Contemporary Romance, New Adult, Review Books, young adult

Landon & Shay (Part One) by Brittainy C. Cherry


Title: Landon & Shay by Brittainy C. Cherry
Series:
L & S Duet #1
Release Date:
October 30th 2019
Format:
Kindle Edition (363 Pages)
Genre:
Contemporary Romance, New Adult
Blurb:
Shay Gable hated my guts, and I hated hers, too.

We went out of our way to avoid one another at all times. When she came my direction, I went the other. When we locked eyes, she’d turn and walk away. 

All of that changed the day I was presented with a challenge. It started out as a stupid bet: make Shay fall in love with me before I fell in love with her first.

That was an easy bet for me to win. 

I didn’t love, I hardly liked. 

Yet slowly the game started to shift. Shay made me crave things I never knew I wanted like love, happiness, and her.

The closer we grew, the more she challenged my darkness, and the parts I kept locked away.

The hurts.

The pains.

The truth.

The game between us became too real, our feelings intermixed, and the risks of hurting one another grew higher. 

But you know what they say… 

All’s fair in the game of love and war—especially the heartbreaks.

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This is why Brittainy Cherry is one of my favorite authors. Her books tug at my heart’s strings and I always experience an array of emotions but most importantly, I am always left with a feeling of hope and faith in the healing that love can help facilitate.

I was surprised that I loved Shay and Landon so much because they were different from what I expected after reading Eleanor and Roosevelt. I was indifferent to both characters since they appeared shallow and full of fluff so I didn’t anticipate to connect with them. In this story, the author removed their masks and revealed complex individuals navigating complicated home situations. Thank you to the author for tactful and sensitive way she addressed depression and the ways people deal with their pain. I was rooting for them so hard.

This beautiful story touched on parental expectations as well as children’s expectations of parents, importance of communication, emotional connections and the masks we all wear to hide the cracks in our hearts. There was a fair amount of emotional suffering, but in the midst of sadness, there was resilient love. I love the fact that there was a generational examples of strength so the characters had different examples of what strength or a lack thereof looked like. I also like that the reader saw the subtle ways people inflict abuse and how the spirit can be weighed down without being aware that those actions are so toxic. That was the gem in this story, when someone is perceptive enough to see beyond the mask that other people wear and seeing their REAL face. It takes patience and like Shay’s grandma said, one has to “be brave, be kind and be strong etc”

This story was well layered and characters so well developed that I don’t even know if I need Book 2, though I must have it! I look forward to seeing continued growth and healing in the conclusion of this duet. This is a must read!

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Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

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Landon and Shay: Part Two will be releasing December 4th!

Pre-order the emotional conclusion, Landon and Shay: Part Two : Amazon ~ Amazon Worldwide  

Be notified FIRST when Landon & Shay: Part Two goes live: http://bit.ly/2oK1voU

About Brittainy C. Cherry

Author Brittainy C. Cherry is an Amazon #1 bestselling author.

She has been in love with words since the day she took her first breath. She graduated from Carroll University with a Bachelor Degree in Theatre Arts and a minor in Creative Writing.

Her novels have been published in 18+ countries around the world. Brittainy lives in Brookfield, Wisconsin with her fur babies.

Connect with Brittainy: Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Instagram ~ Amazon ~ GoodReads ~ Join Brittainy’s Golden Girls (And Boys) Reader Group ~ Stay up to date with Brittainy by joining her mailing list ~ https://bcherrybooks.com

Audiobook, Contemporary Romance, New Adult, Review Books, young adult

The Heartbreakers (The Heartbreakers Chronicles, #1) by Ali Novak


The Heartbreakers (The Heartbreakers Chronicles, #1)The Heartbreakers by Ali Novak
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

BLURB: “When I met Oliver Perry, I had no clue he was the lead singer for The Heartbreakers. And he had no idea that I was the only girl in the world who hated his music.”

Stella will do anything for her sick sister, Cara—even stand in line for an autographed Heartbreakers CD…for four hours. She’s totally winning best birthday gift this year. At least she met a cute boy with soft brown hair and gorgeous blue eyes while getting her caffeine fix. Too bad she’ll never see him again.

Except, Stella’s life has suddenly turned into a cheesy love song. Because Starbucks Boy is Oliver Perry – lead singer for the Heartbreakers. And even after she calls his music crap, Oliver still gives Stella his phone number. And whispers quotes from her favorite Disney movie in her ear. OMG, what is her life?

But how can Stella even think about being with Oliver — dating and laughing and pulling pranks with the band — when her sister could be dying of cancer?

