A Beautiful Funeral by Jamie McGuire review

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A Beautiful Funeral by Jamie McGuire

5 starsjamiemcguireabeautifulfuneral

Synopsis

Losing has never been easy for a Maddox, but death always wins.

Eleven years to the day after eloping in Vegas with Abby, Special Agent Travis Maddox delivers his own brand of vigilante justice to mob boss Benny Carlisi. Vegas’s oldest and most violent crime family is now preparing for vengeance, and the entire Maddox family is a target.

The secret Thomas and Travis have kept for a decade will be revealed to the rest of the family, and for the first time the Maddoxes will be at odds. While none of them are strangers to loss, the family has grown, and the risk is higher than ever. With brothers against brothers and wives taking sides, each member will make a choice—let the fear tear them apart, or make them stronger.

 

My thoughts

In A Beautiful Funeral we dive back into the Maddox family and boy, with all the Maddox men coming together and with the biggest secret in the family coming to light, it sure was one hell of a ride. It was as exciting as it was emotional and had me biting my nails and had my heart racing with anticipation and angst.

Now that Travis shook the basis of the most violent crime family in Vegas, the Carlisi’s are seeking revenge and the whole Maddox family is in danger. With their numbers larger than ever, the risks of losing a loved one spikes, and the Carlisi’s stop at nothing.

Yet we can’t deny that the Maddox men are fierce. Fierce in their way of living and fierce in the way they love. They will fight for what they stand for until the end, but when lies and deception divides their tight bond for the first time and everyone is taking sides at the most dangerous time, they might lose something precious to them in the process.

I’ll admit that it took me a moment to get back into all the different stories again (though that has more likely to do with my memory failure than anything else) but once I was in, I didn’t want to get out again and found myself trying to sneak away from daily tasks just so I could read some more. I fell hard for each one of their stories and to see them all coming together in one book was a wonderful thing to see. I loved how they all had their own lives and families build for themselves and how these men can differ so much and be similar at the same time. I will always love the Maddox men and every chance of seeing something more about their lives will have me jumping in anticipation and this was no different. And honestly, this cover is just the most tasty cherry on top of the cake 😉

 

* I used the cover from Goodreads
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Where One Goes by BN Toler review

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Where One Goes by BN Toler

5.5 stars bntolerwhereonegoes

Synopsis

What happens when the very thing ruining your life ends up saving it?

I was never one to believe in spirits—until six years ago, when a bone-chilling accident changed my life… forever.

My name is Charlotte, but most people call me Char… and I have a special gift.

I talk to the dead.

Make no mistake, I can’t summon them. I’m only able to see and speak to the spirits that linger when they’re unable to crossover. They’re somehow weighted to the world with unfinished affairs. And for the last six years, I’ve relentlessly used my gift to help their lost souls.

But it’s come at a price. My life is dark. Feeling despondent, I’ve begun to give up. And in helping the dead, I’ve realized I haven’t allowed myself to live. With no money, no place to go, and most importantly… no hope, I’ve decided there is only one option—to end it all.

But fate is a funny thing. One minute, I’m about to leap to my death, and the next, I’m saved by Ike McDermott. The strong, striking soldier stopped me from putting an end to my despair. He’s the kind of man that smiles and brightens an entire room.

Sweet and gentle.

He is my savior.

And he’s dead.

We’ve made an agreement. He’ll help me find a place to stay and a new job if I’ll help him with his unfinished business so that he may crossover.

Ike’s unfinished matter involves his twin brother, George. George has been falling apart since Ike’s death and Ike has not been able to compel himself to crossover in peace until he knows George will be okay.

When I agreed to help, little did I know that I’d fall in love with the charming folks of Bath County, and… Ike and George McDermott.

Now, as both brothers own equal parts of my heart, I am faced with a cruel and unfair predicament. In saving George, I must let go of Ike.

But how does one let go of half of their heart? 

 

My thoughts

When I read the synopsis of Where One Goes, I knew this book was going to break my heart multiple times before I was finished. I also knew this was unlike anything I’d ever read before. And I was right, on both accounts. This book is a beautiful story of how a single encounter can shine a little light on the darkest day of your life and how a little kindness can alter it forever. It’s a story about hope, friendship and loyalty. It’s a story about the bond between siblings, grief and letting go.

