Book Reviews, New Releases

ARC REVIEW: By the Light of Embers

Release date: May 9, 2019 (In just two weeks!)

Genre: Historical Fiction

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟

Review: Thank you to NetGalley, Shaylin Gandhi and Briar Rose Publishing for the advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review.

By the Light of Embers is an alluring historical novel about a young woman who is beyond her time . The heroine, Lucia Lafleur is faced with the choice of following her dreams of being a medical doctor or losing her finance forever. While contemplating her decision, Lucia spends the summer of 1954 in her home state of Louisiana with her family and her best friend, Gretchen. As she forbiddingly falls in love with an old acquaintance, Nicholas, Lucia realizes just how much hatred runs through her childhood town, a realization that could cost them both their lives.

What I love about this novel is that it is such an an empowering tale for woman everywhere. Lucia fights for her dreams. She fights against racism and social injustices. She stands up for herself and her wants and her needs. And within ALL the conflict, Lucia stays true to herself. What better lesson for women out there then to be true to oneself?

I want to preface by saying that I really enjoyed this story. It was well written with great character development and wonderful descriptions. However, there are one too many subplots occurring throughout the novel that makes it a bit too soapy for historical fiction. This novel, in my opinion, borders the romance genre. BUT, although there are so many subplots, I did appreciate how each subplot ties nicely into the ending. And that ending? Oh my. That’s all I can say….Oh my.

Recommendation: It’s a solid book with a good plot that shine lights on issues we still face today. Take that as you will….

New Releases

Teaser Post #2 for International Player by Louise Bay


Release Date: April 30th

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Being labelled a player never stopped me from being successful with women. Until I met Truly Harbury.

Truly was the first girl who ever turned me down.

The first female friend I ever had.

And she might just be the first woman I ever fall in love with.

When an emergency means she needs my help running her family’s charity, I’m happy to introduce her to the glitz and glamour of the London business world—taking her to dinners, coaching her through speeches, zipping up the sexy evening gown I helped her pick out.

The more time we spend together, the more I want to convince her I’m not a man to avoid, that we’re not as unsuited as she believes.

She sees herself as the book-reading, science-loving introvert while I’m the dangerous, outgoing, charmer.

She thinks I love parties and people whereas she prefers pajamas and a takeaway.

What she doesn’t realize is that I like everything about her–the way her smile lights up a room, how her curves light up my imagination, and especially the way her lips taste when coated with tequila.

She’s the first woman I ever fell in love with. I just need to know if she could ever love me too.


About the Author:
USA Today bestselling author, Louise Bay writes sexy, contemporary romance novels – the kind she likes to read. Her books include the novels Faithful (not currently on sale as undergoing maintenance!), Hopeful, The Empire State Series, The Royals Series, The Nights Series (both series of standalone books each following different characters) and the standalone Gentleman series.

Ruined by romantic mini-series of the eighties, Louise loves all things romantic. There’s not enough of it in real life so she disappears into the fictional worlds in books and films.

Louise loves the rain, The West Wing, London, days when she doesn’t have to wear make-up, being on her own, being with friends, elephants and champagne.

She loves to hear from readers so get in touch!

Connect w/Louise:


Book Reviews, New Releases

Book Review: The Roommate Agreement

Genre: Romantic Comedy / New Adult

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟

Quote: “Nobody was attractive while covered in Cheeto-dust.”

Plot: Let your homeless best friend stay with you, he said. Being roommates will be fun, he said. It’s only temporary, he said. He never said I’d fall for him.

Review: Emma Hart always knows how to bring a smile to my face. Her books are these quirky, romantic comedies that have readers laughing or smiling at the pure cuteness. The female lead is usually a hot mess which is how I feel about 90% of the time. It’s one of the many reasons I enjoy Emma’s books.

The Roommate Agreement is no different…..HOWEVER, Reader….with this book, you get the bonus of two romantic tropes in one: Roommates to Lovers AND Friends to Lovers told in the POV of both our female lead and male lead.

