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The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

“People have so closely followed the most intricate details of the fake story of my life.”  

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo was sent to me by Booksparks as part of their summer reading challenge. It was one of my most anticipated books of the summer (I’m a fan of Taylor Jenkins Reid – I really enjoyed One True Loves – see my review here) and it is probably one of my favorite books this year.

Hollywood legend, Evelyn Hugo, recounts her seven marriages for her memoir. The memoir is to be published posthumously – and having the rights to publish it would be any aspiring writer’s dream. When Monique Grant, an inexperienced journalist with big dreams, is given the incredible opportunity to write Evelyn Hugo’s memoir, she can’t believe it.

Told in chronological order of her marriages - beginning with husband number one and moving through husband number seven, Evelyn recounts her journey from humble beginnings in Hells Kitchen to Oscar gold. She’s unabashedly unapologetic and opportunistic in her endeavors –exchanging her virginity for a ride to Hollywood, a string of strategic marriages prompted by Hollywood executives, hiding her Cuban roots by bleaching her hair blonde and using her body as a means to move up the Hollywood ladder – every facet of Evelyn’s life is rife with triumph and tragedy.

Review: Nyxia by Scott Reingten

Okay - I'll be completely honest with you all, this book took me forever to finish. Sometimes that's not so bad because I'm just not in the mood to read or another book catches my eye. But in this case, I just couldn't get into the first 50% of this book for whatever reason.

Scott Reintgen is a proficient writer, and all the elements are there for this to be a standout series. Let me explain, at this point Nyxia is a decent debut effort - it's sort of unique I suppose and the writing isn't bad, the author has given us a very diverse cast of characters that all seem to have one thing in common - but the pacing is all over the place and the plot is fairly predictable and what's worse is that it's very repetitive - which is what I think caused me to lose interest. The MC is likeable and I feel like teens will want to root for Emmett - but here's the thing; this novel feels like it's entirely a set up for the second and third installments in a series.

Book Review: The Star Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

Initially I started this book with the audio version - but for some reason I just could not get into it!
So I switched to the actual printed book. I am so happy that I read this.


Roshani Chokshi is a masterful sorceress of story-telling. The Star Touched Queen is an exquisitely wrought tale of love, loss, and rebirth. I absolutely adore this book.

Maya is a daughter of the Raja of Bharata. Born with a horoscope that spells out misery and death for all she comes in contact with, Maya is a pariah amongst the harem wives and the court of her father. When the raja arranges a wedding for Maya in order to hopefully quell a costly war between Bharata and its neighboring kingdoms, things go wrong.

Book Review: The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

“In the north, the wind had teeth that bit after sunset, even in summer."

This is one of my favorite books of 2017.

A dazzling folkloric fairytale best suited for an evening curled up with hot cider and a blanket.
I love fairytales, and I'm not talking about the versions Disney served up to me as a child. What I love about most fairytales is that they tend to lean towards the darkness with interesting characters and lessons to be learned. I find that fairytales of today too often resemble their Disney depictions and veer away from their roots - but not this one.

In a small village on the outskirts of the wilderness in the depth of winter harshness, there is a house where the spirits are respected and tales are told of Frost demons to whom young maidens are sent.

Book Review: An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

“Why do we desire, above all other things, that which has the greatest power to destroy us?”

Margaret Rogerson’s debut novel, An Enchantment of Ravens was one of my most anticipated fall fantasy novels. The prose is lovely and the story is wonderful - but I knew from about half way through the book that the ending was what would ultimately make it or break it for me. I’ll tell you now, I found it to be quite satisfactory.

Let me explain; with some books I know that I’ll rate them highly at the mid-way point. Others, the end defines the experience for me. And this is the type of book that I needed it to end in a way that would either surprise me or evoke an emotional shit-storm for it to be more than just an average, well written debut novel. I’m not sure if I’m the only person who is like this – but a couple of my all-time favorite books are gorgeously written, but the endings really seal the deal and make it a favorite for me (EX: The Night Circus – which has my heart forever). I’m happy to say that I was pleasantly surprised with how this book turned out, and while I won’t gush or wax poetic about this story it did rank about 3.5 - 4 stars for me.

New Release: The Fortunate Ones by R.S. Grey

Happy Release day R.S. Grey!

As many of you are aware, I really enjoy Rachel's books. If you're looking for a steamy contemporary NA - she writes some of the best. Her books are compulsively readable - once you start you can't seem to stop reading them.

Today her latest book, The Fortunate Ones, is available for you on Amazon and what's even better is that if you're an Amazon Kindle Unlimited member you can read the book for free (no this post is not sponsored by Amazon - I just like to share a good deal when I see one).

Thank you to R.S. Grey for sending me an advanced review copy of this novel!

I feel like R.S. Grey is one of those authors who has a lane - she's really good at writing witty NA Romantic Comedies that you can read quickly. Her books are the type that you read on an airplane or as a rebound from some dark literary fiction. While I don't particularly love everything in the NA genre - I do love R.S. Grey's books, she's one of the writers in this genre that gets everything right.

Like Anything You Can Do and The Foxe and the Hound, The Fortunate Ones is a steamy rom-com full of witty one liners and off the charts chemistry.

The Fortunate Ones by R.S. Grey


R.S. Grey's next romantic comedy, THE FORTUNATE ONES, is available now! Read a sneak peek below and be sure to pick up your copy today!


Happy Halloween: Stalking Jack the Ripper & Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco

Happy Halloween Everyone! 

I've got some spooky reviews for your all hallows eve today! 
So grab some of that Halloween candy I know you've stashed away and pick up one of these gothic Victorian tales!

Stalking Jack the Ripper

Audrey Rose Wadsworth is a little different than your average Victorian high bred lady. She'd rather cut into a cadaver than attend a tea party. She secretly apprentices to her uncle who is a forensic scientist and often sneaks away to join him in his lab. Attending classes on the subject (disguised as a boy) she meets the enigmatic Thomas Cresswell - her uncle's star student.
When her uncle's lab begins to investigate a string of murders - their mangled corpses crowding the lab - Audrey finds herself drawn to the search for the murderer.

