One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid | Book Review

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From the author of Maybe in Another Life—named a People Magazine pick and a “Best Book of the Summer” by Glamour and USA Today—comes a breathtaking new love story about a woman unexpectedly forced to choose between the husband she has long thought dead and the fiancé who has finally brought her back to life.

In her twenties, Emma Blair marries her high school sweetheart, Jesse. They build a life for themselves, far away from the expectations of their parents and the people of their hometown in Massachusetts. They travel the world together, living life to the fullest and seizing every opportunity for adventure.

On their first wedding anniversary, Jesse is on a helicopter over the Pacific when it goes missing. Just like that, Jesse is gone forever.

Emma quits her job and moves home in an effort to put her life back together. Years later, now in her thirties, Emma runs into an old friend, Sam, and finds herself falling in love again. When Emma and Sam get engaged, it feels like Emma’s second chance at happiness.

That is, until Jesse is found. He’s alive, and he’s been trying all these years to come home to her. With a husband and a fiancé, Emma has to now figure out who she is and what she wants, while trying to protect the ones she loves.

Who is her one true love? What does it mean to love truly?

Emma knows she has to listen to her heart. She’s just not sure what it’s saying.

Publisher: Washington Square Press

Date of Publication: June 7, 2016

Date Read: May 19, 2017

No. of Pages: 327

Setting: Massachusetts | California

Genre: Adult Fiction, Romance, Contemporary

Get Your Copy Here: Book Depository | Amazon

 

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“There are all kinds of love in this world, but never the same love twice.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald

This quote from F. Scott Fitzgerald is One True Loves in a nutshell. I honestly don’t know where I am drawing my strength from. This book had my heart shattered in its rawest form. I feel like a huge part of me is still grieving. I kid you not. I feel like crying every.damn.time I think about it. I had to compose my self every hour or so. But a review has to be made, has to be shared, so here I am trying my best to relive everything, but boy is it hard. One True Loves is the second book I’ve read by Taylor Jenkins Reid. The first one being Maybe In Another Life, you can check my review of it here.  I don’t know why it took me almost a year to pick up another Taylor Jenkins Reid book. Had I known that it would be this good, I would have read it sooner. (Take this as a public service announcement, if you are second guessing if you should read this book or not, do yourself a favor and read it already. Yep, you’re welcome.)

Well, for starters, DON’T READ THE BLURB or do, it’s up to you. This book is best enjoyed if you have the littlest of idea of what’s about to go down. I don’t know why they had to write the blurb like that. (NOTE TO PUBLISHERS don’t give away major details). It may or may not have given away the whole story, but it depends on how you look at it. In my case, I didn’t read the blurb until I was half way through the book – if you already know me by now I seldom read blurbs. I only know small details and take it from there. I always crave the element of surprise. So yes, take my word for it and DON’T READ THE BLURB or at least skim it if you can’t help it. Don’t worry there is so much more in the story that the blurb wasn’t able to ruin, so just read on.

“I am finishing up dinner with my family and my fiancé when my husband calls.”

Note that first sentence, if you’re not in for some emotional ride then I don’t know anymore. That first sentence is enough to send my brain haywire.

One True Loves will bring you immense pain yet come out of it with a profound understanding of what true love really is. It is complicated, yes, but at the same time it was as real as it could get. There was no sugar-coating it, there was no cushioning the blow, there was no beating around the bush, it presented everything in its rawest glory, its ugly head rearing in the surface. Isn’t that how life really is, it was never perfect, and this book made it a point to tell a story that would encompass everything about love and loss – and yes it isn’t always rainbows and butterflies, it had ugly parts too. And did I mention I cried buckets? It was literally river of tears, my tear glands have been working like crazy and I can’t seem to pacify myself, I had to pause once in awhile because I feel that gnawing ache in my chest – yep much like feeling of a true blue breakup. I didn’t know how I was able to survive it, but I tell you it was hard, it was a struggle. Not because the book was bad, but because the book was so heartbreakingly beautiful you have to risk your heart to be completely cut open. And you’d be a willing victim.

