Review: Good Boy by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy

Good Boy by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy

Series: WAGs #1

Genres: Contemporary Romance, Sports Romance

Release Date: January 31, 2017

Format: Kindle

Source: Purchased

Find it here: GoodReads | Amazon

Hosting her brother's wedding for an MVP guest list is the challenge of Jess Canning's life. Already the family screw-up, she can't afford to fail. And nobody (nobody!) can learn of the colossal mistake she made with the best man during a weak moment last spring. It was wrong, and there will not be a repeat. Absolutely not. Even if he is the sexiest thing on two legs.

Blake Riley sees the wedding as fate's gift to him. Jess is the maid of honor and he's the best man? Let the games begin. So what if he's facing a little (fine, a lot) of resistance? He just needs to convince the stubborn blonde that he's really a good boy with a bad rap. Luckily, every professional hockey player knows that you've got to make an effort if you want to score.

But Jess has more pressing issues to deal with than sexy-times with a giant man-child. Such as: Will the ceremony start on time, even though someone got grandma drunk? Does glitter ever belong at a wedding? And is it wrong to murder the best man?

Caution: May cause accidental aspiration of tea or coffee. Do not read in a public place where loud laughter is inappropriate. Contains hot but hilarious hockey players, puppy cuddling and a snarky pair of underwear.

I remember the first time I read Us and met (then side character) Blake Riley. I messaged my friend and asked: Who the heck is this guy? And why won’t he go away and leave Wes and Jamie alone? And she assured me I would grow to love Blake. How right she was. Blake, with his loyal friendship, irrepressible humor (and fear of sheep LOL) was a total stand-out and I was excited when he got a story of his own.

I loved the fact that I already knew both main characters from Us – Blake being Ryan Wesley’s teammate and Jess being Jamie Canning’s sister. It was fun to dive into the story already having a little background knowledge of both characters (even though it's totally not necessary). Blake had been burned by his former fiancĂ©e and walked away from that with the feeling that women couldn’t be trusted. So relationships were off the table and he was just out for a good time. Jess had flitted from career to career and felt like a failure. But at 26, she finally knew what she wanted and moved to Toronto to start nursing school. These two went from a one-time hook-up to friends with benefits to a full-on relationship and I loved every step. Blake was like an overgrown man-child and even when his theories were off the wall or his jokes didn’t make sense, I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face or stop giggling through much of the book. I loved the friendship that developed between him and Jess, how they were both so family-focused, and how Blake was so thoughtful.

As sweet and thoughtful as Blake was – seriously, the guy had a heart of gold – he also had a libido that was off the charts and there were sexytimes aplenty. *fans self* And sometimes even those were filled with laugh out loud moments. I loved the ease of Jess and Blake’s relationship, the low angst, the cast of familiar characters and all the warm feelings this one inspired. I have big love for Blake Riley and can’t wait for more of this series!


4.25/5 STARS

Have you read Good Boy?

The Sunday Post #96


The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer.
It's a chance to share news - a post to recap the past week on your blog, 
showcase books and things we have received, and share news about what is
coming up on your blog in the week ahead. You can find the info here:

  • So last week when I mentioned The Plague has passed? Yeah, not so much. The very next day it came back... with attitude. Monday was a holiday so I was able to moan in peace at home. On Tuesday The Husband shuttled me to my doctor's appointment where I was told, quite shockingly I might add, that it was in fact not The Plague but a sinus infection. I shuffled back home with a bag o' drugs (all quite legal) and that's where I've been ever since. I did venture out of the house yesterday for the first time since Tuesday. (Oh look, the sun. And people still going about their business. Imagine that.) I have decided I might live after all. 

  • You would think with all the down time I would have flown through about forty-leven books (or insert any other nonsensical number). But you would be wrong. I have slept more than I thought humanly possible and even when I was semi-vertical (i.e. when I shuffled from bed to sofa), holding a book genuinely felt overly ambitious. So I only managed to complete the book I was already reading. Womp womp.

  • The other unfortunate side effect of being sick is that I have had zero energy (or inclination) to be online so I haven't visited any blogs this week. Including my own. Ha. The two posts that went up this week were pre-scheduled (go me!) but I'm afraid I haven't responded to a single comment or visited anyone's posts this week. I'll try to get around and visit everyone this coming week, assuming I'll have a little more pep in my step. 