This book easily makes one of my top books for this year and will definitely be claiming a special place on my "favorites" shelf. I absolutely loved this historical fiction take on a Sherlock meets Jack the Ripper murder mystery.

First, I want to say that this book rates so highly for me because of the characters and character development. Audrey Rose Wadsworth and Thomas Cresswell are perfect together. They have the best banter (reminds me of those old timey moves when dialogue was actually clever) and are so fun to watch sleuth their way through solving the mystery of Leather Apron.

May I also say, that while the whole thought of forensic science/cadavers just totally icks me out - I LOVE that Audrey Rose is so passionate about science. She's definitely an anomaly for her day and I love that so much about her. I also love that she's independent and completely capable without the men in her life. They simply add to her story as supporting characters.

I think what I liked best about this book though is that it's just plain fun. It's well written, the characters are great and it's just a fun story overall. And to be honest, I really needed that! If you're looking for some fun entertaining reading material, I highly recommend.

Buy It

Hunting Prince Dracula

Picking up where Stalking Jack leaves off - Audrey Rose and Thomas leave London to attend an exclusive forensics school in the depths of Romania - land of the Dracul family. The school is in the famed castle of Vlad Dracula. When students of the school begin to die and the corpses turn up entirely drained of blood, Audrey Rose and Thomas once again find themselves investigating the sinister. Only this time it appears that vampires are afoot.

Okay, so from the descriptions I will be the first to admit that these books did not seem to be in my wheel house. They seemed to be kind of cheesy and also corpses and autopsies and blood. But I LOVED these books and I am eagerly anticipating the next one. Kerri Maniscalco is so good at writing her characters - and while the plotting is fast paced - the characters really captured me. Cresswell and Wadsworth make a great team and their banter is fantastic.

Plot wise - this book is similar to the first. It centers around a series of murders and with the mystery of figuring out who is responsible the central plot point. The characters face a number of challenges, Audrey Rose's primary challenge is bending traditional gender roles. This gothic Victorian novel is equal parts spooky and fun making it perfect for your Halloween reading list.

Buy It

Off the Shelf - Halloween Edition

Happy Halloween Week!

You guys - there is a LOT of content planned for this week on the blog. I know I've been quiet for a while, what can I say? Such is life. But I've got new reviews, new releases a spooky reading list for you, and all sorts of things coming up this week - so keep checking back!

Book Review: Warcross by Marie Lu

Well this was just fantastic!

I finished this book and immediately thought to myself, "Why have I not read more of Marie Lu's books? And what are we going to do now?!"
The entire time I'm finishing this up and thinking of the song "Bad Blood" - because T Swift was right, now we've got problems and I don't know how we're going to solve them.
This is everything I could want in a book. Literally everything.

Marie Lu creates a vibrant, action packed world in which virtual reality reigns supreme and everyone's a player. With a dynamic cast of characters that represent a diverse group of people from many walks of life set in a futuristic Tokyo, this book is a perfectly paced and plotted trip into a neon world brimming with possibilities. Marie Lu's vivid imagery brings the world of Warcross to life in a way that is just mind bending. I loved every second.

Here's what it's about:

Book Review: Invictus by Ryan Graudin

Thank you Netgalley and publisher for a copy of the e-book for review!

Ryan Graudin's latest novel falls somewhere between a time travel odyssey and sci-fi opera.
Here's what you can expect:
  • There is a special corps of time travelers who can journey to different historical time periods in order to record history accurately.
  • A lot of this book takes place jumping around from time to time in a time traveling spaceship(?) called Invictus.
  • Our heroes are a ragtag band of friends who jump through time to different historical events and places to heist priceless antiquities. For example, the Titanic.
  • There is a red panda. 
Farway Gaius McCarthy wants one thing, to live the most exciting life he can.
Called Far by his friends, he is the son of a historical recorder and a gladiator, born aboard the time traveling ship between time periods in history.
Determined to become a recorder like his mother, Empra McCarthy, Far attends the Academy hoping to live up to his famous mother's name. But when his final simulation glitches and he fails spectacularly he finds himself thrown out of the Academy with no job or prospect of working for the corps in sight.

BookSparks Fall Reading Challenge: Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle

Thank you Booksparks for sending me a copy of this book!

Happy Monday!

Booksparks sent me some extra credit reading and it didn't disappoint. I had heard of Glennon Doyle (Elizabeth Gilbert has talked about her on her podcast - Magic Lessons, her book is an Oprah's book club title) but I had yet to read anything by her. This week I'm talking about Glennon Doyle's bestselling memoir, in which she shares her own experiences with drug and alcohol abuse, infidelity, mothering, self acceptance and how she learned to love herself and become a love warrior for those around her.

Book Review: Lincoln In The Bardo, George Saunders

To be entirely honest with everyone, I have mixed feelings about this book.

On the one hand, I can appreciate a piece of literature that is unique and so profoundly creative that I have to give credit to the author for its invention.

On the other, I found the format and narration of this novel to be so incredibly confusing that it detracted from my overall enjoyment of the book.

So while I can appreciate that this book is absolutely worthy of critical acclaim - I cannot wholly say that I enjoyed it. George Saunders is an excellent writer, and I have not read anything like this before, but I'll tell you this, Lincoln in the Bardo is the type of book that you will love or greatly dislike.

BookSparks Pop Up Blog Tour: Fitness Junkie by Lucy Sykes & Jo Piazza

Thank you Booksparks for sending me a copy of this fun book to review! 

Janey Sweet has three months to lose thirty pounds - or she's going to lose her job as CEO of one of the most exclusive bridal dress design companies in the world.
When her best friend and partner in the business tells her that she's gotten chubby and no longer is a good representation of their brand (the largest dress size they have is a 4) he gives her an ultimatum to lose weight or take a hike.

Thus begins her journey to becoming a fitter, healthier, better version of herself.
Three months of juice cleanses, topless yoga and health retreats to exotic islands should earn her the results she's looking for. Right?

