To director Luc Savage nothing will compromise his new West End production. Even when one of the board members tries to pull rank and cast soap opera star Lily Lamprey as Elizabeth I. After viewing one reel of her Marilyn Monroe-esque acting, he refuses to consider her for the part until his casting director asks him to take another look. When Lily tries out in person he see’s a glimmer of Elizabeth and is intrigued, despite her breathy delivery.
Pretty Face could very easily gone the way of My Fair Lady with Luc trying to re-make Lily into his perfect Elizabeth. He does get her a voice coach and he is reluctantly attracted to he ingenue but thankfully that is where his Henry Higgins likeness stopped. Once Luc decided that he was going to stop fighting his attraction to Lily he went all in, despite what getting involved with her could do to his reputation and career. He, in fact, put love first before what had been the most important things in his life. You’ve got to love that attribute in a man!
Even though Lily had the body and voice of Marilyn Monroe, her personality was anything but Monroe-like. She knew her soap opera background didn’t do her any favors and she worked hard to overcome those expectations. I really enjoyed Lily’s sass and fire and in fact was pleasantly surprised at the depth to her character. I shouldn’t have been though, as Lucy Parker gives her characters great back stories which make them jump off the pages in 3-D and put her readers through a riot of emotions. Pretty Face was no different, I was caught up, hook line and sinker!
I think I wrote on Goodreads that I am now obsessed with Lucy Parker novels. I really am. Her stories could so easily be fluffy romances, but they aren’t! They are well written, her characters are rock solid and the build up in the romance is riveting to read. Her dialog isn’t too shabby either, it’s actually really fun! Growing up in Southern California, I love the London West End playhouse setting and the fact that these are also slow burn romances. The build up from enemies to friends to lovers has you gripping your book until your fingers hurt, the tension only unwinding when the characters deliver their HEA. Yeah, Lucy Parker is a new favorite and I will be recommending this book and series to everyone I know. Consider yourself recommended. 🙂 ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
Darcy Barrett has spent her life traveling the world running away from her feelings for her brother’s best friend Tom Valeska. Tom was “adopted” into her family and was attached at the hip to her twin brother Jamie since they were kids. He was the peacemaker between the two very dramatic siblings always saying the perfect thing to bring the tension down and smooth out their foul moods. Now in her mid 20’s Darcy is living in her Grandmother’s home while working as a bartender in a biker bar. One evening she arrives home to find Tom sitting on her doorstep, ready to start construction on the home she and her brother have inherited. He’s newly single and Darcy is determined to make him 99 percent hers.
I really, really wanted to love this book. The Hating Game took me by surprise and delivered a powerfully snarky love story that was incomparable to any other. 99 Percent Mine, following that amazing debut had the burden of living up to that great first novel, and well, it paled in comparison. Don’t get me wrong, it was totally readable, but there was just something missing. Darcy had the snarky attitude, the brash personality, and the emotional neediness of a great heroine, but she never felt three dimensional. She was a black and white sketch that needed color and warmth to flesh her out. Her brother Jamie was the same. What saved this novel from being bad was Tom, yet he had his issues too.
The biggest problem was that I really couldn’t connect with Darcy and found her to be pretty unlikeable. If she is unlikeable, why would I root for she and Tom to get together? She does have a heart problem, and this will sound a little weird, but I liked that. It made her more human, but she fought so hard against appearing weak that she builds a shell that is almost unbreachable.
There were a few plot points that if explained could have rounded out the story and provided depth with back story. For example, there was this scene from when she was eighteen years old and Tom had declared his love for her. She is immature and brushes off his declaration and although she regrets her action she doesn’t try to make amends. She runs to her grandmother for advice and her loving grandmother gives her money and sends her off to travel the world! What was up with that? Darcy does look back on that and wonder why her grandmother did that but the plot point was never resolved. Did grandma know Darcy would eat sweet Tom up and spit him out and was trying to protect him? I really wanted to know! This is just one example and I really think that if some of these questions had been worked through in the book, it would have helped me like Darcy just a little bit more. Why was she she so messed up? I really couldn’t tell you except that she had a heart problem.
