2018 Book #71 – Maybe For You by Nicole McLaughlin

51cPfPQkVPL._SX304_BO1,204,203,200_Title: Maybe For You
Author: Nicole McLaughlin
Date finished: 8/16/18
Genre: Contemporary romance
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Publication Date: August 28, 2018
Pages in book: 320
Stand alone or series: #3 in Whiskey and Weddings series
Where I got the book from: NetGalley
NOTE: I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

She’s never had a no-strings fling. He’s never had anything else. But maybe this time will be an exception?

After a year of mourning her fiancé, Alexis Parker has worked hard to rediscover what she wants out of life. Fresh out of the military and back stateside, her brother offers her a marketing job at the Stag Distillery. Ready for a new challenge, Alexis agrees to accompany her new co-worker Jake Cooper on a Stag cross-country promotional tour. He may have an infamous playboy reputation, but Alexis is surprised to find out that there is more to him than meets the eye. And she likes what she sees. . .

Jake promised Alexis’s brother that he’d be an absolute gentleman. Of course, that was before he and Alexis hit the road, and they both agree that what Alexis’s big brother doesn’t know won’t hurt him. The plan: to keep their fling confined to the RV, and everything will go back to normal once they head home. Things progress in ways neither of them could have imagined, and Jake realizes that he and Alexis make a perfect mix. Can he convince her that he’s ready to shake things up and give true love a shot in Maybe for You?

My rating:  3.75 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. I finished this book for ARC August 2018! Love this reading challenge. And this year I’m especially excited because as part of the challenge they added one of my favorite things, reading Bingo! This book will be checking off my “Friends to Lovers” box, since that was kind of the point of the story.

I am glad that I got to read Alex’s story after being introduced to her in the last book in the series. Alex had a rough journey in life, and I thought that the author actually did a really great job of detailing what it feels like to have to fall in love again after losing a loved one. The grief and guilt that Alex had to work through was tough and though I’ve never gone through that, it seemed really true to what anyone would feel in that situation. That being said, it did get a little repetitive, Alex had a lot of trouble with her feelings of guilt and the reader is presented with some of her journal entries and she tended to talk about the same things. I did like the book though, it was a really sweet story and I like Jake’s character a lot. I thought Alex was kind of rude to him though, and I felt like some of their relationship issues that were presented early on were kind of glossed over and never resolved. Overall though this was a quick read and was a pretty solid romance. There were some exciting plot developments and I was interested to keep reading and follow Alex and Jake’s story through to the end.

Link to author website

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2018 Book #63 -One Wedding, Two Brides by Heidi Betts

51rKq75qdXLTitle: One Wedding, Two Brides
Author: Heidi Betts
Date finished: 7/25/18
Genre: Contemporary romance
Publisher: Entangled: Amara
Publication Date: July 23, 2018
Pages in book: 263
Stand alone or series: Fairy Tale Brides series #1
Where I got the book from: Author’s Pal
NOTE: I received this book for free from Author’s Pal in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

Jilted bride Monica Blair can’t believe it when she wakes up next to a blue-eyed, smooth-talking cowboy in the middle of nowhere and with a ring on her finger. It had sounded like a great plan at the time. Get married, get revenge, and get her money back. So why is she cleaning out stables and trying to keep her hands off the hot cowboy helping her?

Ryder Nash would have bet his best Stetson that you’d never see him walk down the aisle. But when the city girl with pink-streaked hair and a frog tattoo hatches a plan to expose the conman who married his sister, no idea is too crazy. And even though Monica might be the worst rancher’s wife he’s ever seen, he can’t stop thinking about the wedding night they never had.

What was supposed to be a temporary marriage for revenge is starting to feel a little too real…

My rating:  2.75 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. Also be sure to check out my Blog Tour post on this book!

I thought the cover on this book was so cute and fun, it really attracted me to want to pick up the book. This was an ok romance novel, it was a solid story and would make a good beach read. Ryder and Monica were both sweet and fun, they were super cute together. This was a fun and light-hearted read, just like the cover leads us to believe! There was a but more mush than I usually care for, but there definitely was romance. This was a pretty good read and I would recommend checking it out if you like a light-hearted cowboy romance.

