Sunday, December 15, 2019

Blog Tour Review-Hearts, Strings, and Other Breakable Things by Jacqueline Firkins

Hearts, Strings, and Other Breakable Things

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Release Date: December 17th 2019
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Retellings, Contemporary


Mansfield, Massachusetts is the last place seventeen-year-old Edie Price wants to spend her final summer before college. It’s the home of wealthy suburbanites and prima donnas like Edie’s cousins, who are determined to distract her from her mother’s death with cute boys and Cinderella-style makeovers. Edie has her own plans, and they don’t include a prince charming.

But as Edie dives into schoolwork and applying for college scholarships, she finds herself drawn to two Mansfield boys who start vying for her attention. First there's Sebastian, Edie’s childhood friend and first love. He’s sweet and smart and . . . already has a girlfriend. Then there's Henry, the local bad boy and all-around player. He’s totally off limits, even if his kisses are chemically addictive.

Both boys are trouble. Edie can’t help but get caught between them. Someone's heart is going to break. Now she just has to make sure it isn't hers.


Anytime I see there’s a retelling for a Jane Austen book, I quickly jump on it real quick. I don’t even read the synopsis, I just follow the story into oblivion because yes, I’m a huge fan. Hearts, Strings, and Other Breakable Things is both cute and quirky—holding its own on an enjoyable read. 

The main character, Edie is taken from one of the only worlds she ever knew, to a new one. One filled with glamour and wealth. It’s obviously an adjustment. But let me talk about my favorite part of the whole entire books—THE ROMANCE! More importantly, the lovely boys of the book. Sebastian and Henry. I’m gonna go ahead and say that love triangles aren’t my favorite; especially when my fave guy isn’t the one whom the main character picks. 

The guys couldn’t be more different from each other and the whole time I’m screaming about who Edie should pick...and she doesn’t. It’s expected and predictable but it doesn’t mean I wasn’t any less disappointed. Overall, I thought Firkins wrote an amazing book that will most definitely interest fans of Han and Matsen. 

*Thank you to the publisher for providing a copy for an honest and unbiased review. All thoughts and opinions are subjective but my own. 

About the Author:
Jacqueline's a writer, costume designer, and lover of beautiful things. She's on the fulltime faculty in the Department of Theatre & Film at the University of British Columbia where she also takes any writing class they’ll let her into. When not obsessing about where to put the buttons or the commas, she can be found running by the ocean, eating excessive amounts of gluten, listening to earnest love songs, and pretending her dog understands every word she says.

Tour Schedule:

December 11th

December 12th

Pages and Pugs - Review
Wishful Endings - Review
Snark & Squee - Review

December 13th

The Candid Cover - Guest Post
L.M. Durand - Review
Bookishly Nerdy - Review + Favourite Quotes
Devourbookswithdana - Review + Dream Cast + Favourite Quotes

December 14th

Jinxed Reviews - Review + Playlist + Favourite Quotes
Book Briefs - Review
Bookishaestha - Review + Favourite Quotes

December 15th

Kait Plus Books - Interview
The Lovely Books - Review
Books of Amber - Review
The Reading Life - Promotional Post

December 16th

Here's to Happy Endings - Review + Favourite Quotes
A Gingerly Review - Review + Favourite Quotes

December 17th

Yna the Mood Reader - Review + Favourite Quotes
Sometimes Leelynn Reads - Review + Playlist + Favourite Quotes


December 11th

December 12th

December 13th

December 14th

December 15th

December 16th


Friday, December 13, 2019

Review— Just Don't Mention It (DIMILY #4) by Estelle Maskame

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Published: December 3, 2019
Genre: YA Contemporary
Source: Print ARC
Rating: 4 stars

Can love heal all wounds?

At seventeen, Tyler Bruce is hot -- a hot mess. His girlfriend is a knockout, his reputation's untouchable, parties are nothing without him. Even his car is unreal. But inside Tyler is broken -- and he'll stop at nothing to keep that a secret.

Then one summer Eden comes to stay. She's upfront, sharp and far more enticing than a stepsister should be. She also sees straight through Tyler's bad boy facade to the vulnerable kid within. The quiet kid who took all the punches. As Eden draws Tyler in, his defenses start to crumble around him. In his past, vulnerability only brought him danger. But now, it might just bring him everything he needs...if it doesn't break him.

As irresistible and dazzling as its Californian backdrop, Just Don't Mention It is a companion novel to the Did I Mention I Miss You trilogy that explores Tyler's story -- his heart-stopping tale of past hurt, finding hope and figuring out who the hell he wants to be.

