#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

Give me a shoutout on twitter if you read this review! @ReviewAlholic – Briar’s Reviews on Twitter

Or check out another book you might enjoy! #BookReview Life Seemed Good, But… by Richard Bell

Comment below your favorite book that you read recently!

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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 #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 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

#BookReview On The Edge of Scandal by Tamsen Parker

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Surprise, surprise – I am reading another Tamsen Parker book. What can I say? I’m addicted, and Tamsen fills the prescription.

Oh man, oh man. Tamsen loves her taboos, and she doesn’t let us down with a Mentor-Mentee relationship (well, coach and team member if you want to get really picky). Throw in a splash of angst with all the ooey gooey romance, and you’ve got yourself a home run (wrong sport, but you get the point).

This Snow and Ice Games book is all about HOCKEY. As a Canadian, I approve! Finally a book that I will understand all the sports terms and be able to identify if Tamsen knows her stuff or is just really good at making up sports terms! Woo hoo!

Bronwyn and Ash are another great duo. I have never been so happy in my life to see a couple break up in a piece of literature – because Brody drove me insane. Coming from a formal athlete, I HATED IT when male athletes put down us female athletes. Brody drove me up the wall and made me hate him, which might be one of the cons of this book? I wish I had reasons to like Brody, but I really didn’t. I understood where he was coming from, but he just fell flat. Maybe one day Tamsen will give him a chance for redemption in another novel?

I loved Bronwyn – she is a strong woman who isn’t afraid to give a piece of her mind. I was so happy and proud of a certain moment in this novel, because honestly I was rooting for team Bronwyn the whole time.

There were some points in this novel where I was a little…uneasy. Not with the content, but imagining it actually happening. Lying down and sleeping with your coach? It was consensual, but it seemed kinda…weird? I can see it happening, but at the same time it just seemed odd to me. Does this actually happen? I’m from a small town, so things like this rarely happen (the coaches are normally double the age of any of the participants) around my area. Maybe it’s just my past experience clouding my vision.

I will say – this book is hot. It’s steamy. It’s sensual. It’s racy. It’s everything you want in an erotic romance and more. Okay, maybe it’s not EVERYTHING (this isn’t Tamsen’s BDSM series, it’s pretty calm), but it’s still a quality romance novel (with some R rated scenes). I even felt my heart jump a few times thinking about how sweet these two are (and how they finally get together).

I like this series a lot more than a lot of the romances I used to read. The Snow and Ice Games just kinda click. They are sweet, short and sexy. Tamsen doesn’t put in useless information, she doesn’t lead you astray and she doesn’t make you think to hard (Side note: don’t you hate those romance books that throw in some “Inception” like plot but don’t follow through with them?). Tamsen is the queen of easy, sexy reads! And probably the most important: her books aren’t the same thing over and over.

I respect Tamsen so much (and I’ve said this in other reviews) on how she grows as an author. Some romance authors stick to the same story line over and over and over and over… It gets excessive. Tamsen might use the same premise (romance story, erotic, a little taboo) but she changes up the characters (M/M, F/F, M/F, etc), the plot lines (dramatic storytelling vs just a romance) and how steamy these books go, and so on. These books are all different and have their own identity, which is SO NICE TO SEE. I’m tired of reading the same book by the same author over and over again!

Overall, it’s another hit for me. I’m having a hard time trying to figure out which book is my fave for far. I’ll have to wait until I read all five to actually put them in an order of how much I enjoyed them, because the first three are all fighting for top spot and rotate depending on my mood (or the day).

Five out of five stars.

I received an electronic copy through Tamsen Parker and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

 

What other sports book have you enjoyed? Leave a comment below!

You can visit Tamsen Parker on her website: TamsenParker.com

Or give her a shout out on twitter! @TamsenParker

And while you’re at it, tweet me too! @ReviewAlholic

Did you enjoy this book? Why not check out another you might enjoy? #BookReview Seduction on the Slopes (SIG #2) by Tamsen Parker

#BookReview In Her Court by Tamsen Parker

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In Her Court by Tamsen Parker is a goofy, geeky read filled with

Tamsen Parker is not one to stick to the same plot over and over in every read, and that’s what makes this book so unique compared to the others. This time around, Tamsen has explored an F/F relation (or two females if you didn’t understand the acronym). Two girls at a camp fulfill a beautiful romance, in short.

These girls (Van and Willa) have character – one of them is getting a PhD, they are working at a tennis camp, and they aren’t your typical character without flaws and full of perfection. They seem realistic in the setting of this story! That’s a nice change from some of the F/F books I have read in the past – I like seeing characters who slowly build and get better throughout the story.

There is some R-rated language (a few F bombs) so if you don’t like any swears, beware! They aren’t dropped for no reason, they fit within the story, but know this book isn’t G rated. If you thought it was, you don’t know Tamsen’s writing very well…

Personal opinion: I felt like Nate and his character could have not been in the story and it would have moved just as well. Yes, he’s an introduction for both characters, but he didn’t seem wildly important – at least not to me. I would have liked to see a more interesting story line with him (a non romantic subplot, or something). I felt like there was more potential hiding in there. That being said, it wasn’t like he was supposed to be the main character of the story.