Fitness Junkie by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza is a smart, sassy satire about the ways health and fitness fads are taken to the extreme. I found it to be refreshing, relatable and hilarious.

The Dream Keeper's Daughter by Emily Colin

Thank you to the publisher for sending me a copy of this amazing book!

Emily Colin's newest novel, The Dream Keeper's Daughter, is out now and if you're a fan of time travel and romance with elements of paranormal - you are going to love this book.

Eight years ago Isabel Griffin lost the love of her life. Now, she's doing the best she can to move on. She's an archaeologist - both well liked and respected by her peers - and a loving mother to her daughter, Finn. Isabel has persevered and worked hard to make a life for herself without Max; slowly burying the pain of losing him. All it takes to shatter everything Isabel believed to be true is one phone call.

Max Adair vanished with out a trace - leaving behind his pregnant girlfriend and family when he slips through time. Landing in 1816 Barbados at the estate of his ancestors, Max finds himself caught up in the turmoil of an impending slave rebellion that history shows caused mass destruction to the island and his family's sugar cane plantation.

BookSparks Pop Up Blog Tour: Lying to Children by Alex Shahla

Thank you to Booksparks for sending me a copy of this book to review as part of your #popupblog tour! 

Some books make you laugh, some make you cry.
Some hit your heart so hard and true they make you do both.

Alex Shahla's book, Lying to Children, will bring you to tears and it will make you laugh out loud. Written as a compilation of essays from a father to his grown children, it's a novel that is especially relatable to if you're a parent. Funnily enough, though, I don't think you need to be a parent to appreciate this book. It really reads as an open letter, unapologetic, poignant and deeply felt, from a father to his children. As I read it - I felt as if I could be that child and this book could be to me from my father (obviously his stories would be different and my father doesn't write books), but the emotions were felt keenly and this book spoke to me as a daughter.

Countering this - I am a mother and I found so many aspects of this book to be relatable, the love a parent feels for their child is powerful, exhausting and all consuming at times and Shahla conveys this with humor and honesty that settles into your heart. I loved the "lies" to the children; I felt that this perfectly captured the ways we as parents try to teach our children, keep them safe, and keep our sanity at the same time.

Easy to consume, this book reads quickly and in many ways reminded me of a show called, How I Met Your Mother, maybe you've heard of it? How coincidental then, is it that the show is actually referred to in this book? It's not entirely like the show, but the narration style and voice had me feeling those vibes - is there an audio version of this book? Because if there isn't, there should be and I would like to nominate Bob Saget to narrate. Or Chevy Chase - because there are some definite Clark Griswold moments here. At least I thought so.

If humorous, family based comedies are your thing - you will love this. If you are a parent - you will love this. If you're a child who has flown the coop and embarked on a life all your own - you will love this.

Buy It

Off the Shelf - July 10, 2017

A weekly update of all my bookish activities. What I'm reading, where I'll be and what I'm anticipating.

BookSparks Pop Up Blog Tour: Arboria Park by Kate Tyler Wall

BookSparks Pop Up Blog Tour

"The moment I learned about the power of place and the world beyond home, I was crouching on the cement curb in front of our house on Arbor Circle."

Poignant and sentimental, Kate Tyler Wall's novel about a housing development and its inhabitants throughout the decades is moving and thoughtfully written.

Arboria Park is probably like many other housing developments of its time, but what makes it most interesting is the people who live there. From an early age Stacy Holloran took an interest in the origins and development of the place she lived. Riding her bicycle around her neighborhood as a young girl, she explored the houses and observed the people of Arboria Park. It's where she witnesses heartbreak, experiences teenage firsts, falls in love with music and spends time with her family. Arboria Park is home, but now a highway project threatens to destroy the housing development she loves.

This character driven novel is well paced, following Stacy as she matures from a child desperate to break free of her cul de sac, through her teenage and adult years. And as Stacy grows up and changes, so does Arboria Park. What was once a predominantly white neighborhood diversifies in a way that opens Stacy's eyes to an ever changing world.

Kate Tyler Wall creates a moving narrative about family, childhood homes and the hold they can have over us. This novel creates a sense of nostalgia for the reader and slightly reminiscent of Anne Tyler's similarly family themed novel, A Spool of Blue Thread. For fans of fiction that chronicles families through generations, this is for you.

About Arboria Park

 Stacy Halloran has lived most of her life in 1950s-era housing development Arboria Park. But her beloved neighborhood may not survive much longer.

Despite her parents’ entreaties to “stay in the yard where it’s safe,” the Park is where young Stacy roams in quest of “real life.” Through her wanderings, she learns about the area’s agricultural history; meets people from backgrounds different than her own; watches her siblings develop interracial and same-sex relationships; helps launch the local punk-rock scene; and finally, settles as a wife and mother. As the neighborhood declines (along with her relationship with her mother), Stacy considers moving on to rescue herself and her daughter. But then a massive highway project threatens the ever-resilient Park―and it’s Stacy’s task to rally family, friends, and neighbors to save it

Buy It

 Thank you to the amazing team at BookSparks for sending me a copy of this wonderful book to review!

Friday Reads: The Foxe & The Hound by R.S. Grey

Everyone knows that I love a good Romantic Comedy. These are some of my favorite types of books, just because they're fun, light and entertaining. So when I'm looking for a good rom-com, one of my go to authors is R.S. Grey. She writes the best banter, loveable characters and just plain fun stories. Her last book, Anything You Can Do, is one of my favorites ever! You can find my review of it here.

So I was thrilled to receive an advanced copy of her latest novel, The Foxe and the Hound. I had planned to read the book over Memorial Day, but couldn't wait and instead finished it the same day I received the galley. That's how fun her books are you guys!

The Foxe and the Hound is a standalone romantic comedy about Madeline Thatcher. If you read Anything You Can Do you'll remember her as Daisy's best friend and Lucas' sister. Both Daisy and Lucas made appearances in this book - so while you don't have to read their book first, I would because 1) It's hilarious and 2) Spoilers.

Madeline Thatcher is a hot mess.