Charlotte has a beautiful, caring spirit who’s been helping the dead cross over for six years, but in doing so, she finds herself lonely, sad and hanging on by a thread. When she’s out of money and has no place to go, she’s mentally exhausted and just wants it to end. Just before she plummets to her dead, Ike McDermott comes to her saviour.

Kind hearted, funny and with a smile that makes you melt, Ike is everything Charlotte has missed all this time and finally makes her feel a little more alive. But he’s also dead. They make a deal to help each other; Ike will help Charlotte find a job and a place to stay to get her to a better place again, while Charlotte will help Ike with his unfinished business that ties him to earth; his twin brother George. Yet in helping him, Charlotte falls not only for Ike, but also for George. But how will she be able to let go of one half of her heart?

There were many sides to this story. While Where One Goes is just as heart breaking as I’d feared at the beginning, I also had a lot of fun reading it. Because even though this is a sad story, it also has a lot of humour that had me in a laughing fit quite often. Ike is hilarious and Charlotte has the most genius comebacks. She won’t let anyone push her around and she knows perfectly how to stand up for herself in a positive way. She’s also brilliantly clumsy and has one of the sweetest souls I’ve seen. The humour was needed, though, because holy shit it was heart breaking too. I felt the grief Charlotte felt. I felt like I lost someone dear to me myself. The emotions run so high when Charlotte is showing people what she can do and it’s such a beautiful thing to witness.

Ike and George were something else altogether. It was intriguing to see two people that are so similar and yet so different at the same time. And honestly, I can’t blame Charlotte for falling for both of them, because I did the same. I fell hard for Ike, knowing it was gonna break me in the end because he was dead, but George stole my heart just the same. These brothers are so easy to love.

I have to give a shout-out to the side characters, because they added so much value and depth to this story. I think everyone should meet Sniper. He’s just brilliant. The setting is beautiful too. I love the author admitted this is a real place and it feels magical to be there during fall. Now, I don’t live in the States and I will probably never have the chance to see it for myself, but I can’t deny I’m very curious about it. I can continue for quite some time about all the things I loved about this book, but I’ll get to an end, in fear of giving too much of the story away. 😉

Where One Goes is a tear breaker, and one of epic proportions, but I wouldn’t have wanted to miss it for the world. The tears just kept dripping down my cheeks nearly constantly through the whole last 20% of it and that’s not usual for me at all, but the beauty behind this story is just so moving. Where One Goes has all the feels and I loved every second of it. It left me whishing both Ike, George and Charlotte were living persons somewhere in this world and I could meet them. I feel grateful for being a part of their story.

* I used the cover from Goodreads

Once She Dreamed by Abbi Glines review

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Once She Dreamed by Abbi Glines

4.5 starsabbiglinesonceshedreamed

Synopsis

Everyone in the small country town, Sammy Jo Knox had been born and raised, never left. They made their life there. Got married, had kids, lived in the same houses that were always there along the streets that never changed. The whole white picket fence and tree swing might look good on greeting cards but in real life it was boring, at least to Sammy Jo.

When Sammy Jo was a little girl she began dreaming of something bigger. Brighter. Something that wasn’t her town. She wanted to see the world and experience it all. Just how she was going to do that she had no idea. Because if her momma had her way she’d marry one of the boys in town and be spitting out babies and going to church on Sunday with them all lined up in a row.

The day Hale Christopher Jude III walked into the bakery she worked at, she knew he was it. That part of life she was missing. He smelled of foreign places and exciting things. He represented all the bright lights she dreamed of and simply put she hoped he was her way out of this place.

What Sammy Jo didn’t realize was things that appear perfect… aren’t. And chasing her dreams could lead to something very different.


My thoughts

Sammy Jo Knox is not like the others residents in her small town. While they are perfectly happy with staying in the same place their whole lives, marry a farmer boy in town and get kids, Sammy Jo wants to see the world and have an adventurous life. She wants out of Moulton. She’s just not sure how. When a wealthy man walks into the bakery she works at, she sees her chances of leaving growing. But sometimes when things seem too good to be true, they mostly are.