Shelby and Jay have an awesome dynamic. Shelby is the classic introvert with very questionable hygiene habits. Jay is the quintessential jock who has no idea how to adult and is messy AF. Both have faults that they own up to which is always a bonus with me. The two are always bickering, always messing around jokingly, and yet always there for each other. When it comes down to it, they accept each other for who they are. We all need friends like that, Reader.

Now….since both of our leads have their peculiarities, Shelby develops a roommate agreement after watching an episode of The Big Bang Theory (a highly recommended show in my household). But the Roommate Agreement complicates things more. Their frequent arguments on hygiene, cleanliness and Oreo’s (yes, Oreo’s….our lovely heroine loves her some Oreo’s) don’t stop. Living together, being roommates, being best friends snowballs into something more, Reader. Much more.

I am not a reader that minds two different perspectives so I enjoyed reading the two different POVs. I enjoyed reading how they each begin to realize their feelings…how they each fight it….how they are scared to become more….I just overall enjoyed this quirky, romantic comedy.

Recommendation: It’s a fun read. And if you are looking for more, try Being Brooke. Brooke is a walking disaster and knows it. It is also a Friends to Lovers story.

All The Stars, Book Reviews, New Releases

Book Review / Blog Tour / Excerpt: The Rules Of Burken

TROB - BT banner.jpg

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

“I see you, Little Spider…..”

Review: First, I must thank Social Butterfly PR and Traci Finlay for supplying me the ARC for this book. Second, Traci Finlay – please keep writing. Do not stop. This book was simply amazing! I want more…..

Now, Reader – because I was granted the ARC, I agreed to not give away any spoilers but to be honest, I DON’T WANT TO. I absolutely positively do not want to give away any spoilers. All I can say is that this is a must read!

The Rules of Burken is a wickedly delightful page turner. I could not put it down. I squeal of delight every time I think about the book, even now that I have finished. I want to do a re-read just to absorb all the little details I might have missed.

This thriller is a wildly entertaining, villainously clever and original tale which involves around a crazy intense version of hide and seek between a brother and sister. There are rules. There are rounds. There is even a creepy script. YET, the reasons behind the game, behind WHY they play the game is soooooo twisted. The plot takes place over years and years flashing between the present and future that all leads to the most astonishing, creative climax I’ve read it a long while.

Side Note: I would not mind seeing this made into a movie. I’m a proponent for #thebookisbetter. I’m in the club 99.9% of the time. However, this would be so entertaining to watch. So, so entertaining.

Recommendation: Read it. Read it. Read it. Don’t skip to the end. Don’t focus on the questions that will go through your head. Most get answered at the end. And once you read it, let me know. I NEED TO DISCUSS THIS WITH SOMEONE.


“This book captured me from the start! The Rules of Burken reveals the chilling secrets behind a childhood game, and I’ve never been more disturbed by what the human mind can do.”

–Colleen Hoover, New York Times bestselling author

The Rules of Burken, an all-new thriller packed with secrets, lies and a dangerous game from Traci Finlay, is available now!

The Rules of Burken_ebook

Twenty-four-year-old Charlotte Stahl would do anything for her older brother, Ian. After all, he’d done everything for her growing up.

He played Burken with her—a hide-and-seek game they made up as kids.

He comforted her when their mom deserted them.

He raised her when their dad went to prison for murder.

To Charlotte, Ian is the only reason she’s still alive—he’s her rock. So when Ian asks her to play Burken in the isolated woods of Cadillac, Michigan, Charlotte feels she could use the nostalgia and agrees. Besides, they haven’t played this game since childhood. Burken—it’s the one thing that never changes …

…until Ian threatens to kill her in the middle of the game.

More than the rules have changed as Brother turns to Predator, Sister turns to Prey, and she’s navigating the forests of Northern Michigan on foot with nothing but the clothes—and a target—on her back.

If Charlotte wants to stay alive, she knows she has to untangle the web of her haunting past to find out where things went wrong, and at what point she lost sight of reality. With no other choice but to reopen old wounds—and with Ian hot on her trail—Charlotte learns that sometimes evil has to manifest in order for good to succeed. Which makes her wonder…

Is Ian really a monster? Or her savior?


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“Nope, the game’s not over,” he says and suddenly releases my hands before standing.

“What?” I say to his knees.

