Puddin’ by Julie Murphy

If I thought I loved Dumplin’ and meeting Willowdean in book one, I didn’t know what love was until I read Puddin’.  Oh. My.  God.  How I love Millicient Michalchuk and didn’t even know it.  She is the fat girl hero I needed and didn’t even know it.  That’s right I said fat.  Millie gives a whole speech on how fat is just a word.  It’s not a feeling, it’s a word.  She is fat and she knows it and she’s okay with her body and she knows other people call her fat.  At 16.  Oh if I had that kind of confidence at 16.  Hell if I had that kind of confidence at 39…

Puddin’ picks up soon after Dumplin’ ended.  Millie is still dealing with the aftermath of her decisions  in book one and we are reintroduced to the ultimate mean girl Callie Reyes.  Except Callie sort of grew on me over the course of the story.  Reading her transformation and her struggles, she’s 16.  Do you remember 16?  I try not to.  Angry at everyone and everything, acting out and confused, she’s having an identity crisis.  And it comes out in not so good ways.  She won’t replace Millie in my heart as my hero/favorite YA book chacater (for the time being) but she wormed her way into my heart as the book progressed.

Puddin’ is being advertised as the companion to Dumplin’.  I think it’s best read AFTER Dumplin’ since that’s where the characters are introduced and development begins.    I finished this book this morning and I already want more.  I had the pleasure of meeting Julie Murphy in March before I even read her books.  And now I’ve read three and need to meet her again to thank her for these characters and stories.  Don’t miss this series my friends.

(Also Dumplin’ is in production right now for theatre release.  Dolly Parton does the music.  Dolly Parton is a big deal in book one).

 

Five out of five stars

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Kissing Jenna by Kristen Proby

As promised, here’s my review!  Links to purchase the book are after the review.

First, many thanks to Social Butterfly PR for an advanced copy of this book!

Kissing Jenna made me want to go move to Montana and live in a treehouse.  The world building (yes romance has that too) was awesome.  And Jenna Hull is a heroine we all need.  She knows what she wants, isn’t afraid to go get it and does it all while renting out glamorous treehouses near a ski resort.  It doesn’t get much better than that!  Also, the small town near the ski resort is my new book vacation spot.  With the humidity coming up in DC, I’m ready to go.

Christian Wolfe is yummy.   A new book boyfriend for sure.  He’s an actor that comes to town to learn how to ski for a role.  Of course he stays in the treehouses.  And as much as they fight it at first, romance blooms.  And it’s quick.  Insta-love occurs but I didn’t find it cheesy or unbelievable.  Then again, insta-love, if done well, doesn’t bother me at all.

I found Kissing Jenna to be sweet, slightly predictable, sexy and sassy.  I much preferred this one to the first in the series.  The books can be read out of order or as a standalone but you should know that this is a spin-off of her other series set in Montana which I looooved.

Definitely a quick and fun read.  Plus characters from her other books make an appearance (including a totally different series) and it’s always nice to catch up with old friends.  Four out of five stars.

 

Read today!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2K5cZMB

B&N: https://goo.gl/TpKfM9

Kobo: https://goo.gl/CrAh5F

iBooks: https://goo.gl/xa3gLM

​Add to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2Ixp7Vc

Grab Charming Hannah, Book 1 in the Big Sky Series.

Amazon:https://amzn.to/2thMTzy

B&N: https://goo.gl/3oD8qt

Kobo: https://goo.gl/QjS1M8

iBooks: https://goo.gl/GJdQXe

http://bit.ly/2IvQJtC

Nocturne Falls series by Kristen Painter

Let’s talk paranormal romance for a second.  I just finished the 9th book in the Nocturne Falls series and I cannot say enough good things about it.  First off, the author, Kristen Painter, is super sweet and even re-tweeted a tweet I wrote thanking her for the books.  Second of all, these are clean romances.  No smut, no sex (though it is implied) but lots of fun characters and romance.  The book summary can tell you better:

 

Welcome to Nocturne Falls, the town that celebrates Halloween 365 days a year.

The tourists think it’s all a show: the vampires, the werewolves, the witches, the occasional gargoyle flying through the sky. But the supernaturals populating the town know better.

Living in Nocturne Falls means being yourself. Fangs, fur, and all.

I love the idea of a town full of supernatural characters.  I kind of want this whole series as a TV show but for now, they live in my head as I see fit.  Each book has a bit of a mystery to it but they are all primarily romance and happily ever afters.  With all that’s going on in the world, this series was a great escape.  Every story brings a smile to my face and I can’t wait to start the spin-off.  And like every good dealer, the first one is free.  See below for a link straight to Amazon.  Please note even if the book isn’t free, I make no money off the posts and any book I review is my choice.

