#BookReview If We Had Known by Elise Juska

 

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“If We Had Known” was a unique read that gave me chills.

With all the shootings that have been happening, well…everywhere, I was honestly surprised I hadn’t seen millions upon millions of books trying to hone in on the public interest. When I initially picked this book up, I was under the impression this book might try to do just that, but it was surprisingly and beautifully respectful.

I did enjoy this book. I think it was an interesting ride all the way along, and it kept me hooked. There were a couple chapters where it was slow and I became bored, but overall it was an addicting ride.

So, what are my pros and cons?

Pros:
1. Different POVs – There are many different point of views in this story, and one of them is NOT the shooter (believe it or not). I appreciated watching the lives of many people fold out, and not just one.

2. Story Telling – I LOVE how Elise Juska told this story. Her choice of words and pace of the novel really fit well with this topic. I wouldn’t change a thing in relation to this.

3. Intertwining Stories – When stories intertwine I get so giddy! All of these stories having effects on each other (some positive, some very negative) made the book just a little bit more exciting. I could guess some of the effects that they would have on each other, but it was still nice to see that things do effect other people.

Cons:
1. Plot Device Characters – It felt like some characters were thrown in and taken out super fast just to move the plot along. I would have liked to see Anna’s boyfriends a little bit more and see how things affected them.

2. Happily Ever After – Everything tied up so nicely at the end! I was kind of hoping to leave off on a weird note, and not a semi-happy note. Now, everybody who knows me knows I like happy/good endings, but I felt a little cheated with this one. There shouldn’t have been a really good ending, and anybody who’s been through something like this would tell you how honest that was.

Overall, I really liked this book! There are definitely some minor problems with this book, but it was a worthy read!

Four out of five stars!

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

Did you enjoy this book? Why not check out another by Elisa Juska?! EliseJuska.com

Check out If We Had Known on Goodreads! Goodreads – If We Had Known

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Release Day Blitz – Lacey Black’s My Kinda Player

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My Kinda Player:

AJ Summer witnessed four of her sisters fall in love and settle down. But not her. She’s stuck in a rut, destined to spend the rest of her life watching from the dugout, kissing frogs. Then one night, she meets a mysterious stranger, who makes her feel alive and realize she’s not as broken as she thought–until she wakes up alone.

Sawyer Randall lost everything in a split-second when a game-winning play resulted in a career-ending injury. Looking for a fresh start, he settles into the cozy beach town of Jupiter Bay. A chance meeting with a gorgeous woman leaves him restless and anxious for something he swore he’d never want again–love.

But sometimes Prince Charming isn’t who he seems. What happens when circumstances are misleading? Will their love be strong enough to see them through unscathed? Or will AJ be played by the player?

 

*Though part of a series, this book can be read as a standalone. It is intended for those 18 and over due to graphic language, descriptive sex, and the world’s most inappropriate grandparents.

 

 

 

 

About Lacey Black:

Lacey Black is a Midwestern girl with a passion for reading, writing, and shopping. She carries her e-reader with her everywhere she goes so she never misses an opportunity to read a few pages. Always looking for a happily ever after, Lacey is passionate about contemporary romance novels and enjoys it further when you mix in a little suspense. She resides in a small town in Illinois with her husband, two children, and a chocolate lab. Lacey loves watching NASCAR races, shooting guns, and should only consume one mixed drink because she’s a lightweight.

Lacey’s debut novel, Trust Me, was released in August 2014 and has been an Amazon Bestseller twice for Free e-books, as well as #1 for Contemporary Romance. All of the Rivers Edge books have been bestsellers in the Romance and Contemporary Romance categories.

