Be the Girl by K.A. Tucker ~ Review & Teaser (@kathleenatucker)

This was such the sweet read, but it was one of self growth as well. I liked seeing Aria settle in a new town and build a stronger relationship with her mother, as well as Emmett and Cassie next door.
Be the Girl
Title: Be the Girl
Author: K.A. Tucker
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
Published: January 21st 2019

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Almost sixteen-year-old Aria Jones is starting over. New postal code, new last name, new rules. But she doesn’t mind, because it means she can leave her painful regrets behind. In the bustling town of Eastmonte, she can become someone else. Someone better.

With the Hartford family living next door, it seems she will succeed. Sure, Cassie Hartford may be the epitome of social awkwardness thanks to her autism, but she also offers an innocent and sincere friendship that Aria learns to appreciate. And Cassie’s older brother, Emmett—a popular Junior A hockey player with a bright future—well … Aria wishes that friendship could lead to something more. If he didn’t already have a girlfriend, maybe it would.

But Aria soon finds herself in a dicey moral predicament that could derail her attempt at a fresh start. It is her loyalty to Cassie and her growing crush on Emmett that leads her to make a risky move, one that earns her a vindictive enemy who is determined to splinter her happy new world.

I know that any time that I pick up a book by K.A. Tucker, that it's going to be a hell of an emotional ride. She writes about subjects that we all would’ve faced at some point in out lives and the struggles feel real as the characters story grows. Be the Girl was not an easy journey, but it was good to see the characters grow and learn throughout the story.

I loved seeing the way Aria was willing to start her life over in a new town with her mother. It wasn't easy, but the growth in her was amazing and the tolerance she had for people made my heart soar. She developed a sweet friendship with the girl next door, Cassie and they spent a lot of time together outside of school.

Aria's story unfolded slowly, as she came to a new town where she didn't know a soul. The relationship with her mother grew stronger and the pressure of what they had left eased. I enjoyed seeing the bond with Aria and Emmett strengthen, growing from friendship into something more.

K.A. Tucker sure knows how to weave a tale that will keep you wanting more. I thought I had the story pegged, until the little twist was revealed. I enjoyed watching the characters grow and all the relationships strengthen throughout the story. It truly was a read that will stay with me for a while to come!
Now this would be a birthday to remember!

“Thank you. For the gift. You didn’t have to, but I love it.”
“Yeah? How much.”
“Like, I really love it.” I tease the seam of his mouth with my tongue.
His sharp intake of breath tells me he likes that, so I do it again.
“The door’s open,” he whispers, echoing my earlier warning.
“We’ll hear the stairs creak.” I offer a shy grin a second before it’s smothered by his lips.
Years from now, if anyone asks me what I did for my sixteenth birthday, I’ll tell them I kissed Emmett Hartford. That’s all I’ll remember, and it will have been the best birthday of my life.

Kindle Page 259

K.A. Tucker
K.A. Tucker writes captivating stories with an edge.

She is the internationally bestselling author of the Ten Tiny Breaths and Burying Water series, He Will Be My Ruin, Until It Fades, Keep Her Safe, The Simple Wild, Be the Girl, and Say You Still Love Me. Her books have been featured in national publications including USA Today, Globe & Mail, Suspense Magazine, Publisher's Weekly, Oprah Mag, and First for Women. She has been nominated for the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Romance 2013 for TEN TINY BREATHS and Best Romance 2018 for THE SIMPLE WILD. KEEP HER SAFE made Suspense Magazine's Best of 2018 list for Romantic Suspense.

K.A. Tucker currently resides in a quaint town outside of Toronto.

Other reviews featuring K.A. Tucker
Ten Tiny Breaths series
Burying Water series
Surviving Ice #4

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Angry God by L.J. Shen ~ Review & Teaser (@lj_shen)

I've become quite the fan of L.J. Shen's writing, and this series is quite addictive. I enjoyed watching the connection grow stronger between Vaughn and Lenora.
Angry God (All Saints High, #3)
Title: Angry God
Author: L.J. Shen
Series: All Saints High #3
Genre: NA Contemporary Romance
Published: February 15th 2020 (first published February 8th 2020)

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From #1 Amazon Bestseller L.J. Shen comes a new, emotional standalone about first love, second chances, and overcoming breathtaking losses at a young age.