The characters were painted in a realistic way, they were flawed much like any other human, and that’s what drew me in. TJR didn’t make her characters to be likable, she wrote them to represent real humans with real struggles. Emma for an instance, her character was a very conflicted one but you’d understand where she was coming from. You would get why she acted the way she did, you would get why she made such and such decision. It was simple yet complicated altogether, something you cannot quite explain fully but you get her. And Jesse, after all that he’s been through. You feel for him too. You understand what he was demanding, he saw it in black and white, it is this or that. Then we have Sam, oh boy, Sam. Majority of the book I cried for him. He was everything good and then some. God how selfless he was! I want to hug him! You’ll end up as conflicted as Emma when it comes to choosing between Sam and Jesse. Both are good men! And though I already knew who she’ll end up with because of the subtle hints in the beginning, I still wanted to stick around to see how the author would play out the characters, how everything will come about. And when it did, I was left awestruck and basically broken. I had to compose myself every now and then. It was hard to read through the exchange between the characters. It is as if you feel the pain emanating from them, it is as if the collective pain they are feeling are now induced inside of you. I was inconsolable to say the least.  I also love how Emma and Marie’s relationship grew, I loved that part when Marie explained things to Emma (but I can’t say it because that would be a spoiler). Just ugh, please read this book!

You have to give it to TJR for writing an unrealistic story and making it something that hits home. It may have been too unrealistic but the essence of it is still there, the wisdom and all that realization will hit you without preamble. It is as if Taylor Jenkins Reid had a one on one sit down encounter with you to tell you how things are, how they truly are. Again without sugar-coating or over-analyzing stuff, that it is what it is and you have to accept it even if you don’t want to at first. I love that in a book, it is as if it offers you a brand new perspective towards the real world, and yet it is just there waiting for you to finally acknowledge it, it may have come under different circumstance but the result is all the same. You just have to slightly veer away from what you believe in and take what is offered in front of you. Reading this book is heartbreaking yet it was satisfying. And I don’t know how much more I could give it justice, but all I know is you have to read this even once in your life. And oh this is the first book since a very long while that I’ve finished in a day! So if that doesn’t spell how invested I was then I don’t know what would.

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“Don’t think that true love means your only love.

I think true love means loving truly.

Loving purely. Loving wholly.

Maybe, if you’re the kind of person who’s willing to give all of yourself, the kind of person who is willing to love with all of your heart even though you’ve experienced just how much it can hurt . . . maybe you get lots of true loves, then. Maybe that’s the gift you get for being brave.”
Taylor Jenkins Reid, One True Loves

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The Difference Between Us by Rachel Higginson | Cover Reveal and Pre-order

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Ahhhh who’s excited to know more about Ezra and Molly’s story? I know I am! Here’s the cover of The Difference Between Us, it is the second book in the Opposite Attract series. Check out my review of the first book in the series – The Opposite of You.  

The Difference Between Us comes out July 25, 2017! I can’t wait to know their story. I loved Killian and Vera from The Opposite of You and I am pretty sure I will love Ezra and Molly just the same if not more. I will leave the blurb for you guys!

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I’m cursed.

At least when it comes to finding Mr. Right.

I’m tired of men that only want one night stands or blind dates that are nothing but awkward and uncomfortable. I’m tired of avoiding inappropriate text messages and the constant disappointment of always meeting Mr. Wrong.

After all these years of dates that lead nowhere, I can admit that it’s me. I’m the problem. I’m shy and picky and cursed. Definitely cursed.

So I’ve decided two things.

The first? I’m giving up dating and relationships and men in general. Maybe, possibly, forever.

The second? I’m going to have to try harder to avoid Ezra Baptiste.

If I couldn’t hack it in the kiddy pool of dating, I certainly can’t swim in his deep end. He’s too successful. Too intense. He’s all man when I’m used to nothing but boys pretending to be grownups. He’s everything I’m afraid to want and so far out of my league we might as well be different species entirely.