Kissing Jenna — Release Day!!

I am pleased to be a part of the release day blitz for Kristen Proby’s latest!!  My review comes out on Wednesday so stay tuned!

 

Kissing Jenna by Kristen Proby

Series: Big Sky #2

Release Date: July 10, 2018

 

Synopsis: From New York Times Bestselling Author Kristen Proby comes the newest installment in her beloved Big Sky Series…

 

Jenna Hull owns and manages vacation rentals in her hometown of Cunningham Falls, Montana. She’s just completed the construction of her most exhausting project, the one she’s put her heart and soul into. The inviting, opulent Snow Wolf Cottages are the first ski in/ski out tree houses in the world.

Her biggest dream is about to come true, and she can’t let anything distract her.

 

Christian Wolfe is Hollywood’s it actor. If the magazines are to be believed, he’s the sexiest man on earth. He’s preparing for the biggest movie role of his life, and his agent has booked him in a hot new ski lodge in Montana, tucked away from crazy fans. He can’t wait for the break.

 

But what Christian isn’t prepared for is Jenna. With a face that could easily co-star with him in a movie and her ambition to put her stamp on Cunningham Falls, he can’t stay away. But even more intriguing than her beauty is the fact that she’s not at all impressed with his celebrity status, only turned on by the man behind the fame.

 

The love they’ve found is perfect—but time is running out before real life intrudes. Can they survive with both their dreams—and hearts—intact?

 

Read today!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2K5cZMB

B&N: https://goo.gl/TpKfM9

Kobo: https://goo.gl/CrAh5F

iBooks: https://goo.gl/xa3gLM

​Add to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2Ixp7Vc

 

Grab Charming Hannah, Book 1 in the Big Sky Series.

Amazon:https://amzn.to/2thMTzy

B&N: https://goo.gl/3oD8qt

Kobo: https://goo.gl/QjS1M8

iBooks: https://goo.gl/GJdQXe

http://bit.ly/2IvQJtC

 

Meet Kristen:

Kristen was born and raised in a small resort town in her beloved Montana. In her mid-twenties, she decided to stretch her wings and move to the Pacific Northwest, where she made her home for more than a dozen years.

During that time, Kristen wrote many romance novels and joined organizations such as RWA and other small writing groups. She spent countless hours in workshops, and more mornings than she can count up before the dawn so she could write before going to work. She submitted many manuscripts to agents and editors alike, but was always told no. In the summer of 2012, the self-publishing scene was new and thriving, and Kristen had one goal: to publish just one book. It was something she longed to cross off of her bucket list.

Not only did she publish one book, she’s since published close to thirty titles, many of which have hit the USA Today, New York Times and Wall Street Journal Bestsellers lists. She continues to self publish, best known for her With Me In Seattle and Boudreaux series, and is also proud to work with William Morrow, a division of HarperCollins, with the Fusion Series.

Kristen and her husband, John, make their home in her hometown of Whitefish, Montana with their two pugs and two cats.

 

Connect with Kristen:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BooksByKristenProby/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Handbagjunkie
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kristenproby/
BookBub:  https://www.bookbub.com/authors/kristen-proby
Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2kBRdpj
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2BD4vfq
Pinterest: @handbagjunkie
Website: https://www.kristenprobyauthor.com/
Newsletter: https://mailchi.mp/kristenproby/newsletter-sign-up

 

I Think I Love You by Lauren Layne

Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Publishing — Loveswept for a copy of this book.

I love Lauren Layne, I really do.  And while I don’t love her any less after the final book in the Oxford series, I am going on the record to say that I like the Sex, Love and Stiletto series better.  They are both set in the same world but the other one had something extra that I felt Oxford didn’t.  Can’t tell you what that is and they are both worth reading.  Anyway, this is about I Think I Love You so let’s dish.

The final installment of the Oxford series focuses on Brit and Hunter.  These two BFF work together and have a connection unlike any they have with other people.  After Brit’s latest date with a guy, she realizes (with the help of her friends) that guys treat her like a friend.  She never feels special with them and it’s always insta-friend zone.  So she asks Hunter to teach her how to date/seduce men.  And if you have ever read a romance novel, you know what comes next.  I love the two of them together.  They call each other on their BS, talk to the wee hours of the morning and have great sex.  They were friends first.  Which is great.  I just think that I need to take break from the friends to lovers trope for a while.  It annoyed me because it seemed to reinforce that men and women can’t be friends in romance novels and dang it, I want that to happen more than it does without it developing in to something more or one of them being gay.

One thing that really annoyed me was the constant use of the character’s last names.  I’m a firm believer that when you mention the character’s full name once, you’re done.  Unless they happen to be introducing themselves to someone, once and done.  This felt like 80% of the time a secondary character came in, they were full named.  And it got really annoying really quickly.  But that’s just my pet peeve.  I’m weird.