Madeline is twenty seven, barely making her rent payments, single AF and just adopted a puppy that won't stop growing. Mouse, the not so little puppy, is a rambunctious mass of fluff and slobbery kisses. While Madeline loves the big goofy dog, she's a little behind on her obedience training with him and when he takes off to chase a squirrel on the way to the vet and knocks over a handsome stranger in the process, Madeline is horrified. Hopeful that she never sees him again.

Adam Foxe is not having a good day.

Adam Foxe recently moved to Hamilton, Texas and he hates it. Having taken up residency as the new veterinarian in town, he's trying to move on from his past and make the best of his current situation. Things were going alright, until he was mauled by a giant, unruly dog this morning on his way to work. His morning only goes downhill when he realizes that the dog that knocked him over and his pretty owner are his first patients of the day.

Awkward encounters and hilarious exchanges ensue as Adam and Madeline continually run into each other around town. Things really heat up when Adam makes a deal with Madeline - she comes to a family function with him as a date, he'll let her sell him a house. With rent overdue, and her job on the line - Madeline accepts but will they be able to stand each other long enough to actually close the deal?

This book was so much fun, and easily received a five star rating from me. I loved the banter between the characters, the moments in the book that actually had me laughing out loud, and the cute storyline that had me hooked from the beginning - I'm a sucker for anything with a lovable mutt in it! This is a perfect fun, flirty choice for your reading list this summer.

Buy It

New Release Tuesday: The Song of the Current by Sarah Tolcser

Sarah Tolscer's debut effort, Song of the Current, is a swashbuckling YA Fantasy that is non-stop fun!
Caroline Oresteia is the headstrong daughter of a wherryman. Having grown up on a small cargo vessel in the riverlands, she and her father travel from port to port delivering whatever it is they've been hired to transport. It's an adventurous life and Caro wants nothing more than to follow in her father's footsteps - to be blessed by the river god and live a wherryman's life on the river.

Our story begins with a pirate attack that leaves many a vessel burning in port; hired mercenaries seeking something valuable held within the port's keep. When her father is arrested by the harbor master on smuggling charges, Caro finds herself in a situation unlike any other she's been in. To free her father, she must deliver a mysterious box to a neighboring city. However, when it turns out that the cargo she's been hired to deliver is the same cargo that the pirates are seeking, a thrilling chase ensues as Caro must outmaneuver and keep hidden from the Black Dogs who pursue her.

Tolscer delivers a fast paced YA fantasy complete with mysterious shadowmen, a courier with a secret, plenty of intrigue, a little romance and a high stakes cat and mouse chase through the waters of the riverlands. Tolcser's cast of characters are a likeable bunch and many of the exchanges throughout the book are fun and engaging. The plot is well developed for a first novel, but leaves plenty to be explored in later volumes - which I'm hoping for! There were a few exchanges at later points in the book that I could have done without, but overall I felt the storyline was strong, the characters well developed and enjoyed the vivid descriptions of life on the water.

If you enjoy a unique, fast paced YA adventure you'll likely enjoy this book! I found it to be a fun addition to my summer reading list and anticipate the next installment!

Thank you Bloomsbury Publishing and Netgalley for providing me a ebook copy of this book for review. 

Buy It

Friday Reads: All Formats Edition

Happy Friday fellow book friends!

This week has been a fun one for new book releases. Karma Brown's new book, In this Moment, was released, R.S. Grey - my favorite romcom author - released her latest book, The Foxe and the Hound, and there are some great new YA releases this week with new books from Sandhya Menon who's YA contemporary, When Dimple Met Rishi is one of the genre's most anticipated books this spring, Maureen Goo's latest, I Believe In a Thing Called Love, and Sara B Larson's Dark Breaks the Dawn.

To all of you who are suffering from some a serious case of Book Expo America and Book Con FOMO: I am with you! The Instagram stories and tweets are giving me some serious planning vibes - because I am so planning on being there next year! I saw the set up for Marie Lu's WarCross ARCS and about died. So if you're there and for some strange reason you're actually reading this blog - first, why are you reading this?! Kidding - I'm so happy you're reading, but seriously you have much cooler things to be doing, so please go have fun. Know that those of us left to pen blog posts on our couch are with you in spirit, and we may be harboring secret feelings of jealousy - but really want you to have a good time because that's the kind of people we are. Go with God and enjoy all those amazing ARCS you're going to get.

So while I daydream about being at BEA17 and Bookcon, here's what I'm reading this weekend:

On Audio:

Illuminae (Illuminae Files no. 1) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

So I typically try to listen to one or two audiobooks per week. In this format I tend to choose memoirs and other non fiction, typically read by the author themselves. For some reason a lot of time a single narrator covering the entire cast of the book doesn't work for me.
That's not the case with this book!
This book has multiple narrators and a full cast behind it! It also has amazing sound effects - which is essential because it's set in SPACE!
Okay, the format of this book is a little different and could be offputting for some readers because it's made up of documents and conversations. If you tried the book and couldn't get into it because of the unique format, give the audio a try because it's one of the best audio versions of a book I've ever heard and the narrators are really good. Also, this story is amazing and it's giving me life right now. I'll probably finish this up by reading the actual book at some point this weekend - but the audio is amazing.

On eBook:

The Song of the Current by Sarah Tolcser (Bloomsbury, June 6, 2017)

This is a book that I received an ARC of via Netgalley - it's out for the rest of the world next Tuesday, June 6. Right now, I am over half way done and I am loving the story. It's a YA fantasy with some seriously fun pirate vibes! The main character, Caro, is a wherryman who lives aboard a small cargo vessel on a river system with her father. Together they navigate the rivers delivering their cargo, until Caro's father is arrested. Caro suddenly finds herself on a mission to deliver a mysterious crate in order to get her father out of the brig. Pursued by pirates, Caro's life is at stake every part of the way.
This book is so much fun! It's a quick read and I'm looking forward to finishing it up - keep an eye out for a full review sometime in the next week or so.