 

Giveaway Links:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/4cf78adb650/

 

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Buy Links:

Amazon US | Amazon CA | Amazon UK  | Amazon AU

 Kobo | Google Play | B&N | iBooks | Goodreads

Paperback: coming soon

 

 

Amazon US: http://a.co/iGsv0FH
Amazon CA: http://a.co/1JaGnaE
Amazon UK: http://amzn.eu/fTyztXA
Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07BFCC72Y
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/my-kinda-player
Google Play: https://tinyurl.com/PlayerGooglePlay
B&N: https://tinyurl.com/PlayerB-N
iBooks: https://tinyurl.com/PlayeriBooks
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39216000-my-kinda-player

Paperback: coming soon

Links:

Email | Facebook | Twitter | Blog

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 Sneak Peak:

“Are you blind?! What kinda call was that?” AJ hollers at the ump behind home plate while the crowd around us boos and screams their frustration at the horrible call.

“Dude, your girl is vicious. Remind me not to get on her bad side,” Dylan mumbles to me as we watch AJ rant at the umpire.

“No shit,” I reply, shocked that such harsh words just came from my sweet little schoolteacher’s mouth. “It’s kinda hot, though.”

“Definitely,” my brother replies quietly. “Did you see how many hotdogs she ate?”

“More than you.”

“More than you and me combined, bro. A woman who looks like that, talks like a sailor, and can hold her own in a hotdog eating contest? Marry her, dude.”

I snort in reply, merely because I’m afraid if I open up my mouth right now, I might actually propose. If I was falling in love with this woman before today, well, seeing her in my element, trash talking, and burping warm beer has pretty much sealed the deal for me. There’s no doubt in my mind that I’ve fallen head over heels in love with AJ Summer.

“Can you believe that call? What kinda horseshit is that? A blind monkey humping a football could have seen the tag! He was out by a mile,” she seethes, her eyes burning with fire and passion.

“I saw,” I tell her, wrapping my arm around her shoulders and pulling her into my side. “Horrible call.”

“The worst,” she grumbles.

“You’re scaring the big burly guys behind us, honey,” I tease.

She glances over her shoulder at my words. “You mean Bill and Tom? Shit, who do you think taught me those bad words?” she asks, making me laugh. “They really appreciated the autographs, though,” she adds. As soon as the Rangers fans sat down behind us before the game started, they recognized me and started chatting. I signed a few autographs for them and a handful for others in the vicinity.

 

#BookReview Tiger Tiger by Johanna Skibsrud

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I won’t lie, this book was hard to read. I was super excited to read another anthology/short story book, but this one let me down!!

Each story was unique in it’s idea – I thought each would have made a great novel all on their own, with the little short story being a “pilot run” for the idea. But when you read these little short stories on their own, it seems like endless rambling and pointless stories. I really wish Johanna would have expanded on each story and fully fleshed them out, because they were unique and impressive on their own.

With such incredible concepts, it’s really sad to see the wasted potential. I do think this book is worth the read, because you can see the obvious talent Johanna Skibsrud.

Overall, it’s a beautifully written set of short stories but comes up short for me.

Two out of five stars.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

Did you enjoy this review? Check out another you might enjoy! #BookReview Poetry for Strangers by Elisabeth Sharp McKetta

Comment below on a book that fell below your expectations!!

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#ReleaseDayBlitz Tell Me a Story

I’m one day late to the party, but it’s never to late to enjoy a new book! Check out Tell Me a Story, a new release by Jennifer Rebecca! Find out some epic details below:

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Today we have the release blitz for TELL ME A STORY by Jennifer Rebecca! Check it out and be sure to grab your copy today:

 

Title: TELL ME A STORY  

Author: JENNIFER REBECCA

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Cover by Alyssa Garcia at Uplifting Designs.

 

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Tell Me A Story Synopsis:

George Washington Township, New Jersey has seen its fair share of crime and tragedy. Most recently, a young boy is missing from his home and the tenacious Detective Claire Goodnite is eager to find him.

But the case is stirring up old memories best left forgotten. When a blast from her own past, FBI Special Agent Wesley O’Connell, turns up, Claire finds it hard to keep old ghosts at rest. And even harder to keep the sexy SAIC out of her case and her bed.