Once She Dreamed is a cute, light hearted story of a girl that’s been dreaming to escape her hometown for years. Understood by very few, she sets out on a path by herself, away from the crowd and chasing her dreams. At least, this story felt quite light hearted to me after reading F*ck Love just before this. Once She Dreamed seems to be on the opposite side of the scale and might be just the cute story I needed after such a deeply emotional book like F*ck Love.

Sammy Jo is young, innocent and naive. She’s stunning on the outside and has a good heart, but her growing up in a farmer town has kept de darker corners of the world out of her life, leaving her unable to see the true intentions behind some people’s actions.

I enjoyed Sammy’s adventure. It was cute and I could feel her excitement rise out of the pages. I liked how she followed her heart, no matter if it made her stand out of the crowd. She knew what she wanted and she was going to get it.

This is a novella series that contains out 3 parts, part 2 coming at the end of November and the third part coming in the beginning of January. This part only had a little over 100 pages, making it perfect as a quick in-between read.

 

* I used the cover from Goodreads

F*ck Love by Tarryn Fisher review

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F*ck Love by Tarryn Fisher

5 starstarrynfisherfucklove

Synopsis

Helena Conway has fallen in love.
Unwillingly. Unwittingly.
But not unprovoked.
Kit Isley is everything she’s not—unstructured, untethered,
and not even a little bit careful.
It could all be so beautiful … if he wasn’t dating her best friend.
Helena must defy her heart, do the right thing, and think of others.
Until she doesn’t.

 

My thoughts

Before I start, I need to say that I took a month reading this book, so I barely remember events from the beginning or the right order of it. It wasn’t because of the book that I took so long, just life being its hectic self. Just know that the reason I won’t go into much detail in this review is because I just can’t remember it very well, only how it made me feel, it has nothing to do with the book itself.

That said, this was quite a story. I felt like a pinball going one way and then the other the entire time. Every time I thought things were slowing down and I was at the top of the machine, gravity sucked me down the slope again, and I was hitting everything in my way. Imagine how Helena must feel.

Helena is living a generally calm life until one event has her rethinking her whole life. It puts her in perspective of where she wants the rest of her life to go, questioning a million things. She’s sad and lonely, trying to figure out her place in the world, but having a hard time finding it. And that’s everything but easy, especially when you fall for your best friend’s boyfriend.

Helena is one of a kind. She speaks her mind and is caring and kind and just a little weird. She tries her best to make the right decisions based on other people’s feelings, but who will be left to sit on the blisters in the end? And what if for once, she decides to make herself happy?

There were a lot of things I recognized myself in in Helena and at the same time we were totally different, which was refreshing. The side characters in this book add a lot to the story, some more than others, and some had me wanting to lock them behind some thick door. Seriously.

F*ck Love is not a typical contemporary romance book. It’s deep and makes you think hard about your own life. It shows how life can be a struggle and how love can be a fight. How once you have something to fight for, no battle will be in vain, despite the many obstacles you find in your path.

This is the first book I’ve read from Tarryn Fisher. I’ve read her collaboration series together with Colleen Hoover, but that was a fun project. I loved seeing bits and pieces of Tarryn in Helena. I have to say she is definitely not a typical romance author and I think that’s exactly what I like about her. F*ck Love is not your cheesy romantic love story, but a book with deep meaning and intense thought.

 

“Nothing worth finding is actually easy to find,”

― Tarryn Fisher, F*ck Love

 

* I used the cover from Goodreads

 

Chasing Impossible by Katie McGarry review

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Chasing Impossible by Katie McGarry

5 starskatiemcgarrychasingimpossible

Synopsis

Tough and independent, 17-year-old Abby lets very few people into her inner circle. It’s common knowledge in her Kentucky town that she deals drugs, but not even her closest friends know why. But when a deal goes south and Abby’s suddenly in danger, she finds herself reluctantly forced to lean on daredevil Logan—a boy whose restless spirit matches her own.

