Blog Tour – Day Zero by Kelly deVos | Review

Hey, everyone! Welcome to the final day of and my stop on Inkyard Press’s blog tour for Day Zero by Kelly deVos!

ISBN:  978-1335008480

Publication Date: 11/12/19

Publisher: Inkyard Press

Book Summary:

Don’t miss the exhilarating new novel from the author of Fat Girl on a Plane, featuring a fierce, bold heroine who will fight for her family and do whatever it takes to survive. Fans of Susan Beth Pfeffer’s Life As We Knew It series and Rick Yancey’s The 5th Wave series will cheer for this fast-paced, near-future thrill ride.

If you’re going through hell…keep going.

Seventeen-year-old coder Jinx Marshall grew up spending weekends drilling with her paranoid dad for a doomsday she’s sure will never come. She’s an expert on self-heating meal rations, Krav Maga and extracting water from a barrel cactus. Now that her parents are divorced, she’s ready to relax. Her big plans include making it to level 99 in her favorite MMORPG and spending the weekend with her new hunky stepbrother, Toby.

But all that disaster training comes in handy when an explosion traps her in a burning building. Stuck leading her headstrong stepsister, MacKenna, and her precocious little brother, Charles, to safety, Jinx gets them out alive only to discover the explosion is part of a pattern of violence erupting all over the country. Even worse, Jinx’s dad stands accused of triggering the chaos.

In a desperate attempt to evade paramilitary forces and vigilantes, Jinx and her siblings find Toby and make a break for Mexico. With seemingly the whole world working against them, they’ve got to get along and search for the truth about the attacks—and about each other. But if they can survive, will there be anything left worth surviving for?

About the Author:

KELLY DEVOS is from Gilbert, Arizona, where she lives with her high school sweetheart husband, amazing teen daughter and superhero dog, Cocoa. She holds a B.A. in Creative Writing from Arizona State University. When not reading or writing, Kelly can typically be found with a mocha in hand, bingeing the latest TV shows and adding to her ever-growing sticker collection. Her debut novel, Fat Girl on a Plane, named one of the “50 Best Summer Reads of All Time” by Reader’s Digest magazine, is available now from HarperCollins.

Kelly’s work has been featured in the New York Times as well as on Salon, Vulture and Bustle.

Social Links:

Author Website: https://www.kellydevos.us/

Twitter: @kdevosauthor

Facebook: @kellydevosbooks

Instagram: @kellydevos

Goodreads: Kelly deVos

Jinx is a not-so-typical teenager who just wants to be normal. Trained in survivalism by her doomsday expert/computer genius father, Jinx has been prepared for Doomsday her entire life. But, she’s still not prepared for the day it finally comes – and her step-father’s the one being blamed! Now on the run with danger nipping at their heels, it’s up to Jinx, relying on pure survivalist instinct, to get her little siblings to safety. Along the way, they have many almost-treacherous, very-stressful near misses that had me standing up and yelling out loud at the book several times. 😆

This story is one of scary political unrest, eerily reminiscent of our current, real-world political climate. It’s an aspect I actually loved because the fact that it could all happen IRL made things feel that much more unsettling.

The action started almost right away in Day Zero, and I really appreciated that we just jumped right into things. It left me breathless and trying to find my balance, much like Jinx, Charles, and MacKenna as they flee for their lives. I was literally only ever on the edge of my seat with this book. There was no time to relax! The non-stop action made this read a speedy one.

Jinx is a brilliant badass and I really loved her character. Her dad’s drills really paid off, and this girl is basically a bona fide action star. I loved the dynamics between her and little Charles. I also loved her character arc, as well as MacKenna’s. These girls are pushed to their very limits and step up hard core every time.

There were hints of romance throughout Day Zero, with the promise of maybe becoming something more later. I’m usually big on even the smallest aspect of romance, but it was the adventure in this story that really kept my interest.

Day Zero’s an absolute cyclone of a novel that will leave you frazzled and thrilled at the end, eager for the sequel. I know I can’t wait to see what happens next!!

Where to Buy:

Harlequin 

Indiebound

Amazon

Barnes & Noble 

Books-A-Million

Target

Google

iBooks

Kobo

I was provided an eARC copy of this book by Inkyard Press and Netgalley. All opinions expressed are voluntary and my own. Thank-you to Inkyard Press for inviting me on this blog tour!

