Monday, May 21, 2018

Book Blitz: Offsides by Natalie Decker


Right Text Wrong Number
Natalie Decker
(Offsides, #1)
Published by: Swoon Romance
Publication date: July 11th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Cheerleader Layla and football player Tyler are complete opposites. She thinks he’s the biggest jerk in school and he thinks she’s too high on her horse to even be worth a second glance. When the two of them are near one another, sparks fly in all the wrong directions. They can hardly endure speaking, let alone dating.
But when Layla unknowingly sends Tyler a smack-down text meant for the girl sending naked photos to her then-boyfriend, Adam, Tyler has no idea it’s Layla and decides to play along. After all, Tyler cannot resist messing with the pissed off girl firing off texts about junk pictures, cheating, and girl code.
As the fallout from Adam’s scandalous texts plays out in front of the entire school, Tyler and Layla secretly continue to text each other using fake names. But as days and weeks pass, things take a turn for the serious between them, and suddenly, their texts mean more. Maybe it’s time to come clean about who they are and risk taking the relationship from texts to dates, then kissing, and maybe more.
They say there’s a thin line between love and hate. Can reality live up to the fantasy, or will Layla and Tyler be forever offsides?




 
Right Kiss, Wrong Guy
Natalie Decker
(Offsides, #2)
You’d think a girl with the most romantic name in the world would have her pick of boyfriends.
But Valentine’s Day sucks when you’re single. Just ask Juliet Valentine, whose last name happens to also be the name of the most dreaded made-up holiday ever.
A romantic at heart, this year is especially hard on Juliet. Her sister, Layla, is in a new relationship, her mom’s match-making business is doing great, and her school’s new fundraiser is “Love-Grams.”
Juliet’s miserable, a little jealous, and lonely.
Quarterback Jared Black is the most popular guy in school. A star athlete, Jared tops the most-eligible bachelor list year after year. But to Juliet Valentine, he’s all but invisible. She isn’t impressed.
Jared’s never had to work hard to get the attention of a girl before. Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, and he’s determined to ask Juliet out. After all, if Tyler can win over Layla, Jared ought to have a shot with Layla’s sister.
Unlike Tyler and Layla, charm, flattery and good looks won’t work on Juliet. So with the V-Day dance coming up, Jared uses the school’s Love-Grams to let Juliet know how he feels. Should be simple enough, right?
Wrong. Each attempt ends up either in the trash or thrown in someone’s face. Juliet won’t play his game.
Now, without a date to the dance Jared realizes it’s going to take a Hail Mary to win the girl of his dreams.


Author Bio
Natalie Decker is the author of RIVAL LOVE series and the Scandalous Boys series. She loves oceans, sunsets, sand between her toes, and carefree days. Her imagination is always going, which some find odd. But she believes in seeing the world in a different light at all times. Her first passion for writing started at age twelve when she had to write a poem for English class. However, seventh grade wasn't her favorite time and books were her source of comfort. She took all college prep classes in High school, and attended the University of Akron. Although she studied Mathematics she never lost her passion for writing or her comfort in books. She's a mean cook in the kitchen, loves her family and friends and her awesome dog infinity times infinity. If she's not writing, reading, traveling, hanging out with her family and friends, then she's off having an adventure. Because Natalie believes in a saying: Your life is your own journey, so make it amazing!

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Friday, May 18, 2018

Dear Diary: In search of some encouragement and postive energy (weight loss and depression)

OK friends, this isn't book-related but I need to put it out there in the universe. So you get a personal post today - yay?
Real talk: according to my BMI, I'm morbidly obese. I'm 5'4" and 268 lbs (that's right, putting that all out there in the public eye) and I've been fat as far back as I can remember... Just not THIS fat. When I say that I'm morbidly obese, people go "Oh come on, you are not" because I think that the picture in some people's heads of what morbidly obese looks like is a person who doesn't fit through doorways and can't get off the couch. And while I think the BMI chart is kind of a load of crap, the fact remains that I'm a good 100 lbs overweight.

