Saturday, 2 December 2017

Villain by Samantha Young Blog Tour: Review + Excerpt

About the Author

Samantha Young is the New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of adult contemporary romances, including the On Dublin Street series and Hero, as well as the New Adult duology Into the Deep and Out of the Shallows. Every Little Thing, the second book in her new Hart’s Boardwalk series, will be published by Berkley in March 2017. Before turning to contemporary fiction, she wrote several young adult paranormal and fantasy series, including the amazon bestselling Tale of Lunarmorte trilogy. Samantha’s debut YA contemporary novel The Impossible Vastness of Us was published by Harlequin TEEN in ebook & hardback June 2017. Play On is an adult contemporary romance and the first in a brand new series set in Scotland. Villain is a companion novella to the New York Times bestselling romance HERO.

Samantha has been nominated for the Goodreads Choice Award 2012 for Best Author and Best Romance for On Dublin Street, Best Romance 2014 for Before Jamaica Lane, and Best Romance 2015 for Hero. On Dublin Street, a #1 bestseller in Germany, was the Bronze Award Winner in the LeserPreis German Readers Choice Awards for Best Romance 2013, Before Jamaica Lane the Gold Medal Winner for the LeserPreis German Readers Choice Awards for Best Romance 2014 and Echoes of Scotland Street the Bronze Medal Winner for the LeserPreis German Readers Choice Awards for Best Romance 2015.

Samantha is currently published in 30 countries and is a #1 international bestselling author.

About Villain
Cover Design by Samantha Young

The sexy and emotional companion novella to the New York Times bestselling romance HERO.

Nadia Ray is not just a broadcast meteorologist. She’s Boston’s morning television It Girl. Successful and independent, she’s put a past she’s ashamed of behind her and is forging a future she can be proud of. However, when her new boss discovers her secret he blackmails her, intent on using Nadia’s popularity to make them the number one morning show in Massachusetts. He wants her to be part of uncovering the city’s biggest scandal – a secret billionaire Caine Carraway is hiding.

Soon Nadia is thrown into the path of Caine’s best friend: sexy, wealthy bachelor Henry Lexington. But she doesn’t encounter the dashing high society gentleman Henry is purported to be. Instead, she’s faced with an insulting and defensive villain who misjudges her at every turn.

When Henry finally realizes the truth and decides to make amends, Nadia wants nothing to do with him. But she underestimates his determination and charm and soon they find themselves embroiled in an intense, passionate affair.

An affair Nadia knows must come to an end before their feelings grow any deeper and he discovers her secrets.

After all, Henry Lexington isn’t the only one who played the part of a villain once…

Out December 5th in digital edition.


Maybe he really did feel bad for the way he’d treated me.

Yeah, maybe he did.

But did that change anything?

He’d still treated me poorly and who was to say he wouldn’t again?

Just because people felt awful for doing something didn’t mean they wouldn’t repeat the crime.

The real problem was my attraction to him.

I could admit it.

I was attracted to the son of a bitch.

There was something deeply wrong with me that I could be attracted to a man I didn’t even like.

Turned out that lunch with my colleagues was a terrible distraction idea. Because Henry was dining at The Bristol Lounge with none other than Caine Carraway.

“Maybe we should go somewhere else,” I said as we stood in the lobby outside the restaurant. Henry hadn’t spotted us yet.

Barbara frowned. “This is your favorite place. You love the Bristol Burger.”

I did love the Bristol Burger.

And for the first time in weeks, I was hungry.


No man was chasing me away from my goddamn burger.

“You’re right.” I nodded, sounding more assured than I actually felt. “But I’ll walk on your left side.”

My friend eyed me in confusion as I huddled at her side, trying to hide behind her as the host led us up the few stairs onto the main floor of the restaurant and right past Henry and Carraway’s table near the bar area, to a larger table at the back of the restaurant. As far as I

could tell, he hadn’t spotted me and there were now pillars between us that I could hide behind.