In Paperback:

A French Wedding by Hannah Tunnicliffe (Doubleday, June 6, 2017)

This is a galley that was sent to me by Doubleday and I'm really excited to read more! I've only gotten through the first few chapters and already the setting is beautiful and I'm starting to get into the story.
A French Wedding is out on June 6 - so keep an eye out for a review from me.
For now, here's a little blurb about the book from Amazon:

A French Wedding is a delicious novel about six college friends reuniting on the coast of Brittany to celebrate one of their own's fortieth birthday. With sumptuous food and plenty of wine, the table is set for tricky romantic entanglements, fiery outbursts, and a range of secrets. Readers who loved The Vacationers and The Little Paris Bookshop will devour this irresistible novel

So that's what I'm reading this weekend!
TGIF to all my reading friends, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

New Release: The Foxe and the Hound by R.S. Grey!

R.S. Grey's THE FOXE & THE HOUND is available today! You don't want to miss getting your hands on this sexy and hilarious new read from R.S. Grey. Find out more about THE FOXE & THE HOUND below and grab your copy today!



When your life is a hot mess at twenty, it’s cute. At twenty-seven…well, not so much.

It’s just that my lofty dreams—making it as a real estate agent, paying rent on time, showering daily—have stayed just that: dreams. Oh, and love? I’ve decided love might be a little ambitious for me at the moment. Instead, I’ve settled for the two guys who will never leave me: Ben & Jerry.

That is, until Dr. Adam Foxe takes up residence as the town’s new vet.

With his strong jaw, easy confidence, and form-fitting scrubs, it’s not long before every housewife in Hamilton is dragging neglected tomcats in for weekly checkups.

Like everyone else, I’m intrigued. Even after I spoil my chance at a good first impression, he still offers me a proposition I can’t refuse: play his girlfriend at a family function and he’ll hire me as his real estate agent. Welcome to love in the 21st century.

It’s too bad I underestimated Adam’s irresistible charm and the undeniable attraction that burns between us. The day he pins me to the wall and silences me with a kiss, the line between reality and ruse begins to blur. Every teasing touch brings me to my knees. Every kiss promises more.

It looks like my hot mess of a life is about to get a little hotter.

Add THE FOXE & THE HOUND to your Goodreads list here!

Get your hands on THE FOXE & THE HOUND by R.S. Grey now!


Get a Sneak Peek of THE FOXE & THE HOUND

I follow his gaze to where my dress has ridden up. When I’m standing, it’s a modest length, but the leather seats in his Audi have hiked up the skirt and a few inches of my thighs are now on perfect display.

His gaze drags down, pausing on my lips for a moment before he trails down my neck and chest. He’s studying my dress—no, he’s studying my body beneath the fabric. His smile is slow to spread, a little haunting…sexual.

About R.S. Grey

R.S. Grey is the USA Today bestselling author of thirteen novels, including THE FOXE & THE HOUND. She lives in Texas with her husband and two dogs, and can be found reading, binge-watching reality TV, or practicing yoga! Visit her at rsgrey.com

Website | Twitter | Facebook | R.S. Grey's Little Reds Facebook Group | Newsletter | Instagram

New Release Tuesday & #SRC2017 In This Moment by Karma Brown

Karma Brown tackles some heavy themes in her latest work, In This Moment, releasing today. It's a gripping, emotional novel about the guilt we carry over time and how one incident can bring long buried feelings to the surface.

When Meg Pepper and her daughter Audrey wave Jack Beckett across the street after school one day, the last thing they expected was to witness a horrible and tragic accident take place right in front of them. Jack, Audrey's boyfriend's twin brother, is struck by a negligent driver as he crosses the street and in that moment, Meg's world is shattered. Racked by the guilt she feels for allowing Jack to cross the street, memories of another accident, long ago, begin to surface. As Meg processes her grief and guilt, she draws closer to Andrew - Jack's father, acting as his support and sounding board. But as she and Andrew spend more time together, Meg's world begins to spin off its axis impacting her family and friends.

You guys - this book is so well written! This is an emotional story that I believe readers of Emily Giffin and Liane Moriarty will enjoy. It's complex and left me with very mixed emotions about the characters in this story. But I think that's a good thing. This book was messy, so well written, but the characters' actions deserved the consequences they experienced in the book. In some ways, I feel like Meg could be a very relatable character to some. She feels overwhelmed with her family/work life, struggles to connect with her teenage daughter - who pushes her away (as teenagers are sometimes apt to do). I found myself to be a very intrigued fly on the wall to her story and I think others will too.

In this Moment is out today - go grab a copy and add this domestic drama to your summer reading list!

This book was part of Booksparks Summer Reading Challenge! Learn more about the challenge here!

Buy It

New Release Tuesday: Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan #SRC2017

Hello, fellow Book Friends and Happy New Release Tuesday!

Today you're finally able to get your paws on Kevin Kwan's newest novel in his Crazy Rich Asians series - Rich People Problems! I was sent an early copy of the book as part of BookSparks  summer reading challenge and read it last week before the release date. Let me tell you, it's just as funny as the other two books!

A few years ago I read Crazy Rich Asians - and found it to be a perfect weekend read. I found it to be hilarious, well paced and just plan crazy! Reading about feuding families, old money v. new money, tech start ups and billion dollar shopping sprees made for a very entertaining novel.

Kwan's second novel in the series, China Rich Girlfriend also made it to my reading list and like the first book, I found it similarly paced and just as funny as the first. Obviously I had the same expectations going into Rich People Problems - the latest in the series.

I read this book during my lunch breaks at work and found it hysterical! I was actually laughing out loud in spots, garnering some interesting looks from my co-workers in our lunchroom. This book is very similar to the other two - same crazy families, same crazy rich people problems! These characters are absolutely fascinating to me! I love the witty dialogue, the meddling mothers, scheming social climbers and just the whole Singaporean vibe of this book! If you enjoyed the other two, I believe you'll enjoy this one as well. If you haven't read this series, go check it out - it's perfect poolside reading fare!