Tuesday, February 20
Top Ten Tuesday:
Books I'm no Longer Interested in Reading

Friday, February 23
Review + Excerpt + Giveaway:
Love on a Battlefield by Posy Roberts

WHAT I READ IN THE LAST WEEK:
Moonlight Sins (de Vincent #1) - Jennifer L. Armentrout

WHAT I'M CURRENTLY READING

    
FROM MY FEBRUARY BOOKWORM BOX:
Ghosted - J.M. Darhower

KINDLE BOOKS:





How was your week? Any new books? Any news to share? 
I'd love to hear about it!



Review + Excerpt + Giveaway: Love on a Battlefield by Posy Roberts


Love on a Battlefield
Posy Roberts
Publication date: February 20th 2018
Genres: Adult, LGBTQ+, Romance
Not every compass points north.
Andrew Summers is forced to spend his vacations reliving Civil War battles with his father. He hates every minute, until a blue-eyed, red-haired boy behind enemy lines catches his eye.
Shep Wells would much rather travel the world than play at boring war reenactments. He never dreamed a Texan boy would capture his heart.
Real life and years separate them; Andrew is forced onto real battlefields, but for Shep the world is a playground. They’re opposites, but writing letters closes the distance, uncovering their hopes and dreams. When Shep visits Andrew, they get to see if the tug they’ve felt for years is the compass pointing the way home.

REVIEW:

The meeting of Andrew and Shep at a civil war battle reenactment becomes a transformative event for them both. While Shep goes on to pursue his dreams of world travel and the study of art history, Andrew is faced with a now uncertain future and questions about his own sexuality. His life takes an unexpected turn and the letters he continues to exchange with Shep become a necessary lifeline. When Life deals another harsh blow, Andrew must decide whether to continue tiptoeing through life or go after what he really wants.

Love on a Battlefield is a novella about second chances and making life count. Told from Andrew’s point of view, we meet him at the age of eighteen. He chafes under his father’s control but bides his time until college. He is drawn to Shep who, at the same age, is confident, willing to take risks and views life as a great adventure. After a weekend together their contact is limited to the letters they exchange and Andrew struggles with his identity while Shep seems to revel in his own. When they are finally reunited and Andrew sees a possible future with Shep in his life, he has to decide if he is willing to take the leap.

Andrew and Shep are both truly likable characters but I found myself wishing there had been more time to develop their relationship, both in the past and the present. With fewer than 130 pages, things often felt rushed without sufficient time to develop naturally which also meant there was a lot more telling rather than showing. Overall, Love on a Battlefield was a hopeful look at second chances and overcoming obstacles to find true happiness.



EXCERPT:

My father started taking me to Civil War reenactments long before I understood the politics of the war and its moral implications. I was introduced to the tradition before I knew what any war was truly about.

It wasn’t until I was sixteen that I was allowed to carry a weapon and shoot it myself. The physicality of battle was exciting. Hand-to-hand combat when munitions were spent was better than football any day.

But there were strict rules my dad implemented that I didn’t enjoy. “If we’re going to do this,” Dad always said, “we’ll be as authentic as possible. We’ll do it right, unlike those people who think this is Summer Stock.”

I wasn’t allowed to socialize with the Yankees at all, so I hung out with the Confederate kids or sat around campfires listening to the adults shoot the shit. If school was in session, I’d bury myself in homework and often ended up helping some of the younger kids with their lessons. The guys my own age . . . Well, we had little in common. Some were intense, a few down-right scary with their racism so proudly displayed.

What I’d learned after hanging out with them for years was that they hated everyone who wasn’t like them.

I wasn’t like them, but I wasn’t about to let them know for fear they’d turn their hate on me.

For the last two years, I’d watched a Union kid who only came to a few of these events, not like most of the reenactors, who made this a way of life. When he showed up, he was the center of attention. Maybe because he was novel, but when he was there, he always drew my eye. It was obvious the other kids looked up to him, fawned all over him, really. I never got close enough to talk to him, to find out what made him so fascinating.

But I saw it from afar. He was strong yet graceful, with a mess of hair in a color I’d never seen outside of jewelry or pipe fittings. His smile was easily earned, and he seemed so . . . carefree. So unlike the overly serious and angry kids who surrounded me.