Claire Goodnite is the best damn detective in the state of New Jersey and you better believe she’s coming for you.

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Grab Your Copy Today:

Amazon | iBooks | Kobo | Nook

 

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About the Author:

Jennifer is a thirty something lover of words, all words: the written, the spoken, the sung (even poorly), the sweet, the funny, and even the four letter variety. She is a native of San Diego, California where she grew up reading the Brownings and Rebecca with her mother and Clifford and the Dog who Glowed in the Dark with her dad, much to her mother’s dismay.

Jennifer is a graduate of California State University San Marcos where she studied Criminology and Justice Studies. She is also an Alpha Xi Delta.

10 years ago, she was swept off her feet by her very own sailor. Today, they are happily married and the parents of a 8 year old and 6 year old twins. She can often be found in East Texas on the soccer fields, drawing with her children, or reading. Jennifer is convinced that if she puts her fitbit on one of the dogs, she might finally make her step goals. She loves a great romance, an alpha hero, and lots and lots of laughter.

Website | Email | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Newsletter

 

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Giveaway Details:

<a class=”rcptr” href=”http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/4cf78adb644/” rel=”nofollow” data-raflid=”4cf78adb644″ data-theme=”classic” data-template=”” id=”rcwidget_zj9432xf”>a Rafflecopter giveaway</a>

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Buy Links:

Amazon-http://amzn.to/2HKxIVe

iBooks-https://apple.co/2DTt0SO

KOBO-http://bit.ly/2ouOcbb

Nook-http://bit.ly/2EUCO3z

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Links:

www.JenniferRebeccaAuthor.com

JenniferRebeccaAuthor@gmail.com

facebook.com/JenniferRebeccaAuthor

Twitter: @JenniRLreads

Instagram: @JenniRLreads

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Except:

A shrill ring wakes me from a restless sleep—I had the dream again. My phone bounces around on the unfamiliar night stand that I must have left it on last night.

“Goodnite,” I rasp, my voice heavy with sleep.

“Detective, this is dispatch,” the disembodied voice from my phone informs me. “We were told to notify you that the body of a male child has been recovered at the rocks near the bottom of the falls. Possible match for your missing person.”

“I’m on my way.”

That’s all I need to know, and I am throwing back the blankets that are tangled around my body—my naked body. I pull my jeans on—without panties—and then my boots. I quietly search for my bra, hopefully not waking . . . not waking . . . I look over at the bed where a man with warm brown hair and a stubbled jaw sleeps on the bed that I just vacated. Nope, not ringing any bells. At least he’s good looking. I shrug.

I should be embarrassed about letting some random pick me up at a bar the next town over. But I’m not. This case has been . . . rough . . . and I needed to blow off some steam. Will I call him again? Uhh, no. Will he call me? He’d have to find me first. Did he have a good time? You betcha.

I see my bra hanging from a lamp shade and grab it, tucking it into my back pocket. I pull my tank top and t-shirt on, having found both rumpled on the floor. I reach into the front pocket of my jeans and find —thank God—a hair tie and toss my long, inky hair on top of my head in a messy bun. I pull on my coat that had been dropped by the front door.

I palm my phone and pull my keys out of the same pocket the hair tie came out of. I step out into the New Jersey cold without ever looking back at . . . Mike? No, that’s not it. I shrug to myself, fuck it.

I beep the locks on my car and climb in. I unlock the glove box and feel the weight of my badge and sidearm in my hand as I pull them both out of their hiding spot, placing both on the dash. I fire up my nondescript Tahoe and head towards tragedy.

My name is Claire Goodnite and I’m the best damn detective in the state of New Jersey and you better believe I’m coming for you.
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#BookReview #OnTheBrinkofPassion by Tamsen Parker

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Round Five of the Snow and Ice Games! I’m sad to see this series go, because I never knew how much I needed a sports romance book! But, this series is worth the ride! Maybe if we’re lucky, Tamsen will make a summer Olympics version of this series for Tokyo 2020… Hey, a girl can hope!