Blog Tour – All Fired Up by Lori Foster | Review

Hello, everyone! Welcome to my stop (the last stop) on Harlequin’s blog tour for All Fired Up by Lori Foster!

On Sale: Nov 19, 2019

ISBN: 9781335505071

Imprint: HQN Books

Series: Road to Love

Book Summary:

He’s tantalizing trouble she can’t resist…

Charlotte Parrish has always wanted a certain kind of man: someone responsible, settled, boring. Bad boys need not apply. But when her car leaves her stranded and a mysterious stranger with brooding eyes and a protective streak comes to her rescue, she can’t deny how drawn she is to him. In town searching for family he’s never met, Mitch is everything she never thought she wanted—and suddenly everything she craves.

Finding his half brothers after all these years is more than Mitch Crews has allowed himself to wish for. Finding love never even crossed his mind…until he meets Charlotte. She’s sweet, warmhearted, sexier than she knows—and too damn good for an ex-con like him. But when his past comes back to haunt him, putting Charlotte—and the family he’s come to care for—in danger, Mitch isn’t playing by the rules. He’s already surrendered his heart, but now he’ll risk his life.

About the Author:

Lori Foster is a New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author with books from a variety of publishers, including Berkley/Jove, Kensington, St. Martin’s, Harlequin and Silhouette. Lori has been a recipient of the prestigious RT Book Reviews Career Achievement Award for Series Romantic Fantasy, and for Contemporary Romance. For more about Lori, visit her Web site at http://www.lorifoster.com.

Social Links:

Facebook – @lorifoster

Twitter – @LoriLFoster

Pinterest – Lori Foster

Instagram – @LoriLFoster

GoodReads – Lori Foster

Youtube – Lori Foster

All Fired Up by Lori Foster, the third book in the Road to Love series (though it can easily be read as a standalone), is a story full of steamy romance, familial love, and nail-biting suspense.

Charlotte and Mitch first meet on the night Charlotte’s car breaks down and she’s accosted by drunkards leaving a local bar. Mitch, an ex-con in shining armor, comes to Charlotte’s rescue. The attraction is instant, and Charlotte is insanely intrigued by Mitch. When he turns out to be the long-lost half brother of her overprotective pseudo-brothers/bosses, things get really interesting. And adorable – Brodie and Jack are just so sweet with her.

I adored the dynamic between Charlotte and the Crews family. They took her in as one of their own after her mother died, and she never felt like she didn’t belong. I would honestly love to be a part of a family like the Crews (even with the bits of drama involved…they actually handled it all pretty well, considering). Roz, matriarch of the Crews crew (haha, had to!), was one of my favorite characters. Her heart was so open, and she was so caring and accepting. She took Mitch right in, no questions asked, no undeserved anger directed at him for the affair that had created him. My favorite aspect of the book, in fact, was the emphasis on the importance of family.

While Charlotte is intrigued by Mitch, Mitch is thrown by her. She accepts him just as he is, and after a pretty rough life up to that point, he just isn’t used to kind and decent people. He thinks he isn’t good enough for her. Though his willingness to do anything for his loved ones soon proves that theory wrong.

I loved watching Charlotte and not-so-bad-boy Mitch come together. Their love story was as beautiful as it was sizzling. Mitch’s dog, Brute, was the cutest thing on Earth. And when Mitch’s very dangerous past caught up with him – well, let’s just say the stress was real for a little bit there!

This is my first Lori Foster book, but it will definitely not be my last! All Fired Up was sweet, raw, suspenseful, funny, heartbreaking and heartwarming – an all-around amazing story that is, at its heart, all about love, belonging, and family. I definitely recommend picking up your own copy yesterday!

Where to Buy:

Harlequin

Amazon

Apple Books

Barnes & Noble

Books-A-Million

Google Play

IndieBound

Kobo

I was provided an eARC copy of this book by Harlequin and Netgalley. All opinions expressed are voluntary and my own. Thank-you to Harlequin for inviting me on this blog tour!

Blog Tour – The Princess Plan by Julia London | Review

A very royal welcome, everyone! 👑

It’s finally my stop on Harlequin’s blog tour for Julia London’s The Princess Plan (which celebrated it’s book birthday on the 19th!), and I could not be more excited!