“It’s not over,” he repeats harshly, like I’m not the co-creator of this game.

I sit up on my elbows and pull a twig from the pesky strand of hair that’s cupping my face again. “What do you mean? Of course it’s over, that was the third round. Have you forgotten how to—”

He reaches down and grasps my upper arm, heaving me up. “Listen very carefully,” he whispers, as if the trees might be listening. “I’m giving you one more chance. I’m even going to give you a head start. But I’m warning you.” His grip on my arm tightens, and he pulls me closer until his breath hits my ear. “Don’t let me catch you. Because if I catch you, I will kill you.”

Okay, that was never in the script.

“And, for the record, if I get back to the house and you’re there, I will murder you. Do you understand?”

I finally look at him, scanning his eyes for a twinkle, any sign that this is just a huge prank and at any moment he’ll burst out laughing, pointing and saying stupid things like, “You should’ve seen your face!” or, “You thought I was serious?” But his eyes dart back and forth between mine with threats I haven’t seen since we were at the barn with Trevor during The Night That Never Happened.

I mean, I’ve never seen his eyes like that.

He digs his nails into my arm. “Do you?”

“You’re going to kill me… Is this a joke?”

“It’s not a joke,” he whispers. “Do you understand?”

I absolutely have to break eye contact. “I—I’m really confused.”

His hand goes to my throat, and his fingers slide in the blood he’d dripped on it. But it doesn’t hinder him from pressing against my jugular, my windpipe, and now I’m officially and rightfully scared, and eye contact, it is.

“I said, do you understand?” he says a lot more calmly than his hand at my throat says.

I nod.

“Good. Now listen carefully. I’m going to let you go. And you have ten seconds before I hunt you down. This is round four, got it? This is a bonus round, wherein the loser dies. And don’t—”his voice lowers to a diabolic decibel. “Don’t let me find you at the house.” At that, he releases me.

I should’ve just eaten my orange. Shouldn’t have done this.


I should feel indifferent. Every milestone in my life has been haunted by some form of loss and betrayal—if it wasn’t our mom leaving, then it was the death of my best friend and the incarceration of our father.


But this is Ian, the only person I have left. This is shock in its purest form, and I’m no longer tempted to laugh at him. I stare instead. I blink twice. Take a step backward. Another.


Then I’m gone. I don’t know where I’m going, but as those ten seconds dwindle down, a sinking awareness that Ian is dead serious swarms like a nest of bees in my gut.

Ian is chasing me now, I know it.

I knew I shouldn’t have played.

About Traci Finlay

Traci Finlay grew up in the Midwest and transplanted to Florida for college. She received a bachelor’s degree in Communication Arts with a minor in English, met and married the love of her life and moved to Miami, where she currently lives with her husband, two sons, and two smart-mouthed dogs.

Growing up, she loved reading books, but had a particular passion for mysteries. Throughout her adulthood, she’s taken many writing courses and written three psychological thrillers she plans to publish soon.

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All The Stars, Book Reviews

A Court Of Mist And Fury: Oh My Hotness

Genre: Fantasy / YA

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

“To the people who look at the stars and wish……To the stars who listen – and the dreams that are answered.”

Recap per Goodreads**: Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.

Review: This book is a’s long…there is a lot of information to process. However, this novel is SO SO good thanks to the brilliance of Sarah J Maas. Out of the four books published so far, this one is my absolute favorite. It has all the feels and I mean ALL the feels. There is mystery and action and adventure and romance. The plot is unique and not predictable. I didn’t see half of it coming. Yes, I’m sure, Reader, that you will have a premonition at the start of many scenes where you think…..Oh this cannot end well……and your premonition is going to be right …but what your premonition doesn’t know is HOW it all goes to hell. And the HOW is the best part.

For those who have read ACOWAR, please continue reading. If you have not, go, read it and come back! This is novel is hard for me to discuss without giving away spoilers. You need to experience this on your own first!


❤ I am a sucker for a slow burn. I am a sucker for a love triangle. I am also a sucker for a book with a lot of angst. So the slow burn relationship that is Feyre and Rhysand is by far the greatest I’ve read in a while. Holy Hell. And when it comes to a head, it is extremely hotttttt (that’s what she said).

