Wednesday, November 22, 2017

New To My E-Reader: The Adult Romance Novella Edition

It's that time of year when I look at my goodreads reading challenge goal and start to freak out a bit because I'm sort of close, but not really close to meeting it. So what does a girl do? Read a bunch of novellas!

Short stories have been a hit or miss for me in the past. Either I really love them, or I'm left struggling with what I just read. Since I have the week off from work right now, my goal is to read as many novellas as possible over the next few days. But I want this reading time to be productive, aka worth my time.

So I went to twitter & asked a few of my trusted bookish friends for some adult romance novella recommendations. After perusing through them, I decided to compile a round-up of the few (or more) ebooks I added to my e-reader thanks to their recs.  Hopefully I've also managed to build your own TBR list as well! Side note: I've already finished two of these & now I'm on to the next. Let the romance-novella-readathon continue!

Fit by Rebekah Weatherspoon
About the book: Violet Ryan loves the delicious food she gets to eat on the reality shows she produces for The Food Channel. What she hates is her expanding waistline. Determined to drop the pounds, Violet hatches a plan to kick start a fitness regimen. But when her determination isn’t enough to get her through even one intense group class without breaking down into tears, she knows she needs a new approach and possibly a new trainer—one with a lighter touch.

Grant Gibson has always managed to mix business with pleasure, but now this trainer by day, and Dominant by night, is bored. Bored and lonely. Even though he owns one of L.A.’s hottest private gyms, his personal life is sorely lacking. After his last submissive tried to kidnap his dog and the contents of his bank account, he’s in no hurry to take a new lover under his wing. Not until the voluptuous Violet falls into his lap.

She may be wary of his unorthodox approach of using sexual gratification as a reward, but even before her initial weigh-in Violet can’t seem to stay away from the sexy fitness god. She may have to let Grant show her there’s more than one way to get in shape… [goodreads]
**I read this in practically one sitting. It's definitely a quick one! For a novella though, the characters were well-written with a considerable amount of depth. We get right to the plot of it, yet I still felt like I understood them. This one contains BDSM, so if that's not your jam, you may want to try another one below.

Holiday Wishes by Jill Shalvis
About the book: It’s Christmastime again in Heartbreaker Bay!

When Sean O’Riley shows up at the Hartford Bed & Breakfast for his older brother’s bachelor weekend, he’s just hoping to make it through the weekend. What he’s not expecting is to come face to face with the woman he lost his virginity to a decade ago—a woman he’s never really forgotten.

The last time Lotti Hartford saw Sean, she told him she loved him while he said nothing. Now, ten years later, she’s just looking for a good time. For once, she wants to be the wild and free one, and Sean – the good time guy – is the perfect candidate.

But as the weekend continues, Sean realizes that after a lifetime of being the hook-up king, he’s ready to find happily-ever-after, and he wants it with Lotti. But will she open her heart to him again? As Christmas sweeps through the little B&B, he can only hope love and magic are in the air. [goodreads]
**It's Jill Shalvis, so of course I want to read it! She is one of the first adult romance authors I read as a blogger & I really enjoy the heart she puts into her stories. Not to mention those oh-so-steamy sexytimes! I love a good holiday romance novella, so I'm really looking forward to this one.

Once Upon a Winter's Eve by Tessa Dare
About the book: Some wallflowers bloom at night...

A Spindle Cove Novella

Violet Winterbottom is a quiet girl. She speaks six languages, but seldom raises her voice. She endured bitter heartbreak in perfect silence. The gentlemen aren't beating down her door.

Until the night of the Spindle Cove Christmas ball, when a mysterious stranger crashes into the ballroom and collapses at Violet's feet. His coarse attire and near-criminal good looks would put any sensible young lady on her guard. He's wet, chilled, bleeding, and speaking in an unfamiliar tongue.

Only Violet understands him. And she knows he's not what he seems.

