Send Me Recommendations!

Hello all!
So far 2020 has been a great reading year. I’m three books in, and I’m already starting to see myself re-reading books, and that’s not really what I want from my 2020 reading journey. So I’m opening up my reading time to books you all have loved and are willing to recommend to me! So please comment on this post and I’ll start integrating the books you recommend into my readings!

I’m currently reading through the Stalking Jack The Ripper series, since I loved the first two books, and noticed there were two more I hadn’t read! Not sure how they fell under my radar but, other than that. Absolutely zero plans on what to read for 2020. So flood the comments with your favorite reads!

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo – Taylor Jenkins Reid

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Published June 13, 2017

Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now? Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband has left her, and her professional life is going nowhere. Regardless of why Evelyn has selected her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.

Summoned to Evelyn’s luxurious apartment, Monique listens in fascination as the actress tells her story. From making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the ’80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way, Evelyn unspools a tale of ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love. Monique begins to feel a very real connection to the legendary star, but as Evelyn’s story near its conclusion, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is a mesmerizing journey through the splendor of old Hollywood into the harsh realities of the present day as two women struggle with what it means–and what it costs–to face the truth.


I waited for MONTHS, MONTHS for this book to be auto checked-out to me from my library. The anticipation for this book was absolutely insane. I literally yipped when I got the e-mail that it had been auto-checked out for me. I started it right away and it was so great. It wasn’t what I expected at all in the best way possible.

This book was…entrancing, that’s the best way to put it. Taylor Jenkins Reid wrote with such finesse, and managed to write this amazing masterpiece. A piece with these vivid and descriptive flashbacks, I could imagine everything as though I were a fly on the wall in all of Evelyn’s life moments. Not a single second of this book was I confused, or bored, it was all filled with just continuous granules of story crumbs that I just had to devour, I was like a starved animal for more and more as I kept reading.

The exploration of Evelyn and how she brought her self to the top in a white man’s world I feel is something very relevant to today’s world. The way she worked herself into the top, and was so unapologetic for using people and the tactics she used to get to her next steps, it was unlike any character I ever read about. It was actually pretty refreshing to see a woman so ok with being as cutthroat as she was to get what she wanted. And the exploration of her bisexuality, was purely amazing. The relationships she had between both men and women, and how she loved each one of them so differently was something I found to be extremely special. Although it’s hard to not have your favorites be Harry and Celia.

Please pick up this book if you haven’t yet. It’s such a great read, and I’m thrilled that the books I’ve been choosing this year has yet to disappoint.

5/5 Stars

Review: Mayhem by Estelle Laure

Mayhem by Estelle Laure

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Expected publication: July 14th 2020

Mayhem Brayburn and her mother are on the run, not away from home, but back to it: Santa Maria, California, a beach town that looks like paradise, like carnival rides and street food and bikinis under the hot sun.

It’s where Mayhem has always wanted to be. It’s where generations of Brayburns have lived and thrived, and she has never understood what made her mother leave Santa Maria in favor of the arms of her abusive stepfather.

But when she befriends her aunt’s foster kids and they take her to their hideout, decades of secrets unravel, and Mayhem is thrust into a world of chaotic magic, a serial killer’s mind, and finally, even the answers to her own past.

Set in 1987, MAYHEM is a mashup of The Lost Boys and The Craft with a bit of the Manson family thrown in for good measure. It’s original, compelling, and a little bit rock-’n’-roll, and reading it will leave you feeling deliciously wicked.

I loved the idea of this book more than the actual book. It sounded amazing but the execution could have been better. The writing style was beautiful, I loved it. The descriptions were so wonderfully written and creates such a lush visualization of the characters and settings.
I’ve never seen The Craft or The Lost Boys but I’ve seen multiple reviews saying it borderline copies The Lost Boys at various points, which if that’s the case, I’m not a fan of direct copying someone else’s work.
The biggest downfall I found was how slow this book is. If the pace was quicker, I’m sure I would have loved it but I just didn’t have the patience for the dragging pace of the plot. I also thought the last half of the book changed it tone rather quickly and felt like a different person was writing the story. The characters started acting completely differently and it felt so disjointed from the first half of the book.
I wish there was a better build up to the action, that it wasn’t forced into the last half of the book. And even though there was an attempt at speeding up the pace, it still felt slow to me.