This was a cute story about Family, Health and Personal Growth.
Stella, Drew and Cara are triplets who are close and they feel helpless because Cara isn’t winning her battle with non Hodgkin lymphoma.
When Cara’s favorite boy band “The Heartbreakers” were in town, Stella and Drew decided to get her a signed poster from the band. Stella ended up meeting the lead Singer Oliver on her Starbucks run and they didn’t know each other so they flirted with each other.

It started a romance between Stella and Oliver, it also helped Stella deal with her guilt about Cara’s cancer and begin to make plans that didn’t revolve around her sister’s cancer.

I love that the focus was on family, personal growth, the effect of cancer on the remaining family, the guilt, the fear of not being around in case your sick family member needed you etc.
The romance was a sub plot and it was tastefully done. I really liked this story.

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Audiobook, New Adult, Paranormal Romance, Review Books, Urban Fantasy, Werewolf shifters, young adult

Bitten (Once Bitten, Twice Shy, #1) by Noelle Marie


Bitten (Once Bitten, Twice Shy, #1)Bitten by Noelle Marie
Narrated by: Sarah Mollo-Christensen
Length: 10 hrs and 30 mins
Series: Once Bitten, Twice Shy, Book 1
Release Date: 04-25-17

Blurb:Bastian had to have been the most handsome man that Katherine had ever met. It really was unfortunate that he was also the most stubborn, controlling, downright infuriating jackass she’d ever known as well. Oh, and there was the fact that he was a werewolf – a werewolf who has bitten her.

Sixteen-year-old Katherine Mayes had never believed in mythological creatures like werewolves or mermaids – certainly not those sparkly vampires that her friend Abby was obsessed with. Even when she’s bitten by a massive animal after a reckless night of teenage adventure and her body begins to change in mystifying ways, she can’t force herself to believe in what she’s convinced is impossible. Little does she realize she’s been infected with a disease a little more permanent than the rabies she feels fortunate to have not contracted.

Lycanthropy.

Her fierce denial is soundly shattered, however, when she is simultaneously saved and kidnapped by Bastian and his pack. Forced to leave small town Iowa behind and adjust to their way of life in a hidden society, Katherine must also deal with fighting the pull she feels towards the man – or wolf, rather – who has bitten her and disrupted her life so completely.


If you have watched Episode 1 of Teen Wolf, then you know most of this story verbatim. Katherine was out where she shoukdnky have been, she got bitten by a wolf then her body started changing. She craved raw meat, body temperature was elevated significantly, dense of smell was heightened etc.

Bastian, leader of the wolf pack, comes to guide her through her change. She is resistant at first because the idea of supernaturals is crazy and Bastian is forced to kidnap her and keep her with his pack. A romance begins to develop etc.

The book was poorly written. It was too elementary in wording, predictable, cliche and so formulaic that it felt plagiarized. This is a book one should read before you read Twilight or any more complex PNR. You can’t experience writers like Patricia Briggs or Ilona Andrews and enjoy a book like this because it was sooo basic in plot, grammar and narrative. I can’t even fathom moving on to book 2.

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Audiobook, Contemporary Romance, LGBTQ, New Adult, Review Books

Autoboyography by Christina Lauren


TITLE: Autoboyography
AUTHOR: Christina Lauren
PAGES: 416 (9hrs, 19mins)
NARRATORS: Deacon Lee and Kyle Mason
PUBLISHED: September 12th, 2017 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

BLURB: Three years ago, Tanner Scott’s family relocated from California to Utah, a move that nudged the bisexual teen temporarily back into the closet. Now, with one semester of high school to go, and no obstacles between him and out-of-state college freedom, Tanner plans to coast through his remaining classes and clear out of Utah.

But when his best friend Autumn dares him to take Provo High’s prestigious Seminar—where honor roll students diligently toil to draft a book in a semester—Tanner can’t resist going against his better judgment and having a go, if only to prove to Autumn how silly the whole thing is. Writing a book in four months sounds simple. Four months is an eternity.

It turns out, Tanner is only partly right: four months is a long time. After all, it takes only one second for him to notice Sebastian Brother, the Mormon prodigy who sold his own Seminar novel the year before and who now mentors the class. And it takes less than a month for Tanner to fall completely in love with him.

I was disappointed. There is so many 5-stars for this book, but it was barely a 3-star for me.