Relieved, I slid into my chair beside Barbara.

“Drinks?” the waiter asked.

We’d finished giving him our orders when the sight of Henry Lexington walking into view around one of those aforementioned pillars and toward our table made my pulse skitter.

He gave me a soft smile as if we hadn’t been enemies up until twenty-four hours ago. “Miss Ray, what a pleasant surprise.” That soft smile grew into a roguish grin. “Are you stalking me?”

I arched an eyebrow, wondering what the hell kind of game he was playing now. “A burger. I’m stalking a burger.”

“The burgers are very good here.”

“Mr. Lexington,” Barbara said beside me, sounding delighted to see him, and awfully familiar. “What a pleasure to see you.”

“You too, Barbara. And please, I’ve told you before—smart, beautiful women should call me Henry.”

I didn’t know what to do first: be surprised they knew each other or gag at his flirting with her.

“You know each other?”

“I know everyone worth knowing.” He winked at Barbara and she tittered like a schoolgirl.

Dear God.

And then I was the focus of his attention. He leaned against Andrew’s chair who was, as always, oblivious to anything but himself. “So this burger … will it put you in a good mood?”

“Excuse me?”

Those blue eyes were too intense, much too intense. “A good enough mood to agree to have lunch with me tomorrow?”

I was going to kill him.

How dare he put me on the spot in front of my colleagues, in front of Barbara! What? Did he think I’d be civil to him because we had an audience? I scowled. “No.”

“Are you seeing someone?” he persisted.

“No, she’s not,” Barbara interjected, giving me an “Are you crazy?” look. “And yes, she’s free for lunch tomorrow. You can pick her up from the station at one.”

“Fantastic.” Henry gave her a grateful, gorgeous smile before turning it on me. “See you tomorrow.”

He was gone before I could even get past the shock that had sealed my lips.


36435232Villain by Samantha Young
December 5th, 2017
Publisher: Samantha Young
Series: Hero #1.5

I really, really liked Henry in Hero. He was a fun, cheeky flirt. The total opposite of Caine; which in hindsight he needed to be easy going to have uptight, broody Caine as a best friend. So well we got a good sense of Henry in Hero, Nadia was a little more unknown. We just knew she finally stole Henry's elusive bachelor heart.

I feel like Villain was written for the fans. I'm pretty sure all of us wanted more of Henry and to get the real story of his and Nadia's romance. And here we are. Like most of Samantha's romance stories, it's messy at times. There's some sort of redemption. A misunderstanding. A hot alpha male type. Villain definitely fits the mold. There was certainly more to Nadia than most of us guessed in Hero. She's taken the on air news world by storm. Risen in popularity has clearly made her uncomfortable. Nadia's boss is a pig that wants her keep on moving up. She's put in a really tough position. Which leads to her and Henry not meeting on the best of terms. Trust is an issue there.

Like all tragic romances there's a past and secrets that can get in the way. But hey, if you've read Hero(which why haven't you?), there's no surprise to their future. Like mentioned, Villain is most definitely a story for the fans that wanted just a little more of Henry and Nadia. I think it does the job well enough. Hero just holds that different more emotional spot in my heart. 

Happy reading!


Tuesday, 10 October 2017

2017 Favourites Part 3

Part 1 here
Part 2 here

Oh hey. I'm still kinda hanging around here. Think about my blog sometimes. Like when I realize we're 10 days into October and I'm late doing this post. I leave for vacation early tomorrow morning, so this is going to be a rush job. But I want to get it done and out.
Yesterday was Thanksgiving. Happy Thanksgiving to me fellow Canadians! If you're anything like my house, there are now two weeks worth of turkey leftovers.
The 2017 trend continues; my reading is going alright. I've yet to discover that stand out read for my reading year. I've read a lot of blahs. Done a lot of rereads. And read some pretty good books. But in all honesty, I had to refresh myself on the past three months because nothing stood out. Which means this list doesn't even have ten books on it. What even. The rest of the year better give me some spectacular books!