Tyler’s story is rough and insanely heartbreaking. This is for all you DIMLY fans that have wondered about this mysterious and broken boy. We see first hand the pain, anguish, and absolute torture that Tyler has to endure. 

That is until he met Eden—beautiful, outspoken, and u like anyone Tyler has ever known. Seeing everything through his eyes brought back all the old feelings from the first book in the series. Back to the time that I fell in love with Maskame’s written word and that characters she accurately portrayed. 

If you’re a new reader of the series, I envy you. While you could absolutely read this without reading all the other books, I think you’d appreciate it more having read from book one. I loved this! Clearly. Plus I’m a sucker stepbrother/stepsister romances. 

*thank you to the author for providing a free copy in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. All thoughts and opinions are subjective but my own. 

Buy the book:
Amazon US HERE
Amazon U.K. HERE

Need the first in the series? Get it HERE.

About the Author:
Estelle Maskame is a novelist from Peterhead in Scotland. After gaining universal acclaim online during her teenage years, she signed a print contract with the Edinburgh-based publisher Black & White Publishing at the age of seventeen. She left school and now writes full-time. Did I Mention I Love You? is her first novel.


Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Disarm Q&A with Karina Halle

Q&A: Author Karina Halle 

1. To start off, can you tell us a little about your main characters from Disarm. Seraphine and Blaise have quite a history (not to mention they share the same last name!)

Seraphine and Blaise Dumont are (gasp) cousins. But not to worry, they aren't blood-related. Seraphine is actually from India and was adopted by Ludovic Dumont when she was a young girl. Even though she was brought into the "nice" side of the family, she has always had trouble fitting in. Her looks, her accent, the fact that she was born poor and discarded like trash, gives her a very different perspective to life than her affluent family. This POV has colored her into the very outspoken, vibrant and feisty woman she is today - she is definitely one of my favorite female characters I've written.

Blaise, of course, belongs to the bad side of the family, though there were hints in the first book, Discretion, that he's not as bad as you would think. In fact, he's a lot like Seraphine, a bit of an outcast and the black sheep of his family. As we read Disarm, we also discover the history that Blaise and Seraphine have together which sets up for the angst, tension and hate for each other that they have in the present day, especially as Seraphine thinks Blaise has something to do with her father's death.

2. They live in a world of privilege that most of us cannot fathom. What are the biggest pluses and some minuses of living with fabulous wealth?

The biggest plus is the material things: houses, cars, clothes, jets, vacations. You name it, they have it. You would also think a great deal of freedom comes with money too and it does but with that sort of wealth, it makes you go to great lengths to keep it. So that freedom still ties you to the wealth, in maintaining it and getting more of it. Of course, it breeds some pretty out of touch and unscrupulous characters, too, and you can never know who to trust when your world (and family) revolves around money instead of love.

3. What about Blaise makes him totally unique and different from all other book boyfriends?
The torch he has carried for Seraphine for so many years. This man is the epitome of yearning and pining for someone you can't have, more so than most book boyfriends you've come across (and I won't spoil exactly how but you'll find out in the book just how secretly devoted to his cousin he is). He's also an anti-hero, a man who has done some crooked stuff but still tries to do the right thing, even if it comes at the expense of his own family.

4. Seraphine has faced many difficulties during her life, but one of her toughest challenges is thinking Blaise abandoned her. How does she deal with this heartbreak?
She deals with it the way that Seraphine deals with any hardship—she tucks it away deep down inside and rises above it. She'll force herself to be strong - her pride is very powerful - and she'll trick herself into thinking she never cared about him to begin with. It's much easier to paint Blaise with a villainous brush, that way it doesn't hurt so much.
5. Extreme events are said to bring out a person's true character. What harrowing situations do Seraphine and Blaise get entangled in and what does this say about them?
There isn't anything more extreme than fighting for your life, and the two of them have had to do that in this book. Literally. But they willingly walked into those situations as a way to put an end to the tangled web they've been caught in. It says they would rather face it and fight than flee. This is especially true for Blaise, who, at the end of the book, choses to confront his loved ones face to face, even if it potentially means making some difficult choices.

6. What scene from the book do you think readers will enjoy the most and why?
Personally, I love the scene at the end, a nail-biting showdown between Blaise and his brother Pascal (and his father, too). That was a blast to write and read, I basically just watched it all unfold in my head and it had my heart pumping as if I was watching a movie. It's DELICIOUS. Romance-wise, I think the flashbacks are pretty special, particularly their first kiss in Italy. There was something about that scene that felt so real.