So he’ll need to find a different artist to paint his mural. And a different graphic designer to help him with his website. He’ll need to find someone else to glare at and flirt with and kiss.

It can’t be me.

We’re too different.

The difference between us 5

You can preorder here:

 

About the Author:

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Rachel Higginson is the best-selling author of The Five Stages of Falling in Love, Every Wrong Reason, Bet on Us and The Star-Crossed Series.

She was born and raised in Nebraska, and spent her college years traveling the world. She fell in love with Eastern Europe, Paris, Indian Food and the beautiful beaches of Sri Lanka, but came back home to marry her high school sweetheart. Now she spends her days writing stories and raising five amazing kids.

Twitter: mywritesdntbite

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I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella: Book Review

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I’ve lost it. 😦 The only thing in the world I wasn’t supposed to lose. My engagement ring. It’s been in Magnus’s family for three generations. And now the very same day his parents are coming, I’ve lost it. The very same day! Do not hyperventilate, Poppy. Stay positive 🙂 !!

Poppy Wyatt has never felt luckier. She is about to marry her ideal man, Magnus Tavish, but in one afternoon her “happily ever after” begins to fall apart. Not only has she lost her engagement ring in a hotel fire drill but in the panic that follows, her phone is stolen. As she paces shakily around the lobby, she spots an abandoned phone in a trash can. Finders keepers! Now she can leave a number for the hotel to contact her when they find her ring. Perfect!

Well, perfect except that the phone’s owner, businessman Sam Roxton, doesn’t agree. He wants his phone back and doesn’t appreciate Poppy reading his messages and wading into his personal life.

What ensues is a hilarious and unpredictable turn of events as Poppy and Sam increasingly upend each other’s lives through emails and text messages. As Poppy juggles wedding preparations, mysterious phone calls, and hiding her left hand from Magnus and his parents . . . she soon realizes that she is in for the biggest surprise of her life.

Publisher: The Dial Press

Date of Publication: October 31, 2011

Date Read: April 2017

No. of Pages: 433 pages

Setting: London

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This book sent me into a laughing fit!

I’m not going to be nit picky this time. I was looking for a funny book, chanced upon this one and it truly served its purpose. It got me through something depressing, well not really but it was able to keep my mind off things I’d rather not dwell on. So to say I am grateful for the existence of this book would be an understatement.

I’ve Got Your Number is definitely something I could see to be turned into a RomCom film. It might be too fictional for someone else’s taste, but I think it could be a big possibility to see this one in the big screen. A little tweaking can do the trick. This has been my second Sophie Kinsella read, the first one being The Confessions of a Shopaholic which I enjoyed immensely as well. And now Sophie Kinsella is now my go-to author if I want to read something light and funny. I’ve Got Your Number cracked me up a lot of times. Don’t get me started with Mr. Yamasaki and the singing telegram, I really lost it. I was in a laughing fit for a good ten minutes or so. I’ve Got Your Number isn’t the conventional kind of love story. It was something out of the usual, it has a meet-cute which I’m such a sucker for. It has the right amount of drama and fluffiness, another plus points for me since I’m not looking for something heavy. I was aiming for a light and fluffy read and this book did its magic.

Poppy Wyatt is a fun character to read, she may be a little pushover sometimes but there are also redeeming qualities I saw in her. She’s relatable too, making her character something realistic. Sam Roxton on the other hand is a no-nonsense type of guy. What I liked most about him was he was able to see or analyse the real Poppy Wyatt. How he was able to pinpoint what was wrong and give out the right advice. I also commend that their love story gradually happened, it was sweet and cute and gahhh that ending! The exchange of emails was a clever one. The twist and how everything came about was thoroughly though-out which made everything coherent, just like Confessions of A Shopaholic. I really enjoyed this book, total pick me-upper!

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“Lover? I don’t know. I don’t know if she loves me. I don’t know if I love her. All I can say is, she’s the one I think about. All the time. She’s the voice I want to hear. She’s the face I hope to see.”
Sophie Kinsella, I’ve Got Your Number

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The Opposite of You by Rachel Higginson : Book Review

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Synopsis from Goodreads:

 I’ve sworn off men.