 

An advance copy of this book was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

 

 

 

Gypsy King (Tin Gypsy #1) – Devney Perry

Gypsy King (Tin Gypsy #1) by Devney Perry
Published October 29, 2019

The former Tin Gypsy motorcycle club has everyone in Clifton Forge, Montana convinced they’ve locked their clubhouse doors and ripped off their patches. Everyone but Bryce Ryan. There’s more happening at the club’s garage than muscle car restorations and Harley rebuilds. Her instincts are screaming there’s a story—one she’s going to tell.

As the new owner of the small town’s newspaper, Bryce is hungry for more than birth announcements and obituaries. When a woman is brutally killed and all signs point to the Tin Gypsies, Bryce is determined to expose the club and their leader, Kingston “Dash” Slater, as murderers.

Bryce bests Dash match after match, disappointed her rugged and handsome opponent turns out to be an underwhelming adversary. Secrets are exposed. Truths defeat lies. Bryce is poised to win this battle in a landslide.

Then Dash breaks all the rules and tips the scales.

One kiss, and she’s fighting to save more than just her story. She’s fighting to save her heart from the Gypsy King.


This was an alright read. I bit lacking but totally enjoyable. The chemistry between Bryce and King was great. And oh lawdy did I love the chemistry between these two. But as a former president of a MC. I was expecting a bit more out of Dash in terms of being a hard MC Pres, that lifestyle always seems rough and I would think he’d be a bit more closed off, hard around the edges. So I was hoping for a bit more conflict or work between the two main characters before they got together.

All in all it was an entertaining read, it kept me going and I enjoyed it, but it wasn’t anything much to write home about.

2/5 Stars

Say You Still Love Me – K.A. Tucker

Say You Still Love Me by K.A. Tucker
Published August 6, 2019

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.


OK so, K.A. Tucker is 2 for 2 right now. She’s crushing the romance/contemporary game. I read this almost right after The Simple Wild, and that plus this book, made her an instant read author of mine.

The classic tale of two kids, in love from two completely different sides of life. She came from money, he came from nothing. They leave camp, he never calls and then twenty three years later, they see each other and connect again.

I loved the way this went back and forth from Piper’s 16 year old self and currently her 29 year old self. Piper starts off with almost the perfect life. Next in line to be the VP of her family’s real-estate development company BUT, is working with her ex-fiance, who has the abutting office.  And then a familiar face shows up as she’s leaving the lobby for lunch, and sees Kyle, her teenage love, who never called her back after all those years when her family pulled Piper away from Kyle towards the end of the camp season.

This whole book is just a great show of teenage love, and the story of a reconnected flame. But there is so much more to that. Piper is living with her camp friends which you realize are some great side characters that don’t go unnoticed which I find happens a lot in some books, and I really appreciate K.A. spending the time to really incorporate those side characters.

I don’t want to give too much away, but the issues that arise from past to present, it’s really well done. A good secret that comes up and really just pushes all characters to a new emotional peak. I actually feel like I want to re-read this again. Please pick this up, it’s such a great read.

4/5 Stars

Review: Again, but Better by Christine Riccio

Again, but Better by Christine Riccio

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Shane has been doing college all wrong. Pre-med, stellar grades, and happy parents…sounds ideal—but Shane’s made zero friends, goes home every weekend, and romance…what’s that?

Her life has been dorm, dining hall, class, repeat. Time’s a ticking, and she needs a change—there’s nothing like moving to a new country to really mix things up. Shane signs up for a semester abroad in London. She’s going to right all her college mistakes: make friends, pursue boys, and find adventure!

Easier said than done. She is soon faced with the complicated realities of living outside her bubble, and when self-doubt sneaks in, her new life starts to fall apart.

Shane comes to find that, with the right amount of courage and determination one can conquer anything. Throw in some fate and a touch of magic—the possibilities are endless. 