Vaughn Spencer. They call him an angry god.
To me, he is nothing but a heartless prince.
His parents rule this town, its police, every citizen and boutique on Main Street.
All I own is a nice, juicy grudge against him for that time he almost killed me.
Between hooking up with a different girl every weekend, breaking hearts, noses and rules, Vaughn also finds the time to bully little ole’ me.
I fight back, tooth and nail, never expecting him to chase me across the ocean after we graduate high school.
But here he is, living with me in a dark, looming castle on the outskirts of London.
A fellow intern. A prodigal sculptor. A bloody genius.
They say this place is haunted, and it is.
Carlisle Castle hides two of our most awful secrets.
Vaughn thinks he can kill the ghosts of his past, but what he doesn’t know? It’s my heart he’s slaying.

This is a standalone in the All Saints High Series, and since I read Broken Knight I've wanted to know what made Vaughn tick; why he was so dark and broody, and why the goth girl caught his attention. It was quite the moving read and touched on some issues that broke my heart, but I'm so happy that Vaughn and Len crossed paths once again.

Lenora and Vaughn crossed paths at a summer school when they were 13 and 14. Their connection continued to grow when they crossed paths again and it was interesting to see Vaughn's possessive side come out. Both characters were a little twisted in their own ways, but when they were together I could see the sparks fly.

Vaughn's story was heartbreaking, and each time a piece of his story was revealed my heart broke that little bit more for the boy that had been through so much. He did have a loving family, but he was willing to do all he could to make things right by himself. Len was a bright light in his dark life, and he was unsure what to do with her. He kept pushing her away, only to draw her back in.

LJ Shen is an author that I'm becoming to adore. She tackles subjects that touch the reader and creates characters you want to see more of. Both these characters had lost so much and I loved watching them grow and become stronger together. It wasn't always easy, and they pushed the boundaries, but seemed to always gravitate to one another. I liked that art played a big role in this book, that it brought them together and they poured their passion into their work. It was a difficult, but beautiful read that was worded perfectly!
The first tease made me giggle, because who doesn't want to kiss a bad boy.
The second one melted my heart!

“Such a good, proper, boring girl.”
“You’re ugly.” I shrugged. He wasn’t, really. But I wanted him to be.
“Ugly or not, I could still kiss you if I wanted to, and you’d let me.”
I choked on the rich cocoa in my mouth, my book dropping to the ground and closing without a bookmark. Shoot.
“Why would you ever think that?” I’d turned to him, scandalized.
He’d leaned close, one flat chest to another. He’d smelled of something foreign and dangerous and wild. Of golden California beaches, maybe.
“Because my dad told me good girls like bad boys, and I’m bad. Really bad.”

Kindle Page 7

“I started working on this statue before we were together. I started it before we’d even kissed. Before Jason. Before Arabella. Before everything, there was you,” he whispered into my hair. “You came before art. Before life. Definitely before hate.”

Kindle Page 341

L.J. ShenL.J. Shen is an International #1 best-selling author of Contemporary Romance and New Adult novels. She lives in Northern California with her husband, young son and chubby cat.

Before she’d settled down, L.J. (who thinks referring to herself in the third person is really silly, by the way) traveled the world, and collected friends from all across the globe. Friends who’d be happy to report that she is a rubbish companion, always forgets peoples’ birthdays and 
never sends Christmas cards.

She enjoys the simple things in life, like spending time with her family and friends, reading, HBO, Netflix and internet-stalking Stephen James. She reads between three to five books a week and firmly believes Crocs shoes and mullets should be outlawed.

Other reviews featuring L.J. Shen
In the Unlikely Event
The Kiss Thief
Dirty Headlines
All Saints High
Broken Knight #2
read more "Angry God by L.J. Shen ~ Review & Teaser (@lj_shen)"

The Sinful King by Claire Contreras ~ Review & Teaser (@ClariCon)

I really enjoy picking up a read by Claire Contreras... and The Sinful King was quite the pleasant read. I really enjoyed getting to know Prince Elias and Adeline!
The Sinful King (Naughty Royals, #1)
Title: The Sinful King
Author: Claire Contreras
Series: Naughty Royals #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: March 5th 2020

Buy Now - Amazon USAmazon Aus
If you had any ties to Marbella, it was impossible for you not to have heard the stories about Prince Elias and his debauchery.

Every summer he arrived with his security detail and friends in tow and rented out a row of cottages near the water.

Cottages that belonged to my family.

Each of those summers, my parents sent me away – summer camp and later, boarding school. Anything to keep me away from the royals and their partying.

I hadn’t been home in years, but when I finally come back for the summer, I see that not much has changed. Like all the summers I’d been gone, Prince Elias is back, but this time with an incognito security detail and no friends.

This time, there is no partying, no noise, no crowds. No reason at all to even think he was there.
I’m given strict orders not to talk to him, not to even look in his direction, but he makes this an impossible task.

