• Fail Seven Times by Kris Ripper


    Fail Seven TimesFail Seven Times by Kris Ripper
    My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

    Ever read a book with a character that aggravates you so much you want to reach through the pages and strangle them? Justin, the MC of Fail Seven Times, evoked those feelings in me. He actively works against everything he desperately wants, hurting the people closest to him in the process. His internal monologue acknowledges his shitty behavior while his mouth adds fuel to the fire. He even refers to himself as an asshole. ARGH! I’m frustrated all over again as I write this review.

    Justin gets opportunity after opportunity after opportunity to be happy but pretends he isn’t satisfied unless he’s miserable. He’s cynical about romance and self-sabotages at every turn. His flaws are hammered into the reader’s head in every chapter. Honestly, it got kinda old and boring after a while.

    I did appreciate the side plot involving the fictional artist and essayist, Enrico Hazeltine. Hazeltine is so well developed that I was certain he was a real person. (Google says otherwise.) Reading about Justin’s infatuation–obsession, really–with Hazeltine added an extra level of interest for me. I really enjoyed reading about his artwork and reading excerpts of his writing. I’d absolutely be interested in reading his story in-depth.

    Justin and his partners eventually get their HEA, taking the longest route to get there. (Thanks, Justin.) I did enjoy the unconventional nature of their relationship. I also thoroughly enjoyed the wide range of diverse characters featured in this story.

    There is some light BDSM featured in the story that should be noted, if that’s something of concern. Those scenes didn’t bother me at all.

    TL;DR: While some of the story felt repetitive, there were several parts that had me hooked. The story has diverse characters and unconventional relationships, and is worth a read if you’re looking for something different in romance story.

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  • My Anti-Marriage by D.J. Jamison


    My Anti-MarriageMy Anti-Marriage by D.J. Jamison
    My rating: 3 of 5 stars

    ***ARC provided by author in exchange for honest review.***

    Who doesn’t love a good accidental marriage? Maybe not in real life, but in the land of cute romance stories I’m all for it. The third story in the My Anti Series stars Chris and Ant. Ant is new to this series, at least I believe he is. (Someone correct me if I’m wrong.) I don’t remember him from either My Anti Valentine or My Anti-Boyfriend (which you should definitely read! My Anti-Valentine has a really good ace rep.).

    Las Vegas is the perfect setting for an accidental marriage, what with all the quickie wedding ceremony options and same-day marriage licenses. Of course alcohol is involved, namely “Papa Jack and Mama Champagne”. The contrast in the MCs personalities held my interest throughout the story. Uptight and wary Chris paired well with Ant’s more laid back and stubborn nature. The flashbacks kept the story moving, and the resolution was so sweet.

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  • Thrown Off Track (License to Love Book 1) by Tamsen Parker


    Thrown Off Track (License to Love Book 1)

    Thrown Off Track by Tamsen Parker
    My rating: 4 of 5 stars

    ***ARC provided by author in exchange for honest review.***

    If you’ve read any of my other reviews of rock star romances, you know that rock stars are my kryptonite, and Thrown Off Track did not disappoint. The story has funny moments, serious moments, and informative–without being preachy and boring–moments.

    Teague is a gentle giant trying to figure out his sexual identity and is confused by his “pants-feels” for Christian. Christian is the quiet, introspective best friend and band mate who is harboring his own secret crush for Teague. Teague finally takes action and attempts to show Christian how he feels. I love how Christian helps Teague navigate his sexuality and helps educate him. I also love how consent is such a big part of the story. The respect they have for each other is sweet, and I appreciated how the author makes their intimate moments hot while establishing boundaries. The heated argument, resulting in each saying some pretty nasty and hurtful things to the other, is one I could see happening between best friends and lovers.  I am excited to read the other band members’ stories to be released in this series.

    In short, the “schmoopiness” is adorable, the development of the MCs relationship is enlightening, and the conflict is realistic.

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  • Cash Plays (Seven of Spades, #3) by Cordelia Kingsbridge


    Cash Plays (Seven of Spades, #3)

    Cash Plays by Cordelia Kingsbridge
    My rating: 5 of 5 stars

    ***ARC provided by publisher via NetGalley in exchange for honest review.***

    Holy moly, does this author know how to do a cliffhanger! The prior two Seven of Spades books kept me riveted, and Cash Plays was no different. My only complaint is the wait between books!

    Not only does the author kill it with the cliffhangers, but she also rocks at suspense, drama, action, and gore; four things I love in a mystery/thriller story. Oh, and let me not forget the romance and sizzling hot chemistry between Levi and Dominic. Is there nothing she hasn’t mastered?

    The attention to detail in every aspect of the story blew my mind. Every kick, punch, swing, and maneuver is laid out in such explicit detail that I’m sure one would have no problem executing each fight scene just as the author imagined. It isn’t only the fight sequences that thoroughly laid out. The author does an excellent job of setting each scene and depicting an array of emotions.

    We get more insight into the Seven of Spades and their evolution as a vigilante for justice. I have an idea who might be this elusive killer, but I’ll keep mum because just when I think I know what’s going to happen, PLOT TWIST! Yeah, the author is badass at those too. Several new characters are introduced without becoming overwhelming or muddling up the story.

    In short, this installment of Seven of Spades did not disappoint. It’s intense with each turn of the page, and had me wanting more.

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  • A Boy at the Edge of the World by David Kingston Yeh


    A Boy at the Edge of the WorldA Boy at the Edge of the World by David Kingston Yeh

    I’ve been struggling with how to formulate my thoughts about this book and how to word my review. When I first starting reading, I had trouble getting into the story. The author just jumps into the story with not much of an introduction, at least it felt that way to me. So, I put the book aside with the intention of coming back around to it when I felt I could give it the attention it deserved for an honest review. The second time was a bit better than the first. But, as I progressed further into the book, I lost connection with the characters and story. So much happens in this book and the author jumps from one plot point to the next, I was left wondering what I should focus on and what I should push to the side. And there are so many minor characters and love interests that I had trouble keeping everyone straight in my head. Basically, this book is what I imagine someone with ADHD goes through on a daily basis. There’s lots of jumping from one thing to the next, again, having me question what’s really important to the overall plot. Perhaps the author’s intention was for everything to be important and, if so, that’s not the kind of book for me as my overworked brain couldn’t handle it. I think this book would have held my interest better if it were in a journal or diary format because it kinda reads like that to me.

    Overall, I felt the book went off on too many tangents for me to connect with anything but the sub-plots (there didn’t seem to be a main plot) had the potential to be interesting. .

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