"Why are you telling me this?" I see you wondering. WELL. Let me explain... No, there is too much. Let me sum up. Buttercup is marry Humperdink in a little less than half an hour. So all we have to do is get in, break up the wedding, steal the princess, make our escape... After I kill Count Rugen.

Oh wait, that's not my story. This is my story: I've struggled with Poly-cystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) since I was a teenager. Basically it's a hormone disorder with a lot of fun side-effects, one of which is an ease at gaining weight and a difficulty losing it (which throws the hormones further out of balance, which makes weight loss even harder, which throws hormones more out of balance... Yeah, it pretty much sucks.) It also tends to come with a great big dollop of depression, so fun times!
In the Year of Our Lord 2017 I decided enough was enough and got with it, joined Weight Watchers and did the low carb thing (as prescribed by my doctor, because PCOS also comes with some body dysfunction when it comes to processing carb, so no "Low Carb is The Most Horrible" comments plz). I lost 30 lbs in a little over 4 months and was rocking that crap. Bought new size 18 pants, got rid of all my size 22's - life was good.

Then in mid-April I was slammed with a wicked recurrence of my stupid depression, and it all sort of slipped away. Fast forward one year (ONE MEASLY YEAR) and I've gained back that 30 pounds plus an extra 15 for good measure. Because there's nothing like fighting a losing battle!

So here I am... I had to buy a few new pairs of size 22's and they're getting snug, and I just REFUSE to buy size 24 pants and have that be the new biggest size I've ever been.

I want to clarify: there is nothing wrong with being a size 24 or larger. I am all about body positivity and loving yourself whatever your size. There are many woman who are larger than me that are GORGEOUS, and I'm not just talking about their faces. I am very much apple shaped and carry a large part of my weight in my gut, so it's that extra unhealthy visceral fat. I also have a small chest so I'm all out of proportion, and I basically look like I have very pregnant lady tummy all the time. It's not a look I like, and I'm not comfortable in my body. I went for a walk with my kids last week and couldn't make it down the street and back before I was all "My back! My hips!"

OK, this post is getting way too long. Are you still with me? I started back on a low carb diet two and a half weeks ago, and then last week my whole family got the stomach flu and I went "Well this is stressful, time for a pint of Ben & Jerry's and a bag of potato chips to calm me down!"

This week I'm back on track, and I've been doing well. I had started out doing Atkins, but a week in I was already driving myself crazy with compulsively measuring every little thing. I have an addictive personality and I've found that tracking my food can very quickly take me to a pretty unhealthy place, which is why I decided I would just stick to a high fat/moderate protein/low carb diet without actually tracking; sticking to a list of acceptable foods, letting myself deviate and indulge IN MODERATION when things like birthday parties invariably happen (because otherwise I am "good" during said birthday party, and the next day crack under the pressure of having been super strict and end up binging on a bunch on garbage that's way worse than a sliver of cake in the moment would have been...)

I guess the positive side to my past struggles with weight loss is that I've got a LOT of lessons learned. My struggle is being kind to myself and letting weight loss happen at an organic pace. The great thing about tracking every gram that goes into my body and being super strict with how many net carbs I consume in a day is that the weight comes off FAST. It's also not sustainable, and my head knows that. This new approach IS working - it's just slow AF.

And that's where the encouragement and positive energy comes in! I need some good juju from you and the universe and whatever, reminding and reinforcing that this less strict, more sustainable approach I'm taking makes it so I can enjoy my life while also losing weight. I deserve to be happy NOW, not when I've lost so-many pounds. Part of being happy means eating delicious, healthy food; exercising (which I am rocking, btw, but I want to go full throttle and my body can't so I feel guilty for not doing MORE).

WHY AM I NEVER ENOUGH FOR MYSELF?

Seriously! If I friend told me they were sticking to their diet 80%+ of the time, were going on the treadmill for 30 minutes a day and then also hitting the gym 4 times a week for whatever they can take, even if it's just 5 minutes or 15, and had talked to a personal trainer about developing a personal exercise plan, I would be throwing them a damn parade with flowers and balloons and great big flashing neon signs that say "YOU ROCK!" That is EXACTLY MY LIFE RIGHT NOW, so why am I so much harder on myself? Why would I be so proud of someone else, and for me it's not good enough?

