose not wanting to wake my husband.

One of my favorite scenes from the wedding was when Casey started trying to come up with their famous couple moniker. Hers were hilariously outrageous and clearly a joke, but just as Jake walks away from her door and looks back at her he says ” I think our name should be Cake.” That statement, quietly said, had Jakes buy in, and it was that moment that J. Bengtsson had mine. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

img_1002-1

Click the link to purchase! Cake: A Love Story

Copyright 2017 Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved

I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.