Review: How To Be A Movie Star (How To Be #2) by TJ Klune

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Author: TJ Klune
Publication Date: February 12, 2019
Format: E-Book
Page Length: 350 pages
My Rating: 3 / 5 stars

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Goodreads | iBooks | Kobo

Previous books in the series: How To Be A Normal Person

SYNOPSIS

Josiah Erickson wants to be a movie star. The problem with that is so does half of Los Angeles. But he’s on his way, what with memorable roles as a TV show background cadaver and a guy in a commercial for herpes medication. All he needs is his big break. And that break may come in the form of a novelist who goes by the enigmatic name of Q-Bert.

Q-Bert, who is ready to make his directorial debut in a film Josy would be perfect for. Q-Bert, who Josy may or may not have a friend-crush on, and potentially something more. Being demisexual can be confusing.

From the City of Angels to the small mountain town of Abby, Oregon, Josy will give his all to make sure his dreams come true—even the ones he never thought possible.

I kind of feel bad rating this three stars? But I honestly didn’t love it as much as How To Be A Normal Person, and all the problems I had with that book made a reappearance here, so…yeah. Hence, the three star rating. There are a lot of things I did love about this book, but there’s a lot of stuff that seems unnecessary? I’m the odd one out, because the parts I didn’t like are all fan favorites from the first book.

How To Be A Movie Star is told in third-person by Josiah Erickson, also known as “Josy”. We met him in the first book, and I wouldn’t necessarily say this story is a standalone because we see a lot of  returning characters. Josy moved out to Los Angeles, California, once upon a time, to become a movie star. He’s had big dreams since he was a kid and now he’s trying to make it.

Trigger warning for suicidal ideation.

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ARC Review: The Risk (Briar U #2) by Elle Kennedy

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Author: Elle Kennedy
Publication Date: February 18, 2019
Format: ARC
Page Length: 432 pages
My Rating: 5 / 5 stars

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Goodreads | iBooksKobo

Previous books in the series: The Deal | The Mistake | The Score | The Goal | The Chase

SYNOPSIS

Everyone says I’m a bad girl. They’re only partly right—I don’t let fear rule me, and I certainly don’t care what people think. But I draw the line at sleeping with the enemy. As the daughter of Briar’s head hockey coach, I’d be vilified if I hooked up with a player from a rival team.

And that’s who Jake Connelly is. Harvard’s star forward is arrogant, annoying, and too attractive for his own good. But fate is cruel—I require his help to secure a much-coveted internship, and the sexy jerk isn’t making it easy for me.

I need Connelly to be my fake boyfriend.

For every fake date…he wants a real one.

Which means this bad girl is in big trouble. Nothing good can come from sneaking around with Jake Connelly. My father would kill me, my friends will revolt, and my post-college career is on the line. But while it’s getting harder and harder to resist Jake’s oozing sex appeal and cocky grin, I refuse to fall for him.

That’s the one risk I’m not willing to take.

GUYS. I love this book so much!!! I don’t know if this is blasphemy, but I think Brenna and Jake are now my faves, even more so than Allie and Dean. How did this happen? Well, this book touches on ALL my favorite tropes and while there’s definitely some angst, it didn’t wreck me like The Score. This has fake dating, forbidden love, epic banter, and SO much sexual tension. And for a hockey romance, WE GET HOCKEY SCENES. I know that doesn’t sound all that important, but I LIVE for all the actual sports play in a romance book that takes place across multiple CHAPTERS instead of just a scene here or there.

Trigger warnings for drug use, drug addiction, sexism, and mentions of a miscarriage.

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Cover Reveal + Excerpt: All Souls Near & Nigh (Soulbound #2) by Hailey Turner

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All Souls Near & Nigh (Soulbound #2) by Hailey Turner
Series: Soulbound 2
Publisher: Self-Published
Release Date (Print & Ebook): March 19, 2019
Length (Print & Ebook): 104,100
Subgenre:  LGBTQ Urban Fantasy
Reader Warning:  This book contains on page sexual assault.

All Buy/Pre-Order Links: https://haileyturner.com/all-souls-near-nigh-02/

Previous books in the series: A Ferry of Bones & Gold

SYNOPSIS

You can’t bargain with death if you’ve already sold your soul.