Believe me, the drama never stops and it's one wild private jet ride at a time with these books!
If you're looking for something light and fun for the weekend or to carry you through the work week, check this one out!
Buy It:


If you're on the look out for some new reading material - you can participate in the BookSparks summer reading challenge! All summer long we will be reading books from amazing authors like Kevin Kwan and sharing our #topsecretmission posts over on Instagram! Check out the lineup over here and read along all summer long! The challenge runs from May through August, you can read on your electronic devices - the team has joined forces with iBooks - or head down to your local library or local bookseller to purchase the books!

If you're reading along, I would love to know what you're thinking of these books so far!

Exit West by Mohsin Hamid

Some books we read for entertainment, others we read for enlightenment. Some books are fast paced, entertaining chapter churning fun. Others are relevant, important and thought provoking.

Exit West by Mohsin Hamid is enlightening, relevant, and thought provoking. This book will not be for everyone – those who read solely for entertainment value will not enjoy this novel as much as readers who quietly contemplate the larger meaning of the text before them. Exit West examines the plight of the displaced and it is heart breaking and hopeful but most importantly, incredibly relevant.

It is the type of book everyone should read – but probably won’t.

 Set in an unnamed city at the edge of Civil War, Saeed and Nadia first meet in an evening class on Corporate Identity and Branding. They meet, he asks her to coffee, thus beginning a relationship both similar and dissimilar to any other budding courtship. They listen to music, send text messages, dream about traveling, explore each other and discuss the future. Yet their relationship is different from many, as their city falls into war and eventually they choose to leave – a part of a mass migration of people; displaced by man’s hunger for power and control.

The doors they pass through lead them to Greece, England and eventually the United States. They face opposition, loss, fear and hope as they journey from their homeland to one new land after another in hope of finding a place in the world where they may have safety and opportunity to begin afresh. The reader sees their relationship as it begins and as it shifts with time and experience. Their experience and growth beautifully captured with passages such as this:

”Every time a couple moves they begin, if their attention is still drawn to one another, to see each other differently, for personalities are not a single immutable color, like white or blue, but rather illuminated screens, and the shades we reflect depend much on what is around us.”

This is not a plot novel; its importance is not in the actual movement of the characters or development of their relationship, but rather the general themes and questions their movement evokes. It displays a unique literary structure – an omniscient narrator who keeps the reader at arm’s length and magical realism that straddles the line between fantasy and science fiction. Exit West does so much more than offer glimpses into the relationship between two people in a refugee camp who flee the war torn remnants of their homeland. It begs the reader to examine his or her own attitudes about immigration, colonialism, war, and human migration and the lens with which we view such people and institutions. My favorite chapter is about a woman, who having lived in the same house all her life, observes the coming and going of new people and despite her own stationary physical location realizes, “We are all migrants through time.”

This novel is a dazzling depiction of a modern dystopia that is alarmingly similar to a world we currently live in. It is a beautiful, yet ugly, frightening, yet hopeful, assessment of a world that could be not far into our future.

Buy it

Find Her (Detective D.D. Warren #8), by Lisa Gardner

This book made my stomach hurt and creeped me out.

Why do I read crime fiction?!

Ok, so remember earlier this week when I wrote a nastygram about All the Missing Girls? I know – it wasn’t nice, but if you recall, I mentioned that I want the author to surprise me.

Lisa Gardner surprised me.

Find Her is the eighth book in Gardner’s Detective DD Warren series and it was outstanding. The novel opens with Flora Dane dancing the night away at a local Boston nightclub, but her evening quickly goes downhill when she is abducted in an alley and wakes up in a vacant garage. However, unlike most abduction victims, this is not the first time Flora’s been taken, and her captor has no idea what she’s capable of.

Seven years ago, Flora was kidnapped while on Spring Break in Florida. 472 days later she was rescued.

Now five years after her re-entry to society she’s trained in self-defense and knows the limits the human mind and body can endure to survive. Her bedroom walls are papered with news clippings of other missing girls and she’s determined to help as many of them as she can.

But Flora’s missing again and this time, her abduction may be in connection with another missing girl’s case. Detective D.D. Warren and FBI victim advocate Sam Keynes find themselves scrambling to locate Flora before time runs out and she’s lost again forever.

Partly narrated in flashbacks from Flora’s first abduction, her present abduction and from D.D.’s position as a detective – this twisty, creepy thriller is everything that I want in a crime novel. It has a methodical, slow build format, each narrator only revealing a little bit at a time. The characters are fascinating and well developed and the storyline moves at a good pace. This novel was purely engrossing – I couldn’t put it down and it had me guessing all the way to the end.

If you love twisty, creepy crime novels you’ll probably enjoy this one too!

I’ve said it before, but I’m looking for recs from this genre! If you have one to share, leave it in the comments!

Bonus: You don’t need to read all seven of the other D.D. Warren books for this to make sense. It can be read as a standalone or as part of the series.

Buy it on

Anything You Can Do by R.S. Grey

Well, this novel really was delightful.

I’ll be honest with you – I read this book as a rebound after finishing a crime novel that totally freaked me out.

{Book Confession: my husband does not like it when I read crime novels because they actually give me nightmares and I wake up thinking someone is trying to murder me in my sleep. That is not a joke. I’m a wuss.}

So it’s like the time I watched Rock of Ages – and was so totally disgusted by Stacee Jaxx (aka Tom Cruise) that I needed to watch Top Gun in order to restore him (aka Tom Cruise) in my mind. Mind you - I'm not a huge Tom Cruise fan, but I love Top Gun, it's my favorite.


If you’re not a fan of Top Gun – leave now. I don’t need that kind of negativity in my life.

So that’s what this book was for me; a way to get rid of all the icky feels and replace them with warm fuzzy thoughts. And it totally worked!

Anything You Can Do by R.S. Grey is a super cute, witty romance (ie: there are steamy scenes, please be advised) novel that is just so fun that I read it in a day. Daisy and Lucas have been at war with one another since they were kids; their long-standing childhood and adolescent rivalry is legendary in their small Texas hometown and after graduating high school they are going to get as far away from one another as possible. Years pass as Daisy and Lucas attend colleges on separate coasts – each drifting apart but never forgetting their undying hatred of the other. Now, after years of schooling and medical residency, Daisy is returning home to take over the small family medical practice in her hometown. What she doesn’t know: Lucas has come home too and he’s going to be working right beside her in the same practice with the same goal of taking over when the current owner, Dr. McCormick retires. Witty banter, hilarity and some pretty steamy scenes ensue.