Tom was a prime male specimen. That fact was relayed in description after description that in my head I pictured he was a Viking god. Yet, his personality of the peacemaker was kind of an underwhelming trait as was his skills as a head contractor. This guy just kind of fell apart. I liked that he was sweet and sweet on her (but couldn’t really see why he’d pick her!), but other than his height, musculature, and size of his package he was.. and here’s that word again… underwhelming!
There was a lot of tension surround our main characters, but that tension fed each of their jealousies and insecurities instead of amping up towards a big release of that tension. There was one, but it seemed a bit rushed which diminished the importance of their finally getting together. So, Surprise! I was disappointed in this one. It fell into the solid good, but not great category and I really think this author just mailed it in. I really hope she puts more into her next effort. ❤️❤️❤️
Opinions from around the Blogosphere
“Overall, unless 99 Percent Mine goes through some major editing it will be a flop. It lacks spark, characterisation and just overall consistency. This book is not something I would recommend to anyone in the state that I read it and it is disappointing to say that. There are just so many flaws and it is so hard to look past them when it is the entire book.” Ambsreads
“I have to say that while I enjoyed 99 Percent Mine, I was a little bit disappointed. I went in expecting to have found my new favorite book, and that was my fault. I really should know better than to hype up books so much in my mind.” Sara –The Bibliophagist
Lacey Barnes has landed her first big role in a movie opposite a big name teenage heart throb. Wanting to focus 100% on doing her absolute best acting as the love interest/zombie she is foiled by her father who wants to make sure she is keeping up with her school work and not working more hours than an underage performer should be. He hires a local high school student, Donavan Lake to tutor her. When someone starts sabotaging her chances on set, Donavan becomes the one person she can trust to help her find out who is behind these pranks.
I liked Lacey and her drive to succeed quite a bit. She is charming on set and that charm carries over to the reader very well. She and Donavan have some great dialog and I liked him overall, but I thought their romance was a bit contrived. Yes, he was her tutor and they were thrown together but I thought the story would have been stronger if they stayed friends. I don’t know, I guess I have mixed feelings because I did really like each characters on their own. I thought the movie plot was cute and kind of liked how each chapter began with a scene that they’d be working on in the next chapter. It tied the movie to the plot really well.
I really felt let down when it came to the relationship between Lacey and her father. I would’ve like to have seen the relationship grow a bit more than it did. He and her mom are divorced and this was his chance of living with his daughter and their relationship didn’t have enough depth and because of that his scenes felt flat. I didn’t feel the emotion that the scene was trying to build towards which was disappointing.
Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss is a stand alone novel set in the same world and with the same characters as in Love, Life, and the List. Lacey’s best friend is Abby from the previous book, which would make this the second book in a series? BUT, it can be read as a standalone since Abby and Conner show up towards the end and don’t really need more explanation than what is given to the reader. I do think reading Love, Life and the List first would be helpful only because you learn a little of Lacey’s back story and without that the reader is thrown into the story. Overall, I enjoyed reading Fame, Fate and the First Kiss, but it was not my favorite Kasie West novel. Funny enough, that title goes to Love, Life, and the List. ❤️❤️❤️❣️
Opinions from around the Blogosphere
“This is the perfect escapist read. It’s got enough suspense and intrigue to keep you hooked, but it’s delivered with in such an airy tone that it’s just a pleasure to read.” YA & Wine
“Overall, Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss was a knockout YA romance for me—it was cute, fun, a quick read, had enjoyable characters, didn’t rely on overusage of tropes, and the main character is acting in a horror movie,which was such a fun detail to the story.” Howling Libraries
When Richard Troy’s temper makes him front page news again, his team wants him to fake a romance with one of his leading ladies, golden girl Lainie Graham. Lainie has had her share of bad press after her most recent romance with another actor was played out in the headlines, so agreeing to “play” leading lady to Richard’s growly leading man, umm no way! When his team offers to make a donation to her favorite charity she shrugs off her misgivings and gives in, then is surprised that underneath his surly facade is a not so bad person, and their chemistry catches fire.