Special Agent Patrick Collins has been reassigned by the Supernatural Operations Agency to New York City. Learning to navigate his new relationship with Jonothon de Vere, the werewolf he’s now soulbound to, is nothing compared to dealing with territorial disputes between the vampires and werecreatures who call the five boroughs home. But the delicate treaties that have kept the preternatural world in check are fraying at the edges, and the fallout is spilling into the mundane world.

Manhattan’s club scene is overrun with the vampire drug known as shine and the subways have become a dumping ground for bodies. When the dead are revealed as missing werecreatures, Patrick and Jono find themselves entangled in pack politics twisted by vampire machinations.

Learning to trust each other comes with problems for both of them, and the gods with a stake in Patrick’s soul debt aren’t finished with him yet. Bound by promises they can’t break, Patrick and Jono must find a way to survive a threat that takes no prisoners and is stalking them relentlessly through the city streets.

Old and new betrayals are coming home to roost but the truth—buried in blood—is more poisonous than the lies being spun. Trying to outrun death is a nightmare—one Patrick may never wake up from.

All Souls Near & Nigh is a 104k word m/m urban fantasy with a gay romantic subplot and a HFN ending. It is a direct sequel to A Ferry of Bones & Gold, and reading the first book in the series would be helpful in enjoying this one. Please see the disclaimer in the Look Inside for content some readers may find triggering.

Author Hailey Turner says All Souls Nigh & Near is: An exciting sequel that builds on the series plot and will keep readers wanting more!

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January 2019 Wrap-Up

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I hope everyone had a nice January! It seemed like this month just dragged on for AGES. I struggled a lot this month with reading. I read an early extended preview of The Ruin of Kings by Jenn Lyons (comes out February 5, 2019) on the first of January, and that gave me a major book hangover and I just wasn’t in the mood for anything. In the end, I managed to do a lot of re-reads in order to catch back up with my reading challenge.

I decided to up my Goodreads reading challenge to 215 this year, since I have managed to hit 200+ books the past two years, and hoping to do the same again in 2019. I’m on-track this month, and I’m looking to start a series that I can binge and get that count ahead of schedule. The series I’m looking at is the Black Dagger Brotherhood books by JR Ward. They are plentiful and I have been known to binge-read entire series very quickly when I set my mind to it and the books are good. I’m looking to star the series in the summer, because that’s when my Kindle Unlimited subscription ends and I can go to the library for the BDB books. ❤

I didn’t go to too many book events this month – just one. I got to go to Katherine Arden’s signing for The Winter of the Witch at BookPeople up in Austin, and I can’t wait to see what happens to Vasya and Morozko (my demon frost king <333). I’m currently re-reading the books very slowly, because I want to drag out this series as long as I can. I’m not quite ready to say goodbye yet!

GOODREADS CHALLENGE UPDATE

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ARC Review: Stranded (8392 #2) by Cara Dee

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Author: Cara Dee
Publication Date: January 30, 2019
Format: ARC
Page Length: 259 pages
My Rating: 4 / 5 stars

Amazon | Goodreads

SYNOPSIS

Stranded is the second book in The Auctioned Series. Before you read further, you should read Auctioned. ​

“You have my word, Gray. I will get you off this island, and I will bring you home.”

It was supposed to be an easy in-and-out job. Nothing Darius Quinn hadn’t done before. But this job had something none of the others did: Gray Nolan.

​Like Murphy’s Law advised, anything that could go wrong, would. A mission to save one hometown favorite son was turning into a quest to rescue thirteen traumatized young men against odds so steep, he’d need an oxygen mask to scale them. ​

Facing new dangers and an uncertain future, Darius keeps Gray close and is soon forced to accept that this has become much more than an assignment. For a man whose reputation was built on being ice-cold under pressure, Darius is beginning to discover how good it feels to burn.

Previous books in the series: Auctioned

I loved this book more than Auctioned. This is the aftermath of all the horrific things that happened in the first book.