UGHHHHHHH, I don't know, you guys. There was a moment writing this where I felt a bit more positive, and now I'm back to wavering.

Discussion: Diversity in Romance part 2 - mental and physical ability

As a follow up to my April 2018 post about Diversity in Romance, I wanted to talk some more about diversity in romance - specifically main characters with mental, physical, and sensory disabilities.

***IMPORTANT: I am writing this from a place of good intentions, but you know what they say about the road to hell…  I did some Googling to try to be sure I'm using the most appropriate/acceptable terminology for people with disabilities. If anything in this post is offensive, it is unintentional and I ask that you please educate me so I can correct it.***

There has been a LOT of discussion about diversity in romance, and it seems like the main thing brought up is race and the lack of people of color both being published as writers of romance as well as having representation as main characters in romance novels. I talked about this aspect of diversity in romance in my April 2018 post, but today I'd like to focus on a different aspect of diversity in romance. I don't see many romances about people with disabilities, and I think it is important for people to see themselves in the media they consume. I want to see more romances with characters who are on the autism spectrum, who are deaf or blind, who struggle with mental illness. I want main characters who use mobility aids and other assistive devices, and characters dealing with things like MS or diabetes or a spinal cord injury. I'm not saying the storyline needs to revolve around their disability; just that they be present and represented and THERE.

So! Let's help each other find some more mental and physical diversity in romances, shall we? I'm going to talk about a few books I've read that have at least one main character that is disabled, as well as a few on my TBR. Please leave recommendations in the comments of more that I need to add to my TBR. :)

A Girl Like Her by Talia Hibbert features a leading lady, Ruth, who is an Autistic black web comic artist.

Sit, Stay, Love by Debbie Burns has a hero who has ADD as well as PTSD, and I am very hopeful that the third book in the series, My Forever Home, will be about Patrick, a side character in previous books with Asperger's. (Patrick was definitely my favorite character in Sit, Stay, Love.)

Pandora in Lisa Kleypas' Devil in Spring suffers from an inner ear that leaves her deaf in one ear as well as causing her difficulty in keeping her balance when moving around in the dark or doing things like dancing.

There seem to be a lot of novels with main characters (especially heroes) who suffer from PTSD, usually soldiers who have seen action of some sort in battle. Cameron in Jenny Holiday's One and Only has PTSD. Love in the Afternoon, arguably my favorite novel by Lisa Kleypas, is a historical with another hero suffering from PTSD. It seems like PTSD has become one of the most socially acceptable mental illnesses, at least as portrayed in romances and as it relates to men. I'd really love to read more romances with MC's struggling with depression, anxiety disorders, OCD, PTSD related to non-war situations…

A couple of romances on my TBR with main characters who are deaf or mute include Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover, Flirting with Fame by Samantha Joyce, Tracking You by Kelly Moran, and Never Seduce a Scot by Maya Banks. Additionally, some romances on my TBR with blind MC's include Dearest Rogue by Elizabeth Hoyt, Playing the Part by Darcy Daniel, and The Arrangement by Mary Balogh.

Are there any romances you'd recommend with main characters who are people with disabilities? If you've read any of the books I've listed in my TBR, what did you think of them?
Is this a category you feel has adequate representation in the romance genre, or could representation be better/more inclusive?

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Book Review: Infamous (Famous #2) by Jenny Holiday

Infamous

Author: Jenny Holiday
Series: Famous, Book 2
Publisher: Jenny Holiday
Publishing date: March 20, 2018
Kindle, 272 pages
Amazon  Goodreads

Summary: Is he brave enough to face the music?

All that up-and-coming musician Jesse Jamison has ever wanted is to be on the cover of Rolling Stone. When a gossip website nearly catches him kissing someone who isn’t his famous girlfriend—and also isn’t a girl—he considers the near miss a wake-up call. There’s a lot riding on his image as the super-straight rocker, and if he wants to realize his dreams, he’ll need to toe the line. Luckily, he’s into women too. Problem solved.