I gave the book a solid 3 out of 5 stars.  It’s a good book.  It’s not one I will rave about but I didn’t hate it, it was light and sexy and had good characters.  Great vacation or Sunday afternoon read.

#netgalley #ithinkiloveyou

Kissing Jenna — Teaser

This book is loaded on to my Kindle and ready to be started.  It comes out next week and I cannot wait.  Kristen Proby is amazing!!

 

KJ062718Teaser.png

 

SYNOPSIS: From New York Times Bestselling Author Kristen Proby comes the newest installment in her beloved Big Sky Series…

Jenna Hull owns and manages vacation rentals in her hometown of Cunningham Falls, Montana. She’s just completed the construction of her most exhausting project, the one she’s put her heart and soul into. The inviting, opulent Snow Wolf Cottages are the first ski in/ski out tree houses in the world.
Her biggest dream is about to come true, and she can’t let anything distract her.

Christian Wolfe is Hollywood’s it actor. If the magazines are to be believed, he’s the sexiest man on earth. He’s preparing for the biggest movie role of his life, and his agent has booked him in a hot new ski lodge in Montana, tucked away from crazy fans. He can’t wait for the break.

But what Christian isn’t prepared for is Jenna. With a face that could easily co-star with him in a movie and her ambition to put her stamp on Cunningham Falls, he can’t stay away. But even more intriguing than her beauty is the fact that she’s not at all impressed with his celebrity status, only turned on by the man behind the fame.

The love they’ve found is perfect—but time is running out before real life intrudes. Can they survive with both their dreams—and hearts—intact? 

 

Pre-order Kissing Jenna today.
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2K5cZMB
B&N: https://goo.gl/TpKfM9
Kobo: https://goo.gl/CrAh5F
iBooks: https://goo.gl/xa3gLM

​Add to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2Ixp7Vc

 

Grab Charming Hannah, Book 1 in the Big Sky Series.
Amazon:https://amzn.to/2thMTzy
B&N: https://goo.gl/3oD8qt
Kobo: https://goo.gl/QjS1M8
iBooks: https://goo.gl/GJdQXe

​Add to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2IvQJtC

The Birthday List by Devney Perry

When people on my GoodReads and Twitter feeds started talking about this book, I had just learned that Devney Perry was going to be at TWO book signings I have planned for the next 9 months.  And I make it my mission to attempt to read as many books by the attending authors as I can and I always fail miserably.   So prior to planning to attend these signings, I had never heard of the author.  It happens, there are a bazillion authors out there and it is to be expected that not everyone knows all of them. However, thanks for the time GR and Twitter, I have a new favorite must read author.

The Birthday List opens on Poppy and Jamie Maysen.  Newleyweds about to celebrate their first anniversary.   Jamie has a “birthday list.”  This list is made up of things Jamie wants to do by the time he reaches X age and there is one for every birthday.   Jamie goes out for an errand one day and never comes home.  Poppy is of course devastated and has to learn to adjust to being a widow.

Fast forward five years.  Poppy is about to open her restaurant “The Maysen Jar.”  (Love this concept and the name by the way).  We find out that Poppy has been working on Jamie’s birthday list much to the chagrin of her loved ones and one of the items was for her to get her restaurant.  Along the way, she meets Cole, a local police officer who she actually met when her husband died five years before.

What comes next is rare in a romance novel.  We get to read along as Cole and Poppy become friends.  FRIENDS PEOPLE!  Usually it’s insta-love and while I’m all for that, it would not have been appropriate for these characters.  We get to read along as Poppy goes through the stages of trying to move on after Jamie’s death.  We get to watch all of it happen and I loved every damn word.  It was so real and heart-breaking and heart-warming and I laughed and cried right along with Cole and Poppy.

I would give this a medium in the level of smut and high in the level of romance.  This was a four out of five star read for me and I cannot wait to read more of what Devney Perry has written.  You’ve got a fan in me now Ms. Perry and I will be recommending your books to anyone and everyone I know that likes romance with a little bit of heat to it.

From New York Times Bestselling Author Kristen Proby comes the newest installment in her beloved Big Sky Series…

 

I’m excited to be a part of the teaser share for Kristen Proby’s latest masterpiece!!  Read on for more awesomeness.

KJ Graphic 9(1)

From New York Times Bestselling Author Kristen Proby comes the newest installment in her beloved Big Sky Series…

Jenna Hull owns and manages vacation rentals in her hometown of Cunningham Falls, Montana. She’s just completed the construction of her most exhausting project, the one she’s put her heart and soul into. The inviting, opulent Snow Wolf Cottages are the first ski in/ski out tree houses in the world.

