The Reckless Oath We Made (Brynn Greenwood)

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Pre-order link: https://amzn.to/2XVZndb

A provocative love story between a tough Kansas woman on a crooked path to redemption and the unlikeliest of champions, from the New York Times bestselling author of All the Ugly and Wonderful Things

Zee is nobody’s fairy tale princess. Almost six-foot, with a redhead’s temper and a shattered hip, she has a long list of worries: never-ending bills, her beautiful, gullible sister, her five-year-old nephew, her housebound mother, and her drug-dealing boss.

Zee may not be a princess, but Gentry is an actual knight, complete with sword, armor, and a code of honor. Two years ago the voices he hears called him to be Zee’s champion. Both shy and autistic, he’s barely spoken to her since, but he has kept watch, ready to come to her aid. 

When an abduction tears Zee’s family apart, she turns to the last person she ever imagined–Gentry–and sets in motion a chain of events that will not only change both of their lives, but bind them to one another forever.


One thing I know for certain after finishing The Reckless Oath We Made, I absolutely love how Bryn takes two unlikely people and always brings them together. In some way or another, they bond and attract and I love the way she does this. It never ceases to amaze me. It’s beautiful.

As with All the Ugly and Wonderful Things— I love all of the POVs in this story. Bryn is so incredibly talented when it comes to this. Keeping a story going through multiple and continuous POVs. Strategically placed. It is wonderful. I think with having this, the characters become much stronger and three dimensional. We are able to see how they are coping with situations, what they’re thinking, etc. I love that!

But I’m just going to say it: I struggled with the medieval talk. I did. Not my cup of tea. I could not stand it. Nope. (If you do like it, I’m in no way knocking you. Nor would I ever.) I just didn’t like it. Plain and simple. I thought it took away from the story. I was spending way too much trying to decipher what Gentry was saying and meaning that I couldn’t focus on the plot/story on hand.

It took me way longer to get through this than I had originally anticipated. Especially since I zoomed through ATUAWT. But with The Reckless Oath We Made, you take this wild ride that you just don’t expect. Bryn has this magnificent talent of telling stories that get you lost in the world you’re reading about and I think the multiple POVs help with that aspect.

 

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Two Can Keep a Secret (Karen McManus)

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Buy link: https://amzn.to/2XD47UM

Echo Ridge is small-town America. Ellery’s never been there, but she’s heard all about it. Her aunt went missing there at age seventeen. And only five years ago, a homecoming queen put the town on the map when she was killed. Now Ellery has to move there to live with a grandmother she barely knows.

The town is picture-perfect, but it’s hiding secrets. And before school even begins for Ellery, someone’s declared open season on homecoming, promising to make it as dangerous as it was five years ago. Then, almost as if to prove it, another girl goes missing.

Ellery knows all about secrets. Her mother has them; her grandmother does too. And the longer she’s in Echo Ridge, the clearer it becomes that everyone there is hiding something. The thing is, secrets are dangerous–and most people aren’t good at keeping them. Which is why in Echo Ridge, it’s safest to keep your secrets to yourself.


“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I may remember. Involve me and I learn.”

I could see from Goodreads that Two Can Keep a Secret was a huge hit or miss with a lot of people. And by the time I had gotten to the end, I could understand why. While Karen McManus has some solid writing, my lack of interest in the story line really drowned this read down for me.

The author did a great job at distracting us from the “who dunnit” but IMO should have spotlighted the character more. Gave more details on them. Made it more harder to figure out. The author showed so many characters to us in a back and forth manor that we ultimately had to keep up with so what was so wrong with adding one more to the mix?

“Welcome to life in a small town. You’re only as good as the best thing your family’s done. Or the worst.”

Besides Karen having incredible writing, the ending was just so unsatisfying to me. It was lazy. That is the only word I can come up with. Lazy. I didn’t want to accept it in the least bit.