After a decade pretending to be his ex’s roommate, pediatrician Hunter Wyatt is done hiding. He might not know how to date in the Grindr world, how to make friends in a strange city, or whether his new job in Toronto is a mistake. But he does know that no one is worth the closet. Not even the world’s sexiest rock star.

As Jesse’s charity work at Hunter’s hospital brings the two closer together, a bromance develops. Soon, Hunter is all Jesse can think about. But when it comes down to a choice between Hunter and his career, he’s not sure he’s brave enough to follow his heart.

Rating: 5 stars
Review: I grow increasingly convinced that Jenny Holiday is incapable of writing a book I don't fiercely love. Like the first book in the Famous series, this is another slow burn, friends to lovers story, this one a M/M romance where the first book was a M/F romance. Can I just say, I love the inclusion of more than one type of couple in this series? Usually you see a series that's all M/F, or all M/M, but I think this is my first series with a straight couple in one book and a gay couple in another. And apparently slow burn friends-to-lovers stories are my new favorite.

Jenny Holiday writes a mean slow burn romance. Gah. Words, there are none. Jesse Jamison is on his way to stardom with his band, Jesse and the Joyrides. (LOVE the band name!) He's got this formula he follows so he knows who to sit next to on the train to avoid conversation (which is hilarious, smart, and adorable) but makes the choice to sit next to a super hot guy (Baby Silver Fox, he calls him), whom he winds up really enjoying talking to.

Hunter (aka Dr. Baby Silver Fox...) just got out of an 8 year long bad relationship where basically his boyfriend kept him in the closet in regards to his family and friends, so he's moved to Toronto for a fresh start. He's a hospitalist (uh, basically a pediatrician for the hospital instead of at a medical practice?) and oh, my god, could there be a more perfect man alive? (The answer is no, there could not.) Fast forward a few years after Jesse and Hunter's meeting on the train, and one of Hunter's, Avery, is a huge Jesse and the Joyrides fan. I want to keep talking about how they meet up again and become friends etc. etc., but really, just read the book. I'm sitting here trying to write this review and I've got a stupid grin on my face just remembering this book, especially certain Hunter/Jesse scenes that I want to talk about but I don't want to ruin it with spoilers! And not only are the leading characters amazing, the side characters are also a delight, especially Avery and the guys that make up Jesse's band (but especially Billy, LMAO!)

This is the second book in the Famous series, but it can be read as a stand alone. There are some minor spoilers for the first book in the series, Famous , but frankly they're barely passing mentions so you're unlikely to spoil anything for yourself. That being said, Famous is also an amazing read, so if you haven't read it yet, what are you waiting for?!

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Blog Tour: Map of the Heart by Susan Wiggs (Excerpt, Review)


Widowed by an unspeakable tragedy, accomplished photographer Camille Palmer has made her peace with the past and is content with the quiet safety of life with her teenage daughter, Julie, in a sleepy coastal town. Then the arrival of a mysterious package breaks open the door to her family’s secret past. In uncovering a hidden history, Camille has no idea that she’s about to embark on an adventure that will shake her complacency and utterly transform her.
 
Camille, Julie, and Camille’s father, Henry, return to the French town of Henry’s youth, sparking unexpected memories for him—recollections that will lead them back to the dark days of the Second World War. And it is in the stunning Provençal countryside that they will uncover their family’s surprising history.
 
While Provence offers answers about the past, it also holds the key to Camille’s future. Along the way, she meets an American historian who stirs a passion deep within her—a feeling that she thought she’d never experience again.
 
Brilliantly written and infused with Susan Wiggs’s trademark style, this hugely popular author has created her biggest, most powerful story yet in MAP OF THE HEART—an instant New York Times bestseller on the hardcover list. MAP OF THE HEART beautiful and heartfelt novel that celebrates the bonds of family and pays homage to the sacrifices of the past.