All men.

Famous last words, right? You’re expecting some epic tale of reluctant love and my dramatic change of heart? Well, you’re not going to get it.

I’m stubborn. And headstrong. And I’ve just survived the worst three years of my life. After escaping an abusive boyfriend to live in hostels and cheap hotels while I worked my way across Europe, I’ve come to two conclusions.

The first? Now that I’m back home, I’m going to squander my expensive culinary degree on a food truck that caters to the late night drunk crowd.

The second? I’m going to prove to the bastard across the plaza that my street food is better than his fussy five course monstrosities.

Killian Quinn might be Food and Wine’s Chef to Watch Out For. He might have a Michelin Star. He might have every food critic in the city wrapped around his too-large fingers. But he’s also pretentious and unbearably arrogant and the very opposite of me.

So he can keep his unsolicited advice and his late night visits and his cocky smiles. I want none of it. Or him.

I want the opposite.

Publisher: Reckless Siren Publishing

Date of Publication: March 30, 2017

Date Read: April 2017

No. of Pages: 302 Pages

Source: Digital copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Get Your Copy Here: Amazon

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This book will make you hungry and entertained, but mostly hungry. 

I have not read a book about chefs or anything about the culinary world or maybe I have, it’s just not really the focus of the book. So you can just imagine my delight when this book is solely about food, cooking and uhm hot-bearded-with-to-die-for-body chef. Something definitely new to me. Opposite of You is narrated by Vera Delane, a chef who had a toxic relationship she’s trying so hard to ran away from. Starting from scratch and few bucks in her bank account, she tried to get back on her feet by opening up her own business – a food truck, just across one of the most sought after restaurant – Lilou. Whose head chef is, aha you got it right, the hot-bearded-with-to-die-for-body chef – Killian Quinn. Seriously, just by the sound of his name he’ll send you over the edge. You are sure in for some wild competition between these two, and of course some cute and witty banters for a flare of flavor and touch of drama. A perfect recipe for a cutesy love story if you ask me. And the SALT hahaha I think that was my fave part from this book. It was so witty and funny, props to Rachel for coming up with it. I also appreciate that this book didn’t have the instalove that I dread so much. It was haters turn to lovers type of book – the kind of trope I live for. 

The Opposite of You is more than what meets the eye. It had depth and lesson. It is relevant and also thought-provoking. The characters were very distinct from each other. Vera Delane (which by the way I love love love that name) is our female protagonist who had to go through a lot just to get to where she is. Im surprised how I was able to relate to her character in a very personal level. Her character was realistic, reading her is like talking to an old friend, you can’t help but sympathize with her.  Her character is someone you really root for. The only issue I had with Vera was she was constantly second-guessing herself, thinking that she ain’t good enough and that she doesn’t deserve the good things that was happening to her, it was kind of tiring to read at some point, as it has become repetitive to a fault. Killian Quinn on the other hand had a strong personality, brooding – yes, but also has a soft side – something I really like in male protagonists. Killian’s backstory is also noteworthy, I loved how it was well played-out and explained how his character came about. Killian is also the type of guy that had a lot of goodness underneath all his smug facade. He was a keeper, if I ain’t making myself clear yet. Haha.

I also would like to commend the author for the research she put into writing this book, seriously those ingredients and recipes and how to prepare the food – it was amazing. It is as if the characters are talking in language they only know about but presented it to the readers like it was as normal as breathing. The author sure know what she was talking about when she wrote Vera and Killian’s story. It’s either she’s a chef or she really did an impeccable research on the matter, either way it was brilliant. This was first my Rachel Higginson book but definitely not the last. I cant wait to read all her other works and see how can she come up with stories that are entertaining and well-researched. I loved that this book was also about self-discovery and learning how to love and value yourself more. Definitely something I would recommend to everyone, 4 Amazing Yes To Everything Stars for this book!

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“You keep saying words like crazy and insane and risky, but Vera, the best things in life are all of those things. You can’t reap big rewards if you don’t take big risks.”