I’d watch the Union kids in their shorts and T-shirts laughing and having fun. I wanted to be a deserter. I wanted to go see what life was like on their side. It sure as hell looked like a lot more fun than what ended up feeling like a weekend prison sentence in a hot, scratchy suit.

I couldn’t stop myself from turning to him, staring at him. I’d watch him leap into the air to catch a wayward Frisbee or wrestle boys to the ground, then help them up, all with a bright smile on his face.

Last summer, he’d worn a wreath of daisies in his hair, walking around as if it was the most normal thing in the world. My ‘friends’ laughed at him and speculated about his sexuality. I joined the adults then, unwilling to spend any more time with the assholes. It brought me closer to the redhead too, so I made myself blend in with my surroundings and looked to my heart’s content.

I didn’t know his name. I never got the chance to find out, but if he was here this time, I was determined to discover it.

As we arrived Friday afternoon, I scanned the area for his hair but didn’t see him. After setting up camp, I followed my father out of our tent and joined the other men as they scoured maps and walked the battlefield to get a lay of the land. I turned down an invitation to hang out with the Rebel kids and instead listened to an expert on this particular battle drone on and on. Sitting there, sweating in my wool uniform under the scorching heat for hours, I had to get out from under the sun.

“I’m going to go fill up my canteen,” I whispered to my father.

“Stay hydrated.”

I gave him a quick nod, made my way past the tent filled with women and young girls quilting or spinning yarn, and found the metal water pump. I pushed down on the handle, trying to draw up the water, with little luck.

That’s when I saw him. He was in full Union dress, the buttons of his coat making the gold and red highlights in his hair appear metallic. He was unlike anyone else I’d ever seen.

He walked toward me with a wide smile. Sure of himself, but not cocky. More . . . careless. Utterly free.

“Want some help?” he asked. “I heard it’s hard to get this one started.”

I met his blue eyes, brilliant and wild like the sea. I was stunned into silence. He was even hotter up close, and suddenly I was unable to form words. I nodded my assent instead.

He wrapped his fingers around the metal handle and pushed down. It made a grating squeak that echoed, but the lever moved. He helped me push it down several times, hands sliding closer and closer with each pump until our fingers intertwined.

He laughed as water poured from the spout, and he bent down to taste the stream. The smell of iron surrounded us as I filled my canteen.

I watched him wet his hair, making it darker, which made his skin look extra pale. He was gorgeous, and the way the sun hit him right then, he looked like something out of a dream.

Stop being cheesy, I chided. So he’s hot. Don’t turn him into a fricking poem.

I replaced the cork, slung my bottle over my shoulder by the leather thong, smiled at him, and rejoined my father.

As we lined up on the battlefield the next day, I saw that shock of auburn hair straight across from me. Before I could make eye contact, the battle had begun, horses moving, gunfire blasting, and a few men already collapsing to the ground, probably playing out some real-life soldier’s tragic end.
I took out several Union soldiers with my fake munitions before I tripped over a rock. As I regained my footing and stood up, he was right in front of me.

I don’t recall if we gave each other a visual cue or if he said something, but we both decided to take a hit, bodies falling to the ground. We landed face-to-face, limbs sprawled out in opposite directions. My father was near, so I slammed my eyes shut, authenticating my death until I heard his voice move away with the continuing battle building.

When I dared open my eyes again, the Yankee soldier was staring at me, smiling and licking his lips. His jaw was strong, defined, dusted with stubble from who-knew-how-many-days growth, and it drew my attention to his chin and full lips. We lay there studying each other for several minutes, shamelessly staring, before he scooted closer.





Author Bio:
Posy Roberts started reading romance when she was young, sneaking peeks at adult books long before she should’ve. Textbooks eventually replaced the novels, and for years she existed without reading for fun. When she finally picked up a romance two decades later, it was like slipping on a soft hoodie . . . that didn’t quite fit like it used to. She wanted something more.
She wanted to read about men falling in love with each other. She wanted to explore beyond the happily ever after and see characters navigate the unpredictability of life. So Posy sat down at her keyboard to write the books she wanted to read.
Her stories have been USA Today’s Happily Ever After Must-Reads and Rainbow Award finalists. When she’s not writing, she’s spending time with her family and friends and doing anything possible to get out of grocery shopping and cooking.