7. It is often said that writing is re-writing. What were some things that didn’t make it into the book that you were hoping to add?
Nothing. It's all in there, baby! If anything, scenes were added during edits.
8. What did you learn about yourself while writing this book?
I learned a lot about Muay Thai fighting moves haha.
9. What do you want readers to take away from reading this book?
That family isn't just through blood, and that sometimes in order to do the right thing and be your own person, you musn't be afraid to stand up to your family, even if it means tension or separation down the line.

10. Who is the next Dumont on your list to receive their own story?
The infamous Pascal. And believe me when I say, this villain's story will both wow and win people over. His book is even more thrilling and dramatic than Disarm and I can't wait for everyone to read it!


Disarm Excerpt

“We can never be together, Blaise,” Seraphine says, like frustration is rolling through her. “I know you understand that.” 

“But it doesn’t mean we can’t try.” 

“No,” she says and suddenly gets up to her feet, walking out of the room. “No. I can’t do this. I can’t handle this,” I hear her cry out as she heads down the hall. 

I get up and run after her, grabbing her by the arm and pulling her right up against me, and she opens her mouth to protest and then my mouth is on hers, swallowing her words. 

I kiss her with everything I have, every bit of anger and frustration and the years of lust and pining and wanting. I should be more gentle after the night she’s had, but I can’t help myself; in fact, I think I’m seconds from turning into an animal as I hold the back of her head and press my hand at the small of her waist, keeping her pressed as close to me as possible. 

Her tongue slides across mine, hot and fevered and—

She pulls back, gasping for breath, and slaps me across the face. 


That hurt. 

“What the hell is wrong with you?” she says. “What are you doing? What am I doing?” 

Her face is red with anger, perhaps even shame. I mean, my cheek is stinging from her powerful wallop, but even so, I expected it. She’s always been the type of woman to put you in your place. But I didn’t expect her to slide so easily back into hating me. 

“Don’t pretend you haven’t been dreaming about that,” I tell her, trying to control myself. “Don’t pretend that you haven’t wanted that, wanted me, all these years.” 

“The only thing I’ve been dreaming about, Blaise, is getting justice for my father. That’s it. That’s all that matters. And as far as I’m concerned, you’re no better than the rest of them.” 

Anger pokes at me, building up inside. “Hey,” I say, my inflection razor sharp. “I risked my neck tonight for you. I saved you from a bad situation. And more than that, I let you know the truth. I chose you over my family.” 

“And I’m choosing not to trust you,” she says. “You’ve given me no sign over the years that I mean anything to you at all. Why should I believe you now? Why do that when it might derail everything I’m working on?” Something comes over her, a flash in her eyes, as she’s realizing something. “This is all a setup, isn’t it? This is just something that Pascal is having you do, just like you followed me. You’re supposed to tell me all this nonsense about wanting me and staying celibate like some joke and waiting for me, and it’s all a lie to get my guard down. If you’re telling me I’m in danger, it’s because you’re putting me there.” 

I knew she’d go this route at some point, but even so, it stings. “That’s not it at all. Seraphine, please, I’m serious.” 

“You just want me to back off because I’m close to the truth,” she says, shaking her head wildly as the idea takes over. “For all I know, every single thing this evening that’s come out of your mouth has been a complete lie, all to throw me off.” 

I run my hands down my face, trying to squash my frustration. I knew this was coming, and yet that tiny coal of hope was always burning inside. “That’s not true,” I mutter into my hands, but I know when she gets like this that there’s no changing her mind. 

“Get out,” she says. 

I look up to see her opening the door and gesturing for me to hurry up. 

“You’re making a big mistake by not trusting me,” I tell her. 

“And I don’t take threats very well. Get out, and if I see you around me again . . .” 

I almost laugh. “You will see me again. At work tomorrow.” 

“Right. I almost forgot that you’re taking over my job.” She runs her fingers under her eyes and sighs so defeatedly that leaving her feels like a crime. 

“It’s not like that,” I tell her. 

“Just go,” she says quietly, holding open the door and looking away, like she can’t be bothered to face me. 

“You know where to reach me, if anything happens,” I tell her as I walk past and out into the hall. 

“If anything happens, you’ll be the first one I’ll blame,” she says to me. 

Before I can say anything in response, she closes the door in my face.


About The Book

Title: Disarm
Author: Karina Halle
Release Date: November 19, 2019
Publisher: Montlake


Seraphine Dumont seems to have it all: she’s gorgeous, brilliant, and part of one of France’s most illustrious dynasties. But underneath the facade, Seraphine struggles to hold it all together. Besides grieving her adoptive father’s suspicious and sudden death, she also shares a tenuous role in the family business with Blaise, her in-name-only cousin. As tumultuous as their history is, he may be the only member of the deceptive Dumont family she can trust.