Rachel Higginson, The Opposite of You

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Confess by Colleen Hoover: Book Review

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Synopsis from Goodreads:  Don’t miss #1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover’s beloved novel about risking it all for love—now an Awestruck original series, coming soon to go90.com and the go90 app, available for iOS or Android.

Auburn Reed is determined to rebuild her shattered life and she has no room for mistakes. But when she walks into a Dallas art studio in search of a job, she doesn’t expect to become deeply attracted to the studio’s enigmatic artist, Owen Gentry.

For once, Auburn takes a chance and puts her heart in control, only to discover that Owen is hiding a huge secret. The magnitude of his past threatens to destroy everything Auburn loves most, and the only way to get her life back on track is to cut Owen out of it—but can she do it?

With her moving and compelling prose, Hoover “will pull heartstrings in this second-chance love story” (Booklist).

Publisher: Atria Books

Date of Publication: March 10, 2015

Date Read: March 2017

No of Pages: 306 pages

Source: Own copy from National Book Store

Get it Here: Book Depository and Amazon

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I don’t know if it is just a case of bad timing, or if my heart has grown stone cold that I didn’t feel any of the giddiness I usually feel when it comes to Colleen Hoover romance novels. Or maybe Colleen Hoover’s power lost its brilliance on me or maybe the fact that I already have seen the trailer for the mini series that ruined it for me. I honestly can’t pinpoint what went wrong with this one. All I know is that this book didn’t work out for me. Let’s just say, I just wanted it to end just to be over and done with. And I’m starting to think that maybe I am done with Colleen Hoover’s books, just as much as I am done with John Green’s. I hope not, I really hope not. But the last two books (I read November 9 last October and boy did I hate it) by her made me want to pass up for the next ones. I have not read all of her books, but I’ve read enough, so don’t discredit me on this one. Let me say my piece.

Confess didn’t offer anything new on the table. I commend the idea of “Confess” and all the paintings, it was original I have to at least give them that, but everything else was mediocre. Nothing I have not read or seen before. To be quite honest I had no intention of reading this book immediately, I was waiting for the right moment and state of self to read it, because that’s how I decide what to read next, I go with the gut feel. I go with the book that calls me, this book didn’t. The only reason I read it this time around was because of the mini series. Of course there will be a lot of spoilers in the internet. God knows how everyone can’t seem to shut the hell up about those stuff haha. So to avoid further spoiling myself and ruining it all for me, I went ahead and read the book. That’s the only way to battle spoiler. And now I felt like I forced it on myself, I did not enjoy the reading experience. If I have read this one the moment it came out, maybe I would have a different opinion than I do now. And now it is a lesson learned the hard way – always go with the gut feel.

I’ve seen the pattern of Colleen Hoover’s writing. She always surprises her readers in the end. Confess was no different. If it weren’t for that last chapter, which to be completely honest is the only redeeming quality I found in this book, I could have given it a lower rating. You have to give it to Colleen Hoover to salvage everything in the end – sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes I’m amazed and sometimes I’m underwhelmed, the case with Confess is the latter.

Okay, I have to let this one out as well. WHAT’S WITH ALL THESE CHARACTERS’ WEIRD NAMES! Seriously Auburn Reed? I wanted to laugh, but I’m more annoyed than pleased. And Owen Mason Gentry, OMG, do you really have to sell it as OMG, I was cringing to say the least. (Let’s not forget about Lily Bloom who owns a flower shop, like seriously a flower shop, from It Ends With Us, okay?) Can we for one second make a believable character. Im sorry but this story didn’t connect to me as one good story should. I know it is a work of fiction, but it wouldn’t hurt to make the characters to feel real ones, like a person you would meet in your lifetime.