She has one night to draw forth the secrets of this dangerously handsome rogue. Is he a smuggler? A fugitive? An enemy spy? She needs answers by sunrise, but her captive would rather seduce than confess. To learn his secrets, Violet must reveal hers—and open herself to adventure, passion, and the unthinkable... Love.

Warning: The heroine packs a pistol, the hero curses in multiple languages, and together they steam up a cold winter’s night. [goodreads]
**Tessa Dare has become a new-to-me-author this year, so when I stumbled across a holiday romance novella by her, I immediately added it to my e-reader. She's fun, feisty, and such an addictive storyteller. I'm really excited for this one.

His Road Home by Anna Richland
About the book: To avoid an Afghan warlord’s matchmaking, Staff Sergeant Rey Cruz invents a fiancée he’ll never meet—until he’s flat on his back in Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, and marine biologist Grace Kim shows up with one question: why did you lie?

Cruz can’t explain his fabrication to her, the news media, their families, or their hometown, because his traumatic brain injury has manifested as aphasia, leaving him with few words to navigate his new world.

Grace offers friendship, a big step for a woman who prefers Orcinus orca to most company. Texting throughout his recovery, they connect in ways neither anticipates. She agrees to help drive his classic muscle car home across-country at Thanksgiving. His hands-on method of teaching her to operate a manual transmission is the beginning of his challenges to her comfort zone. She responds by introducing him to the steamy world of South Dakota ice-fishing shacks, and they both learn to look beyond labels into each other’s hearts. [goodreads]
**When Angie recommends a book to me, I don't hesitate on that one-click button! I just finished reading this one & oh my, what a story! This is definitely going in my top contemporary romances reads list. Angie, please recommend more!!

The Courage of Eli Jackson by Kelly Hunter
About the book: They were on the honeymoon of a lifetime. Pity it wasn’t theirs.

Eli Jackson has just married the woman of his dreams. Sure, it was part of an online role-playing game and not exactly real, but he totally dominated the wedding battle that followed and his lady wife was very impressed.

Eli never imagined that his brothers would bestow on them a real-world honeymoon package at one of the Gold Coast’s premier hotels. He never figured on costume designer Zoey Daniels being such fun. Together they’re dynamite, but Eli’s not looking for a real relationship and Zoey lives only for the day.

Besides, no one falls in love this fast. Do they? [goodreads]
**Angie had me at "Aussie gamer geek romance" when she recommended this one. This story sounds every bit fun & flirty! Sign me up for its sweetness because I'm looking forward to reading it.

Thirty Day Boyfriend by Whitney G.
About the book: I should've never agreed to this arrangement...

Thirty days ago, my boss—Mr. Wolf of Wall Street, came to me with an offer I couldn’t refuse: Sign my name on the dotted line and pretend to be his fiancée for one month. If I agreed, he would let me out of my employment contract with a “very generous” severance package.

The rules were pretty simple: No intimate kissing, no actual sex. Just pretend to love each other for the press, even though I’ve secretly wanted to knock that sexy smirk off his face since the first day we met.

I definitely didn’t need to think twice about this. I signed my name and started counting down the seconds to when I would never have to deal with his special brand of ass-holery again.

I only made it to one minute...

We argued the entire four-hour flight to his hometown, failed to make a convincing impression with the welcoming press, and right when I was about to knock that arrogant look off his face in real life? He purposely dropped his bath towel in front of me, distracting me with his nine-inch cock to "show me who the bigger person was" in our relationship. Then he gave me his trademark smirk once again and asked if I wanted to consummate our marriage.

Tragically, this is only day one.
We still have 29 more days to go... [goodreads]
**I'm a sucker for fake relationship stories & this one really grabbed by interest when I read the synopsis for it, thanks to a friend of a friend's recommendation. I'm new to this author, but after adding this one to my e-reader, I also bought a full length novel by her that sounded good, too. Yay more reading!

Did any of these make it to your e-reader, too?! What about your TBR list? Let me know in the comments. And if you have a favorite novella to recommend, I'd love to know about it.