Two Can Keep a Secret was a slow burn (I mean reallllly slow burn) murder mystery that just didn’t spark my interest from the get go. I’m really, really torn on this one. I was invested in the overall mystery aspect of the plot, but by the time you had all of the characters lined up and kept track of and the lack of ending I just didn’t love it.

Say You Still Love Me (K.A. Tucker)

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Pre-order link: https://amzn.to/2XziPMM

Life is a mixed bag for Piper Calloway.

On the one hand, she’s a twenty-nine-year-old VP at her dad’s multibillion-dollar real estate development firm, and living the high single life with her two best friends in a swanky downtown penthouse. On the other hand, she’s considered a pair of sexy legs in a male-dominated world and constantly has to prove her worth. Plus, she’s stuck seeing her narcissistic ex-fiancé—a fellow VP—on the other side of her glass office wall every day.

Things get exponentially more complicated for Piper when she runs into Kyle Miller—the handsome new security guard at Calloway Group Industries, and coincidentally the first love of her life.

The guy she hasn’t seen or heard from since they were summer camp counsellors together. The guy from the wrong side of the tracks. The guy who apparently doesn’t even remember her name.

Piper may be a high-powered businesswoman now, but she soon realizes that her schoolgirl crush is not only alive but stronger than ever, and crippling her concentration. What’s more, despite Kyle’s distant attitude, she’s convinced their reunion isn’t at all coincidental, and that his feelings for her still run deep. And she’s determined to make him admit to them, no matter the consequences.


This book took me by sheer surprise. Complete and utter surprise (but in the best kind of way!). I love feeling nostalgia while I am reading, no matter the genre of the book and I love the “NA genre” feelings that come out when you read some of those great books (like the ones in 2012-2014) so reading Say You Still Love Me was such a nice breath of fresh air.

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I really enjoyed the past and present timeline within the story. In my honest opinion– it really made this book and the feelings that we throughout more real. Seeing the relationship between Piper and Kyle evolve both past and present, really set the tone to this story and made the roller-coaster of emotions that much more intense.

Not to mention I loved Piper and her assertiveness and forwardness when it came to Kyle! Loved it! From the very beginning I just adored the way she stood her ground when it came to him and at times even throwing in some fun and wit with it! When a heroine takes control and lets others know how she is feeling, I am always more drawn to them.

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Between the summer vibes, being a kid with no care in the world, fun-dip, and so much more I was on cloud nine in the nostalgia department! Loved it. Appreciated it. Craved it!

I thought Say You Still Love Me was a GREAT “2012 K.A. Tucker” vibe. I have been waiting for this book from her since the Ten Tiny Breath series. If you are a fan of feeling nostalgic, mixed with some NA genre, and some second chance romance… be sure to check this one out come release day!

Arranged (R.K. Lilley)

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There were rules in the cash-for-beauty game. The money held the power. The beauty followed the rules and jumped through the hoops.

THE BRIDE
I knew what everyone would think if they knew the truth about my marriage. They’d be shocked and appalled. And rightly so. I was a young, modern, independent woman, and I’d done the unthinkable. I’d sold my virginity to a spoiled, rich boy. To a stranger who didn’t love me.

And yes, I’d done it all for money.

THE GROOM
My bride was as gorgeous as she was unwelcome. As desirable as she was unwanted. I wanted nothing to do with her, but that didn’t seem to matter exactly the second she got close enough to touch. I wanted her to hate me more than she loved the millions she’d sold herself for.

I wanted to spurn her, but unfortunately, I wanted to fuck her more.


“He owned me but he didn’t love me. He never would.”

I’m not a fan of smut or any type of “erotica” genre these days so I was very timid to start R.K. Lilley’s latest release. I was surprised at how much I genuinely liked this story, the characters (especially the secondary ones), and the story line though. BUT, I also don’t think there is any type of angst or smut like the R.K. Lilley kind. And Arranged was no different from her other books.

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I thought the characters in this book were a great part to the story line (the secondary characters to be more specific). They brought more tension and feelings to the story that Banks and Noura didn’t bring themselves. The way they all revolved and existed around each other was so fascinating to me.