July 1st-September 30th stats:
Read: 35
Reread: 9/35
DNFs: 1
Total Read So Far: 129
Most Read Genre: Romance
Total Pages Read(of finished books): 44,386

A super gay tour of Europe. Some of my favourite cinnamon roll characters of 2017.

A really solid ending to what I believe is an underrated trilogy. Historical Scotland + fae + broody princes + banter = a good time.

Gothic Europe at its best. Flirty banter(400 pages of sexual tension). Mystery. These books are bloody fantastic.

Zuzana's and Mik's first date with spectacular illustrations. This book is everything.

Emma Mills adds another adorable read to her repertoire. Clueless Claudia makes me a little frustrated. But in a good way. Family, friends, a little romance and perfect dialogue.

Cute! June is super pretentious(above high school). But that's what made her growth and realizations so spot on.

One of Young's best books to date. Broody Scotish men, self-growth, sexy moments and a bunch of emotions.

A very different CoHo book. This family needs a fuck ton of therapy.

Keep this one on your radar for early 2018. A dark and twisty Little Mermaid retelling. A bloody good time.

What's been your most favourite recent read?

Happy reading!


Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Fraternize Blog Tour: Review + Excerpt + Giveaway

Hi friends. Thanks for stopping by for my stop on the Fraternize Blog Tour. Fun times are being had, thanks to Thomas Allen. Continue reading for my thoughts on a Fraternize, an excerpt, and a giveaway!

About the Author

Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances. When she's not writing you can find her drinking coffee at Starbucks and plotting her next book while watching The Bachelor.

She keeps her home in Idaho with her Husband, adorable son, and two snoring boxers! She loves to hear from readers!

About the Book

Fraternize by Rachel Van Dyken

Publication Date: Sept.12th, 2017
Publisher: Skyscape
Series: Players Game #1
Pages: 320
Add to Goodreads

New York Times bestselling author Rachel Van Dyken kicks off a brand-new series in which romance is a game and love is a touchdown. 
Emerson just made her dream come true as a professional cheerleader for her favorite pro football team. But even though the plus-size athlete is breaking down boundaries, she still has to contend with the massive rulebook. Carbs? Nope. Chocolate? Definitely not. Still, Emerson loves her curves, and she’ll rock the hell out of this job even if it kills her. Except for one mandate that is easier read than done… 

No fraternizing with the players. 

Problem one is Miller Quinton: Emerson’s first love, first sex, and the guy who still ignites her daydreams and R-rated fantasies. Thrown back together, Miller and Emerson feel the undeniable pull of passion again, even if the conflict that tore them apart seems insurmountable. Then there’s way-too-sexy Grant Sanchez. He has a serious reputation with the ladies, and when it comes to winning someone he wants, he doesn’t let anyone stand in his way. 

Now Emerson is breaking every rule in the manual. But what she doesn’t know is that she’s part of a wicked little game—one that could steal both her dream and her heart.
indigoamazon.caamazon.combook depository


Haven’t read part 1 of the chapter one excerpt yet? Check out yesterday post to find out how this flashback fits in!



“Are you sure this is okay?” I glanced around the empty locker room and shivered. My body ached in all the wrong places, places I didn’t even know existed. Practice had ended a half hour ago, and even though I’d rolled out my muscles and nearly cried from the impact of the foam roller, I still hurt.

“Sure.” Kinsey shrugged. “I use it all the time. Just make sure to lock up when you’re done. It’s one of the perks of being a Bucks Girl.” She dumped the last bag of ice in the tub and pointed. “Ten minutes, no complaining. No tears. Buck up, Bucks Girl.”

I shivered/ “I hate ice baths.”

“Everyone hates ice baths, psycho.” She patted me on the back and then gave me a friendly shove toward the tin tub. “Keep your sports bra and underwear on just in case one of the night janitors walks by or, you know, a player.”

I glared. “A football player?”