I may be doing everything in my power to stay away from him, but there is no one in the world who can say no to the future King of France.

I've read a few of Claire Contreras' books now and each one I have enjoyed, so I was excited to get into this one—girl next door falls for a Prince, who happens to be the future King of France. It was a sweet build and I loved the banter between Adeline and Elias, as they fought their feelings and traditions of a nation.

Just to clarify, Adeline wasn't brought up poor, her family was actually quite wealthy and she had everything that she ever needed. Her first interaction with Prince Elias, was before she set off to America to go to College. When they met again Adeline was a part owner of her own Event Planning business. She was well educated, successful, and was running from her own scandal.

I really enjoyed getting to know both characters. Elias was really very sweet, but being in his position he built walls to cover his true feelings. I could tell that Adeline rattled him as he reacted differently when she was around. Slowly he edged his was into Adeline's life and won her with his charm and sweet ways.

This was such a delightful read! Every girl has dreamt of falling for a Prince and living a charmed life, and this was another story of that dream coming to life. I enjoyed the way Contreras created such a fun world and characters that were easy to like. A few threads seemed a little abrupt, or not dealt with properly and I was confused at times, but overall it was quite the light, sexy and amusing read.
Yeah... I got butterflies reading both of these!

“When was the last time you went on a date?” he asked suddenly.
“It’s been a while.” I caught myself quickly. “Pierre aside, I mean. That was a real date until you interrupted us.”
“Did that one end with a kiss?”
“Then it wasn’t a real date.”
“Says the man who’s only gone on five and they’ve all been for pretenses.”
“Says the man who’s going to take you on one and make sure it’s real.”
“Oh.” I swallowed as butterflies flapped deep in my belly.

Kindle Loc 1148

“You don’t curtsy to me,” he said into my ear.
“Are you not my King?”
“Are you not my world?”

Kindle Loc 3376

Claire ContrerasClaire Contreras is a New York Times Best Selling Author. Her books range from romantic suspense to contemporary romance and are currently translated in over fifteen languages. 

She lives in Charlotte, NC with her husband, two adorable boys, and two bulldogs. When she's not writing, she's usually lost in a book.

Other reviews featuring Claire Contreras
The Consequence of Falling
The Player
Hearts series
Kaleidoscope Hearts #1 
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Gale Force by Rachel Caine ~ Review & Teaser (@rachelcaine)

It's been a little while since I read the 6th book, but I thought it was time to get back into Joanne's world. This was quite the journey... so much happened and I loved the action!
Gale Force (Weather Warden, #7)
Title: Gale Force
Author: Rachel Caine
Series: Weather Warden #7
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Published: June 13th 2011 (first published August 1st 2008)

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Never off duty, that was me. Joanne Baldwin: Weather Warden – if a world-ending storm blew up without notice, I was the go-to girl.

When Joanne’s Djinn lover, David, asks Joanne to marry him, she’s thrilled to say yes, but there are certain parties – some human, some otherwise – who are less than enthusiastic.

Joanne’s premarital bliss ends when a devastating earthquake hits Florida. And this time she won’t be able to ask David and his kind for assistance. The cause of the quake is unlike anything Joanne has ever encountered – and it is fuelled by a power even the Djinn cannot perceive.

This series has been one hell of a ride, so I new Gale Force was going to be just as entertaining. Joanne seems to always find herself in the middle of trouble, so what could go wrong planning a wedding... right?

There was so much action in this instalment, because there are people that don't want Joanne and David to marry, so every time she tried to plan something the world would come down around her. David would help her when he could, but he had his own issues to deal with as well.

The series arc kept developing, and I could see that big things were coming on the horizon. There were still issues between the Djinn and the Wardens, but nothing broke my heart more than the betrayal from someone close to Joanne. It was interesting to see an old enemy return as it certainly changed things in the game.

I really did enjoy this read, but like other readers, I was confused with how the story seemed to have changed since the end of the previous book. Nevertheless, I still enjoyed the read and I'm looking forward to picking up the next book to see where things head for all characters next!
I just love the passion from David!
The second tease has a little bit of humour...

‘Because he saw what I saw. He saw your strength, your power, your beauty.’ David paused, studying me with an expression so tender that it melted my heart and gave me shivers. ‘He saw what I saw in your core, and it shook him. It shook all of them. You have a peculiar gift to make Djinn feel. In a way, that makes you more dangerous than anyone they’ve ever known.’

Kindle Loc 2026

‘Right,’ I said, and turned to David. ‘How do you feel about getting married tomorrow?’
I had no idea Djinn could look so blank. Venna turned to David and said, with the perfect blend of alarm and puzzlement, ‘Are you sure she isn’t insane?’
David continued with the blank look for a few more seconds, and then the light dawned warm in his eyes, and he slowly smiled.
‘Actually,’ he said, ‘I’m fairly certain she is, and that is exactly why I’m marrying her.’