I had issues with the characters in the book, Auburn was a little immature, and doesn’t speak up to defend herself. She keeps on masking her cowardice by saying she didn’t have a choice on the things that has been happening to her. That her hands were tied and all that excuse, I found her character to be too weak and too passive. She takes what she could get, and let people do the same to her. Which was toxic. Owen on the other hand had issues of his own, well all of them always have some horrible skeleton inside their closets. I mean it has been a pattern, a person in a book would always be too damaged to fully commit to someone else. Again, another too unrealistic scenario for my own liking. They always have this baggage, always. Well they had to tell a story anyway, to explain their actions and their motives over things. I get it, I do, but sometimes it is too much. Too much drama, which is getting old for me. Auburn and Owen’s love story is forgettable. With Colleen Hoover books, I always take something out of the story of each characters – but with Confess it fell short. I had nothing to bring with me. It ended, and that was it, no impact whatsoever. If you haven’t noticed that I’m disappointed, where were you this whole time? Anyway, I won’t be stopping with Confess, I’ll still give her books a try. I wouldn’t want to think that my relationship with Colleen Hoover books has run its course, no, I could salvage this. I’ll try.

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“I love you so much.” His voice is breathless and full of fear. “I’ll love you forever. Even when I can’t.” My tears fall harder at his words. “And I’ll love you forever. Even when I shouldn’t.”
Colleen Hoover, Confess

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The Animal Under The Fur by E.J. Mellow ARC Review

Kombibros.

Synopsis from GoodreadsFrom award-winning author E. J. Mellow comes an action romance dripping with vengeful delight.

Orphaned on the streets as a baby, Nashville Brown, a.k.a Kill Operative 3, knows better than to rely on anyone. With heightened senses and superhuman strength to survive, she’s been raised as the perfect assassin.

The trick to her success? Keeping everyone, even her best friend, at arm’s length.

Losing his entire family in the span of a year, Carter Smith left his ability to love buried deep in their graves. His only concerns now are completing his missions and effortlessly charming the next temptress to warm his bed.

The key to his accomplishments? Working alone mixed with a Casanova smile.

But when a deadly weapon needs to be stopped from falling into the wrong hands, the lone wolves find themselves thrown into an explosive partnership. Can Carter and 3 lower their guns aimed at one another long enough to succeed, or will their unwillingness to compromise end up destroying more than their perfect records? Whatever their differences, both agree on one thing—in the game of lies and deceit, the line between friend and foe is often blurred by blood splatter.

The Animal Under The Fur is a hate-to-loath-to-love standalone novel filled with savagery, secrets, and enough angst to wrinkle the pages you’ll find gripped in your hands.

Publisher: Four Eyed Owl

Date of Publication: March 31, 2017

Date Read: March 27, 2017

Source: ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review

About The Author:

EJ

E.J. Mellow is the award-winning author of the contemporary fantasy trilogy The Dreamland Series and The Animal Under The Fur. With a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts, E.J. Mellow splits her time between her two loves – visual design and writing. Residing in NYC, E.J. is a member of Romance Writers of America and their Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal Chapter. She has no animals but loves those who do.
Author links:
BOOK REVIEW
Animal Under The Fur

/anəməl/ /ˈəndər/ /T͟Hə/ /fər/ noun

1. bad-ass, kick-ass
2. your next favorite book
3. a book that you shove someone else’s face for them to read, explanation is optional

Solid 5/5 stars for The Animal Under The Fur. This book screams amazing at every turn of the page, I’m not even exaggerating. It was well though-out and well-plotted. This is the kind of female protagonist I’ve been waiting my whole life. This is the kind of story that I would read over and over. This is the kind of book that will have you raising your hand in prayer, thanking the book gods for its existence. The word bad-ass doesn’t even begin to cover it, it’s bad-ass multiplied to million! Trust me on this, it is not often you come across something this engaging and entertaining, so do yourself a favor and get your copy and read right away. Don’t second guess it, you can thank me later.

The Animal Under The Fur is all I wanted in a book.

Unconventional Romance? Check

Love-Hate relationship? Oh boy, yes!

Funny and Witty banters? This one is brimming with it!

Bad-Ass Female Protagonist? Hell yes! Think how bad-ass Jennifer Garner is in Alias, or Angelina Jolie in Salt, or Scarlet Johansson as Black Widow – that’s Nashville Brown for you guys! All that and so much more. Have I convinced you yet?