Logan has his own reasons for wanting to keep Abby at arms’ length. But he never expected to find in her the one person who might help him face the demons he’s tried so hard to run from.

Together, Abby and Logan will have to make a decision: let their current circumstances weigh them down forever…or fight for the future they both thought was impossible. 

My thoughts

Finally, Logan and Abby’s story!! YAAY!! 😀 I’ve been immensely impatient to get my hands on this book ever since I read Crash Into You back before I even wrote reviews! Then last year it was only available for the US, and since this summer it’s finally out to the rest of the world! I’m so happy!! And it was so worth the wait. I love these two!!

So, if you’ve read any of the books in the Pushing The Limits series, which I can only highly recommend doing because they’re freaking awesome 😉 , you already know bits and pieces of these two characters before you start Chasing Impossible. I have to tell you, you have no clue at all and I absolutely love how much depth there is to this story and these two characters. There is so, so much more to them than what I’ve seen of them in the glimpses in other books of this series and I think Katie did an amazing job keeping their secrets so concealed in the other books.

I already loved Abby and Logan before I even started this book but my love and admiration for them has grown to near explosive proportions during Chasing Impossible. Their character development was amazing to watch. The playfulness they both have that matches perfectly was so much fun. It had me laughing too many times to count. Yet the playing was only their way to escape the truth. And pretending only goes so far. Their story had so many ups and downs I lost count and I was anxious to find out how they would handle their next dip. Because there were many. Oh I felt so, so sad for them. The choices Abby had to make to survive, the demons haunting them both, the danger that’s never far behind. They’re both playing on the edge of the earth, slipping towards the edge more and more while they try so hard to find safe ground.

This book was definitely full of suspense. The drug dealing gives the whole book this extra dangerous atmosphere that had me biting my nails on the edge of my seat all the time. Chasing Impossible is a perfect mix of the power of friendship, suspense, love and trust. It’s about having faith in the things you can’t see. It’s about improving yourself for the person you love. It’s about never giving up. It’s about chasing what you always thought was impossible.

I absolutely love Katie McGarry’s books. She’s one of those authors that I don’t even have to read the back of the book to know it’s going to be one hell of a ride. She can make broken characters come to life in a way that has me celebrating for every small thing that they conquer. I fell in love with each and every one of her characters and Abby and Logan are no different. I’m pretty sure I already mentioned it before, but I can only highly recommend this book and honestly the entire series. Each book has its own two amazing characters with a heartbreaking and beautiful story to tell that you really don’t want to miss out on.

 

* I used the cover from Goodreads

Until Friday Night by Abbi Glines review

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Until Friday Night by Abbi Glines

5 starsabbiglinesuntilfridaynight

Synopsis

To everyone who knows him, West Ashby has always been that guy: the cocky, popular, way-too-handsome-for-his-own-good football god who led Lawton High to the state championships. But while West may be Big Man on Campus on the outside, on the inside he’s battling the grief that comes with watching his father slowly die of cancer.

Two years ago, Maggie Carleton’s life fell apart when her father murdered her mother. And after she told the police what happened, she stopped speaking and hasn’t spoken since. Even the move to Lawton, Alabama, couldn’t draw Maggie back out. So she stayed quiet, keeping her sorrow and her fractured heart hidden away.

As West’s pain becomes too much to handle, he knows he needs to talk to someone about his father—so in the dark shadows of a post-game party, he opens up to the one girl who he knows won’t tell anyone else.

West expected that talking about his dad would bring some relief, or at least a flood of emotions he couldn’t control. But he never expected the quiet new girl to reply, to reveal a pain even deeper than his own—or for them to form a connection so strong that he couldn’t ever let her go… 

 

My thoughts

This is a new Young Adult series that is set in the lovely small town of Lawton. I have to say that all I’ve been reading from Abbi lately (like the last two years) was the I-need-a-fan hotness of the Rosemary Beach series. The Field Party series is completely different and almost refreshing in a way and oh I love how these characters come to life within these pages! West and Maggie’s story is sweet and yet so incredibly emotional. It’s a cute high school romance but all the feelings and heartache make it anything but superficial. Their story moved me.