The story line was fun. I didn’t think that I would like it but I ended up reading through it all like it was nothing. I found it all interesting how things with Noura and Banks worked and I wouldn’t of been mad if R.K. wanted to go into more depth about how the Bride Magazine worked. The training and testing. I wanted to know MORE!

Give me all of the back story on Noura and her time in training!

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“Was his love real? I did not know. I needed to test is, taste it, touch it, see it.”

I still can’t believe after three years we got this book. R.K. wasn’t even rusty with her writing. It was like she didn’t even take a few years off. NO BIG DEAL. No matter what kind of book R.K. Lilley writes, no matter the smut, erotics, or story line… I will forever be waiting for MORE from her.

Allegedly (Tiffany D. Jackson)

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Buy link: https://amzn.to/2Df7rxL

Mary B. Addison killed a baby.

Allegedly. She didn’t say much in that first interview with detectives, and the media filled in the only blanks that mattered: A white baby had died while under the care of a churchgoing black woman and her nine-year-old daughter. The public convicted Mary and the jury made it official. But did she do it? She wouldn’t say.

Mary survived six years in baby jail before being dumped in a group home. The house isn’t really “home”—no place where you fear for your life can be considered a home. Home is Ted, who she meets on assignment at a nursing home.

There wasn’t a point to setting the record straight before, but now she’s got Ted—and their unborn child—to think about. When the state threatens to take her baby, Mary must find the voice to fight her past. And her fate lies in the hands of the one person she distrusts the most: her Momma. No one knows the real Momma. But who really knows the real Mary?


Two words come to my mind after I finished Allegedly and those words were: intense and interesting. For me, the best kind of books are the ones that make me feel sad, uncomfortable, and/or even the ones that keep me on the edge of my seat begging to know what happens next. Allegedly was just that!

The authors writing in this story felt very real and straight forward. A no holds bar type of writing. I think her voice really shines bright through Mary and even through the other secondary characters. The different types of people we meet in this story grabbed a hold of me and never really let me go. I thank Tiffany’s writing for that.

I also really loved exploring the juvenile system throughout the book. A lot of books don’t cover that topic very often and I can’t recall a book that focuses on that setting quite like this one does. It made me want to hop straight into google and learn all of the things.

My least favorite part, unfortunately was the ending. I ultimately felt down by the last two or three chapters. I felt like the author worked so hard for Mary (and for us!) and kept portraying this meaningful and powerful message to us but then when we got to the end and it all sort of went out the window. I was hoping for more.

Nevertheless, if you’re looking for a gripping and honest read, Allegedly is for you. Any time I come out of a book wide eyed and shocked, I call it a win.

Praying for Rain (BB Easton)

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Pre-order link: https://amzn.to/2CY8Jgk

With only three days left until the predicted apocalypse, the small town of Franklin Springs, Georgia, has become a wasteland of abandoned cars, abandoned homes, abandoned businesses, and abandoned people. People like Rainbow Williams.

Rain isn’t afraid of dying. In fact, she’s looking forward to it. If she can just outrun her pain until April 23, she’ll never have to feel it at all.

Wes Parker has survived every horrible thing this life has thrown at him with nothing more than his resourcefulness and disarming good looks. Why should the end of the world be any different? All he needs are some basic supplies, shelter, and a sucker willing to help him out, which is exactly what he finds when he returns to his hometown of Franklin Springs.

As society crumbles, dangers mount, and secrets refuse to stay buried, two lost souls are thrust together in a twist of fate—one who will do anything to survive and one who can’t wait to die.

Perhaps, together, they can learn how to live.

Before their time runs out.


“Life sucks, and we’re all going to die.”

Well, if we are being honest (which I always am) I didn’t love Praying for Rain as much as I anticipated that I would. But nonetheless– I enjoyed it. I really loved the way we explored this apocalyptic world through the eyes of not only Rain but Wes as well. It was a damn fun ride. One that I have never been on before.