Monday, November 20, 2017

My Favorite Romances I Read in 2017: Adult Edition

I threw out a tweet the other day, asking if anyone would be interested in a blog post from me highlighting my favorite romance reads of 2017. And the response was, YES! So, here it is. This list includes books that I read in 2017, not necessarily books that were published in 2017.  If you see something you've read, or are on the fence about reading, let me know in the comments. I always love recommending new reads!

Adult Romances

Some Kind of Magic by Mary Ann Marlowe
About the book: Biochemist Eden Sinclair has no idea that the scent she spritzed on herself before leaving the lab is designed to enhance pheromones. Or that the cute, grungy-looking guy she meets at a gig that evening is Adam Copeland. As in the Adam Copeland international rock god and object of lust for a million women. Make that a million and one. By the time she learns the truth, she s already spent the (amazing, incredible) night in his bed.

Suddenly Eden, who's more accustomed to being set up on disastrous dates by her mom, is going out with a gorgeous celebrity who loves how down-to-earth and honest she is. But for once, Eden isn't being honest. She can't bear to reveal that this overpowering attraction could be nothing more than seduction by science. And the only way to know how Adam truly feels is to ditch the perfume—and risk being ditched in turn. [goodreads]
**A new-to-me-author that I really loved reading. I enjoyed the musical element to the story, but really fell for the hot sexual tension between these two main characters.

Bet Me by Lila Monroe
About the book: What happens when your sex strike goes viral -- and suddenly every man in town has their eye on your prize?

All I wanted was little old-fashioned romance. After a parade of Tinder disasters who think chivalry is giving me a pearl necklace on the first date, I made a pledge: until guys step up their game, this girl is off the market.

But one bottle of chardonnay later, and my drunken rant has gone viral. I’m the most famous person NOT having sex since the Jonas Brothers put on their purity rings. A men’s magazine has even put a bounty on my (ahem) maidenhead: fifty Gs to whoever makes me break the drought.

Be careful what you wish for...

Now my office looks like an explosion in a Hallmark factory, I’ve got guys lining up to sweep me off my feet - and the one man I want is most definitely off-limits. Jake Weston is a player through and through. He’s also the only one who sees through the mayhem to the real me, but how can I trust he’s not just out to claim the glory?

And how will I make it through the strike without scratching the itch - especially when that itch looks so damn good out of his suit?

The thrill of the chaste has never been so sexy in Lila Monroe’s hilarious, hot new romantic read! [goodreads]
**Another new-to-me-author that had me binge reading her novels after I finished this one because I loved it so much!

Some Sort of Crazy by Melanie Harlow
About the book: When a psychic tells Natalie Nixon her life is about to be upended by a mysterious stranger, she laughs it off. After all, she has everything she’s ever wanted—a successful bakery, a the perfect boyfriend, and the keys to her dream house.

Who could possibly make her want to throw all that away?

Then Miles Haas comes back to town.

But he’s no stranger—they’ve known each other since high school. Plus, he’s only around for the summer, he’s still a shameless playboy, and he makes a living writing articles for a men’s magazine with titles like 'Should You Bang the Boss’s Daughter? A Flowchart' and 'Butt Stuff for Beginners: A Field Guide.'

He’s not the man of her dreams, and she’s not about to abandon everything she’s worked so hard for just for a little fun. Except he makes her laugh like no one else, smells like heaven, and looks sexy as hell in those panty-melting glasses. [goodreads]
**I'll admit, it was the cover that attracted my attention at first. But then I started reading & it was THAT GUY on the cover's voice that really pulled me in. I really, really enjoyed this one.

Purple Hearts by Tess Wakefield
About the book: When a soldier with a troubled past and a struggling songwriter agree to a marriage of convenience for the military benefits, neither expects much after saying “I do.” Then tragedy strikes, and the line between what’s real and what’s pretend begins to blur in this smart and surprising romance perfect for fans of Nicholas Sparks and Jojo Moyes.