West looks just fine to everyone else, but he’s falling apart on the inside. He keeps it a secret, knowing no one will understand anyway, but when his father keeps getting more and more sick, the hopelessness building inside West is reaching epic proportions. He doesn’t know what to do anymore and in a desperate attempt to find some relief, he throws out his deepest secret to the girl who he doesn’t expect to talk back.

The horror Maggie went through is not something she will ever move past. Her survival instincts took over and the only way to cope with what happened was for her to stop talking. The sound of her own voice terrified her. Yet when that beautiful and arrogant boy looks her in the eyes and she sees the same pain she feels inside reflected in them, she has a choice to make. Let him survive on his own like she had or step up, gather all the courage she has and help him. Show him that he is not alone.

Both West and Maggie are stronger and braver than they think. Both of them are so good at heart and love fiercely. Their personalities were written with a lot of depth and emotions, making them come to life beautifully. I really loved their story. It was engaging and left my emotions raw. I loved to see them grow through the book and face fears they never thought they could. Abbi did an amazing job at creating a story that will make your heart both ache and swell and I can only recommend reading Until Friday Night. The good news for people who are not into series is that even though this is considered a series, each book contains different characters and can be read as a standalone. And honestly this cover is just stunning.

 

* I used the cover from Goodreads

It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover review

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 It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover

5.5/6 starsColleenHooverItEndsWithUs


My thoughts

Emotional.

Gripping.

Bold.

Brave.

One of a kind.

1000% must-read.

Yes, I meant to put three zeros’ behind that 1.

Colleen has been an immediate-buy to me for years. Everything she writes draws me in until the point where I live inside the book instead of reality whenever I’m reading. Every book she writes swipes me off my feet in one way or another. Every book she writes has me falling and crashing and burning and melting. It Ends With Us was like that, but different, because this book is unlike anything I’ve ever read and probably will ever read. The story behind this book is the most powerful one I’ve ever read. Everything about this book, from the characters to the setting to the way it’s written, is captivating and absolutely heartbreaking and stunningly beautiful. It had my emotions go up and down and turning inside out. Over and over and over again.

Somewhere on social media, I read Colleen said it was best to go in blind. And when Colleen says something like that, you listen. So I did. I went in so blind I didn’t read the blurb. I went in so blind that I skipped the dedication page and went straight to chapter one. I went in so blind that after It Ends With Us was released, I avoided Colleens posts on social media in fear of them being about this book and giving something away. I’ll confess: I still haven’t read the blurb while writing this review. I will once I have most of my feelings written down. I’m glad I went in blind though and I can only recommend doing the same. The only thing I knew about this book the moment I opened it, was the cover, the title, the first name of the female heroine and that this is the most personal book Colleen has ever written. That alone made this a very interesting experience.

It didn’t end there though. Oh no, that was just the start. I am blown off my feet by this story. The meaning of it, the characters, the strength, the bravery, the setting, the whole process. Everything hit me so hard. If you’ve followed my reviews, you might have picked up I don’t cry with books very often. Well, Colleen sure took a few firsts from me with this one (they were hers to take anyway 😉 ). Not only did I cry multiple times, and were my eyes were so blurry the words were swimming before my eyes several times more, this is also the very first time a book made me cry with happy tears. That has never happened to me before. Like ever.

This is a book everyone in the entire world should read, if you ask me. It hit me so hard and deep down to the bottom of heart that I couldn’t even fan-girl right after I finished. I’m sure that will come at some point, but holy hell It Ends With Us still has me in its grip. I’m still thinking about these characters and what they went through. I don’t think they’ll let me go any time soon either. They keep running through my mind. The choices they made were just so… *deep breath* You’re gonna have to read it to understand. And the author’s note at the end. Holy crap, that was just as powerful as the rest of the book. Before you get curious, though, I have to say this; please do not read that before you’re completely finished. It will ruin the whole meaning of the book. So please don’t. Go in blind and just let this book do what it’s written for. You will thank me later. 😉

I’m scared to spoil anything related to this story, so I won’t tell much in relation to the characters, but I will say this. Lily is such an utterly good person. Her heart is so huge and filled with so much kindness. I wish I was like her. She’s modest and intelligent and alive and bright and brave. The bravery that woman has inside her is more than just a little inspiring. She’s incredibly strong and I will respect her and all women like her the rest of my life. And God the emotions. They’re going everywhere. All. The. Time. Holy crap. The emotions ran so high, I was actually close to exhausted when I finished, that’s how deep into the story I was. It was an amazing feeling. I’m used to having my heart get tossed around by the hands of Colleen Hoover, but this was different somehow.