Link to author website

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2018 Book #52 – The Highlander’s Promise by Lynsay Sands

51EWBa8kD6LTitle: The Highlander’s Promise
Author: Lynsay Sands
Date finished: 6/22/18
Genre: Historical romance
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: June 26, 2018
Pages in book: 384
Stand alone or series: #6 in the Highland Brides series
Where I got the book from: Edelweiss
NOTE: I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

Aulay Buchanan has retreated to his clan’s hunting lodge for a few days of relaxation. But the raven-haired beauty he pulls from the ocean puts an end to any chance of rest. Though he christens her Jetta, she knows nothing of her real identity, save that someone is trying to kill her. As she recovers, it will not be easy for Aulay to protect her and keep her honor intact when she mistakenly believes they are man and wife…

Jetta sees beyond Aulay’s scars to the brave, loyal warrior she’s proud to call her own. But as the attempts on her life grow more brazen, Jetta realizes that not all is as she believes. And if Aulay is not her husband, can she trust the desire flaring in his eyes, or his promise to defend her with his life?

My rating:  4.25 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review.

Over the years I’ve always enjoyed Lynsay Sand’s novels, be they about vampires or Highlanders, and this book was no exception! Parts of this book were laugh out loud funny, there was definitely a lot of humor in this novel. There were also some pretty steamy scenes between the hero and heroine, the gradual build up of their relationship and their chemistry just leaped off the page. This was a really sweet love story, and while there was a little bit too much flowery, mushy speeches for me, I still really enjoyed the journey of their romance. The plot line was also pretty good, there were some good plot twists and the main characters and also supporting characters were all interesting. I thought this was a really enjoyable read and I would recommend it!

Link to author website

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2018 Book #18 – Maybe This Time by Nicole McLaughlin

51ShRF+aNjLTitle: Maybe This Time
Author: Nicole McLaughlin
Date finished: 2/24/18
Genre: Contemporary romance
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Publication Date: February 27, 2018
Pages in book: 336
Stand alone or series: #2 in Whiskey and Weddings series
Where I got the book from: NetGalley
NOTE: I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

Maybe This Time is the next heartwarming contemporary romance from Nicole McLaughlin in her Whiskey and Weddings series.

Jen Mackenzie has been knocked down more than a few times, but she always gets up and makes sure she has the last word. It’s the reason she now considers herself equal parts self-sufficient and free-spirit. But since losing her job and trying to help her mother beat cancer, real life—and her occasional careless choices—have begun to catch up with her. Her one saving grace: The Stag, a boutique distillery that has become Kansas City’s go-to wedding venue. The only catch: One of the owners, TJ Laughlin, happens to be the one man who somehow manages to make Jen feel inadequate.

TJ has secretly had a thing for Jen since high school. Now, as her new boss, it’s a daily struggle between revealing his feelings and wringing her beautiful neck. Only one thing is for certain: he can’t stand idly by and watch the woman he cares for struggle. She may be convinced that accepting TJ’s help is a weakness. But all he sees in Jen is beauty and strength, inside and out. As things finally heat up between them, can TJ find a way to convince Jen that love is about give and take—and having it all, together?

My rating:  3.5 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review.

TJ and Jen went to high school together but now they’re in their early thirties and Jen is a bartender at TJ’s distillery. They’ve been circling each other like cats in heat for the past 15 years, each having their own relationships while still being secretly in love. Luckily TJ finally gets the courage up to say something. Jen and TJ were both just such stubborn people and at first they can’t seem to let their guards down enough to make a go of it. Overall I liked the characters ok but Jen wasn’t exactly what I usually look for in a heroine. I did love how colorful she was and I loved that she had tattoos and wasn’t the conventional good girl. At the same time, for such a strong character, I didn’t like that she needed rich TJ to come swoop in and pay off her thousands of dollars of credit card debt. That being said though, I did like the characters and I especially liked the setting of the distillery in the small town. TJ was such a devoted hero and he really was just so romantic and sweet. I liked this book overall and I’d be interested to read others in the series.