“No worries. It’s preseason, and practice is at the ass-crack of dawn tomorrow. It’s too late for them to be out, the big babies.”

“Okay.” I sighed, buying myself more time before Kinsey crossed her arms and waited. “You’re not leaving until I’m in the tub, huh?”

“I’m not leaving until your ass is in the tub.”

“I take back what I said about you being nice.”

Laughter burst out of her. “I don’t give a rat’s ass. Now get in the tub, Em.”

With jerky movements, I pulled my tank over my head, tossed it on the floor, and jerked down my black leggings.

“Get in.” Kinsey pointed.

“I am!” I snapped. “I just…was thinking.”

“You were stalling.”

“You’re a bitch.

“Name calling? Really?”

I gripped the sides of the tub and slowly lowered my sore body. A rush of cold stole the breath from my lungs as tiny needles started jamming into my skin.

“S-so cold.” I hated Kinsey. “I hate you, I hate you.”

Her answer was to shrug then grab a red kitchen timer and crank it up to ten. “Alright, see you tomorrow morning, friend!”

“I have no friends!!” I yelled back at her. I heard her laugh as the locker room door closed.

Teeth chattering, I tried to think of something to distract myself with while I was blanketed by chilly silence and an insane amount of pain. But the agony was intense, and my muscles seized with every breath I tried to suck in.

The locker room door opened again.

“We still aren’t friends!” I yelled as my body convulsed beneath the icy water.

“Well, that’s disappointing,” came a dark, sexy voice. “I could have sworn we made a pact of sorts this morning.”

I glanced up through frozen eyelashes to see Sanchez towering over my icy hell with a grin on his smug face.

End of Excerpt…want to find out what happens between Sanchez and Emerson next? Check out tomorrow’s tour post to find out!


So, I know I claim to be this huge romance reader. Which yea, super true. But this was my first foray into a Rachel Van Dyken book. A little ashamed there. Now that's been remedied, and I can say I liked what I read we can move on. 

Fraternize surprised me. Which is a not thing that happens in a straight up romance. I 100% assumed this was going to be a cookie cutter romance. I don't really like to be wrong, but I do like being surprised. So there's that.

I liked Emerson well enough. She's got a lot going on in her personal life. Add in that her love of cheerleading doesn't look kindly on curvy girls. Emerson has to work twice as hard for her talent to be seen just because of her body. I have no doubt that the girl has a killer, strong body. Of course, she makes the squad and in enters Sanchez; cocky, big talker, determined to make Emerson his best friend/more. Sanchez is so obviously fronting with all his over the top dramatics, that it's really hard to not like the guy. 

Emerson still misses her childhood best friend, Miller. It's a thing she constantly thinks about even though he hurt her. Well, hey, guess what? Miller just happens to be traded and apparently, he hate misses Emerson too. Fraternize also gives us alternating chapters from Miller's POV. It was a most excellent way to see Miller and their shared pass in two different lights. Because clearly, Emerson doesn't know the whole story. And vice versa. 

I want to say that yea, Fraternize has that love triangle thing going on. But at the end of the day, all there are in their early twenties. Emerson is leading neither of them on. And things might just surprise you. Feelings and emotions get confused and messy. Just maybe the past should stay in the past. Who knows what the future really holds. 

Fraternize is a super light and fun sports-centered romance. It gets silly and cheesy at many a times. But that's what I was expecting. I wanted a good time. Emerson has to put up with caddy cheerleaders who hide their jealousy through mean comments. Sanchez offers her an escape. Well, Miller offers her the truth. It's not all about boys and love. Emerson makes a few strong friendships along the way. Body image is a talking point. But these boys are great about hyping her up.
I thoroughly enjoyed Fraternize; my first Rachel Van Dyken read. I am so looking forward to the next book in this companion series. 