Kindle Loc 2910

Rachel CaineRachel Caine is the NYT, USA Today, and #1 WSJ bestselling author of more than 50 books in several categories and genres, including adult thriller and adult urban fantasy/SF as well as books for young adults ages twelve to eighteen.

She is the winner of several national awards, and most recently was a finalist in both the International Thriller Writers awards and the Killer Nashville awards for her debut thriller novel Stillhouse Lake.

Other reviews featuring Rachel Caine
 Weather Warden series
Ill Wind #1
Heat Stroke #2
Chill Factor #3
Windfall #4
Firestorm #5
Thin Air #6
read more "Gale Force by Rachel Caine ~ Review & Teaser (@rachelcaine)"

Deviant King by Rina Kent ~ Review & Teaser (@AuthorRina)

Rina Kent is another new-to-me author and after skimming the description, I thought this sounded good... until I realised it was part of a trilogy... I know, my fault, but still... 
Deviant King: A Dark High School Bully Romance (Royal Elite Book 1) by [Rina Kent]
Title: Deviant King
Author: Rina Kent
Series: Royal Elite #1
Genre: NA Contemporary Romance
Published: October 24th 2019 (first published October 21st 2019)

Buy Now - Amazon USAmazon Aus

The villain isn't supposed to be king

I have a simple plan.
Finish Royal Elite School and get into my dream university.

One glance from the school’s king blows my plan up in smoke.
One glance and he suffocates my air.
One glance and he issues his death sentence.

His first words spiral my life into irreparable chaos.
“I will destroy you.”

Everything about Aiden King is black.
Black mind.
Black heart.
Black soul.

I should’ve remained quiet and endured the time I have left.
I didn’t.

I made the irrevocable mistake of provoking the king on his throne.
The devil in his hell.

And now, I’ll pay the price.

Being hated by Aiden King is dangerous.
But being wanted by him is lethal.

I picked this one up not realising that it was part of a trilogy, so I need to learn to read all of the description... anyway, I wanted to love this one, but I actually was a little frustrated with it by the time I got to the end. I felt that Elsa was a bit of a drama queen and really couldn't make a decision. She was all tough with her inner monologue, but when Aiden would push her she would back peddle quickly.

I did like how they both had secrets, and I am really curious as to how deep they go, but by the end of the book I was still in the dark about most of them. I would've liked a bit more depth to the characters to draw me in further, because I honestly don't know if I like them or not.

As for Aiden being a bully, to me it looked more like he was mean to Elsa because he liked her. He was a definite alpha male, thrived on control and would push Elsa to her limits. He was a very sexual being and was a little dark at times, however Elsa found it hard to say no to him.

Some of the arguments were petty, and often made my head spin as Elsa would argue, forgive, then flip again. I think that some of the story could be smoothed out a little to make it a good story.

Do I want to continue this story? Maybe... I want to know what happened next, but I really didn't enjoy the story as a whole to want to continue. 

Here you can feel the tension building between the two of them, Elsa is beginning to realise how serious Aiden is.

“I don’t know what your obsession is with me, but it’s not going to work.”
He squints an eye. “Let me worry about that, sweetheart.”
“Iʼm not your sweetheart, Aiden. I’m just a girl you bully and I hate to say this, but I prefer the days you had your minions bully me over this unwanted attention. I don’t want you anywhere near me or my family. It’s one more year and everyone will go their own way, so let’s pretend these last couple of days never happened.”
“Pretending was never my thing.”
“Oh, please. You just pulled off a Broadway-level performance about how much you care about me when we both know you don’t.”
“I do care about you, sweetheart. Maybe not in the conventional term, but I never stopped caring about you. It’s becoming tiresome and fucking irritating.” His dark eyes shoot a path into my soul. “The time has come to do something about it.”

Kindle Page 106

Rina KentRina Kent is an international bestselling author of everything enemies to lovers romance.

Darkness is her playground, suspense is her best friend, and twists are her brain’s food. However, she likes to think she’s a romantic at heart in some way, so don’t kill her hopes just yet.

Her heroes are anti-heroes and villains because she was always the weirdo who fell in love with the guys no one roots for. Her books are sprinkled with a touch of mystery, a healthy dose of angst, a pinch of violence, and lots of intense passion.

Rina spends her private days in a peaceful town in North Africa daydreaming about the next plot idea or laughing like an evil mastermind when those ideas come together.

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