Cassie Salazar and Luke Morrow couldn’t be more different. Sharp-witted Cassie works nights at a bar in Austin, Texas to make ends meet while pursuing her dream of becoming a singer/songwriter. Luke is an Army trainee, about to ship out for duty, who finds comfort in the unswerving discipline of service. But a chance encounter at Cassie’s bar changes the course of both their lives

Cassie is drowning in medical bills after being diagnosed with diabetes. When she runs into her old friend Frankie, now enlisted in the Army, she proposes a deal: she’ll marry him in exchange for better medical insurance and they can split the increased paycheck that comes with having a “family.” When Frankie declines, his attractive but frustratingly intense friend Luke volunteers to marry Cassie instead. What she doesn’t know is that he has desperate reasons of his own to get married. In this unforgettable love story, Cassie and Luke must set aside their differences to make it look like a real marriage...unless, somewhere along the way, it becomes one... [goodreads]
**When author & friend Bethany Chase recommends a book to me, I stop what I'm doing & read it. This story is yet another reason to always trust her recs. It's a heavier read, but a well-written, slow burn of a romance.

Dating You / Hating You by Christina Lauren
About the book: All’s fair in love and work. The first standalone romance by New York Times and #1 international bestselling author Christina Lauren (Beautiful Bastard) is a sexy, compulsively readable romantic comedy that dives headlong into the thrill and doubt of modern love.

Despite the odds against them from an embarrassing meet-awkward at a mutual friend’s Halloween party, Carter and Evie immediately hit it off. Even the realization that they’re both high-powered agents at competing firms in Hollywood isn’t enough to squash the fire.

But when their two agencies merge—causing the pair to vie for the same position—all bets are off. What could have been a beautiful, blossoming romance turns into an all-out war of sabotage. Carter and Evie are both thirtysomething professionals—so why can’t they act like it?

Can Carter stop trying to please everyone and see how their mutual boss is really playing the game? Can Evie put aside her competitive nature long enough to figure out what she really wants in life? Can their actor clients just be something close to human? Whether these two Hollywood love/hatebirds get the storybook Hollywood ending or just a dramedy of epic proportions, you will get to enjoy Christina Lauren’s heartfelt, raucous, and hilarious romance style at its finest. [goodreads]
**If it's Christina Lauren, I'll read it. This was my first introduction to a standalone novel by this writing duo and yet again, they proved what a powerhouse writing team they are! Loved this one, too.

Mister Romance by Leisa Rayven
About the book: Max Riley is the man of your dreams. Or at least he will be, for a price.

As his alter-ego Mister Romance, Max is a drop-dead gorgeous escort who makes romantic fantasies come to life. No sex, just swoon-worthy dates to die for, and the cream of New York's socialites can't get enough. Whether they want a dominating billionaire, bad boy with a heart of gold, hot geek, sexy biker, or best friend who loves them from afar, Max can make it all happen, but he's careful to keep his real identity a secret.

Enter investigative journalist Eden Tate. Having caught wind of the urban legend of Mister Romance from a lovestruck client, Eden is determined to publish a scathing expose on Max and his ability to swindle lonely society women out of their fortunes.

Desperate to protect his anonymity and his clients, Max challenges Eden to give him three dates. If she doesn't fall in love with him, she can run her story with his blessing. If she succumbs to his charms, the story dies.

Cynical Eden has no doubt she can resist his fake romance personas, but when the real Max admits he’s falling for her, she has to decide if the professional liar is telling the truth, or if the passionate man with the mysterious past is just one more character designed to con her out of her career-making story. [goodreads]
**Once I got past a few of the editing hiccups, I was totally pulled into this fun, feisty romance read! This was a nice surprise.

Lingus by Mariana Zapata
About the book: Most people would describe Katherine Berger as a responsible girl with a big heart, a loyal friend who takes care of those close to her, and the possessor of a wicked sense of humor. There was something about her that most people didn't know. "My name is Kat Berger, and I love porn."