I wanted to love this book so much but I never did. I felt like it was lacking in plot, creativity with the characters, and there was an extreme amount of tropes. The amount of cheating was disgusting and made so many characters unlikeable to the point I hated them. There was so much girl on girl hate, I felt so disappointed because I expected better and thought YA was pasted that toxic trope.
The lack of creativity was what I found the most disengaging. The amount of parallels between the main character and the author was… odd to me. I don’t know a lot about Christine about I recognized enough from when I used to watch her YouTube videos to know that the main character is extraordinary like the author and the lack of creativity in the main character just made her boring.
I also thought the main character’s “relationship” with Pilot was so cringeworthy and I got so much second hand embarrassment while reading.
Overall, definitely not the book for me. I went in with high hopes but I left super disappointed with a lot of the author’s choices. I do look forward to seeing what else Christine writes in the future, I’m still rooting for her and hope she has much success.

The Light We Lost – Jill Santopolo

The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo
Published May 9, 2017

He was the first person to inspire her, to move her, to truly understand her. Was he meant to be the last?

Lucy is faced with a life-altering choice. But before she can make her decision, she must start her story—their story—at the very beginning.

Lucy and Gabe meet as seniors at Columbia University on a day that changes both of their lives forever. Together, they decide they want their lives to mean something, to matter. When they meet again a year later, it seems fated—perhaps they’ll find life’s meaning in each other. But then Gabe becomes a photojournalist assigned to the Middle East and Lucy pursues a career in New York. What follows is a thirteen-year journey of dreams, desires, jealousies, betrayals, and, ultimately, of love. Was it fate that brought them together? Is it choice that has kept them away? Their journey takes Lucy and Gabe continents apart, but never out of each other’s hearts.

 


Well, I knew this heart was going to break my heart into a million pieces and it did. I’ve been reading a lot of romance books this year. Not sure why, but this genre really just swept me up and I find romance books to be my favorite type of read right now. And this book, it wasn’t like anything I’ve read before. The way it was written from Lucy’s POV and how back and for their relationship was in terms of being in and out of love with each other.

I couldn’t get over this book. The rollercoaster of Lucy and Gabe just had so many ups and downs that I just couldn’t stop reading their story. I really suggest this for anyone who loves a great love story and wants something that really evokes strong emotion. I feel like only a very small few books ever made me emote so strongly.

5/5 Stars

Top 5 Books of 2019

I figured I’d do 5 favorite books of 2019 since a lot of others are posting up their favorites of the past year. I ALMOST met my goal of 55 books, Just came shy by 6 books. So without further ado, here are my top 10 of 2019. In no particular order

The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo
This book is an emotionally hefty one. So if you’re not ready to really ball your eyes out multiple times over lost love, and heartbreak. Then, don’t pick this one up. But it was such a different read for me, and something I couldn’t put down. And the way it was written was just perfection for really pulling out the emotion from the characters and making you just feel something for them.

 

 

 

 

 

The Overdue Life of Amy Byler by Kelly Harms
I feel like this was probably my underdog book for the year. I didn’t expect much of it but gee whiz did I get roped into it good. It’s such a wonderful read about finding yourself as an adult and really loving who you are with a little romance mixed in. And I loved the plot and it was just a really entertaining read.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Stopover by T.L. Swan
LET US NOT DENY THAT I READ A TON OF SMUT THIS YEAR. I won’t deny it. BUT this piece. Oh man. This read actually had a decent plot and was really engaging and had just the right amount of steamy-ness in it that I couldn’t get enough, I think I read it 3 times this past year. Unlike some other smutty books, they don’t have much of a plot and they’re just really quick reads about people with this crazy connection doing it. This book was so different, it had ups and downs, relationship building, so much depth put into it, I really enjoyed it.