About the Book

Map of the Heart
by Susan Wiggs
Seriesn/a; standalone
GenreAdult
Contemporary Romance
PublisherAvon Books
Publication DateApril 24, 2018
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Google Play | iBooks

Excerpt

A car’s headlights swept across the front of the house, and crushed shells crackled under its tires. She glanced at the clock—nine p.m.— and went out onto the porch, snapping on the light. Her heart flipped over. Mr. Ponytail Professor was back.
“Did you forget something?” she asked when he got out of the car. “My manners,” he said.
What the . . . ? “Pardon me?” “Do you drink wine?” he asked.
“Copiously. Why do you ask?”
He held out a bottle of rosé, the glass beaded with sweat. “A peace offering. It’s chilled.”
She checked the label—a Domaine de Terrebrune from Bandol. “That’s a really nice bottle.”
“I got it from a little wine shop in the village.”
She nodded. “Grand Crew. My father was one of their suppliers. He’s retired now.”
“He was in the wine business, then.”
“He owned an import and distributing firm up in Rehoboth. And why are we having this conversation?”
“I came back to apologize. I got halfway across the bridge and started feeling bad for yelling at you, so I turned around and came back.”
She caught herself staring at him like a smitten coed with a crush on her professor. She flushed, trying to shake off the gape-mouthed attraction. “Oh.” An awkward beat passed. “Would you like to come in?” She held open the door.
“Thought you’d never ask.”
In the kitchen, she grabbed some glasses and a corkscrew. What was he doing back here? “Actually, you did forget something—your sunglasses.” She handed them over.
“Oh, thanks.” He opened the wine and poured, and they brought their glasses to the living room and sat together on the sofa. He tilted his glass toward her. “So . . . apology accepted?”
She took a sip of the wine, savoring the cool, grapefruity flavor of it. “Apology accepted. But I still feel bad about your film.”
“I know. You made a mistake. I should have been more understanding.” He briefly touched her arm.
Okay, so maybe he wasn’t such a jerk. She stared at her arm where he had touched it. Why was this stranger, whose one-of-a-kind film she’d ruined, taking care of her? Watching him, she tried to figure it out. “I’ve never screwed up a project like that,” she said.
“So what happened?”
“Everything was going fine until I got a phone call from the local hospital that my daughter had been brought in by ambulance. I dropped everything and ran out the door.”
“The girl I met earlier? Oh, man. Is she all right?”
“Yes. Yes, Julie’s fine. She’s upstairs now, online—her favorite place to be.”
“So what was the emergency?”
“She was in a surf rescue class—most kids around here take it in ninth grade. She hit her head and got caught in a riptide.” A fresh wave of panic engulfed Camille as she pictured what could have happened.
“Thank God she’s okay.”
Camille nodded, hugging her knees to her chest. “I was so scared. I held myself together until . . . well, until you showed up. Lucky you, getting here just in time for my meltdown.”
“You should have said something earlier. If I’d known you rushed off because you got a call about your kid, I wouldn’t have been such a tool.” He offered a half smile that made her heart skip a beat.
At least he acknowledged that he’d been a tool. “Well, thanks for that, Professor Finnemore.”
“Call me Finn.”
She took another sip of wine, eyeing him over the rim of her glass. “You look like a Finn.”
“But not a Malcolm?”
“That’s right. Malcolm is totally different.”
He grinned, flashing charm across the space between them. “How’s that?”
“Well, buttoned down. Academic. Bow tie and brown oxfords.” He laughed aloud then.
“You reduced me to a cliché, then.”
“Guilty as charged.”
“Want to know how I pictured you?” Without waiting for an answer, he rested his elbow on the back of the sofa and turned toward her. “Long dark hair. Big dark eyes. Total knockout in a red striped shirt.” He chuckled at her expression. “I checked out your website.”
Oh. Her site featured a picture of her and Billy on the “about us” link. But a knockout? Had he really said knockout? He was probably disappointed now, because on this particular night, she didn’t look anything like the woman in that photo.
“You look just like your photo,” he said.
Wait. Was he coming on to her? No. No way. She should have looked at his website. Did history professors have websites?
She saw something flicker across his face, an expression she couldn’t read.
“Go ahead,” he said. “You can look me up on your phone. You know you want to.”
She flushed, but did exactly that, tapping his name on the screen. The information that populated the web page surprised her. “Ac- cording to these search results, you’re a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and a former intelligence officer. You’re now a professor of history at Annapolis, renowned for tracing the provenance of lost soldiers and restoring the memories to their families. You’re an expert at analyzing old photos.”
“Then we have something in common. If you ever come across something mysterious in a picture, I can take a look.”
She couldn’t decide if his self-confidence was sexy or annoying. In the “personal” section of the page, it was noted that he had been married to “award-winning journalist Emily Cutler” for ten years, and was now divorced. She didn’t read that part aloud.
“I’m renowned? You don’t say.” He shifted closer to her and peered at the screen.
“I don’t. Wikipedia says. Is it accurate?”
“More or less.” He grinned. “I don’t know about the ‘renowned’ part. I’ve never done anything of renown. Maybe choosing this exceptional wine. Cheers.” He touched the rim of his glass to hers and took a sip.