Seraphine is a temptation Blaise can’t resist. The torch he’s carried for years still burns. It’s his secret—a quiet obsession just out of reach. Until his brother demands that he spy on the increasingly cagey Seraphine, whom their father considers a dispensable Dumont outlier. But the more Blaise watches her and the closer he gets, the more he sees Seraphine may have every right to be suspicious. And she could be the next one in danger—from his own family.

As blood runs hot and hearts give in, Seraphine and Blaise have only each other. But can their love survive the secrets they’re about to uncover?

Author Biography

Karina Halle, a former travel writer and music journalist, is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of The Pact, A Nordic King, and Sins & Needles, as well as fifty other wild and romantic reads. She, her husband, and their adopted pit bull live in a rain forest on an island off British Columbia, where they operate a B&B that’s perfect for writers’ retreats. In the winter, you can often find them in California or on their beloved island of Kauai, soaking up as much sun (and getting as much inspiration) as possible. For more information, visit

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Monday, November 18, 2019

Review-Restless Rancher (Wild Rose Ranch #2) by Jennifer Ryan

Publisher: Avon
Published: November 12, 2019
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: ARC
Rating: 4 stars

8 hours, 16 minutes

Meet the women of the Wild Rose Ranch—and the men who want to tame them—in New York Times Bestselling Author Jennifer Ryan’s breathtaking series of romance and scandal . . .

One minute down-on-his-luck rancher Austin Hubbard slept soundly, the next, a sassy spitfire dumped a pitcher of water on his head and woke him up—in more ways than one. Hired to help him rebuild his ranch, Sonya Turner ends up helping him put the tattered pieces of his life back together. The capable, all-business accountant is on a mission to get the ranch up and running, but can he convince the temptingly beautiful woman to take a chance on him?

Sonya was dismayed that Austin had lost it all: money, family, respectability. Things she—who’d been raised by her mother at Nevada’s notorious brothel Wild Rose Ranch—only dreamed about. But working with the long, lean cowboy shows her that Austin is honorable to his core. Together they slowly grow to see what the love between them might bring.

But then Austin’s powder keg of a family feud explodes, exposing long-buried secrets, and threatening their new-found love…

This was everything I could have wanted and more. Thanks in large part to our hero, Austin. Austin is wayyyy down on his luck—with no money, a bitchy ex girlfriend, and scheming dad, it’s no wonder he hasn’t gone crazy.

Then Sonya steps in and dumps a pitcher of water on his head, and bam, Austin’s life changes right before our eyes. Sonya is that type of “take no shit” from anyone type of gal. She’s sassy and beautiful—our boy didn’t stand a chance!

“I quit my job and moved here to make all your dreams come true.”

"I can think of a dozen ways you can do that, sweetheart."

Sonya is there for one reason and one reason only—to hell Austin bring his ranch back to life. She didn’t account for the high and  intense chemistry she would feel with the male lead. By the look of everything going on, Austin didn’t know it either.

Let me just say that I ADORED the interactions with the hero and heroine. It gave me butterflies! The drama was glorious and it kept me racing to get to the end. If you’re looking for a hot and sexy (and sometimes sweet) read, look no further!

*Thank you to the publisher for providing a free copy in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. All thoughts and opinions are subjective but my own.

Buy the Book:

About the Author:
Jennifer Ryan, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Hunted and McBrides Series, writes romantic suspense and contemporary small-town romances.

Jennifer lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and three children. When she isn’t writing a book, she’s reading one. Her obsession with both is often revealed in the state of her home, and how late dinner is to the table. When she finally leaves those fictional worlds, you’ll find her in the garden, playing in the dirt and daydreaming about people who live only in her head, until she puts them on paper.

Please visit her website at for information about upcoming releases.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Book Promo Excerpt-Crown of Frost: A Wicked Faerie Tale Romance (Faerie Lords Book 1) by Isabella August


A wicked faerie warlock haunts Elaine’s dreams.

As a Taurus witch, it’s hardly a surprise that she dreams of warlocks. Yet each time, it’s the same mysterious man with long black hair and icy blue eyes. For years, he haunts her dreams... until the day she finally meets him, face to face.


When Liam steps out from the shadows, he claims he’s come to protect her. Tall, dangerous, and ethereal, he has a noble bearing... and a dark edge.

Though Liam is everything Elaine should fear, he speaks to her with a strange familiarity, stirring distant recollections. Everything about him is woven through the fabric of her shattered memory: His voice. His touch. His promise to keep her safe.