 

 

 

 

 

The Folk of The Air Trilogy by Holly Black
This has quickly become one of my favorite YA Fantasy series. I didn’t expect to like this from the inside flap description but WAS. I. WRONG. I read all three of these books in 2 days. EXPLAIN how I could do that in 2 days with a full time job, house, dog, husband, and infant? It was JUST that good. There was so much lies and deception and trickery and twist and turns that you couldn’t ever really keep your finger on the pulse, but it just concludes so greatly, and I never wanted it to end, but alas, it quickly became one of my favorite books for 2019 and time.

 

The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker
I knew from the beginning of this book I was going to enjoy it. And since reading this, K.A. Tucker is an instant read author for me. I will gobble all of her stuff up because she’s a beautiful writer and really makes you want to be where her characters are. After finishing this book I told my husband I wanted to go to Alaska. There was just some sort of magic to this book that made me love it the more I read it. And yes, it’s a tear jerker but you fall in love with all these people, and the story and the place, it’s hard not to absolutely adore this book.

Top Five Books I Read in 2019

Even though I certainly struggled to find time and energy to read in 2019, I did mange to read a fair amount of books and these are my top five. I loved these five books and I absolutely recommend them.

(in no particular order)

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

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There was so much hype around this book, I didn’t expect it to live up to my expectations but surpassed them and more. From the plot to the characters to the pace, Evelyn Hugo was as close to perfect as it could possibly be. This was the first book I read in 2019 that held my attention and had me staying up late to read one more chapter.

Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

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2019 was the year that Taylor Jenkins Reid became one of my favorite authors. After finishing Evelyn Hugo, I raced to the book store and picked up Daisy Jones & The Six. Even though I thought this book lacked direction in the plot, it was still extremely entertaining and I loved the characters. I even look forward to hopefully rereading Daisy Jones in 2020.

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

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If I had to pick one book that was my favorite of the year, it would be this one. I read Where the Crawdads Sing cover to cover during a flight and as soon as I finished, I wanted to start reading it again. I had seen some hype around this book but I didn’t think it would actually live up to the hype but it totally did. The plot, writing, and characters are stunning. I’m amazed by the writing especially. This is one of the best written books I’ve read in years and I recommend it to everyone.

Say You Still Love Me by K.A. Tucker

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In the last year or so, I’ve become such a die hard fan of K.A. Tucker and her amazing books. K.A. Tucker knows how to write an engaging, emotional, steamy romance. The characters are so well written, the plot was fun, and the pacing was perfectly entertaining.

Regretting You by Colleen Hoover

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Y’all already know I had to have CoHo’s newest book on my list. If you’ve followed the blog for awhile, you probably know I love Colleen Hoover’s books and she’s my absolute favorite author. I look forward to her books like no one else’s. I will always auto buy her books and she’s never let me down with her books. Regretting You obviously was no exception and I loved every second of it. It’s been a long time since I was physically screaming while reading and the plot of this book had me screaming. I had my suspicions of the plot twist but when it actually happened, I couldn’t help how emotional it got me. CoHo always writes the most engaging books that are endlessly entertaining.

When Dimple Met Rishi (Dimple and Rishi #1) – Sandhya Menon

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
Published August 7, 2018

Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers…right?

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.

The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works hard to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.


Ok, so despite how this review sounds, I enjoyed reading this book. I found it continuously moving with a great pace, and was actually entertaining enough that I kept moving through the book. I didn’t enjoy the fact that this book so heavily centered around how Dimple’s parents were pushing her so hard to get married so young. It rubbed me the wrong way, and I’m totally for women who are coming of age to stand up for themselves and take their destiny into their own hands, but my goodness…I feel like that whole part of the book was just done poorly.

No ones parent would push marriage THAT hard. I come from a traditional Greek family and marriage is a huge part of your life’s journey. I wasn’t seriously dating until I was about 22 and when I was 23 was when my mother and grandmother were beginning to ask about getting married. And to be honest, My Big Fat Greek Wedding bothered me for the same reason, but that’s another tangent.

But other than that, I loved the characters. Dimple made me laugh a good amount through the book and I adored Rishi and how sweet he could be. Everything seemed to work so great and I actually enjoy that the book didn’t necessarily give you the ending you expected. It was all really great. I actually have From Twinkle With Love and I plan on picking that up soon.

3/5 Stars