Act Like it takes place in London’s West End theater district which is a fun change in scenery for a slow burn romance. There is plenty of great dialog and I really enjoyed Lainie’s sassy personality. She isn’t the pushover either Richard or I were expecting! When he gives her a tough time she gives it right back and he comes to respect that he can’t push her around. As the story progresses their chemistry ignites yet it isn’t just their hormones that get involved. They come to actually like each other and I really started to root for them to get past the pretend relationship and get down to the real thing.
This could easily have played out like a cheesy Hallmark Channel romance movie, and I’m not really sure why it didn’t strike that chord with me. Maybe it was their fun dialog, the villain to root against in Lainie’s previous boyfriend (who is also a star in their play), or Richard’s lone wolf persona. I do really like that Alpha male attitude! This one hit all of my triggers and I just really enjoyed it while I was reading it. It’s a simple as that! So, if you are looking for a fun romance with great characters then I recommend you pick up Act Like It. It’s the first in the series and I bet, like me, you’ll immediately pick up the second! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️
Opinions from around the Blogosphere
“As a through and true theatre kid who has always been obsessed with British pop culture, this book may have been written for me. I adored the characters and their gradual, effortlessly written romance. ” Flying with Books
She was known as Mad Maddie in her neighborhood because of her past. She was the lone survivor of a stalker/murderer in her college dorm which resulted in a nervous breakdown and internment into a mental facility. As she moves on with her life, her fiance is murdered in their home while she is upstairs. Due to her background she was a suspect. Now, living in a new neighborhood in Virtue Falls, Maddie meets her neighbor Jacob by driving her car into the living room of his home. Jacob survives the incident and continues to live in his demolished home where he can see and hear clearly the goings on across the street. Not everything is as it looks…
This novel had me hooked right from the first scene! There was something about Maddie and Jacob that drew me in. Whereas she was nicknamed Mad Maddie by her neighbors, Jacob was actually crazier than she. He was an ex-soldier with PTSD who had delusions of death. He was actually mad that Maddie had missed him with her car! Watching the two of them navigate into a friendship, or really a co-dependency, was really interesting. Seeing this mystery play out was even more so.
I have read all of the Virtue Falls novels, including the Woman Who Couldn’t Scream which follows this novel in the series. I’ve enjoyed them, liking the continuing story of the town and it’s inhabitants. There are subplots in each novel that moves the town’s story forward. Even though I read the fourth book before the third, I don’t think I messed up the story’s sequence too much. This novel was still my favorite so far. Each piece came together in the perfect package of psychosis, mystery, and romance. Well done, Ms. Dodd! May I have another? ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
Megan is the girl who will be voted Biggest Flirt in the year book, and she’s OK with that. Her last boyfriend dumped her for her best friend, and she’s ok with that too. In fact, every guy she’s ever hooked up with has left her and immediately found THE one. She thinks that’s what her role in life is supposed to be, but then Megan unexpectedly lands the role of Juliet in the school play and she discovers maybe she does have it in her to be the leading lady.
Always Never Yours seemed like a lighthearted romp through a high school romance, but Megan was actually a lot more complex a character than I thought I was getting from reading this synopsis. By having flirtations instead of relationships, Megan was protecting her heart. Her parents split and her father’s new family had done a number on her belief in love and truthfully, her taste in guys was pretty bad, so they were always cementing her belief that love was just not for her.