Think: Grey’s Anatomy’s On Call Room + No Strings Attached + Hart of Dixie’s small town charm and you’ve pretty much got this book.

As you can imagine – this book is incredibly predictable. But as with most romantic comedies, it’s the journey, not the destination, right? We all know where this is leading – but the fun part is getting there. I thought the banter between Lucas and Daisy was hilarious, the chemistry was off the charts and this book was just so fun. Daisy is a total knothead – I wanted to smack her in the face with her own book a few times, but she comes around eventually. Lucas is almost too good to be true, but for the sake of fictional characters in this genre, he’s better than most so I’ll take it.

Here’s the thing, in my opinion, most romance novels are not well written (please see: Fifty Shades). There is only so much steamy, instalove, spontaneous shagging one can take – and so often I veer away from this genre, but this book was actually well written and smart! The fact that this was well written yet very readable, had me actually laughing out loud and was fun made this a great read for me.

If you’re looking for a book to clear out the scary remnants of the last freaky crime novel you read – add this book to your TBR. It’ll do the trick, I swear.

Buy it on
(if you have a Kindle Unlimited subscription - it's free!)

All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda

Once in a blue moon I go through a psychological thriller/suspense/crime novel phase. You may have noticed that I do not read and review this genre often and that is because I have a very hard time finding well-written suspense novels with characters that I actually can care about. I do not like unreliable narrators – I cannot trust them (which I suppose is the point) and I often find that they are ridiculously narcissistic, bleak individuals and in fact, I wrote a blog post about this last year - you can read it here.

So while I don’t typically pick these books up – I do keep an eye out for titles that may interest me and every once in a while I find a book from this genre that I really enjoy! 

All the Missing Girls was not one of them.

Sorry, not sorry.

I did not like this book at all. But I’m going to review it anyway because I would like to tell you why I didn’t like it. Then you can decide for yourself whether to read it or not.

You’re welcome.
So here we go!

Megan Miranda’s psychological thriller, All the Missing Girls, was one of the buzziest books of 2016. Hailed as a twisty, creepy, Girl on the Train or Luckiest Girl Alive (which I HATED BTW) esque suspense thriller that is – wait for it – TOLD IN REVERSE. I was completely intrigued and wanted to give this a shot. I mean it’s told backwards! Something new and different!

Well, friends, I was wrong.
So wrong.
While this novel had so much potential, the backwards plot structure and shallow character development fell completely flat for me. The writing was tolerable I suppose, but not twisty enough to keep me engaged and the plot was weak, which was most disappointing of all because there truly was potential there.

Nicolette Farrell left Cooley Ridge ten years ago – and never looked back. Until now.

Ten years ago, on a night that seemed like any other, Nic’s best friend Corinne vanished. Plucked from the face of the Earth, and never seen again, Nic and her friends attempt to make sense of their friend’s disappearance. In the days following, the police investigation targets Nic, her boyfriend Tyler, her brother Daniel and Corinne’s boyfriend Jackson as suspects in the disappearance – but with no evidence and their young neighbor, Annaliese Carter, as their alibi, there isn’t enough information to make a charge stick and the case remains unsolved.

Now ten years later and fifteen days ago – Annaliese Carter (who happens to now be Tyler's girlfriend) is missing. As the residents and law enforcement of Cooley Ridge begin searching for Annaliese, old ghosts reappear and old wounds reopen as Nic and those who were with her the night Corinne disappeared try to find, yet, another missing girl. 

As I stated earlier, this story is narrated in reverse beginning on day fifteen and working backwards to day one. While this mechanism definitely adds an additional layer of intrigue – it actually hinders the plot construction more than helps it – and in my opinion served only to keep the reader from solving the puzzle early on. Honestly, I don’t think there would be much of this book if it wasn’t told in reverse. So while I absolutely love the concept of starting backwards – it just wasn’t executed well enough for me.

I felt that it aided in confusing me just enough that I wouldn’t catch on and nothing more. Some readers may really enjoy this set up, I didn’t.

Nicolette felt shallow and predictable to me, as did the supporting characters around her. They were utterly unmemorable - enough said.

But this is the most important thing I look for when reading these novels:

I want to know if the author can trick me.

I LOVE to try to solve the crime before everyone else. And I realize that this is probably presumptuous of me, but I want the author to be smarter than I am. Seriously, doesn’t everyone want to solve the crime before the characters do?

I will rate a crime/suspense/thriller novel by the amount of shock value it has. I am absolutely looking for the plot twist in the book – and this book did not deliver. It just felt flat and predictable to me on every level. It was tired, pointless and to be honest, I'm bored writing this review!

Maybe I’m asking too much of this genre – but if I’m going to get worked up over a suspense/thriller I want it to be well done. If you’re like me, you’ll want to pass on this book. Maybe this type of book is right up your alley – if so, that’s great – you do you.
Have you read this book? What did you think about the plot structure and story? Did it work for you?

Also, help a girl out – I’m looking for some really interesting/crazy/twisty suspense thrillers to read – give me your recs!

Buy All the Missing Girls
Amazon | Barnes & Noble

This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity #1) by Victoria Schwab

How would you like to read a Romeo & Juliet story, set in a dark dystopian city divided by war, where violent acts breed actual monsters and there is NO ROMANCE whatsoever?

I’m guessing at this point you’re either thinking,
 “WTF?! Nope.”
“This sounds amazing – I must read it now.”
Or maybe you feel like Paul Rudd...
Really Confused...

I know, I know – it is a tough concept to swallow. However, stick with me for a second everyone; I am going to explain why you might actually like this book.