So, the first Cara Dee book I’ve ever read was Auctioned, and it was quite a book to start out with because it is so intense and emotionally draining. I think it definitely bordered on what would be considered a dark romance, but Darius turned out to be a decent guy. I was, frankly, rather shocked to have read other Cara Dee books since and learned that her backlist is less…murderous? Getting to know the family and friends where Gray comes from is an extra layer on top of everything and it just tears at my heartstrings because of the horrors Gray has been put through. And not just his trials, but the other boys he met in Auctioned. Just because they’re no longer on the ship doesn’t mean their pain is over.

It’s only the beginning.

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Blog Tour + Review + Giveaway: Rough Terrain (Out of Uniform #7) by Annabeth Albert

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Author: Annabeth Albert
Publication Date: January 14, 2019 (e-book) / January 29, 2019 (paperback)
Series: Out of Uniform, #7 *Final book in the series*
Publisher: Carina Press (Harlequin)
Format: ARC
Page Length: 384 pages
Subgenre: Contemporary Romance, Male/Male Romance, Military Romance

Amazon | AudibleBarnes and NobleGoodreads | Google PlayiBooksKobo
Harlequin: Audio | E-Book | Print

SYNOPSIS

The camping trip from hell may be the first stop on the road to happily-ever-after in Rough Terrain, the final book in Annabeth Albert’s critically acclaimed, fan-favorite Out of Uniform series.

Navy SEAL Renzo Bianchi has a soft spot for Canaan Finley, and not only because the man makes a mean smoothie. He’s the first guy to get Renzo’s motor revving in a long time. But when he agrees to Canaan’s insane charade—one all-access fake boyfriend, coming right up—he never expects more than a fling.

Creating a hot Italian SEAL boyfriend to save face seemed like a good idea…until his friends called Canaan’s bluff. Now he’s setting off into the woods with the very man who inspired his deception, and Canaan is not the outdoorsy type. The sparks are already flying when a flash flood separates them from their group, leaving Renzo and Canaan very much trapped…very much alone in the wilderness.

Working together to come up with a plan for survival is sexier than either of them expects. But back in the real world, being a couple is bringing its own set of hazards…

Previous books in the series: Off Base | At Attention | On Point | Wheels Up | Squared Away | Tight Quarters

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My Favorite Audiobook Narrators

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How do you guys feel about audiobooks? Do you pick audiobooks based on the author, at random, or by the audiobook narrator? I feel like I make my choices based on a combination of authors I want to re-read and if I’ve enjoyed listening to the narrator in the past. I get a lot of my audiobooks free through my library on Overdrive, Hoopla, and RB Digital. But, I do get quite a few audiobooks through an Audible subscription as well (if not purchased through other sites like Tantor Audio or Libro.fm).

So, a note…when I was putting together this list and looking up the audio narrators, I realized that a LOT (if not all) of my faves are, well, overwhelmingly white. I definitely don’t listen to enough POC narrators, and I want to change that in 2019! Let me know who your favorite audiobook narrators are in the comments and if there are any POC narrators you would recommend! ❤

The following list is in no particular order and all audiobook links are through Audible since a lot of these were produced through Audible ACX. If they’re not produced through Audible, the audiobooks should be available on sites like iTunes and Kobo as well.

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December 2018 Wrap-Up

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I hope everyone is having a great holiday and getting lots to eat, and getting a lot of reading time in! I didn’t wind up reading quite as many books as I did last year, but I don’t think I did too bad. Did you guys meet your goals for the year, and what do you have planned for 2019? I think I’m upping my goal to 215, since that seems like something I can meet, but I’ll really have to work for it. ❤

FINAL 2018 GOODREADS CHALLENGE UPDATE

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My Favorite YA Books in 2018

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I admit it. I didn’t read all that much YA this year? But almost everything I read, I winded up LOVING, so really, I think that’s a good thing. My YA favorites this year are a wild assortment that don’t really overlap much in their respective sub-genres. I think the one connecting link between them all is that they all made me cry at some point. I read a lot of angst-filled book, and with about two exceptions, the rest are pretty angsty.

What I’m doing different this year with my year-end favorites posts, is that I’m not just limiting my faves to books published just in 2018. I’m including books I only discovered this year that may have been published in previous years. Reading an author’s backlist can also help authors! So, I would like to spotlight a few faves who all deserve more love. As always, reviews are linked with each book title listed below.

What were some of your favorite YA books this year? Tomorrow, I’ll be posting my favorite romance books of the year! ❤

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