If it wasn’t for Owen I’d wonder if these authors had never met a teenaged boy who wasn’t driven by their hormones. OK, yeah all teenage boys are driven by their hormones, even Owen, but at least he had a brain as well as some morals. He was inspired by Megan’s being so casual about being “the girl before”. The comparison to Rosalind, Romeo’s “girl before” Juliet, I thought, was inspiring. How does that girl go on to find her own love story? Well, if you read Always Never Yours, you’ll find out.
Opinions from around the Blogosphere
“I guess, in the end, I’d recommend this book if you were a theater kid and you want a nostalgic look back at those days. I don’t know that I’d necessarily recommend it as a romance, but you could certainly do worse if you’re looking for a quick summer read.” The Bibliophagist
“Always Never Yours is a cute YA contemporary story, and while there’s more to this book than meets the eye it is still a little predictable in places. Still this is a perfect read for an afternoon when you have nothing else to do (or read) and Megan is a character you can’t help but root for.” Reading Every Night
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.
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. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
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.
Recently widowed Lucy Brewer moves back to her hometown of Lake Sackett, Georgia to raise her son Sam. Re-connecting with friends and dealing with her husband’s irritating family makes her decision to open a bakery a need rather than a want. Who wouldn’t want a Death by Chocolate cupcake after an altercation with her in laws? When her childhood best friend Duffy McCready offers to make her some shelves for her store she finds out that he’d always been in love with her and her childhood crush develops into a sweetheart of a romance.
Molly Harper really knows how to write great characters. Lucy doesn’t let her unhappy marriage turn her into a doormat. When her irritating in laws step over the line, she gives as good as she gets, but Lucy isn’t all sass. She’s also a loving mother, smart business owner, and soon to be loving girlfriend. I liked all sides of Lucy, her interactions with her son Sam, and with her suitor Duffy.
Duffy is a character that is familiar to readers of this series. He’s Marianne’s brother, and Frankie’s cousin. Down to earth, laid back, and stress free. He also has an ex wife who he lets into his home a little too often. However, once Lucy hits town he knows what he wants and he fights for her. That laid back attitude actually works for him in winning Lucy’s heart.
Lake Sackett and it’s inhabitants reminds me a little bit of Jill Shalvis’ Lucky Harbor series. The charming “older” crowd add a little seasoning and humor to these stories. I like multi generational tales, even though the romance is between a younger couple. Molly Harper does a great job of making you care for all of the inhabitants of that town and not just the couple in the main storyline. I want to read the next novel to see how Tootie and Bob’s cruise went just as much as I want to read the main story arc. These are stand alone novels, but I think you’d get more out of it if you had read the previous novels in the series and grew invested in all of the Southern Eclectic characters! ❤️❤️❤️❤️
I received a free copy of this ARC through NetGalley for my honest review and it was honest!
Opinions from around the Blogosphere
“I honestly love this family, and really enjoy when each of their very unique personalities pop into the story and kind of take over. I recommend binging this whole series!” I Read Ergo Sum
“I adore Lucy, her fire, her strength, her mouth, and pure determination. While I have liked all the couples in the series, I have to say, Lucy and Duffy are far and away my favorites!! I feel like there could be one more book in the series (Duffy’s momma!) but if there isn’t, Gimme Some Sugar is a great way to end this quirky, fun, HEA filled series.” Rolopolo Book Blog
Annie Mathers is the daughter of two country music stars who had a tragic ending. Living outside the stage lights of Nashville, Annie tried to ignore her calling but she was born to write and sing. After she releases a couple of songs on YouTube her star starts rising. Clay Coolidge is one of the country’s hottest young stars, but he’s going down the path her parents took. After another drunk bar fight he’s told that he has to go to Michigan to talk Annie into opening for his summer concert tour. With his record deal on the line, Clay convinces Annie and her band to join them. Even though they are complete opposites, she the good girl and he the bad boy, they strike sparks both on stage and off.