The winner will receive 1 copy of Fraternize by Rachel Van Dyken! Giveaway Details:
- Canada Only (full rules found in the T&C on Rafflecopter)
- Giveaway ends on September 28th at 11:59 am EST
- Winner will be drawn randomly through Rafflecopter, contacted via email & will have 48 hours to claim their prize

Thanks again to Ambur and Thomas Allen for setting up this blog tour. I hope you guys will check out Fraternize.

Happy reading!


Thursday, 6 July 2017

Mid-Year Book Freak Out TAG

Full credit to A Book So Fathomless for coming up with these questions. Find their post here.

I've done this post/TAG for the past two years, so I figured might as well keep it going.

292838841. Best book you've read so far in 2017?
You know what? I've yet to read a book that I want to scream and yell about being an instant favourite forever and ever. But I do have some excellent reads. I think because it's the freshest in my mind, The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue. A romping good time!

2. Best sequel you've read so far in 2017?
Two parter;
Companion sequel; Pucked Off. Surprisingly heartwarming and wrenching, different tone from the other books. But in a very good way.
Sequel in a series; Cashmere. This book is hilarious and different, well being a bit meta. I know the vampire craze is long over, and this series knows it by making fun of it.

337843733. New release you haven't read yet but want to?
I'm pretty much caught up on the releases I was most anticipating in the first half of the year. I do really want to read Flame in the Mist. But there's a good chance I'll wait till the sequel releases next year so I can do a binge.

4. Most anticipated release for the second part of the year?
Honestly, nothing I NEED right this minute. The Language of Thorns, Renegades and Hunting Prince Dracula are all highly anticipated though.

5. Biggest disappointment?
The disappointment of the century you mean. A Court of Wings and Ruin let me down in a lot of ways. After the gift that was ACOMAF I may have expected too much. Either way, ACOWAR barely delivered. I'm still not over this disappointment... Back to the ice cream I go.

319319416. Biggest surprise?
Eliza and Her Monsters; it wasn't even on my radar till about a week before its release and a whole bunch of reviewers were raving about it. So I downloaded an e-ARC and found myself fully invested within the first page. It's the perfect book for us that find homes in fandoms.

7. Favourite new to you author?
Jo Watson; I read her Destination Love series(or what's out so far in it) and thoroughly enjoyed her sense of humour.

8. Newest fictional crush?
I'm one to hoard book boyfriends like a squirrel hiding nuts. But 2017 you haven't been super kind to my shipper heart. Pucked Off finally gave me the chance to get to know Lance. And my perception of him definitely changed for the better. So feel in love with him.
9. Newest favourite character?
Monty, you flirt. He is a literal character. Gets himself into situations and the plans he comes up with to get out of them, zounds. I saw a post on Tumblr say(perfectly sums up The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue):
Everybody: Monty, no!
Monty: Monty, yes!

10. Book that made you cry?
Letters to the Lost caused plenty of tears. Not necessarily sad tears. The feels sure piled up and overflowed well reading that spectacular book.

11. Book that made you happy?
Damaged Like Us made me happy in the way that I was so damn happy to be back in this world. Back with some of my most beloved characters. Getting to know a new generation of Calloway's.

12. Favourite book to movie/T.V. show adaptation?
I really, really liked Netflix's adaptation of Thirteen Reasons Why. But because it was a book long before Disney got its hands on it, Beauty and the Beast(2017) wins. AMAZING! LOVED!
13. Favourite review you've written this year?
What reviews? Haha. Let's go with A Court of Wings and Ruin because I put a good effort into my ranting and disappointment.

14. Most beautiful book you've received so far this year?
This(>>) BEAUTIFULLY STUNNING edition of The Beauty and the Beast. The perfect birthday gift from my cousin and aunt.

15. What books do you need to read by the end of the year?
As I always say, any review books I acquire(or have already acquired).

Did you guys do this TAG? Hook me up if you did!

Happy reading!


Monday, 3 July 2017

2017 Favourites Part 2

Find Part 1 here.