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Top Ten Tuesday: I Changed My Mind #SorryNotSorry

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

This week's Top Ten Tuesday topic: 
Books I'm No Longer Interested in Reading 
You know how it goes. You hear about a book, it sounds great, you're excited to read it, and it goes on the TBR. Time passes (sometimes years... ahem *looks around guiltily*) and you realize: the moment has passed. You're no longer interested. I won't say I'm *never* going to read these, but it's probably not going to happen. Either my tastes have changed or their time has passed or I'm just fickle and changed my mind. For whatever reasons, these are the books I'm no longer interested in reading.


The Legend trilogy | Marie Lu
The Maddox Brother series | Jamie McGuire
Room | Emma Donoghue
Left Drowning | Jessica Park
The Darkest Minds trilogy | Alexandra Bracken
Cruel Beauty | Rosamund Hodge
The Crossfire series | Sylvia Day
The Everneath trilogy | Brodi Ashton
Love, in English | Karina Halle
Hello | Liza M. Wiemer

Have you read any of these?

The Sunday Post #95


The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer.
It's a chance to share news - a post to recap the past week on your blog, 
showcase books and things we have received, and share news about what is
coming up on your blog in the week ahead. You can find the info here:

  • I had a great time at the Amelia Island Book Festival yesterday. Actually, despite there being almost 100 authors there, I only went to see Jennifer Armentrout. There were some pretty big names in attendance - Lee Child, Karin Slaughter, Steve Berry - but I just showed up for Jennifer's talk, then went straight to her signing and I was done. It was a much smaller event than I'm used to attending which made for smaller no crowds and plenty of one on one time. To give you an idea, at ApollyCon I waited in Jennifer's line for almost 3 hours. Yesterday I was second in line and there was no one behind me. LOL It made for some fun interaction. She even remembered that The Husband has always been with me when I've met her in the past and she asked about him. :) 

  • The Plague cold has mostly passed. I'm left with some sinus issues but it doesn't seem to be anything that some OTC meds can't handle. And goodness knows I feel better! 

  • Since my excitement for Love, Simon (the adaptation of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda - coming March 16!) is reaching epic levels, I thought I'd share a little Simon fun, courtesy of Epic Reads. So which Simon character are you? I got... Simon! LOL


Wednesday, February 14
The Valentine's Tag

Friday, February 16
Review: Autoboyography

WHAT I READ IN THE LAST WEEK:
  
Stay (WAGs #2) - Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo - Taylor Jenkins Reid

WHAT I'M CURRENTLY READING
 
 Moonlight Sins (de Vincent #1) - Jennifer L. Armentrout

    
Nothing! No physical books, no Kindle books, no ARCs... nothing.
What a sad week. 

Cake, anyone?




How was your week? Any new books? Any news to share? 
I'd love to hear about it!



Review: Autoboyography by Christina Lauren

Autoboyography by Christina Lauren

Series: No

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBTQ (M/M)

Release Date: September 12, 2017

Format: Hardcover

Source: Purchased

Find it here: GoodReads | Amazon

Three years ago, Tanner Scott’s family relocated from California to Utah, a move that nudged the bisexual teen temporarily back into the closet. Now, with one semester of high school to go, and no obstacles between him and out-of-state college freedom, Tanner plans to coast through his remaining classes and clear out of Utah.

But when his best friend Autumn dares him to take Provo High’s prestigious Seminar—where honor roll students diligently toil to draft a book in a semester—Tanner can’t resist going against his better judgment and having a go, if only to prove to Autumn how silly the whole thing is. Writing a book in four months sounds simple. Four months is an eternity.

It turns out, Tanner is only partly right: four months is a long time. After all, it takes only one second for him to notice Sebastian Brother, the Mormon prodigy who sold his own Seminar novel the year before and who now mentors the class. And it takes less than a month for Tanner to fall completely in love with him.

Where to start? Maybe with an apology in case this turns into less a review and more an absolute, over the top, gushing love-fest.

Autoboyography delivered in a big way. It delivered a story I was totally invested in. It delivered characters that captured my heart. And it certainly delivered All The Feels.