You’d be Mine had a lot of the things I look for in a YA contemporary novel, great character growth, a simmering love story, and a great hook. What I wasn’t expecting was the magical poetry this author wrote for their music lyrics and the gritty feel to the story. Annie was an easy character to like. I’ll admit that she walked a fine line between being a “good girl” and kind of a prude, but it fit her back story and gave her the heart and soul she’d need to sell the reader on her chemistry for leading man Clay.
Clay also had a great back story. A brother who is a fallen war hero and a line of people who want to ride his coattails, making his bad choices pretty realistic. If there was one fault with his part of the story I’d say his demon battling went on just a touch too long. I wanted the story to speed up and it lagged just a tad in the middle. The supporting characters were loyal, funny, and charming and I adored all of their antics and support. Even though this was a story about music and love, at it’s heart it was about family and these characters gave the reader a solid base line on what family should look like.
I mentioned above my love for the poetry in the music lyrics. You could tell this author has a feel for writing lyrically and if she hasn’t done so already, she should think about her own songwriting career! They were pretty special and the story itself? Good, very, very good. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️
I was given a free ARC of this book through NetGalley for my honest review and it was honest.
Opinions from around the Blogosphere
“You’d Be Mine is a cute little contemporary romance that reminded me a bit of the television show Nashville. This has all the ins and outs, the ups and downs and intrigue of the behind the scenes of the music business. The characters were likable and fun to root for and the story felt as if heading right out on tour along with them giving all the emotion of their journey along the way.” Carrie’s Book Reviews
“This was a fun story about the lives of these two talented performers. I am not a big country music fan, but I found myself cheering for these young country stars. I would definitely recommend this young adult book!” Welcome to our Campfire
At a house party on a secluded island with her partner Stoker and his brother Lord Templeton-Vane, Veronica and Stoker find themselves enmeshed in the mystery of the vanishing bride of their host Malcolm Romilly. This novel intertwines the electric attraction between Stoker and Veronica with the story behind the disappearance of Rosamund. The building tension as they discover each clue and fight their feelings for each other escalates until I was eagerly flipping pages to reach the climax of this story.
As the fourth novel in the series, A Dangerous Collaboration is on the cusp of finally giving the reader what we’ve been waiting for… the end of Veronica and Stoker dancing around their feelings for each other. Well, at least that’s what I’ve been waiting for! Each novel has also had a great mystery for them to solve, and this one is no different. Adding in the personal element of Stoker’s brother Tiberius’ relationship with both the bride and groom and this made for a great whodunnit. However, I continue to eagerly pick up these novels because of the tension filled dialog between our two main characters. This novel did not disappoint in that regard.
I’ve admired Veronica through this series for her modernity, her pursuit of a career, and her intelligence. I’ll admit to being just a little frustrated with her desire to talk herself out of her feelings for Stoker wanting that aspect of this series to speed up. Especially how the last novel ended with their feelings revealed! BUT, this was such a great follow up and true to Veronica’s personality that I can’t stay mad for too long that I didn’t quite get what I’d been looking for from the two of them… I can only hope that day will come soon!
The supporting characters in this book gave this novel a more Agatha Christie feel to the mystery. Unlike the previous novels which were mostly set in a big city, A Dangerous Collaboration was set in a remote island location and the characters were simpler or more country which added charm to what had been a more urban feeling series. I really enjoyed the change of scene and the Clue-like aspect to the mystery. Was Rosamund killed in the observatory with a candlestick? I’ll never tell! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️
I received a free copy of this ARC for my honest review and it was honest!
Opinions from around the Blogosphere
“This book’s setting is one of the strongest out of the whole series. It’s nice to get out of London proper and explore this remote island besieged by stormy weather and comprised of eccentric locals. I had as much fun with it as Veronica did. ” Where the Words Take Me
“If you haven’t had a chance to read this series yet and you’re a fan of murder mysteries, historical fiction, and slow-burn romances, then please do yourself a favor and pick up the first book!A Dangerous Collaboration is the fourth book of this wonderful, thrilling series and I’m highly anticipating the next (and I believe last) installment! ” Paws and Paperbacks