On Sale: 11/19/2019

ISBN: 9781335041531

$7.99 US

$10.99 CAN

Book Summary:

Princes have pomp and glory—not murdered secretaries and crushes on commoners

Nothing gets London’s high society’s tongues wagging like a good scandal. And when the personal secretary of the visiting Prince Sebastian of Alucia is found murdered, it’s all anyone can talk about, including Eliza Tricklebank. Her unapologetic gossip gazette has benefitted from an anonymous tip about the crime, prompting Sebastian to take an interest in playing detective—and an even greater one in Eliza.

With a trade deal on the line and mounting pressure to secure a noble bride, there’s nothing more salacious than a prince dallying with a commoner. Sebastian finds Eliza’s contrary manner as frustrating as it is seductive, but they’ll have to work together if they’re going to catch the culprit. And when things heat up behind closed doors, it’s the prince who’ll have to decide what comes first—his country or his heart.

About the Author

Julia London is a NYT, USA Today and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of historical and contemporary romance. She is a six-time finalist for the RITA Award of excellence in romantic fiction, and the recipient of RT Bookclub’s Best Historical Novel.

Social Links:

http://www.julialondon.com/newsletter

http://www.facebook.com/julialondon

http://www.twitter.com/juliaflondon

http://www.instagram.com/julia_f_london

The Princess Plan was an adorable, enjoyable read. Eliza and Sebastian were the kind of bantery, will-they-won’t-they, forbidden couple that I love. I really liked watching their relationship grow from tentative friendship to love. Sassy Eliza was so different from anyone that Sebastian knew, and I loved that about her – that she was different. It didn’t bother her one bit. Eliza knew just who she was, and owned her quirkiness. Sebastian was an arrogant, pampered prince, but Eliza wasn’t impressed, saw beyond the facade, and got to know the real him. There was just the right amount of angst and swoony chemistry between these two. And the murder mystery! It was more of a secondary plot, but I enjoyed seeing Eliza and Sebastian work together to figure out whodunnit, and the mystery kept me intrigued enough throughout. Julia’s writing style left a pretty constant smile on my face. It was incredibly engaging. I even laughed out loud a few times. All in all, I would definitely recommend The Princess Plan if you’re a lover of charming reads and royal romance!

Where To Buy:

Harlequin

Amazon

Apple Books

Barnes & Noble

Books-A-Million

Google Play

IndieBound

Kobo

I was provided an eARC copy of this book by Harlequin and Netgalley. All opinions expressed are voluntary and my own. Thank-you to Harlequin for inviting me on this blog tour!

Review: Waiting for Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey

So, I finished this book a few weeks ago, but I still have to gush because I LOVED it.

Waiting for Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey was so good. So cute, and funny, and emotional – I laughed out loud, squealed a lot, suffered some secondhand embarrassment thanks to Annie, rofl, and just throughly loved the hell out of this book and every single one of the characters.

Synopsis for Waiting for Tom Hanks:

“A rom-com-obsessed romantic waiting for her perfect leading man learns that life doesn’t always go according to a script in this delightfully charming and funny novel.

Annie Cassidy dreams of being the next Nora Ephron. She spends her days writing screenplays, rewatching Sleepless in Seattle, and waiting for her movie-perfect meet-cute. If she could just find her own Tom Hanks—a man who’s sweet, sensitive, and possibly owns a houseboat—her problems would disappear and her life would be perfect. But Tom Hanks is nowhere in sight.

When a movie starts filming in her neighborhood and Annie gets a job on set, it seems like a sign. Then Annie meets the lead actor, Drew Danforth, a cocky prankster who couldn’t be less like Tom Hanks if he tried. Their meet-cute is more of a meet-fail, but soon Annie finds herself sharing some classic rom-com moments with Drew. Her Tom Hanks can’t be an actor who’s leaving town in a matter of days…can he?”

Right?!

I want to make a point to note that there is not one character in Waiting for Tom Hanks that I did not care about, down the the most minor. It’s wonderful. Not only was the story amazing, but you can tell that every single character was created lovingly, and I truly adore that fact so much. Characters matter just as much as plot, and both were fleshed out so well in this book!