Happy Canada Day! #Canada150 (or if this post goes up late Happy Canada Day Weekend).
These past three months have been decent. I've lacked on the posting and keeping the blog consistent; again. But I've done a good amount of reading. So close to the hundred mark. I honestly don't have any major standouts. I've had a few 5* reads, but mostly 4 and under. One massive disappointment; which if you know me you will see missing from this list. I need to try a little harder at choosing my reads. I need some books to make me super excited(like Belle >>) and get me back to being a reading machine.
As expected/assumed, romance has been my go to. Also, read some great YA contemps. Check the stats below:

April 1st to June 30th stats:
Read: 46
Reread: 9/46
DNFs: 1
Total read so far in 2017: 94
Most Read Genre: Romance
Total Pages Read(of finished books): 31,499

Adorable, frustrating, sex positive, movie buff awesomeness.

Sweet f/f romance with a few harder hitting moments.

Fandom, fame and mental health was written(and illustrated) perfectly. READ THIS BOOK. 

What happens when an 18 year old wins the lottery? A little bit of fun and chaos. Jen Smith is one of my fave authors. She's so dependable. 

Three days at a con with three awesome friends. Absolutely fun and perfect. Super positive rep for autism, mental health and LGTBQI+.

Smart, nerdy kids. There are some pretty big nerd-offs. With a hate to love manipulated romance. It's pure fun.

Hunting always knows how to deliver a great romcom. The relationship is a slow burn that borders more towards the sweet side. 100% approve.

Fun. Hilarious. A raging good time. 

Quirky and darkly funny. Friendship to the max. I mean, mature friend group. 

Oh Erickson.  I LOVE this author duo. Trust me when I say they create swoony romcom gold together.

I feel like I've been waiting a lifetime for this book. Moffy is everything I needed him to be. Loved Farrow. LOVED being back in the Calloway world!

What's been your favourite book this past quarter?

Happy reading!


Thursday, 29 June 2017

Blog Tour: Until It Fades by K A Tucker


Twenty-four-year-old truck stop waitress and single mother Catherine Wright has simple goals: to give her five-year-old daughter a happy life and to never again be the talk of the town in Balsam, Pennsylvania (population three thousand outside of tourist season).

And then one foggy night, on a lonely road back from another failed date, Catherine saves a man’s life. It isn’t until after the police have arrived that Catherine realizes exactly who it is she has rescued: Brett Madden, hockey icon and media darling.

Catherine has already had her fifteen minutes of fame and the last thing she wants is to have her past dragged back into the spotlight, only this time on a national stage. So she hides her identity. It works. For a time.

But when she finds the man she saved standing on her doorstep, desperate to thank her, all that changes. There’s an immediate connection, and it’s more electric than the bond of two people who endured a traumatic event. It’s something neither of them expected. Something that Catherine isn’t sure she can handle; something she is afraid to trust.

Because how long can an extraordinary man like Brett be interested in an ordinary woman like Catherine...before the spark fades?| amazon.caindigobook depositoryB&NBAMindieboundapplegooglekobo


K.A. Tucker is the author of He Will Be My Ruin and the Ten Tiny Breaths and Burying Water series. She currently resides outside of Toronto with her husband, two beautiful girls, and a Chug.


Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: June 27, 2017
Pages: 356
Source: ARC from publisher
Rating: 4/5
Add to Goodreads

Until it Fades is a girls dream type romance. You know growing up when you imagine your celebrity crush(or just a celebrity) coming into your life in some way and sweeping you off your feet in some whirlwind romance? Until it Fades is mostly that for Catherine. She saves the life of one the NHL's biggest stars and her life immediately changes. Catherine is a small town girl, who had a really rocky and tough time in her later teen years. A scandal that the town blamed her for and then becoming a mom at eighteen. Catherine works at a truck stop diner to support her daughter, Brenna, well trying to build a relationship with her family again. Then enters Brett. Catherine saved his life and well that's going to bond two people whether they want it to or not.