Review

I've been reading a lot of lighter, fluffier contemporary romances lately, so this novel by Susan Wiggs was definitely a change of pace for me. While Map of the Heart still has an excellent romance story, there are a lot of deeper themes at play as well: bullying, cancer, war, suffering, family, history, hope...

This is definitely a heavier read than the type of romances I usually gravitate toward, which led me to struggle with it somewhat. For me, romance is escapism and I either want the whirl and delicate dance of manners in Regency romances, or contemporaries either set in small towns populated by a zany, close-knit networks of neighbors or crazy rom-com storylines where a woman hires someone to be her fake boyfriend to her little sister's wedding so she doesn't have to go alone and they end up falling crazy in love. Map of the Heart was a little too real for me, so I couldn't really get into it. That being said, the writing is incredible, the storyline (or really, storylines, as this is something of a tdual timeline romance that takes place on multiple levels/timelines) compelling, and the characters are all impeccably written. If romances with a serious tone are your jam, you're going to love this book.

About Susan Wiggs


SUSAN WIGGS is the author of more than fifty novels, including the beloved Lakeshore Chronicles series and her most recent, instant New York Times bestseller Family Tree. Her award-winning books have been translated into two dozen languages. She lives with her husband on an island in Washington State’s Puget Sound.

Author Links

website facebook twitter goodreads Amazon icon

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Guest Post: Peekaboo's Corner - Romance Novel Conventions

Welcome, dear ones, to this edition of Peekaboo’s Corner. Grab a drink, a chair, a fancy hat, and let’s get started. This week, we will be discussion romance conventions.
What is this tom-foolery, you might be asking yourself? Have you heard of Comic-Con? That great big gathering where hundreds of thousands of people gather to revel in their shared love of nerdery and wonder?
These are sort of like that, only on a much smaller scale. Also, it’s for romance fans. Nerds also welcome. (And get this: COSTUMES also welcome. I’m dying.)

RT Booklovers Convention


The biggest one is RT, which is the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention. This actually starts TODAY, so sorry I didn’t get you the news sooner, but start saving your pennies for next year because you’re going to want to go. Basically everything your romance-loving heart could possibly want will be at this convention. Nearly every big name romance author (INCLUDING NORA ROBERTS, Y’ALL) will be in attendance, speaking on panels, signing books, generally milling about. There will be panels about all manner of subjects, raucous parties, delicious food - it’s heaven, people. It moves around the country every year too. Six days of frivolity, giddiness, and more free books than you can reasonably expect to carry home in the spare suitcase you brought. Last year it was in Atlanta, this year it’s in Reno, next year… who knows? I’d love if it came somewhere close so I could go without shelling out for air fair, but MN is one of those states that is not by a whole lot of other things, so we’ll see.
Website

KissCon


As far as I can tell, so far these KissCons, put on by Avon publishing, are one day affairs, usually hosted at libraries, bookstores, and other similar venues. A couple of hours long, they will feature some great authors, discuss different topics pertaining to romance publishing, writing, etc, usually there’s snackies, some door prizes, that’s that.
BUT.
Avon just announced that in April of 2019, they will be doing a WEEKEND convention. THREE DAYS. IN CHICAGO, which is drivable from where I live. You bet your ass I am going to be there. So far they have been incredibly sparse on details, but I just signed up for the mailing list (which you too can do here ) so we can squee about it as soon as more becomes apparent.
Website