I literally couldn’t stop bouncing around with how exhilarated I was over Waiting for Tom Hanks, lol. I finished it in one night, over all the other books I was reading, and that says a lot. (All good things, if that weren’t already obvious! 😉)

I really, really cannot wait for Not Like the Movies, for Nick’s and Chloe’s story. I am so excited I can barely contain myself, haha. Big surprise there! 🤪

I’m off now to look up Kerry Winfrey’s other books! Looking forward to reading more of her work! ❤️

PS: In case you were still wondering, YES I highly recommend you read Waiting for Tom Hanks! 😁

Mini Review: What the Wind Knows by Amy Harmon

I recently finished What the Wind Knows by Amy Harmon, and days later I am still sent straight to Cloud Nine whenever I think of this book. I was so invested in WTWK that I was ugly-happy crying in the club when I finished.

I haven’t reacted this viscerally to a story in a long time.

This story was so beautifully, poignantly written, full of the sweet with the bitter. I thought What the Wind Knows sounded really good when I first picked it up, but I literally had no idea it would be this almost-transcendental. I just…this book, these characters, are going to remain with me for a long time. This is just one of those stories that leaves its brand on you, that you’re never really the same again after reading.

“Just one hit of you, I knew I’ll never, ever be the same…” -Camila Cabello

I seriously recommend dropping everything else you’re reading (or you can listen to it like I did – the audiobook is fantastic and emotional as hell) and pick up this story about the deep-rooted love in the blood of Ireland’s people for her – so strong it lives on in their decedents, calling them home across the years and sea. About time travel and love, about loyalty and duty, grief, loss, soulmates, secrets…about Anne and Eoin and Thomas. I will never be over What the Wind Knows. It proves that storytelling is the real magic of this world.

Toss that CR!!

Here’s the full synopsis for WTWK:

“In an unforgettable love story, a woman’s impossible journey through the ages could change everything…

Anne Gallagher grew up enchanted by her grandfather’s stories of Ireland. Heartbroken at his death, she travels to his childhood home to spread his ashes. There, overcome with memories of the man she adored and consumed by a history she never knew, she is pulled into another time.

The Ireland of 1921, teetering on the edge of war, is a dangerous place in which to awaken. But there Anne finds herself, hurt, disoriented, and under the care of Dr. Thomas Smith, guardian to a young boy who is oddly familiar. Mistaken for the boy’s long-missing mother, Anne adopts her identity, convinced the woman’s disappearance is connected to her own.

As tensions rise, Thomas joins the struggle for Ireland’s independence and Anne is drawn into the conflict beside him. Caught between history and her heart, she must decide whether she’s willing to let go of the life she knew for a love she never thought she’d find. But in the end, is the choice actually hers to make?”

Amy Harmon is a master storyteller, and I am already listening to another book of hers – From Sand and Ash. I’m so happy I started off with the one I did, though – I’m utterly in love with What the Wind Knows, and it’s one of those lifelong affairs.

Review: Aphrodite Made Me Do It by Trista Mateer

Raw and powerful, Trista Mateer’s Aphrodite Made Me Do It will sucker punch you with single lines. AMMDI brings new dimensions to the Goddess of Love while interweaving the author’s own journey of trauma and healing throughout. It is a testament to the strength of women, and it is a taking back of the female narrative too long controlled by men. It shows what being a woman really is, independent of society’s and history’s ideologies of what women should be. Instead of being black and white, little dolls or monsters, women are displayed in AMMDI as the glorious, human grey zones they are: “Bloody and beautiful, divine and approachable.”

AMMDI is a modern, mythological feminist book of poetry that will leave you feeling seen, healed, and loved exactly as you are. And it will teach you how to grow, how to love yourself wholly. It will show you all the complexities in love, the good and the bad. And the strength.

AMMDI has amazing LGBTQIA+ rep which I loved, and is not afraid to get personal, tell it like it is. One line that had me YESing was, “The world was full of men who called themselves heroes for crossing boundaries, claiming bodies like prizes. The world still is.” It’s true, and Aphrodite said it. It goes back to what I mentioned before about men writing the narrative of womanhood for centuries.

Throughout history, women have been used as scapegoats and masks for men’s immoral behavior. Used to excuse it, dilute it, divert it. And it still happens today, in questions like, “What were you wearing?” In lighter sentences or nonexistent ones. The receipts are long and old, of men not having to take responsibility for their actions and behavior, of twisting the images and realities of women to protect themselves. AMMDI is not afraid to call it out (and call loudly for it to change) with lines like this: “They made a monster of Medusa as well. Hated how loud her trauma was. Couldn’t believe she had the audacity to not taking it lying down. They made a war-ground of her body, so she made one of theirs.”