Until it Fades is a pretty light read. There are a few grittier subjects that shaped Catherine and where she is today. But for the most part, Tucker lightly touches on what could have been a really dark book. Romance is the genre here, but I feel like it wasn't fleshed out enough. Until it Fades it quite plot heavy. Catherine isn't in the best head space, so she needs to build up her confidence again. The fact is that Catherine and Brett spend more than half of the book apart and barely talking. So yea there was that element of the slow burning, but also once they get together it really is a whirlwind. I mean rich guy, poor girl, you know. I really liked it. It really worked the for the book and their characters.

Let's talk characters. Catherine is super likeable. She fell for the wrong guy as a teenager; more like manipulated into falling for him and that caused her life to derail. But she knows what hard work is. Catherine is humble and kind(almost to a fault). Being there for her daughter, Brenna is everything to her. Brett is a really stand up guy. I dare you not to fall for him. For someone who could be a total douchebag based on his families status, he's the farthest thing from him. Watching him fall for Catherine and Brenna is really sweet. The accident made him realize that even at twenty-six he needs to plan for a future that can change at the drop of a hat. Brett is a truly nice guy who gives a crap. He's caring and adorable. Where do I find a Brett?
Not being a kid person, I'm surprised by my thoughts here. But Brenna totally stole the show. She's a really smart five years old. Has her wits about here. Listens to Catherine and her grandparents. But like any kid, she's going to repeat things or speak her mind. Which is really hilarious on the page when it gets Catherine into an awkward moment.
Supporting cast is awesome! Keith, Catherine's best friend is so dependable and a true friend. Misty is a bit of a mess herself, a little overeager, but you can't fault her where Catherine is concerned. Leroy and Lou, Cath's surrogate parents. The owner's of the diner and her safe place.
Catherine's family could not be any different than Brett's. It's funny to watch them interact the few times they do. Jack, Catherine's brother is a mischievous college hockey player whom I'm crossing my fingers gets his own book soon.

Until it Fades is a really solid book. It's more of a plot-driven romance, and although that's not my favourite I still found it to be super enjoyable. I sped through the story just wanting to see Catherine and Brett finally kiss. I know patience is a virtue that I don't have. But it definitely pays off. If you're looking for something on the lighter side of the romance scale. Something that leaves you wanting more with a side of great characters than pick up Until it Fades ASAP.
P.S. That easter egg for Toronto fans; I see what you did there, Tucker. 


Happy reading!


Monday, 5 June 2017

Review: How to Make A Wish by Ashley Herring Blake

How to Make A Wish by Ashley Herring Blake

HMH Kids
Publication Date: May 2nd, 2017
Pages: 336
Source: ARC from Publisher
Rating: 4/5
Add to Goodreads

Grace, tough and wise, has nearly given up on wishes, thanks to a childhood spent with her unpredictable, larger-than-life mother. But this summer, Grace meets Eva, a girl who believes in dreams, despite her own difficult circumstances.

One fateful evening, Eva climbs through a window in Grace’s room, setting off a chain of stolen nights on the beach. When Eva tells Grace that she likes girls, Grace’s world opens up and she begins to believe in happiness again. How to Make a Wish is an emotionally charged portrait of a mother and daughter’s relationship and a heartfelt story about two girls who find each other at the exact right time.

Guyyyssss, what a sweet little book. I mean, there's definitely some sniffle-inducing moments. But all and all, so sweet and lovely. I read Ashley's debut, Suffer Love, last year. I remember thoroughly enjoying it. Buuutttt that's about all I remember. So, that's not great(but will make a good reread; be like I'm reading it for the first time(again)). Could be my fault because I read a bazillion contemps in a year. Where I was going with this is that, How to Make a Wish promised a bi MC in a gay relationship, so automatically I signed myself up to some non-existent list that promised me I would find a way to get my grabby hands on this one. And well I obviously did, but with a bit of trepidation because of the whole realizing that Suffer Love was ultimately forgettable. I think I'm safe here, How to Make A Wish leaves me with quite a bit to remember it by.