When twenty-five-year-old Kat is dragged to a porn convention by her best friend, she's both embarrassed and nervous. The last thing she ever expected was to meet someone who makes her laugh like no other. This is a story about acceptance and friendship, and a love born out of the most unexpected of places. [goodreads]

**So this might be one of my most favorite romance reads of the year -- I know, what?? -- I just really, really enjoyed it. I want more stories like this. Totally unexpected and addictive.

The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory
About the book: A groomsman and his last-minute guest are about to discover if a fake date can go the distance in a fun and flirty debut novel.

Agreeing to go to a wedding with a guy she gets stuck with in an elevator is something Alexa Monroe wouldn't normally do. But there's something about Drew Nichols that's too hard to resist.

On the eve of his ex's wedding festivities, Drew is minus a plus one. Until a power outage strands him with the perfect candidate for a fake girlfriend...

After Alexa and Drew have more fun than they ever thought possible, Drew has to fly back to Los Angeles and his job as a pediatric surgeon, and Alexa heads home to Berkeley, where she's the mayor's chief of staff. Too bad they can't stop thinking about the other...

They're just two high-powered professionals on a collision course toward the long distance dating disaster of the century--or closing the gap between what they think they need and what they truly want... [goodreads]
**This novel doesn't publish until 2018 (January!), but I've already been recommending it to everyone I know. To say I loved this one is an understatement. Trust me when I say this, you want this book in your life.

Roomies by Christina Lauren
About the book: Marriages of convenience are so…inconvenient.

Rescued by Calvin McLoughlin from a would-be subway attacker, Holland Bakker pays the brilliant musician back by pulling some of her errand-girl strings and getting him an audition with a big-time musical director. When the tryout goes better than even Holland could have imagined, Calvin is set for a great entry into Broadway—until he admits his student visa has expired and he’s in the country illegally.

Holland impulsively offers to wed the Irishman to keep him in New York, her growing infatuation a secret only to him. As their relationship evolves from awkward roommates to besotted lovers, Calvin becomes the darling of Broadway. In the middle of the theatrics and the acting-not-acting, what will it take for Holland and Calvin to realise that they both stopped pretending a long time ago? [goodreads]
**It's Christina Lauren, what do you expect? Of course it's made my list for favorites. Now, this standalone might just be my very favorite of theirs though. Again, an unexpected love affair has grown with these characters. Plus, I'm a sucker for pretend relationships.

This Love Story Will Self-Destruct by Leslie Cohen
About the book: This is the classic tale of boy meets girl: Girl…goes home with someone else.

Meet Eve. She’s a dreamer, a feeler, a careening well of sensitivities who can’t quite keep her feet on the ground, or steer clear of trouble. She’s a laugher, a crier, a quirky and quick-witted bleeding-heart-worrier.

Meet Ben. He’s an engineer, an expert at leveling floors who likes order, structure, and straight lines. He doesn’t opine, he doesn’t ruminate, he doesn’t simmer until he boils over.

So naturally, when the two first cross paths, sparks don’t exactly fly. But then they meet again. And again. And then, finally, they find themselves with a deep yet fragile connection that will change the course of their relationship—possibly forever.

Follow Eve and Ben as they navigate their twenties on a winding journey through first jobs, first dates, and first breakups; through first reunions, first betrayals and, maybe, first love. This is When Harry Met Sally reimagined; a charming tale told from two unapologetically original points of view. With an acerbic edge and heartwarming humor, debut novelist Leslie Cohen takes us on a tour of what life looks like when it doesn’t go according to plan, and explores the complexity, chaos, and comedy in finding a relationship built to last. [goodreads]
**Here's another 2018 read that I just recently finished and immediately started recommending. This particular story is messy and unexpected. I didn't realize how addicted I was to it until I found myself finishing it and thinking, what now?!

Add any of these to your TBR? Let me know in the comments! What are some of your favorite romances read this year? I'm always looking for new recommendations, too.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Too Soon For Holiday Reading?