And while her memories of Liam are sparse, she finds herself drawn to him in a way that suggests he’s the very opposite of her enemy.

Liam’s dark nature drives him to possess her. Elaine knows she should resist... but with his first wicked touch, she’s lost to his seduction.

This steamy STANDALONE paranormal romance novel in an urban fantasy setting has a happy ending and contains no cheating. The books in the series can be read in any order.

Buy links:
Free on KU or $2.99 

“You’ll forget me,” a soft voice promised.

Cold, piercing blue eyes, like chips of ice. The distant scent of sandalwood and evergreen. Something terrible lay behind those eyes, but Elaine couldn’t bring herself to be afraid.

“I won’t forget you,” she whispered. “How could I?”

“You will,” he assured her. His pale hand brushed her cheek, warm against the chill that had burrowed its way inside her. “But maybe that’s for the best.”

Already, the shreds of memory began to slip away again, like sand between her fingers.

About the Author:

Isabella August is the collaborative pen name for a pair of naughty lady writers specializing in vampires, shifters (wolves, bears, dragons, and all others welcome), fae, daemons, warlocks, witches, and many other denizens in their urban world of scorching-hot paranormal romance.

All stories by the dynamic duo behind Isabella August offer tantalizing glimpses into an ever-expanding dark urban paranormal world where anything is possible and where every romance has a happy ending -- no cliffhangers, no cheating. Join us for a ride you will never forget -- and a book you will never be able to put down.

When the duo are not plotting evil, evil things, they can be found with their respective husbands and cats. Both writers thoroughly enjoy gaming, both of the video and tabletop variety.

You can find out more about us and all our paranormal romance novels at


Saturday, November 16, 2019

Review—Get a Life, Chloe Brown (The Brown Sisters #1) by Talia Hibbert

Publisher: Avon Romance
Published: November 5, 2019
Genre: Contemporary Romance 
Source: Finished copy
Rating: 4 stars

Talia Hibbert, one of contemporary romance’s brightest new stars, delivers a witty, hilarious romantic comedy about a woman who’s tired of being “boring” and recruits her mysterious, sexy neighbor to help her experience new things—perfect for fans of Sally Thorne, Jasmine Guillory, and Helen Hoang.

Chloe Brown is a chronically ill computer geek with a goal, a plan, and a list. After almost—but not quite—dying, she’s come up with seven directives to help her “Get a Life”, and she’s already completed the first: finally moving out of her glamourous family’s mansion. The next items?

Enjoy a drunken night out.
Ride a motorcycle.
Go camping.
Have meaningless but thoroughly enjoyable sex.
Travel the world with nothing but hand luggage.
And... do something bad.
But it’s not easy being bad, even when you’ve written step-by-step guidelines on how to do it correctly. What Chloe needs is a teacher, and she knows just the man for the job.

Redford ‘Red’ Morgan is a handyman with tattoos, a motorcycle, and more sex appeal than ten-thousand Hollywood heartthrobs. He’s also an artist who paints at night and hides his work in the light of day, which Chloe knows because she spies on him occasionally. Just the teeniest, tiniest bit.

But when she enlists Red in her mission to rebel, she learns things about him that no spy session could teach her. Like why he clearly resents Chloe’s wealthy background. And why he never shows his art to anyone. And what really lies beneath his rough exterior…


Life is good when you have a wonderful book to keep it interesting. Especially with Chloe was a hoot! I immediately loved her personality—seeing as how she‘s charming AND quirky. Then there’s Redford...the relationship he has with Chloe is complicated. As in there’s no love lost there. But oh, the chemistry is clearly palpable. 

 While I personally don’t have any experience with chronic pain, I do know people that have. I thought this was a very realistic look at what many go through every single day. I liked the fact that as a reader, we get a character that’s so real yet so down to earth, that you can help but fall in love with her. 

The best part of it all? The follow up novel will feature Chloe’s sister, Dani! Hibbert’a style follows similarly to Helen author I adore! If this is something that you’re a fan of, don’t waste your time in picking this one up!!

*Thank you to the publisher for providing a free copy in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. All thoughts and opinions are subjective but my own. 

Buy the book:

Amazon US Here
Amazon UK Here

About the author:
Talia Hibbert is an award-winning, Black British author who lives in a bedroom full of books. Supposedly, there is a world beyond that room, but she has yet to drum up enough interest to investigate.

She writes sexy, diverse romance because she believes that people of marginalised identities need honest and positive representation. Her interests include beauty, junk food, and unnecessary sarcasm. She also rambles intermittently about the romance genre online.

Talia self-publishes via Nixon House and is represented by Courtney Miller-Callihan at Handspun Literary.
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