Link to author website

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2018 Book #9 – A Wedding at Two Love Lane by Kieran Kramer

51INum1JGELTitle: A Wedding at Two Love Lane
Author: Kieran Kramer
Date finished: 1/25/18
Genre: Contemporary romance
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Publication Date: January 2, 2018
Pages in book: 346
Stand alone or series: #2 in the Two Love Lane series
Where I got the book from: NetGalley
NOTE: I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

Never say never when it comes to love in A Wedding at Two Love Lane by Kieran Kramer.

Greer Jones has made a real name for herself at the elegant matchmaking agency Two Love Lane. For a lot of reasons—including a past engagement she broke off—practical tech expert Greer is more interested in the business of love than the experience of it, but she can’t help but covet a gorgeous wedding gown that’s the prize in an upcoming cocktail-party contest. In a moment of brazen inspiration, Greer asks a handsome Brit she’s only just met to accompany her to the party. He agrees—and Greer believes her date is a starving artist. Little does she know the truth. . .

Ford Smith, as he calls himself, is actually Stanford Elliott Wentworth Smythe, the Eighth Baron of Wickshire. Fresh off a breakup with a money-grubbing siren who deceived him all the way to the altar, Ford has no desire to fall in love—especially with Greer who, like the desired wedding gown, is beautiful but only skin-deep. But soon Ford realizes that there’s more to Greer than meets the eye. Her professionalism is matched only by her passion for life and love. . .and, best of all, she has no idea that he’s to the manor born. Could it be that true love is priceless after all?

My rating:  1.25 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review.

I didn’t care for this one, as is fairly evident by my rating on it. I don’t like to give books low ratings but I also have to be honest about how I personally felt about the book. That’s not to say that others won’t like it (it has a fairly high average rating on Amazon) but just says that I didn’t care for it based on my own tastes. This would be a good book for someone who likes a love story and is looking for a book that is a light read full of quirky characters. That being said, these were a few of the things that I personally did not care for about the book:

-The main character was supposedly this smart tech geek who created an algorithm for her match making company, and yet she talked constantly like a complete ditz and it was really jarring for her character to be such too polar opposites
-I could not get on board with a lot of what was going on in Greer’s life. She has a call with her parents that makes her start to feel like a loser for being single and makes her question herself which I didn’t agree with. I tend to like stronger female leads who are secure in who they are first and are looking for a partner to complement them, not necessarily complete them
-There were a lot of plot points that didn’t make logical sense to me. There was just a whole lot going on in this book and not all of it got resolved. What ended up happening with Teddy? Why did Ford renege on his promise to have a painting for this fancy show, won’t there be a lot of repurcussions for that? And who in their right mind asks a complete stranger to split a bid at an auction over $5,000 for a dress and tell the male stranger that if you win you can share it? That one really just floored me.

So overall suffice it to say I didn’t end up enjoying this one. Not that it was bad, just that too many pieces of the story line and the characters didn’t fit for me.

Link to author website

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2016 Book #107 – Picture Perfect Wedding by Lynnette Austin

51qeguopicl-_sx303_bo1204203200_Title: Picture Perfect Wedding
Author: Lynnette Austin
Date finished: 11/13/16
Genre: Contemporary romance
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablance
Publication Date: November 1, 2016
Pages in book: 416
Stand alone or series: Magnolia Brides series #3
Where I got the book from: NetGalley NOTE: I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

One mistake can change everything…forever
Beck Elliot and Tansy Calhoun were inseparable-until Tansy left Misty Bottoms, Georgia, promising to come back after she finished school. Beck stayed behind to save the family business, dreaming of the day when Tansy would return. Instead, his trust and his heart were broken when she inexplicably married another man and bore his child.
Five years later, Tansy comes home, a sadder and wiser woman. Despite his anger, Beck finds it hard to avoid her and her adorable little daughter-especially with all the busybodies of Misty Bottoms going out of their way to throw him and Tansy together, hoping a lingering spark will reignite their enduring flame…