I know I can’t do this book the justice it deserves with my review. It’s still so raw inside of me that I can’t even find the right words to express myself. If it’s any indication though, just know that if I’d have to pick 1 book I would recommend for the rest of my life, it would be this book. I feel like every single person should read It Ends With Us, because what happened inside these pages, is so important. This is one of those rare stories that I will carry with me the rest of my life.

***

You might have noticed I left out the synopsis I usually place at the top. I did that for the following reason. Like I said in this review, it was recommended to go in blind. What kind of person would I be to not give you that chance by putting the blurb at the top, making it impossible to at least get a glimpse? An awful one. So I’m putting it down here. So you have the chance to stop reading right now and go in blind, or read the blurb anyway, if you’re really curious. I would still recommend going in blind, just so you know.

 

Synopsis

SOMETIMES THE ONE WHO LOVES YOU IS THE ONE WHO HURTS YOU THE MOST

Lily hasn’t always had it easy, but that’s never stopped her from working hard for the life she wants. She’s come a long way from the small town in Maine where she grew up – she graduated from college, moved to Boston, and started her own business. So when she feels a spark with a gorgeous neurosurgeon named Ryle Kincaid, everything in Lily’s life suddenly seems almost too good to be true.

Ryle is assertive, stubborn, and maybe even a little arrogant. He’s also sensitive, brilliant, and has a total soft spot for Lily, but Ryle’s complete aversion to relationships is disturbing.

As questions about her new relationship overwhelm her, so do thoughts of Atlas Corrigan – her first love and a link to the past she left behind. He was her kindred spirit, her protector. When Atlas suddenly reappears, everything Lily has built with Ryle is threatened.

With this bold and deeply personal novel, Colleen Hoover delivers a heart-wrenching story that breaks exciting new ground for her as a writer. It Ends With Us is an unforgettable tale of love that comes at the ultimate price.

This book contains graphic scenes and very sensitive subject matter.

 * I used the cover from Goodreads

Cut Too Deep by Marissa Farrar review

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Cut Too Deep by Marissa Farrar

4 stars MarissaFarrarCutTooDeep

Synopsis

Guys like Ryker Russo don’t notice girls like Jenna Armstrong.
Constantly on the move, Jenna doesn’t want to settle down anywhere. As long as her latest motel room has a television, wi-fi, and a vending machine, she will make do. It isn’t just Jenna’s curves that make her self-conscious. Beneath her clothes she hides a secret, one that she is running from.
But when her car breaks down, leaving her without a mode of transport to get to the next town, mechanic Ryker seems to show an interest in her. With his muscles, tattoos, and piercings, Ryker has trouble literally written all over him. Jenna can’t understand why he would want to be seen with a fat girl like her, and besides, she needs to keep moving. Time is running out and she’s terrified if she stays in one place, her past will catch up to her.

*This is a stand alone, BBW romantic thriller, with no cliff hangers!*

My thoughts

This is a short, sweet-love in-between read with a serious amount of suspense for a typical romantic book. I did not see that coming. (Goes to show I didn’t read the blurb very thoroughly…) The first half of the book, I was definitely planning on calling this a cute book. Not anymore. Though the love story itself was adorably cute, the all-round story was everything but.

Jenna Armstrong is running. And I can understand why. But when she finds herself with a broken down car on the side of the road near a small town, she has no choice but to hang around for a few days until her car is fixed by a more than handsome man with tattoo’s, piercing blue eyes you want to dive into and the muscular build body that makes you want to crawl up into and never let go.