RWA

This one is geared less towards readers and more towards writers. RWA, or the Romance Writers of America, puts on an annual conference every year. This year it’s going to be in Denver, near the end of July. There will still be massive amounts of free swag, book signings, plenty of authors, and good food to be had, but it’s also got great panels and classes on the craft of writing. They also announce the RITA awards every year, which are like the Oscars for romance novels. I would adore going to this as well, because even though I don’t publish my work, I definitely write romances as a hobby, and would love to fall deeper down that writing rabbit hole.
Website


Tell me, dear readers, have you been to any of these? Would you like to go? What would be the part you’d like to go to most?
Tell me in the comments below, and start saving those pennies. If you go, I will most definitely sit with you!

Monday, May 14, 2018

Book Review: Famous by Jenny Holiday

Famous

Author: Jenny Holiday
Series: Famous, Book 1
Publisher: Jenny Holiday
Publishing date: July 11, 2017
Kindle, 282 pages
Amazon  Goodreads

Summary: Everyone knows her face. He knows her heart.

Emerson Quinn is famous. Girls want to be her. Boys want to date her. Each record outsells the last. All that remains is to continue transitioning her brand from its teenage fan base to a more mature, diverse audience. So she’s under strict orders to play nice with her army of assigned co-songwriters and to knock off the serial dating that keeps landing her in the tabloids. If she follows instructions, she can look forward to an indefinite run at the top of the celebrity ecosystem. There’s only one problem with this plan: Emerson is miserable.

So she runs away, impulsively fleeing her L.A. life and heading for a small Iowa college town where a guy she once knew lives. He’s the only person in the world she can think of who might be enough of a nerd to not know about Emerson Quinn the brand. Who might be willing to provide a haven where she can lay low and write her new album by herself, on her own terms.

Art history professor Evan Winslow knows a thing or two about leaving your past behind. He’s worked hard to establish himself far from the spotlight of his infamous father. He’s up for tenure soon, which will mean job security for life. All he has to do to lock down his hard-won, blessedly quiet existence is keep his head down.

Too bad the most famous pop star in the world—who also happens to be his long-lost muse—has just shown up on his doorstep.

Rating: 5 stars
Review: I fell in love with this book so hard. Famous is sweet yet sexy, with just enough angst to make your heart flail a bit but still remain fluffy. I want to snuggle with this book while listening to Emerson Quinn's music on repeat.

The set up is so sweet - Emmy and Evan meet at a wedding and have a moment, but as he's 26 and she's only 19 they have their one night of PG-13 rated connection, and then go their separate ways. Emmy is just starting on the path toward her future, and Evan's life has basically crumbled around him and he's off to the opposite side of the country to start over himself. Fast forward 7 years and our story truly begins...

Emmy is so great, though I kept having visions of Taylor Swift appear in my head... I have to say that I LOVE that she's from Minneapolis and played her first show at First Ave. Being a Minnesota girl myself, I feel like Emmy and I could totally have been buds. ;) She's so sweet and earnest, and I adore her relationship with her manager, Tony. Her "incognito" look made me laugh, and I love the personal growth the goes through in this book. It's like she started hitting it hard to reach her dreams so early, she didn't really learn to be a "real girl," so I love that she gets to embrace doing "real girl" things.

Evan is a hot nerd and totally swoon-worthy. He's got some shadows in his past with his criminal father, and needs to learn to come to terms with his past in order to embrace his future. I love a tortured artist and this book has TWO OF THEM! Emmy is struggling to find her voice in her music, and Evan is a painter who doesn't paint. Gah! I can't even with these two.

Besides the main characters being adorable and making me want to have a summer BBQ with them, the side characters in this book are also phenomenal, especially Emmy's manager Tony and Evan's next door neighbor Mrs. Johansen. OH MY GOSH, Mrs. Johansen. I just love feisty old ladies, and her online dating exploits are hilarious.

What are you still reading this review for? GO READ FAMOUS RIGHT NOW.

Book Blitz: Offsides by Natalie Decker

Right Text Wrong Number Natalie Decker (Offsides, #1) Published by: Swoon Romance Publication date: July 11th 2017 Genres: Contem...