Her biggest dream is about to come true, and she can’t let anything distract her.

Christian Wolfe is Hollywood’s it actor. If the magazines are to be believed, he’s the sexiest man on earth. He’s preparing for the biggest movie role of his life, and his agent has booked him in a hot new ski lodge in Montana, tucked away from crazy fans. He can’t wait for the break.

But what Christian isn’t prepared for is Jenna. With a face that could easily co-star with him in a movie and her ambition to put her stamp on Cunningham Falls, he can’t stay away. But even more intriguing than her beauty is the fact that she’s not at all impressed with his celebrity status, only turned on by the man behind the fame.

The love they’ve found is perfect—but time is running out before real life intrudes. Can they survive with both their dreams—and hearts—intact? Goodreads: https://bit.ly/2Id1v87

Pre-order Kissing Jenna today.
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2K5cZMB
B&N: https://goo.gl/TpKfM9
Kobo: https://goo.gl/CrAh5F
iBooks: https://goo.gl/xa3gLM

Providence by Caroline Kepnes

I start this review with an apology to the author.  It’s not fair of me to keep reading your books and bringing your ratings down when I haven’t liked any of them so far.  I just keep hoping that I’ll change my mind since so many people, including some of my friends love your books.  So readers of mine, keep this in mind while reading this review.

Providence starts out with Chloe and Jon, two BFFs who by all accounts shouldn’t be.  She is popular, he’s a geeky loner who gets picked on but they make their friendship work.  They’re in middle school/junior high so here we have point one that I had an issue with.  Do kids in middle school talk about keg parties and hooking up?  Things sure have changed if so.

Jon disappears (it’s in the summary, this isn’t a spoiler) and everyone looks for him and then forgets about him (except Chloe).  Fast forward four years, Jon is back.  Then throughout the rest of the story, we fast forward some more.  And then some more.  This is point two.  I had a really hard time trying to figure out when this book was set (year wise) and where we ended up.  It didn’t quite fit for me and I found it took away from the story.

We then meet some other characters including a professor and a detective who really just added to my confusion.  This is point three.  So many characters, so much fast forwarding, I had the worst time trying to keep up and I got annoyed.

Add in some mystery, murders, some Lovecraft and a tiny bit of romance and there you have Providence.  I didn’t hate it but I certainly can’t so oh my goodness YOU HAVE GOT TO READ THIS.  Because that would be a lie.

Two out of five stars

 

Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu

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Vivan Carter is fed up. Fed up with a school administration at her small-town Texas high school that thinks the football team can do no wrong. Fed up with sexist dress codes, hallway harassment, and gross comments from guys during class. But most of all, Viv Carter is fed up with always following the rules.

Viv’s mom was a tough-as-nails, punk rock Riot Grrrl in the ’90s, and now Viv takes a page from her mother’s past and creates a feminist zine that she distributes anonymously to her classmates. She’s just blowing off steam, but other girls respond. As Viv forges friendships with other young women across the divides of cliques and popularity rankings, she realizes that what she has started is nothing short of a girl revolution.

I had never heard of this book (my apologies to the author) until I was browsing the library pages looking for new releases.  I’m not sure what caught my attention first.  It could have been the fierce chick on the cover, the pink letters or the sassy title.  Whatever it was, one look at the subject matter and I was sold.

I grew up in the 90s.  I wanted to be a Riot Grrl and read zines and be a cool underground kid.  Alas I grew up in a small farm town where you had to drive 30 minutes to go the grocery store and my dreams of Riot Grrl-dom were dashed before you could say BIKINI KILL RULES (read the book).

In today’s boys will be boys, we have a sexual predator as a president, #metoo world, this book was so needed.  Viv is a high school junior who starts to realize that the crap that the boys get away with at her school is offensive and the teachers are part of the problem.  So she starts fighting back.  Soon she has quite the movement on her hands.  Meanwhile she is dealing with having her very first boyfriend ever and what goes along with that.  Oh you couldn’t pay me to be 16 again.

What Viv finds while fighting back is that she isn’t the only one who is disgusted with the behavior at school and what starts as a zine quickly grows into we’re not going to take this, it’s time to fight back awesomeness of a story.  I couldn’t help but think of Emma Gonzalez of Parkland, Florida.  All she wanted to do was fight for her friends and she (along with others) started a revolution.

For every girl that was ever told it was her fault, that boys will be boys, that you would get in trouble for fighting back, that ladies kept their mouths shut, Moxie is for you.  It’s a story about feminism, relationships and courage.  I needed this book when I was a teenager and I’m so glad it exists for people to read today.

 

5 out of 5 stars