This wasn’t my favourite Tamsen Parker book (and by that I mean her super steamy romances), but it definitely ranks up in my favourite romances. I felt the introduction to the characters wasn’t the best (we found out a bit to much to fast, in my opinion) but it was still fitting and made the story work. That’s me being a picky Tamsen Parker/romance fan and nothing more. It doesn’t hurt the story, I just feel like it wasn’t Tamsen’s best out of all of her books (I remember a time when she only had three books out…just saying..now she’s all busy writing and forming a career ;D).

I found this was definitely a step out of Tamsen’s wild BDSM/crazy sexual books and more of a contemporary romance (as it says on Goodreads, which I noticed AFTER I read it – do your research first guys! Then you’ll know what you’re getting!). As a contemporary romance, it’s fantastic! It’s not the best romance in all of the world that I’ve ever read, but it’s a worthy read. A very worthy read indeed! There is still some steamy sexy scenes, just not as crazy wild as her other novels. But it’s still uber sexy and well written! And there is LOTS of it…Almost to much. At one point, there seems to be sex scenes in every single chapter!

Side Notes: I love geeky references and Star Wars, Wonder Woman, Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink, Sixteen Candles and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off was present in this novel. Bonus points for Tamsen!

Overall, this book was great – it just wasn’t my favourite Tamsen Parker book (but can they all really be my favourite? Let’s be honest). This book is still a worthy read and I would suggest it to those looking for some steamy romances, but definitely pick up Tamsen’s other books while you’re at it. These books show how she can not only write crazy steamy BDSM, but lovely contemporary romances and some not so safe for work styled novels.

Four out of five stars.

Thank you Tamsen Parker for being amazing (as always!) and sending me a copy of this book!!

 

Visit Tamsen parker at www.tamsenparker.com !!
Follow her on Twitter: @TamsenParker or Facebook! www.facebook.com/tamsenparker

 

This book was also part of Camp Firefly Falls! I haven’t read it yet, but if you’re interested in more check out http//campfireflyfalls.com for more info!

 

Check me out on Goodreads where I post up to date reviews as soon as they happen! Be the first in the know!! Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

 

 

#BookReview Once Upon a Vampire by Mari Mancusi

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To say I was a huge fan of the Blood Coven novels when I was younger would be an understatement. I remember going to high school sporting events and having to sit on a bus for hours to get to our location so we could compete – so of course I would brings books by authors such as Mari Mancusi, Zac Brewer, Ellen Schreiber, and other fantastic YA novelists. I was heartbroken when the series ended and I was hoping one day Mari might come back to it.

AND GUESS WHAT?! SHE DID!!

Once Upon a Vampire is more of an adult novel than YA (although, I’m sure YA fans could pick it up and not be totally disgusted with it. This book is a great continuation).

While it might not be a direct continuation with our former leads, this book environment wise is similar. Hannah and Logan follow a similar path to our former leading ladies and their respective fellows. Rayne is a big part of this story and Jareth also appears, but they aren’t our main leads – even if Rayne takes a bigger role than expected. Magnus is also referenced, but does not make an appearance.

I was definitely hooked to this book – my book cravings had been something easy to read, sexy with a dash of fantasy, and nothing mind blowing (like Game of Thrones), so this book fit the bill. It’s super easy to read, it’s easy to fall in love with these characters and the nostalgia is perfect for any previous YA reader who was as obsessed with Mari’s work as I was.

<spoiler>My “problems” with the novel – the conversation of blood mates was brought up twice, with two different reactions. One that the mate killed herself, the other that he didn’t have one…I’m slightly confused. Maybe I read it wrong, but it really threw the story off for me.</spoiler>

The romance was a beautiful line of this story, and I loved how Mari slowly introduced it. It wasn’t just sudden, and our character’s own pasts helped make the story a little more believable. It might not be a crazy realistic scenario (a 200 page story over a few days with vampires trying to kill someone. Please let me know if you’ve experienced this before so I can edit the review…) but it fit beautifully into the story. I really loved it.

I finished this book in about half an hour, I was that obsessed and couldn’t stop reading. I didn’t want to put it down, and I can’t wait for more books by Mari!! If there are more books in this series, I would be the happiest little reviewer in the world!! I would love to see more Sunny appear, since Rayne was visible in this story…But I’m not picky. Even just another book will fill my desires for more Blood Coven novels!

And we won’t have to wait to long…Dark and Stormy Vampire is next! And of course, as per usual, Mari leaves us off with a horrible cliff hanger! I swear Mari loves to torture us readers by leaving us with cliffhangers AND making us wait for more books…

Side Notes: Mari’s description of Logan is beautiful, but my recent obsession with Gilmore Girls can only see Logan Huntzberger. It oddly fits though…

Five out of five stars.

Thank you to Mari Mancusi and our epic Read and Review team for providing me a copy of this novel!! I can’t wait for the next one!!!

 

Check out Mari on Goodreads! Mari Mancusi on Goodreads

Or her website! Mari Mancusi’s Website

She can also be found on Twitter! @MariMancusi

Blood Covens also has it’s own website for your viewing pleasure!! Blood Covens Series by Mari Mancusi

Check me out on Goodreads where I post up to date reviews as soon as they happen! Be the first in the know!! Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

Or follow me on Twitter! Briar’s Reviews on Twitter