My rating:  3.25 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. This book tells the story of Beck Elliot and Tansy Calhoun (Forbes), whose story has been introduced in the previous two books in the series. What we know before this book begins is that Tansy and Beck were high school sweethearts but Tansy had gone to college and subsequently got pregnant and married another man even though her and Beck were engaged. Beck’s heart broke into a million pieces and he hasn’t been the same since. After her divorce though, Tansy decides to move back to Misty Bottoms with daughter Gracie and open her own business, a bakery. Beck says that he’s been over Tansy for years but when he keeps running into her all over town, he can’t keep denying that he doesn’t have deeper feelings for Tansy. Tansy and Beck decide to give everything another shot and try to start over, but can they really let go of all the hurts and regrets from the past and move forward?
Overall I liked this book. I’ve been waiting for this one to come out since I grew interested in the story from the tidbits mentioned in the other two books in the series. I think I may have built up the possible story line too much in my mind though since it didn’t end up as I expected. I did enjoy the book and the story line, it was sweet and romantic but to be honest I thought Beck was just too harsh in the beginning to like as a character. And the plot was a little choppy for me, there were sub plots introduced that I thought could have been made to fit better and it just didn’t flow as well as the other two had. I loved the characters though, Gracie was just such a sweet little girl and I loved how amazing her relationship with Beck was. I liked the book but this one wasn’t my favorite, I would still recommend trying it though, especially if you’re reading the first 2 in the series.

The bottom line: This was an ok book for me, it wasn’t one of my favorites but I am still glad I got to read it. Tansy and Beck had a nice story but I hate that they had to waste so much time being mad at each other. I would recommend it though.

Link to author website

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2016 Book #82 – I Take You by Eliza Kennedy

51odMX3ZyhL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_Title: I Take You
Author: Eliza Kennedy
Date finished: 9/3/16
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Crown
Publication Date: May 5, 2015
Pages in book: 305
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
Where I got the book from: Library Thing NOTE: I received this book for free from Library Thing in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

Meet Lily Wilder: New Yorker, lawyer extraordinaire, blushing bride. And totally incapable of being faithful to one man.
Lily’s fiancé Will is a brilliant, handsome archaeologist. Lily is sassy, impulsive, fond of a good drink (or five) and has no business getting married. Lily likes Will, but does she love him? Will loves Lily, but does he know her? As the wedding approaches, Lily’s nights—and mornings, and afternoons—of booze, laughter and questionable decisions become a growing reminder that the happiest day of her life might turn out to be her worst mistake yet.
Unapologetically sexy with the ribald humor of Bridesmaids, this joyously provocative debut introduces a self-assured protagonist you won’t soon forget.

My rating:  3.75 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. This book is about Lily Wilder and her upcoming wedding to fiance Will. We first meet Lily as she is out with her bridesmaids partying it up. She gets called into work while she is drunk and high, and she goes in and ends up having sex with her boss. Shocker! Bigger shocker, this is not the first time she’s cheated. Lily is a lawyer, not that this is specifically relevant to her having sex with her boss, just relevant to the overall plot. Lily is getting married very soon in her hometown of Key West, FL, but finds out while she’s down there to get married she also has to prepare a witness to be deposed as part of a multi-billion dollar case her firm is defending for their client, EnerGreen. Also once she gets down there she is bombarded by her parents with demands that she reconsider such a hasty marriage. Oh and don’t forget the family drama, what with her mom, two of her three step-moms, and her Dad all in one place. And as they get closer to the wedding date, Lily starts to realize that she doesn’t know Will as well as she thought.
Overall I really liked this book a lot. Lily overall was a really interesting character, she is significantly flawed and yet the reader can’t help but find her endearing. She is hilarious, and when paired with her friend Freddy I swear I couldn’t stop laughing. Lily gets in over her head with pretty much everything while in Key West, her personal life and her work life both included. We watch as she valiantly struggles to right herself after a couple tumbles, and although we as the reader have seen all her flaws, we also end up rooting for her to triumph in the end!

The bottom line: I liked this book a lot, it was hilarious at many points and I found myself continually laughing out loud. I found the ending to be a little unconventional/unpredictable. The book was funny and held my interest though, I would definitely recommend!

Link to author website

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