Grace was in a really hard situation. Her mom is the farthest thing from providing a stable parental unit. Grace had to grow up super fast, she's the adult in their relationship. And it shows on Grace's exterior. Grace's attitude and hard shell is hard to get pass at times but makes sense for the life she lives. How to Make A Wish is a book about different kinds of relationships but is also a great coming of age, self-growth story.  We start the book as Grace is coming home after being away for a few weeks, to find that her mom has moved them in with her new boyfriend. New boyfriend isn't a terrible guy, but the situation, living situation is terrible. Who ups and moves their teenage daughter to some strange guys home? And strange guys home also happens to be the home of his son; Grace's ex-boyfriend. Let's just say they didn't end of pretty terms. That's pretty much the icing on the cake when it comes to Grace's mom, the revolving door of boyfriends, drinking, no job, constant moving. As I said, not stable. It's really really hard to feel one ounce of sympathy towards her mom. Even when it's obvious that she's not mentally stable. To see the life Grace is living, the situations she has to save her mom from. Her mom even sells her piano. Which is Grace's love and life; her ticket to college. So there's the biggest and most complicated relationship in Grace's life.

Luca, Grace's best friend is a real treat. I want to call their friendship more sibling like. But it is a true and strong friendship. There are no secret lingering romantic feelings. Thank God. Luca is loyal and the most stable person in Grace's life. Which also brings his family into Grace's life. His mom is a better mom to Grace than her own. I love their relationship too. Like I mentioned, Grace is hard to get through to sometimes. She's got a hard shell that she can't let crack, and neither Luca or his mom ever shy away from being there for her. A lot of the time it is about Grace and what her mom has done now, Luca is perfect at talking Grace down, bringing her to reality. It's one of those things where Grace can say whatever about her mom, but if someone else, like Luca or his mom brings a dose of reality Grace is quick to be angry at them. But that never keeps them away, they understand. Two of the least selfish, wonderful people.

Eva is somewhat of a salvation for Grace. Yet also a complication. Luca's mom becomes Eva's guardian after her mom unexpectedly and quite suddenly passes away. Eva and Grace bond immediately. Over their art; Eva being a dancer and Grace being a pianist. Over their broken families. Both feel lost and unsure about their futures. The chemistry is definitely there. In a very sweet and innocent way. I mention this relationship is a complication for Grace because she doesn't want to care for and eventually lose someone else. She sets out to protect Eva from her mom by keeping the truths about her mom secret from Eva. Luca is on her to tell her everything. But Grace is convinced if she just tells Eva the bare minimum and asks her to keep her distance everything will be fine. Until it isn't. There's no falling out, there are just times where both Grace and Eva need time. I love them together. Even being a YA book, and them being young, their relationship has that timeless more mature feel to it.

Grace is a complicated character. Becoming the adult at such a young age will change how a kid grows and sees the world. Grace lives in a small town, she loves her town. But she wants out. Grace knows there's more for her. She is a very talented pianist. Grace works hard even with all her mother's setbacks. Grace doesn't provide the reader with an easy time. She is self-involved a lot of the time. She blames the world for giving her such a hard leg to stand on. Eva brings hard truths based on her life growing up as a dancer and being bi-racial. Luca's tough love starts to crack her shells. Grace's moms actions eventually really take their toll. I mean, that ex-boyfriend Grace was trying to make us hate so much showed a very different side to their relationship. Grace could be as uninterested as her mom at times. I never let her faults affect how I saw Grace. There was just something about her that made me connect with her instantly. And she showed major development. Yes, she could be quick to anger but it didn't always fester and Grace eventually learned to stop placing blame.

Yes, How to Make A Wish touched on some deeper topics, like grief and mental illness, but I never felt like the story went dark. It was a sweet first love with some very dimensional characters. I cannot wait to see what Ashley will give me in future books.

Happy reading!