With her past breathing down her neck, making her skin crawl and need to run spike, and the sweet, funny Ryker charming her, making her want to stay, she has an impossible choice to make. Yet sometimes, others make it for you. Only then, you’ll have no idea where the road will lead.

Jenna is strong, incredibly brave and has a beautiful personality. She just doesn’t realise it yet. So used to being called the ‘fat girl,’ she focused on the sides she dislikes about herself the most. But Ryker sees her beauty. He loves her curves. The question is will Jenna let him in far enough to make her believe it too? Or will she be on the run before he has a chance to show?

I really enjoyed Cut Too Deep. It was short, a little over 200 pages, and both main characters had a lovely personality and a good heart. They both have their flaws, but honestly, who doesn’t? Being a standalone on top of that makes this the perfect in-between read for when you have to wait for an awaiting book release or as a fast book in between two others.

This book definitely gets on the darker side and a lot of things fell into place when I read in the acknowledgements that Marissa normally writes horror. It’s certainly something different than your typical romance. Though it’s nowhere near horror, it was definitely a thrilling love story. In both senses of the word. 😉

 

* I used the cover from Goodreads

Up In Flames by Abbi Glines review

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Up In Flames by Abbi Glines

4 starsAbbiGlinesUpInFlames

 

Synopsis

#1 New York Times bestselling author Abbi Glines returns to Rosemary Beach one last time in this highly-anticipated finale.

Spoiled. Selfish. Rich girl. Villain. Slut.

As the Prada-clad bad girl of Rosemary Beach, Nan Dillon has been called every vile name under the hot summer sun. Some of her reputation is deserved—she’s never had to worry about anything but maintaining her perfect figure and splitting Daddy’s private jet with her brother, Rush.

But Nan is far from happy. Rush has another kid on the way and doesn’t have time to catch up with his sister. Grant, the last guy she truly cared about, chose to be with her half-sister, Harlow, instead of her. And Harlow, who has never gotten over the way Nan treated her when she first moved to town, remains distant.

So when Major asks her out, she jumps at the chance to date the gorgeous charmer. Though she doesn’t know much about the sweet-talking Texan, and though it’s clear he doesn’t want to be exclusive, dating him beats hanging out with vapid socialites or watching Netflix alone at home.

For a while, Nan deals with Major’s playboy ways, but after he burns her one too many times, she takes off for an impromptu wild weekend in Vegas. There, she meets Gannon, a darkly seductive and oh-so-dangerous businessman who knows exactly how to handle her.

With Major asking for a second chance and Gannon haunting her dreams, Nan has to decide who to give her heart to. But what she doesn’t realize is that these players are involved in a much bigger game—and they’re already two moves ahead of her.

 

My thoughts

 

Well, that was something. I can’t believe this is the last book in the Rosemary Beach series. This is it, guys, no more Rosemary Beach adventures and panty-dropping hotties with happy endings and lovable stories. And we ended with the most callous person there ever was in this whole series.

Nanette Dillon.

Daughter of Kiro Manning. Rich. Self-centred. We all know her by now. We know she’s cold and bitter. We’ve seen the heartless things she’s done over the years. We all loved hating her (I know I did). Yet this time, we’re inside her head. We get to see the thoughts behind her actions. And I have to admit, she wasn’t as icy in the last few books as all the way in the beginning before I started Up In Flames. Not that that makes her a cuddler all of a sudden, no worries.

I have to say, it really was Nan’s book. That shone through in different ways and it’s giving me a hard time rating this book, because… I’ve hated Nan as a person for so long that I can’t just decide she’s amazing. Because she’s not. She’s deeply flawed and she lashes out to the people around her without thinking in a seriously harmful way, but she’s also a very hurt woman. And lonely. And maybe even misunderstood in a way. Searching desperately for that one man who finally can handle her. A man who will change for her. Yet men willing to handle Nan are hard to find…

Major is a playboy. Everyone knows it so he doesn’t try to hide it in the least. He knows he has a pretty face, he’s cocky as hell about it too, and he thinks he knows all with his seductive smile and charming words, but when he makes one mistake too many, he may very well lose something he unknowingly held dear after all.