I love a good holiday romance, whether that be YA or of the Adult variety. However, I'm not much of a fluff girl (sorry Hallmark Holiday Viewers, that's a bit too much cheese for me!). I still yearn for substance in my reading, even if the theme is set around the holidays time. I've recently read two, one YA and the other Adult Romance, that I felt really hit all the right notes for me. Below are mini reviews of each and links to add them to your TBR for this holiday season!

Together at Midnight by Jennifer Castle
To be published: January 2, 2018
About the book: Combining the emotional deftness of Sarah Dessen with the magical spark of New York City in wintertime, this affecting novel will inspire readers to pay closer attention to the world around them.

What does it really mean to be kind . . . and why does it sometimes feel like the hardest thing in the world to do? High school senior Kendall, who just returned from a life-changing semester in Europe, and Max, who is drifting his way through a gap year before college, struggle with these questions when they witness a tragic accident in New York City during the holiday season. Racked with guilt, the two accept a dare to perform random acts of kindness to strangers. The challenge pulls these two teens, who have a history together from back home, closer and closer as they explore a vibrant city filled with other people’s stories and secrets.

Kendall and Max can’t deny their growing bond, even though they both have other romantic entanglements and uncertain futures. As the clock counts down on New Year’s Eve, will they find themselves together at midnight?

Jennifer Castle’s latest novel is a romantic, thought-provoking tale of human connection and how we find—and make—our place in the world. [goodreads]
This young adult novel is written by one of my favorite YA writers, Jennifer Castle -- who I feel deserves way more attention! Each of her stories pull at my heart strings, while delivering a very fulfilled reading experience. This particular story is set in New York City, just after Christmas and before New Year's Eve. I love the time frame of the novel and how we're almost racing against the clock, alongside the characters, to accomplish their random acts of kindness before the year is up.

Kendall and Max are both equally developed characters, with rich voices, demanding to be heard in their own unique way. They're both very different, yet their uncertain paths is the bond that unexpectedly ties them together. I was mesmerized by the city during the holiday season, but it was the true depth of the story that really sucked me in. It's the kind of novel you find yourself rooting for the characters, hoping they'll find their way to happiness, even if the path gets messy along the way.

An Ex for Christmas by Lauren Layne
To be published: November 7, 2017
About the book: She’s making a list—and checking it twice. But is there a nice guy among all her naughty exes? The New York Times bestselling author of Blurred Lines returns with a charming friends-to-lovers rom-com.

When a psychic tells spunky, superstitious Kelly Byrne that she’s already met her true love, she becomes obsessed with the idea of tracking him down before Christmas. Kelly immediately writes up an “Ex List” and starts contacting old boyfriends to figure out which one is the one. When her college sweetheart rolls into town, Kelly convinces herself that they’re meant to be. The trouble is, sparks are flying with someone she’s never given a chance: her best friend, Mark.

Mark Blakely has watched the guys on Kelly’s list break her heart, and he’s not looking forward to watching them do it all over again. Mark’s always been there for her, but the timing’s never worked out for their relationship to be something more. Now, just as Mark is ready to move on, the sexual tension between them is suddenly off the charts. With Christmas morning around the corner, he just hopes Kelly will wake up and realize that everything she wants has been right in front of her all along. [goodreads]
Oh how I really, really enjoyed this one! Lauren Layne is slowly becoming a favorite adult romance writer. Each of her stories end up surprising me, even though they shouldn't, with how cleverly written they are. On the surface this story has all the fixings for a fluffy holiday romance, but once I started reading I soon discovered a highly emotional investment. 

Kelly is spending Christmas at home in her small town alone and she seems perfectly fine with that. Until a random stranger scares the you know what out of her by predicting she's already found her one true love & that they'll connect by Christmas. This sends Kelly on a hunt through her recent ex's list. As she marks each guy off, her best friend of ten years sits patiently (yet a bit brooding and irritatingly) by. You know where I'm going with this right? Yeah, the storyline is predictable, but I still had a lot of fun reading it.