So let’s get into the meat of this story:

This time around we are graced with Jubilee and Beckett, and they are world class figure skaters. They weren’t initially paired with each other: Jubilee was originally with her husband (who has since passed away), and Beckett had been playing around with who his perfect partner would be. Finally, they settle on each other and seem to be the perfect fit. And of course, what’s figure skating without some competition? Sabrina and Todd, two of the people Jubilee and Beckett had been paired with, are their rival competitors.

Not even 24 pages into this sexy story, and I already love the dynamic between Jubilee and Beckett. They are sassy, competitive and keep each other on their toes. I absolutely love the fact that yet again Tamsen changes the dynamic of her main characters’s relationship. And if you think that this dynamic wavers at all, it doesn’t. The snarky and sarcastic comments keep coming and have perfect comedic timing. Honestly, this pair is my favourite out of all five of the books Tamsen has written in this series.

I liked the fact that Tamsen slowly revealed what happened to Jubilee’s husband Stephen. The way she slowly weaved it into the slowly really hit me emotionally. If she would have given away what happened earlier, I don’t think the story would have worked as well.

This story is sweet, sometimes heartbreaking, and fulfills everything I wanted in the final novel of this series. It felt like a roller coaster of emotions and it hit every note it needed too.

One thing about Tamsen Parker is she knows how to keep her fan base happy – she isn’t afraid of change. I can’t say enough how proud I am to watch her grow as an author because SHE’S SO GOOD. Ugh. Her books are so frustratingly good!

So, brief summary of this book for those wondering what type of topics this novel includes – minor spoilers of the plot without spoiling specifics…be warned:
1. Sexy figure skating pair get some sexy time on (Jubilee – female lead, Beckett – male lead).
2. Jubilee’s past partner (on and off the ice) has died, and both Beck and Jubilee have had other skating partners since.
3. Jubilee and Beck start having a sexual relationship, Jubilee is but isn’t into it (but consents)
4. Jubilee and Beck’s pasts are slowly revealed, which includes some harassment
5. Past partners Todd and Sabrina should not be trusted…
6. Lots of detailed sexy time

Overall, this book is super steamy and is worth the read. If you were only going to pick one book out of this series, I’d pick this one. It’s my favourite, I love it! All the books are good, but this one just inched by the competition (I’m not sure if it’s technical points or performance points where it surpassed, if we’re using figure skating as a reference).

Five out of five stars!

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley & the author Tamsen Parker in exchange for an honest opinion. All thoughts and opinions are my own and are not influenced by other sources.

 

Did you enjoy this review? Why not check out another you might enjoy? #BookReview Fire on the Ice by Tamsen Parker

Head to twitter to give @TamsenParker or Briar’s Reviews a shoutout!

Check out the rest of Tamsen’s library on Goodreads! Tamsen Parker on Goodreads or on her website TamsenParker.com

Do you have a favourite romance novel? Share it below in the comment section!

#BookReview Saving Me by Sadie Allen

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Saving Me by Sadie Allen is a unique YA novel.

This story is centered around Ally, who is a depressed/suicidal hurdling high school student who gets severely injured in a race. Her boyfriend has been cheating on her with her best friend for three years, and a boy with a lip ring has a crush on her. There is endless drama on every page that makes me believe this book is the teenage version of a soap opera.

I’m not sure how I feel about it, because I think it’s an intriguing story but I think there was just to much going on. I couldn’t figure out what the real plot of the story was. Was it for Ally to not kill herself? Was it to showcase the craziness that can be high school? There was so much high school drama that seemed so wildly unrealistic that I wasn’t sure how I felt when I finally read the last page of the book.

I did enjoy that the book moved fast and had constant action/drama. That kept me interested and I didn’t want to put the book down. I also enjoyed some of the sugary sweet romance that goes down.