I loved Tanner from the very start. He was funny and intelligent and self-aware and just so totally likable that I was immediately on board. His friendship with Autumn was priceless and I loved how it was handled from start to finish. And his parents! Can we just clone them, please? Open, loving, supportive. So supportive, in fact, that according to Tanner: “My parents have made our home into a gay, gay den of pride.” LOL

Since the family moved to Provo, Utah, Tanner is back in the closet after being openly bisexual in California. His mother, who was raised in the Mormon religion before leaving the church (and her family), understands the conservative culture in Provo better than anyone. Keeping his secret hasn’t been too much of a struggle for Tanner – until he lays eyes on Sebastian.


Oh, Sebastian. The genuine, kind-hearted, devout young man that catches Tanner’s eye… and heart. Sebastian, who is devoted to his family and his church. Sebastian, who is a master at burying his true feelings and wearing a mask that hides his inner conflict. I was intrigued by Sebastian, then frustrated by Sebastian, and then my heart absolutely broke (and tears were shed) for Sebastian. He was so genuine in his convictions, so resolute in his relationship with God, and so totally conflicted as to how those things meshed with his own sexuality. The fact that he stood to lose so much by simply being honest about who he was made my heart ache for him. 


Together, Tanner and Sebastian were absolute perfection and I was overcome with all the giddiness (and uncertainty) of first love. The thrill of the initial attraction, the newness of getting to know one another, the excitement every time they managed to spend time together and be themselves, the heartache of a seemingly impossible situation. It was all there, served up with such humor and heart and emotion that I just soaked it all up and loved every minute.


Autoboyography is a love story and then some. It’s about being yourself – and the consequences that often come with that, taking chances – even when you know the odds are against you, understanding that love doesn’t solve all problems or make everything okay, and a reminder that the unconditional love and support of family is truly priceless.



5/5 STARS


Have you read Autoboyography?

Valentine's Book Tag



I was searching for a fun tag to do for Valentine's and came across this one. 
I'm not sure of the original creator but I found it here.


standalone book you love

If I wasn't currently suffering from the The Plague a cold, I would have already written a review for this new favorite. But alas, all my time is spent moaning so the review must wait. In the meantime, just know that Autoboyography is my new love. 
Tanner + Sebastian

dystopian book you love

It's been a hot minute since I read anything remotely dystopian, but the 
Shatter Me series remains a favorite. 
And because Warner.  

a book you love but no one else talks about

This books deserves so much love. The ratings on GoodReads are high (4.40) but there are only 67 ratings. Believe me when I tell you that Goodnight, Nic is an overlooked gem of a book. 

favorite book couple

I'm totally cheating (take pity on me, I'm sick) and going with all three couples from my favorite contemporary series, the Addicted/Calloway Sisters series. Each couple - Lily and Loren, Rose and Connor, Daisy and Ryke - has qualities that I love and each relationship is unique. 

a book other people love but you haven't read yet

It's gonna happen. Like, so soon.

a book with red on the cover

Everyone all together now... awww!
Simon + Blue

a book with pink on the cover

It pains me to this day how much I disliked this book.
I mean, that cover! That magnificent cover!
The book gods played a cruel trick with this one. 
Pretty on the outside, pure schmaltz on the inside.

you're given a box of chocolates.
which fictional boyfriend gives them to you?

First of all, do I even need to answer this one? Do we all not know that my heart belongs to Daemon Black? If not, are you new here?? Secondly, any worthy book boyfriend would know that I don't even particularly like chocolate (yeah, yeah, it's true, now let's move along). But I wouldn't turn down a cookie from Daemon...



you're single on valentine's day.
what book would you read?
what tv show would you watch?
what movie would you watch?
   

First, I'm curious why I'm single. Where did my husband go? Is he trapped under something heavy? Is he away on a secret mission? I'm a bit concerned but for the sake of the tag...
Book: I'll reread Wait For You because Cam + Avery always give me all the feels.
TV: Meh. I don't watch TV and don't feel like thinking of an answer. I'm sick, remember? *cough cough*
Movie: Love Actually. Nevermind that it's set at Christmastime. Minor details. It's funny and swoony and makes me happy.

you're in a bookstore when you get shot by cupid's arrow. what new release will you love?

See what I did there? :) Plus, I just read a friend's review of this one and am utterly convinced that I must read it soon.

no matter how you spend the day, happy valentine's day!