The sexual tension in this novel was scorching! The friendly banter between Kelly and Mark was sweet, yet sexy. The odes to some of my favorite holiday movies such as Love Actually was a nice touch. But it was the emotional attachment I felt in the end that really took me by surprise. I hadn't realized just how invested I had become in Kelly's happiness. Her joyous spirit during the Holidays is infectious and you can't help but be rooting for her to find her happily ever after. Though it took her a little bit longer to recognize it, it was still a sweet surrender when she finally does.

Are you reading any Holiday novels yet? If so, tell me about them! 

Monday, October 9, 2017

Cover Reveal: The Real Deal by Lauren Blakely

THE REAL DEAL is coming July 10, 2018!
A sexy, witty, and heartfelt brand new standalone romantic comedy from #1 New York Times bestseller Lauren Blakely, THE REAL DEAL is sure to make you swoon, laugh, and squirm at all the right moments. Pre-order your copy today! And don’t miss the new cover below!


Sophie Kinsella meets Jennifer Crusie in your next favorite romantic comedy, THE REAL DEAL!

April Hamilton wants you to know she hasn’t been on Craigslist since that time she sold her futon after college. She doesn’t even spend that much time online. And even if she did, she would not be looking up personal ads. But going home alone for her family's summer reunion is an invitation for every single relative to butt into her personal life. She simply can’t handle another blind date with the butcher, the baker or the candlestick maker from her hometown. So when she finds the Craigslist ad for a boyfriend-for-hire, she’s ready to pay to play.

Heading Home and Need a Buffer? I’m the REAL DEAL.

Theo Banks has been running from the past for years. He’s this close to finally settling all his debts, and one more job as a boyfriend-for-hire will do the trick. He’s no gigolo. Please. He’s something of an actor, and he knows how to slip into any role, including pretending to be April’s new beau -- the bad boy with the heart of gold.

Even if it means sleeping in close quarters in that tiny little bed in her parents’ inn. Even if it means spinning tales of a romance that starts to feel all too true. What neither one of them counts on is that amid the egg toss, the arm wrestling, and a fierce game of Lawn Twister that has them tangled up together, they might be feeling the real deal.

She only wanted to show her family once and for all that she had no need to settle down.

He didn’t expect to have the time of his life at her parent’s home.

They didn’t plan on loving every single second of the game.

But can a masterful game of pretend result in true love?


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About Lauren Blakely:
A #1 New York Times Bestselling author, Lauren Blakely is known for her contemporary romance style that's hot, sweet and sexy. She lives in California with her family and has plotted entire novels while walking her dogs. With fourteen New York Times bestsellers, her titles have appeared on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestseller Lists more than eighty times, and she's sold more than 2 million books. In October, she'll release HARD WOOD, a standalone romantic comedy. To receive an email when Lauren releases a new book, sign up for her newsletter!

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Monday, October 2, 2017

Hello Fall! What Are You Reading?

The summer flew by in a blink of an eye, but then it became the "never ending summer" around here with Hurricane Harvey and the delayed start of school. Now I can hardly believe it's already October! As much as I love summer (let's be real, I'll always be a summer girl!), Fall is a close runner-up for fave seasons. I love baking with seasonal delights such as apples, cinnamon, and pumpkin. There's something so toasty about curling up on the couch with a warm cup of flavored coffee and a good book. And I'll be honest, we give a big sigh of relief for cooler temps around here (those 100 degree days can take a toll on you).

So this got me thinking... time to hibernate and get some reading done! But what's coming out soon?! I thought I'd compile a list of YA books publishing this fall that I am most looking forward to reading. Hopefully this post puts some new ones on your radar, too. Let me know what you're planning to read this fall!

There's Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins
Published: September 26, 2017
About the book: Scream meets YA in this hotly-anticipated new novel from the bestselling author of Anna and the French Kiss.

One-by-one, the students of Osborne High are dying in a series of gruesome murders, each with increasing and grotesque flair. As the terror grows closer and the hunt intensifies for the killer, the dark secrets among them must finally be confronted.