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But the first thing that I want to talk about is how much I freaking LOVED Wes’ tough love towards Rain because you know what, Rain needed it. THAT GIRL NEEDED IT. And without Wes’ said tough love, there is no telling where she would be. The push and pull between the two was magnifying. I loved it.

Stemming off of that– BB always writes characters who provide the best banter and the best internal dialogue. I LOVED both Wes and Rain’s internal dialogue almost as much as I loved the relationship between the two.

“This bitch is going to get into my head, make me veer off course, and get us both killed. I know it like I know my own name, yet here we go anyways, into the woods.”

I loved the apocalyptic time line. I think the fact that BB Easton can create such a vivid, realistic setting wins it all for me. She makes the imagery come alive. And with the type of atmosphere that this book takes place in, we as readers need that.

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Praying for Rain was a quick paced, fun ride. With the coolest story line and setting, I can’t wait to see where Rain and Wes take us next. It’s refreshing to see that BB Easton is able to break away from her toxic yet fun-to-read boyfriends and provide us with a unique plot and characters. I feel like this series will be the type that I love more and more with each book that comes out. I just know that I will love the next book way more than I did this one.

The Rules of Burken (Traci Finlay)

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Twenty-four-year-old Charlotte Stahl would do anything for her older brother, Ian. After all, he’d done everything for her growing up.

He played Burken with her—a hide-and-seek game they made up as kids.

He comforted her when their mom deserted them.

He raised her when their dad went to prison for murder.

To Charlotte, Ian is the only reason she’s still alive—he’s her rock. So when Ian asks her to play Burken in the isolated woods of Cadillac, Michigan, Charlotte feels she could use the nostalgia and agrees. Besides, they haven’t played this game since childhood. Burken—it’s the one thing that never changes …

…until Ian threatens to kill her in the middle of the game.

More than the rules have changed as Brother turns to Predator, Sister turns to Prey, and she’s navigating the forests of Northern Michigan on foot with nothing but the clothes—and a target—on her back.

If Charlotte wants to stay alive, she knows she has to untangle the web of her haunting past to find out where things went wrong, and at what point she lost sight of reality. With no other choice but to reopen old wounds—and with Ian hot on her trail—Charlotte learns that sometimes evil has to manifest in order for good to succeed. Which makes her wonder…

Is Ian really a monster? Or her savior?


“I see you, Little Spider.”

Other than the fact that this story was a little too far-fetched for me, I enjoyed the book as a whole. Not because of the plot, but because I really loved the pacing of the story and I think that is what sealed the deal for me. It didn’t have any lulls and I didn’t get bored and skim at any parts. It kept my mind busy and it kept the pages turning for me.

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While reading The Rules of Burken, I liked having the constant anxiety of what was going to happen next. I felt like I was right beside Charlotte watching over my shoulder wondering what was going to pop out (or who). I think that comes back to Traci being a great story-teller. She made me feel like I was INSIDE the story with the characters.

But…Ian was a tad creepy. Not in a good way and almost even an unrealistic way. He was a little hard for me to understand although I tried. I feel like his part of the story was just so random and should have been explored a little bit more. What if we had POVs through Ian? Thought processes? I love being inside the minds of sociopaths. Love it. I wonder what Ian’s mind would have been like?

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“When are you going to realize that whenever you’re left with no place to go, I’m always right behind you.”

The only thing I didn’t love was the plot. The execution fell kind of flat for me. I felt like it was all kind of thrown together into this circumstance (game) that we are just supposed to understand why it’s happening.

For being a debut novel, I think Traci did a fantastic job. I can’t imagine wanting to write my first book and deciding “hey, it is going to be a thriller!” The pieces to put together, the plot, the characters and keeping it all together: I get a headache just thinking about it. So for this being a debut novel, I think Traci went above and beyond my expectations. I didn’t expect for her to write such a compelling story for her first time but she really did a great a job.