Gannon is the opposite of Major. Where Major is boyish, Gannon is all man. He’s cold, detached, rough, dangerous. A business man. Even though Nan knows she’ll should be afraid of the evil darkness that looms in his eyes, it draws her in instead. Yet when the true darkness of Gannon comes to light, where will Nan run?

As I read Up In Flames, there were times I was annoyed. There were times I was floored. There was even a moment I was on the verge of throwing this book out of the window screaming. Looking back though, I’m pretty glad I didn’t throw this book in a corner and scolded at it for days, because I wouldn’t have wanted to miss this ending. That ending had me smiling for Nan, and seriously, that’s something. The thing is, Nan is strong willed, and once she finds a way to finally put all that strength into something positive, there’s no stopping her. She just has to stop lashing it out in the negative way she’s always done. There is a good woman in there somewhere (I was surprized too, but) there really is. She just needs the right man to bring it out.

The sex scenes were a different story, I have to be honest about that. They were a little too rough for me personally, but if you’re a fan of Fifty Shades of Grey, I’m pretty sure you will like them. (Don’t shoot me if I’m wrong, though, I’ve never read FSOG) I’ve grown used to the way intimate scenes are written in this series over the years, but this was a little too hot for me. In a way I knew it fitted Nan’s story, so I did understand why they were like this. It’s just not my cup of tea. Ahum.

Up In Flames is definitely not the typical lovestory kind of book. Far from it, actually. Then again, Nan isn’t exactly your typical heroine, so that totally makes sense. It’s not the story I would have expected for Nan, but I can’t deny it is a perfect match. I’m glad I’ve heard Nan’s side of the story. I’ll probably never be as excited about her as I am about most other girls in this series, but I am definitely happy for her. In the end, she didn’t exactly get a shiny, lovable start in life.

 

 

*********** Spoilers ************ 

 
The beginning had me like, ‘Wait what?’ ‘Huh?’ ‘How did we get here exactly again?’ I had the feeling I dove in in the middle of the story. If I hadn’t read The Best Goodbye 6 months ago, I wouldn’t have had a clue what was going on. We dive in at the point where Nan is sick of Major’s playboy ways and she takes off to Vegas to find distraction. It had me wanting to look back in The Best Goodbye to see how the heck Major and Nan even got to the part of dating. Seriously, when did that happen?

I LOVED The Best Goodbye and honestly, all the books in this series but Up In Flames doesn’t have me as excited as I hoped it would. It was shallowly written after the deeply emotional story of Addy and River, but at the same time, it’s Nan’s story and Nan is a shallow person and that makes me having a hard time figuring out if the style had more to do with the characters themselves than the author or not. I know Abbi normally has me addicted to her characters in no time so I’m leaning more to the character side of the scale. It’s a shame though. At some point in this book I just wanted to finish it, not because I was excited, but just so I could move on to the next book. I’ve never had that with Abbi before. The last part made up for most of my annoyance though, except for Major’s selfishness. I really don’t know what was up with him. He was way funnier in my memory…

Speaking of Major. What happened to him? I remembered him being flirty. I remembered him being cocky, and a playboy, but seriously? Major is kind of a respectless dick. He thinks he likes the super-hotness that is Nan and he sees the vulnerable side of her but he can’t deal with all that is Nan so he finds his release of tension with other women he doesn’t even bother of asking their name. Major was definitely better in my memory. Honestly, when Nan put him right on the spot and told him what a douchebag he was, I was seriously cheering on the Nan-team. He deserved that. And then causing his family to hurt like that? What was the need to do that? I wanted to yell at his stupid face. I can’t believe he put his family through that because he thinks he’s the man.

What I also found sad, is that Cope didn’t have an outspoken voice. Major got many chapters to his name, but I could count Cope’s on one hand. I would have liked to know more form his side, because now it seemed like he went from cold and emotionless to loving Nan and a soft man all of a sudden. It was kind of a strange transition. Cope was definitely surprizing at the end though. He totally won me over there. I just wish I’d seen more of that man before the last 4 or so chapters.

* I used the cover from Goodreads