Medusa: A rape victim turned into a monster. (Photo credit: Pinterest.com)
“They made a war ground of her body, so she made one of theirs.” (Art credit: Trista Mateer)

I read somewhere that we won’t have full equality for 200 more years, and that kind of news can be really discouraging. It is books like AMMDI that continue to keep hope alive, fists raised, fires burning.

Beautiful artwork emphasizes the power of Mateer’s words throughout the book. They’re as emotional and moving as the poetry.

“They did not even have the grace to give her a name before they blamed her.” (Art credit: Trista Mateer)

AMMDI will leave you feeling empowered and ready to take on the world. A solid four stars from me! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

If you like poetry that strikes you right in the heart and gut, AMMDI is for you. Before picking it up, though, I would definitely urge you to be mindful of trigger warnings (sexual assault, queerphobia, body image, abuse, eating disorders, death, gore).

I received an eARC of this book through Netgalley (thank-you!) in exchange for an honest review.

Blog Tour – Meant to Be Yours by Susan Mallery | Review

Hello, everyone! 😊 Welcome to my stop on Harlequin’s Blog Tour for Meant to Be Yours by Susan Mallery!

Author: Susan Mallery

ISBN: 9781335041494

Publication Date: 10/22/19

Publisher: HQN Books

Book Summary:

‘In Happily Inc, love means never having to say “I do”…

Wedding coordinator Renee Grothen isn’t meant for marriage. Those who can, do. Those who can’t, plan. But she never could have planned on gorgeous, talented thriller writer Jasper Dembenski proposing—a fling, that is. Fun without a future. And the attraction between them is too strong for Renee to resist. Now she can have her no-wedding cake…and eat it, too.

After years in the military, Jasper is convinced he’s too damaged for relationships. So a flirtation—and more—with fiery, determined Renee is way too good to pass up…until his flame becomes his muse.

Renee is an expert at averting every crisis. But is she finally ready to leap into the one thing that can never be controlled: love?’

About the Author:

SUSAN MALLERY is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of novels about the relationships that define women’s lives—family, friendship, romance. Library Journal says, “Mallery is the master of blending emotionally believable characters in realistic situations,” and readers seem to agree—40 million copies of her books have sold worldwide. Her warm, humorous stories make the world a happier place to live.

Susan grew up in California and now lives in Seattle with her husband. She’s passionate about animal welfare, especially that of the two ragdoll cats and adorable poodle who think of her as mom.

Social Links:

Author Website: SusanMallery.com

Twitter: @susanmallery

Facebook: @SusanMallery

Instagram: @susanmallery

Goodreads: Susan Mallery

My Thoughts:

Meant to Be Yours, book 5 (though it can be read as a standalone) in the Happily Inc series by Susan Mallery, was a beautiful, deeply emotional read. It’s the story of two jaded individuals – Renee and Jasper – who don’t believe in love finding their way to each other through their own healing.

Veteran and thriller writer Jasper is suffering from PTSD after years in the military. Renee, with steel walls high around her heart and secrets in her past, knows marriage isn’t in the cards for her. Will they ever learn to see the beauty in the broken, and let love in?

Meant to Be Yours is a love story that takes its time. The character development of Renee and Jasper is excellently, realistically done. They both blossom so much throughout the story as individuals, and it is those separate journeys that brings them closer together.

Aside from characters major and side, another thing I loved about Meant to Be Yours was the world building. The town of Happily Inc is charming and quirky, and you are immediately immersed in this wonderful community and its people.

If I had to give one word to describe Meant to Be Yours, it would be ‘delightful.’ It’s a story of second chances, the strength in vulnerability, romance, laughter (there were some ridiculous moments that made me giggle out loud), friendship, and the essentialness of love in our lives, in all its forms.

I closed this book with such a warm feeling of well-being, that it makes me want to read all of Susan Mallery’s other books.

If you enjoy heartwarming, poignant stories that give you butterflies and warm fuzzies both, I highly recommend Meant to Be Yours!

Where to Buy:

Harlequin 

Indiebound

Amazon

Barnes & Noble 

Books-A-Million

Target

Walmart

Google

iBooks

Kobo

Pick up your copy today!

I was provided an eARC copy of this book by Harlequin and Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own. Thank-you to Harlequin for inviting me on this blog tour!