The things I didn’t enjoy just hit to close to home for me – an (almost?) abusive parent, and some of the stupid decisions Ally made (but let’s be honest, everyone made stupid mistakes in high school). I also think this book was closer to an R rating than intended. It seemed like the book was aimed at a YA audience but contained some purely adult themes. And my final part was…Sterling. He felt to perfect, despite having flaws. It was kind of the hero complex that made me question him, does Ally really need a boy to save her? That’s just my own thoughts though.

Was it uplifting? In my opinion, I have no idea. It was definitely a coming of age story set in modern times. It included social media and texting as a big portion of this story. One major part of this book was how Sadie described Ally’s feelings, and I think many can relate to her dark descriptions. Everyone feels lost and alone at times, so that hits a home run.

Overall, this book is well written but I’m not sure where I stand on it. I think it’s fantastic and I liked it, but I’m stuck on the fence of whether this was a YA or adult novel. It honestly could swing either way.

Great novel! Three out of five stars!

I received a copy of this book from Sadie Allen in exchange for an honest review.

 

Did you enjoy this review? Check out another you might enjoy! #BookReview Bittersweet Symphony by Rebecca McNutt

Check out Sadie Allen on Goodreads! Sadie Allen on Goodreads

Have you read this novel? Give me a shoutout on twitter! Briar’s Reviews on Twitter @reviewalholic

#BookReview Fire on the Ice by Tamsen Parker

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Maisy and Blaze are the newest feature in the SIG, and these two ladies will leave you breathless!

Maisy is a figure skater and Blaze is a speed skater. The two get hot and heavy early on in this book and already have a relationship of sorts going on. It’s a nice change from strangers or friends to lovers, to be honest. But if you were thinking these would be soft, vanilla sex scenes – you’d be wrong! Tamsen is shockingly amazing at writing these scenes that they will make you blush (so maybe don’t read them in public…?). I think this has to be the “hottest” book of the series so far, so be warned!

The “parents don’t like that I’m gay” was something new from Tamsen, but I think it worked well. There needed to be some conflict in this book, and it fit perfectly! I didn’t totally enjoy the opposites attract portion of this book, but it fits well enough within this story.

These characters do grow within this story, and I have give me praise to Tamsen for doing such. Having characters that try to change and grow was a lovely addition to tie this book in together. It really shows how much Tamsen is growing as an author – she keeps implementing new and better plot points in her books. Personally, I didn’t like the personalities of the main characters (it’s a personal problem, to be honest. They remind me of people I know, and you know how that is…). I think in relation to the story, they have the best personality for the scenario, but it just didn’t bode with me. It’s nothing against this story (because it’s a great story, honestly, READ IT).

If anything, I would have liked a little more plot in this story. I found this to be a really heavy romance compared to a plot focused one. This can be great for some readers, but for others it might not work. Keep that in mind if you’re going to read it – don’t expect a crazy, complicated plot.

This might be my least favourite SIG novel (but they are all fighting for top spot, so it’s a tight race for first place) if I had to place them in a list. It’s still a fantastic book, I just liked the others more (I related more to the characters from the other books on a personal level).

Overall, I would definitely recommend this story to anyone looking for romance, F/F, or sports romance books. It’s still top tier! Comparing them to Tamsen’s other books (based on my own personal opinion) it’s one of the best, just not MY favourite. It’s definitely one of her best.

Four out of five stars.

Side Note: Who would have thought Olympics erotica would be a category of books? It’s probably one of the few I never considered until Tamsen actually wrote these books.

I received a copy of this book courtesy of Tamsen Parker and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

 

Leave a comment below about your favourite unique romance reads!!

Visit Tamsen Parker on Goodreads: Tamsen Parker on Goodreads

Give Tamsen a shoutout on twitter! @TamsenParker or me! @ReviewAlholic

Or check out another review you might enjoy! Quick Review – Uncharted Territory by Tamsen Parker