International bestselling author Stephanie Perkins returns with a fresh take on the classic teen slasher story that’s fun, quick-witted, and completely impossible to put down. [goodreads]

Far from the Tree by Robin Benway
Published: October 3, 2017
About the book: A contemporary novel about three adopted siblings who find each other at just the right moment.

Being the middle child has its ups and downs.

But for Grace, an only child who was adopted at birth, discovering that she is a middle child is a different ride altogether. After putting her own baby up for adoption, she goes looking for her biological family, including—

Maya, her loudmouthed younger bio sister, who has a lot to say about their newfound family ties. Having grown up the snarky brunette in a house full of chipper redheads, she’s quick to search for traces of herself among these not-quite-strangers. And when her adopted family’s long-buried problems begin to explode to the surface, Maya can’t help but wonder where exactly it is that she belongs.

And Joaquin, their stoic older bio brother, who has no interest in bonding over their shared biological mother. After seventeen years in the foster care system, he’s learned that there are no heroes, and secrets and fears are best kept close to the vest, where they can’t hurt anyone but him. [goodreads]

Calling My Name by Liara Tamani
Published: October 24, 2017
About the book: Taja Brown lives with her parents and older brother and younger sister, in Houston, Texas. Taja has always known what the expectations of her conservative and tightly-knit African American family are—do well in school, go to church every Sunday, no intimacy before marriage. But Taja is trying to keep up with friends as they get their first kisses, first boyfriends, first everythings. And she’s tired of cheering for her athletic younger sister and an older brother who has more freedom just because he’s a boy. Taja dreams of going to college and forging her own relationship with the world and with God, but when she falls in love for the first time, those dreams are suddenly in danger of evaporating. [goodreads]

Now Is Everything by Amy Giles
Published: November 7, 2017
About the book: Now Is Everything is a stirring debut novel told in alternating THEN and NOW chapters, perfect for Sarah Dessen and Jennifer Niven fans, about what one girl is willing to do to protect her past, present, and future.

The McCauleys look perfect on the outside. But nothing is ever as it seems, and this family is hiding a dark secret.

Hadley McCauley will do anything to keep her sister safe from their father. But when Hadley’s forbidden relationship with Charlie Simmons deepens, the violence at home escalates, culminating in an explosive accident that will leave everyone changed.

When Hadley attempts to take her own life at the hospital post-accident, her friends, doctors, family, and the investigator on the case want to know why. Only Hadley knows what really happened that day, and she’s not talking. [goodreads]

The Chaos of Standing Still by Jessica Brody
Published: November 28, 2017
About the book: Over the course of one chaotic night stranded at the Denver airport, Ryn confronts her shattered past thanks to the charm of romance, the uniqueness of strangers, and the magic of ordinary places in this stunning novel from the author of Boys of Summer.

Ryn has one unread text message on her phone. And it’s been there for almost a year.

She hasn’t tried to read it. She can’t. She won’t. Because that one message is the last thing her best friend ever said to her before she died.

But as Ryn finds herself trapped in the Denver International Airport on New Year’s Eve thanks to a never-ending blizzard on the one-year anniversary of her best friend’s death, fate literally runs into her.

And his name is Xander.

When the two accidentally swap phones, Ryn and Xander are thrust into the chaos of an unforgettable all-night adventure, filled with charming and mysterious strangers, a secret New Year’s Eve bash, and a possible Illuminati conspiracy hidden within the Denver airport. But as the bizarre night continues, all Ryn can think about is that one unread text message. It follows her wherever she goes, because Ryn can’t get her brialliantly wild and free-spirited best friend out of her head.

Ryn can’t move on.

But tonight, for the first time ever, she’s trying. And maybe that’s a start.

As moving as it is funny, The Chaos of Standing Still is a heartwarming story about the earth-shattering challenges life throws at us—and the unexpected strangers who help us along the way. [goodreads]

I'm always looking for more Adult & New Adult books as well. Do you know any publishing this Fall that you're excited to read? 
Please let me know in the comments.

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