I found Tanner to be a bit self-centered and immature. But he was 18 years old, so that should be par for the course, right? Fine. I will cut him slack. But what I had the biggest gripe about was his lack of empathy for others. His parents went out of their way to make sure he was protected or at least his secret. He knew his best friend had feelings for him but he sort of used her as a cover. Was he really afraid she wouldn’t be his friend if she knew he was bisexual or gay? I don’t believe that at all. She kept his lazy butt on course and also kept people from asking him about his dating life. Even his parent mentioned that Autumn had romantic feelings for him. It’s a good thing his bestie didn’t get pregnant. I don’t think he really gave a really deep consideration to what he put her through.

On the other hand, I thought Sebastian’s indecision felt real and was similar to what my Uncle had to consider coming from a deeply religious family. For him, the label of bisexual or gay meant a loss of identity, loss of his parents love, loss of the church community which held him in esteemed and possible loss of his salvation. That’s a lot and Tanner never seemed to get that pain and respect the process of coming to terms of what loving another man cost Sebastian (at least in Sebastian’s thoughts).

I admit it irked me that others were putting creative works of writing and Tanner basically wrote about kissing, hiking etc. He had a diary while others were creating a world of fiction. That was only added to my side eye of Tanner.
I do give him super props for continuing with his plan to college and not letting heartache deter him from trying to live his best life. That showed inner resolve and also respect for the man he loved, that he let him go to figure himself out.

This book would have been much better if the author did a dual PV throughout the whole book. I wouldn’t have minded being in Autumn’s head as well. Those two characters were compelling to me because they are they ones who were struggling with what was versus what they wanted to be. I liked their journey and it felt more authentic than Tanner who seemed to just enough to skate by.

Contemporary Romance, New Adult, Review Books

Ryan’s Bed by Tijan


Title: Ryan’s Bed by Tijan
Narrated By: Thérèse Plummer
Release Date: January 14, 2018
Format: Audiobook (9hrs and 1 min)
Genre: New Adult, Young Adult, Contemporary Fiction, Romance
Blurb: I crawled into Ryan Jensen’s bed that first night by accident.

I barely knew him. I thought it was his sister’s bed–her room. It took seconds to realize my error, and I should’ve left…

I didn’t. I didn’t jump out. I didn’t get embarrassed.

I relaxed. And that night, in that moment, it was the only thing I craved.

I asked to stay. He let me, and I slept.

The truth? I never wanted to leave his bed. If I could’ve stayed forever, I would have.

He became my sanctuary.

Because–four hours earlier–my twin sister killed herself.
I didn’t like this title. It didn’t reflect what this story was about. This book was sad yet hopeful look at a family’s struggle to cope with the unimaginable. I hate that publishers are trying so hard to sell books that they use sexy titles/covers that misrepresent the actual content of their work. But the narrator Therese Plummer had just the right voice. It was a mixture of pain, detachment, anger, hope, etc. I heard all of that in her voice and I couldn’t stop listening.

MacKenzie found her twin sister Willow in their bathroom in a pool of her own blood the day before their eighteenth birthday. It was a shocking beginning and the book follows MacKenzie and her family as they deal (or don’t deal) with the grief of suicide.

This book was done well because the process felt real, it felt slow, it felt like they would never be okay sometimes and then other times I thought they had turned a corner. It was painful to read so my heart goes out families who have to deal with a suicide.

I am no therapist but I was uncomfortable with the way MacKenzie latched on Ryan like a life-support jacket. In addition, her parents were so consumed with their own guilt that they knowingly turned a blind eye to her sneaking out to spend the night in a bed of a boy they barely knew. I know that grief can pull families apart or bond them closer together but in this case, the MacKenzie’s parents abandoned her emotionally and physically. They pawned her off to the care of a business acquaintance and that was deeply disturbing to me. Instead of structure and perhaps more family interaction, each person retreated into their own corners like a boxer after the bell.

3.5 star.
I liked Ryan and how gently he treated MacKenzie. He listened, he held her and he comforted her every time she needed him.

He was rock solid, he was intuitive and compassionate. Unfortunately, I don’t feel like I got to know him outside MacKenzie’s pain. Maybe this story was meant to be snap shot in time because the characters were not developed that well. Not the main characters nor the supporting characters. There was underlying bullying at school. It felt like the adults were on vacation. The epilogue really exposed the fact that there was so much more going on under the surface and author didn’t really dig below. It was a good glimpse of a family’s grief but I wanted much more.

The two lessons I took from this story was to consistently listen to and talk with our loved ones. Don’t put labels on them like “the smart one” “the strong one” etc but to really see them and have meaningful interactions. It’s true that people will only share what they want, but if we establish trust, they may just let us into the vulnerable parts of their hearts.