This book sounds at the very least, incredibly intriguing if not downright badass. The concept is something that is both familiar (is there anyone out there who does not know Romeo & Juliet?) and completely new and relevant. The two main characters come from opposite sides of a city divided by violence and crime; Kate is the only daughter of Verity’s infamous crime boss, who uses his monsters to ensure he maintains control of his half of the city, August is a monster, born out of tragic violence, who wants nothing more than to be human.

A human with a desire to control and frighten others into submission, and an actual Monster who wants peace but has the capability to cause mass murder. Who sounds more monstrous?

Victoria Schwab creates a dark, gritty urban landscape where monsters, both human and supernatural, lurk in the shadows. She is a superb writer – there is no arguing that the writing is brilliant while being easy to read. This is why I read her books; Schwab is an incredible storyteller with an innate ability to create a multifaceted world with complex, multidimensional characters and relationships. The lack of romance in this book is on point – if a romantic relationship had developed between Kate and August, it would not have worked for development of the story or the characters. So, if you are looking for a lusty, “instalove” relationship to drive a storyline, please look elsewhere as you will not find it here. This is a fast paced YA Urban fantasy with interesting characters and allusions to relevant social issues. It really is so well done.

That said – plot was lacking for me. I absolutely love the concept and character development in this book but am still unsure of where the plot is going with this. Plot development is slow throughout this book and as a reader, I have so many questions that I hope are answered in the sequel. I do not think that this will deter readers, however, because while plot is thin, there is plenty of action to get the reader through the book without being bored. Moreover, the cliffhanger at the end is perfect, leaving the reader in anticipation of the sequel.

At the end of the day, this is not my favorite Victoria Schwab book, BUT it is worth reading if you enjoy YA Fantasy that is original, well written and easy to read.
Buy This Savage Song

Mists of the Serengeti by Leylah Attar

Where are all of my Contemporary Romance readers?!
Have I got a book for you!
Rodel Emerson is looking for a place to call home. After a nomadic upbringing with her parents and sister, she yearns for roots and a place to plant them. Unlike her fun loving, free-spirited sister Mo, she is content with her position as a teacher and quiet afternoons spent reading in her library.

Jack Warden is as rugged and wild as the Tanzanian coffee farm where he grew up. A single father, he spends his days tending to the needs of his farm and doting on his daughter Lily who is the light of his life. Lily embodies everything free spirited and wonderful for Jack – sunshine, rainbows and yellow balloons, and together they live a happy existence on the farm.

When a bomb explodes in an attack at a local mall, Lily and Mo are caught in the blast, their lives abruptly taken from those they love, lost amidst the rubble and wreckage of the explosion.

Rodel comes to Tanzania to retrieve Mo’s belongings and finds that her sister’s time in Africa was spent helping children in danger find safe harbor – her mission only half complete. Rodel takes it upon herself to finish the work Mo started, and goes in search of a Tanzanian coffee farmer named Jack to help her. Bound by tragic circumstances, Jack and Rodel begin a journey to bring the children on Mo’s list to safety, and find their lives inextricably tangled in ways they never thought possible.

Mists of the Serengeti is a lush, evocative journey through the African plains. This book is beautifully written, emotional and stirring. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel; I found the setting to be unique and the characters well developed. The plot of the story falls a little flat for me – but this is not a plot book, it is a love story about grief, loss and finding purpose and new beginnings through tragedy. There are weak parts in the book where I feel like the author got a little caught up in the burning romance, but the final pages of this book are spectacular and soul crushing – I loved it.

Because I read and review a wide variety of books and genres and write for a broad audience, I feel a little compelled to let you know that while this book is categorized as part women’s contemporary fiction, part romance, it is largely a romance. If you are a reader who is sensitive to intimate love scenes, I would not recommend this book for you.
Just saying…

BUT - If you’re a fan of women’s contemporary/contemporary romance and are looking for a fabulous story with all the steamy, swoony scenes – you will not be disappointed.
You may even feel a little like Cher here...

Buy Mists of the Serengeti

Windwitch (Witchlands #2) by Susan Dennard

If you read my review of Truthwitch, the first book in Susan Dennard’s Witchlands series, you know that I had very mixed feelings about it. I liked the book, but found my mind often wandering through different passages and I felt that there was a lot of character, plot and world development missing from Truthwitch. As I stated in my review of that book, “I hope that Windwitch can offer what Truthwitch lacked.”
Well folks, I am so happy to say that I enjoyed Windwitch more than Truthwitch.

Especially with the cliffhanger ending.

Well played, Susan Dennard, well played.

Where I found Truthwitch to be shaky and poorly organized, I thought Windwitch finally put me, as a reader, on the right track! The character development, plot organization and world building was stronger than the first book. The writing style does not vary from the first book, there are plenty of action scenes, overly descriptive passages and witty banter between the characters to keep readers entertained. 

It’s very apparent that there are a lot of moving parts with these books, and I think that Susan Dennard did a good job building on the platform that Truthwitch gave her. I know that she has said writing Windwitch was a very difficult process for her but I think it resulted in a slightly stronger novel than Truthwitch. Here’s the thing – Susan Dennard completely executed a huge dynamic shift from the first book to the second. Readers who were in these books for the ships are going to be disappointed because there is a lot more individual character development than relationship development. While I usually hate it when teams are broken, or ships are suffering from separation – THIS TOTALLY WORKED FOR ME. It may have to do with the fact that I was never interested or invested in any of the ships to begin with, so I really enjoyed the characters figuring things out for themselves without relying on their friends.

As I had hoped, Aeduan and Iseult proved to be the most interesting characters in the book and I thoroughly enjoyed their storyline. Safi showed a lot of growth from the first book, which I also had hoped – I’m interested to see where she goes and how she develops. Merik completely fell flat for me, sorry. In all honesty, I’m not very interested in Merik or Safi at this point, but the third book could surprise me. At this point, I’ll likely read the third book Bloodwitch when it comes out solely for the purpose of finding out what becomes of Iseult and Aeduan.

If you were a fan of Truthwitch it’s likely that you will enjoy this book. I think that Susan Dennard’s writing is wonderful – and I’m hoping to see a stronger third book in this series.

Buy Windwitch
Read my review of Truthwitch --> here