Hard-To-Resist Male protagonist? Oh good heavens, you’ll love Carter Smith! I’m talking about a new book boyfriend to swoon over and over. He’ll plague your mind every chance he gets.

The Animal Under The Fur is an action-packed novel, full of wit and amazing twist and turns. It was an intoxicating reading experience if you ask me. The constant change in setting added to the flavor of the book. And did I say it was hard to put down? I read it every chance I get, that’s how gripping it was, that’s how I have become attached to it like my own limb. I was so engrossed reading I almost missed my train stop, twice. This was the first EJ Mellow book I have read and I am so happy I’ve signed up for the book tour – best decision I’ve made! I didn’t read the blurb, to be completely honest it was the cover that made me decide to join the book tour, yes without even knowing what it was about. I’d like to surprise myself like that. Also, there wouldn’t be any preconceived notion or high expectations. It works for me, and I’ve been doing that for quite some time now. Call it love at first sight. The first time I laid my eyes on this cover, I just knew I have to read it as soon as it comes out. And boy, I am not disappointed.

The Animal Under The Fur is begging to be made into a movie. The extensive research made by the author is highly commendable. Also A+ genes, the closest thing to a super hero, what’s cooler than that? I also loved how the author painted her characters. We have 3 or Nashville Brown, who was such a kick-ass! God I love her. I loved how the author made a strong heroine out of Nashville’s character. How she ain’t the usual whiny, insecure, female protagonist we often read in books. This is the kind of character women should be reading these days. And of course, we have Carter Smith, this tall guy with moss green eyes. Can he be any more dreamy? I loved that his character, though not at par with that of Nashville, is also something so enjoyable to read. I loved his sass and quick comebacks. Carter and Nash is definitely the perfect pair! You know how much I love love-hate relationships and banters with palpable sexual tension, goodness, I live for those things! This book is definitely high on that list. In every romance book, I always look forward to the first meeting of the main characters, if it’s meet-cute or just some forgettable, cliche kind. The Animal Under The Fur took the cake on this one, it was definitely not the meet-cute kind, but something more fitting to their characters, and I wouldn’t elaborate on this one, I want you to find it out for yourself! The other characters were very interesting as well, especially Akoni and his cool shirts! I loved Ceci too, kind of reminded me of my best friend as well! I’d love to read more of this “cross-pollination” of K-Ops. Can it be possible to make another story with K-Ops? Hahah I would definitely be the first one in line to read it.

The Animal Under The Fur is a feisty, enjoyable, kick-ass read! You won’t regret picking it up. If you’re someone trying to break free from the norm of Romance books with an insecure girl and all that so 2012 stuff, then you have to get this book. This book offers something fresh and delicious on the table, something you will not definitely pass up. This book is now on my Top Books of 2017 list – it’s that good. Just a reminder though, be wary of your surroundings while reading this book, you might accidentally step on someone’s foot, or bump into another person, or have elevator doors close on your very face, or miss a step and make a total fool of yourself in the process. The above-mentioned may or may not have happened to me while reading it, depends on who’s asking. I won’t bore you with too much blabbering now, go ahead and get this book, we can fangirl later!

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“I’ve killed more people more years than I’ve been alive. And I’m twenty-six.”

E.J. Mellow, The Animal Under the Fur

Thanks to Xpresso Book Tours for letting me in on this book tour! Had a blast!

You can get your copy here:

Purchase:

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Nowhere But Here by Renee Carlino : Book Review

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From Goodreads: A Chicago reporter in her mid-twenties unexpectedly finds love in Napa Valley when she’s assigned to spend a week with a famously reclusive genius.

Kate Corbin has lost her spark. From the outside, her life seems charmed. She has a handsome, long-term boyfriend and a budding journalism career at a popular Chicago newspaper. But in reality, her relationship is going nowhere, and she’s quickly losing motivation for what she once believed was her dream job. When her boyfriend dumps her unceremoniously, Kate loses all hope of finding love.