❤ Rhysand is everything you want in a hero. He is the most self sacrificing, loyal High Lord you can find. There is always a noble motive behind his actions. Most see it as being arrogant or evil but it is really Rhysand playing the role of a dark prick to help the greater good. It is really just Rhy being smarter than the other courts. And his actions are down completely out of love…for his people, for his friends, for his mate. It also doesn’t hurt that Rhy has the body of a God with the bonus of wings.

❤ I love every private scene that Feyre and Rhysand had. Every single one. Some are sweet. Some are intense. Some are romantic. Some are dramatic. Some are hot as hell.

❌ Tamlin is a worthless sack of manure. He’s selfish, lazy, weak. He has crazy anger issues. And most importantly he lets Feyre whither away right in front of him. In the beginning of the novel, I thought maybe the cause of his character change was his own PTSD. I once thought he was noble and good…but the truth is Tamlin has been a worthless sack the entire time…Book 1 included. When he locks Feyre into a dungeon of his own making, I nearly lost my shit. OK, it isn’t exactly a dungeon since it is the entire palace but the girl just spent 3 months locked in a cell. How can he EVER think this is OK? And then the end of the book? Fork you, Tamlin. Fork you. (Isn’t it ironic that Tamlin is giving me anger issues?)

Recommendation: This is a must read. I don’t care if you don’t even read the first novel (A Court of Thorn and Roses), read this one.

**Note: I decided to use the recap from GR which is not my norm because I don’t want to accidentally give away too many spoilers by recapping the book or run the risk of not giving enough information that you decide not to read it.

Book Reviews, Bookish Sundries

We interrupt this program…..

Dear Reader –

Full disclosure: I’ve been quiet busy studying for a certification the past couple of weeks and it has cramped my reading. Cramped reading = less book reviews for the next week or so. Sheepishly, I’m a bit backed up. So I’m apologizing now for my lack of Book and ARC reviews. DO NOT WORRY. DO NOT PANIC.  There is a lot of good stuff coming your way!

In the meantime, there are A TON of new releases this week that I want to share with you.  Special thanks to all the authors who have granted me the pleasure of sharing them via Blog Tours. A lot of the blog tours include book excerpts, too. And if you like the blog tours, maybe I will start including them more often.

Ok, let me stop myself here before I start to just ramble or start telling corny book jokes (I read this book about Mount Everest. It was quite the cliff hanger….).  Therefore let me end by writing…..We have all been there….you know? SUPER BUSY…….Thank you for patience. And MOST IMPORTANTLY, thank you for reading my blog!  😊

P.S.  Did you know that I’m a bookstagrammer too?  Follow me on Instagram to see more on new releases.  Spread the word!

Book Reviews

One Night with her Roommate: A Novella

Genre: Romance Novella

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟 (when comparing to other novellas)

Review: Sometimes when I am: a) in a reading rut / in a major book hangover, b) want a quick romantic story, c) want a super cute, not so emotional read (say after reading Colleen Hoover..Love her!), or d) don’t have time for a full fledged novel but need to keep feeding my READING ADDICTION, I turn to Noelle Adams.

Noelle Adams has a writing style that speaks to me. She tells a great story with in a small amount of pages (71 in this particular novella). I’ve always appreciated writers who can do that. Not all novels can be 350 pages. Do I like long novels? Yes. Love them. Need them. Can’t live my life without them. However, it is nice to have a change every once in awhile too.

One Night with Her Roommate is book #5 in the One Night Series. It follows the story of Meg and East. Meg has a good job with hopes and dreams. She’s also a little neurotic. East is the quintessential slacker with no job. He’s a hot mess both physically and mentally. Their story starts right in the middle with Meg fighting her feelings for East. The two end up spending one hot and steamy night together after a tragic situation brings them closer. The morning after, Meg has a breakdown over what happened causing a right between them. And like a perfect romantic novella, the conflict is quickly resolved. HEA! (Side note: there is more to the story but there will be no spoilers this time).

Recommendation: Read for a short, happy read. The One Night Series is like a Hallmark movie……the stories end happily tied up in a nice little bow. Instant gratification.