With no living family and few friends, Kate confides in her boss. Trusting that the hungry, ace reporter is buried somewhere deep inside, he gives Kate the opportunity to jumpstart her career. The assignment: to interview the famously reclusive R.J. Lawson, a wealthy tech genius who disappeared years ago but recently reemerged as a Napa Valley vintner. The week takes an unexpected turn, however, when Lawson refuses to divulge any information. Desperate for a lead, Kate turns to Jamie, a vineyard hand who shows her the romance of wine country—and stirs her aching heart. But his connection to Lawson is ambiguous, and when Jamie disappears before the end of the week, Kate is left to investigate another story: the truth behind the man who stole her heart.

USA TODAY bestselling author Renée Carlino explored love and heartbreak in her beautifully written debut Sweet Thing, and her newest novel does not disappoint. For fans of Colleen Hoover, K.A. Tucker, and Katja Millay, Nowhere But Here is a stirring and satisfying romance that you won’t want to put down.

Date of Publication: May 5, 2014

Publisher:  Atria Books

Date Read: January 2017

Number of Pages: 320

Setting: Napa Valley San Francisco/ Chicago

Source: Book Outlet

Get your copy here: Book Depository and Amazon

 

 

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I love Renee Carlino, I really do. But Nowhere But Here didn’t do it for me. Well, we have our fave authors but it doesn’t necessarily follow that we have to love everything they have written. There will always be something we could not fully connect to or identify with, and this was that book in my case. Reading Nowhere But Here was a struggle, and I don’t mean it to say to ward people off or smear the book, at the end of the day it is always the reader’s choice whether they would like to read a book or not. Reviews are just guide, or something that could cushion the blow, perhaps a warning. It is all up to the person if he wants to read it or not, if yes, then great, if not, then let’s move on with our lives. This is just my perception about the book, you may disagree with me, but I think we are all entitled to our own opinions. After all that’s what book reviews are for. So, let’s continue, shall we?

Nowhere But Here was a poor attempt on being romantic, so much so that it was already bordering cringe-worthy. I couldn’t count the times my eyes rolled so hard, or the times I had to pause to gather whatever modicum of patience left in my body. I had to read through all that, and I tell you it was a struggle. I just couldn’t grasp the story, there was something off about it. I do understand that a lot of people enjoyed reading this book, and I’m truly glad they did. I guess this book just isn’t for me. I’ve had a lot of issues about it, and I was looking for a redeeming quality but found nothing. The cringe-worthy parts went on and on and I never thought I wouldn’t see the light at the end of that grueling tunnel. It was cliche at best, nothing I’ve never seen before. It doesn’t offer anything new on the table. It was forgettable.

The characters were weak and annoying to a fault. Let’s take into consideration our female protagonist – Kate Corbin, I found her character to be boring and too dramatic, too much self pity and all that jazz. I was mentally saying “Oh sweetheart, get over yourself already. You’re being unbearable by the second.” And now our male protagonist – Jaime, he was okay. Nothing astounding or remarkable. He was a cliche character at best. The do-gooder, and too-smitten guy which to be completely honest is bordering creepy. And don’t get me started with the sex scenes, I mean, I don’t know if it is just me or the cheesiness of this book is just too much. These two are horny bunnies that couldn’t last the day without sex . I’m not a reader who is easily affected by steamy scenes – but with this one, oh good lord – I have no words. There are a lot of instances in the book that was so off-putting, I had to bite my tongue to get through all of it. And for the love of everything that is holy it was INSTALOVE! Goodness gracious they barely know each other.

It wasn’t the most original storyline. Mediocre is what it was. And that twist? I’ve seen it coming from the moment Jaime opened his mouth. Why does this book felt like it was written by a different person? You have to understand where I’m driving at. The three books I have read by Renee Carlino instantly became favorites, but with this one I was surprised that every fibre in my being loathed it.

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“Love is a thing that you can’t take out of you. Once it’s there, it doesn’t go away, no matter what. Love can morph into hate and resentment, but it will always be there, buried under the bad feelings.”
Renee Carlino, Nowhere but Here

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