Review and Blog Tour: Twisted Circles by @ClaireCon_

Twisted Circles

Honestly, I’m still trying to regroup. “Twisted Circles” was a field full of mines. Honestly. Just forget about the romance aspect of it. I just dug straight into the whole monks, nuns, shrinks, twins/triplets, college bonanza. Eva, the book’s heroine, is having a helluva time… in a completely bad way. Her counterpart, Adam, was, TBH, negligible. It was all her. I’m still reeling – is it obvious?

This book was kinda like Stephen King meets Nora Roberts meets a young adult theme. “Twisted Circles” touched on risqué, yet very timely topics: dealing with mental health (one’s own and other people’s), Catholicism, gender roles (particularly, women’s), leaning in, and misplaced trust. I’m having a hard time writing this review, especially since I don’t want to ruin it for you. I thought that the first book in this series, Half Truths, was mind-boggling. This was a bit different, but evoked even more emotions and dragged me into philosophical “what if” scenarios. I kinda wish that the romance aspect of the story could be a amped up a bit. Or maybe that’s just me, still kinda drowning in the secret society stuff? Nevertheless, it’s just damned good.

Review: Empire High Untouchables by Ivy Smoak

I have this thing for reverse harem romances. Guilty pleasure much? Yes… but, minus the guilt 🙂

When I first learned about Ivy Smoak’s “Empire High Untouchables,” I thought, “hmmm, is it like Siobhan Davis’ Sainthood series?” If so, I’m in. Once I cracked it open, though, the only similarity that this “Empire High” book had with the “Lowell High” ones is that there is the element of the book heroine being bullied, and the four guys being the not-so-good-guys. There’s no harem involved, reverse or otherwise. Instead, “Empire High Untouchables” is teenage angst to the nth power. Heroine, Brooklyn, has had it hard. Her mother succumbed to cancer. Six months later, she moves in with her uncle, who’s a janitor at a private, exclusive high school. She gets bullied, of course, by the Mean Girls of the school, but somehow, she catches the eye of Smoak’s version of the Flower Boys-slash-Untouchables. (If you don’t get the reference to F4, then I feel sad for you, my friend.) She cries a lot; doesn’t fight back that much, but learns to stand up for herself and for her uncle near the end.

“Empire High Untouchables” ends on a cliffhanger. Poor, little Brooklyn finds herself jumping from the pan and straight into the fire at the end, so, obviously, book 2 would tell the tale of what it’ll be like for Annie Brooklyn. I’d categorize “Untouchables” as a YA story – it’s not very romantic, in my opinion. There were a few innocent lip locks; innocent Brooklyn couldn’t help herself when Matt pushes himself on her, despite him being supposedly dark and mysterious, but really, he’s just an epic high school a-hole. The drug dealing other-guy isn’t all that enticing, either. No sexy times. Why Matt finds Brooklyn irresistible, I don’t know – the author didn’t clear that part out for me. Brooklyn’s attracted to Matt, ‘coz he hot. Oh, and her bestie is hot for the drug dealer, but pretends to not be. There’s very little else going on here, quite honestly.

Personally, I’mma just wait for the last book in Siobhan Davis’ Sainthood series. You might still like “Empire High Untouchables,” though, if you’re not as cynical as this blogger, or are more inclined towards sweet innocent high school drama.

Today we are celebrating the release of EMPIRE HIGH UNTOUCHABLES by Ivy Smoak! This is a contemporary romance, standalone title that is available now in Kindle Unlimited. Join Ivy’s Group for access to bonus content from the book.


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Empire High Untouchables by Ivy Smoak

A Contemporary Romance   |   Available now in Kindle Unlimited

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Book Blurb:

The Untouchables. That’s what everyone calls the Hunter and Caldwell brothers. At least, it’s my best friend’s nickname for them. And since she’s the only one that talks to me at my new school, I’ll take her word for it. The nickname probably comes from the fact that they’re exorbitantly wealthy. Old wealth. The kind that isn’t flaunted around. But you can tell by the way they carry themselves. Or maybe the name just refers to the fact that they’re so beautiful it’s almost hard to look at them. No matter the reason for their nickname, it’s an ironic one. Because I’ve only been going to this school for a week and I already want to touch.

Read it Here (Kindle Unlimited)

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BY INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLING AUTHOR IVY SMOAK ★★★★★ “My favorite book this year!!” ★★★★★ “Gahh! My heart. I adored this book.” ★★★★★ “IT WAS AMAZING.” ★★★★★ “Oh my, plot twist! I did NOT see that one coming!” ★★★★★ “It’s literally IMPOSSIBLE to put down.” ★★★★★ “Buckle in for this emotional roller coaster!”




Ivy Smoak is the international bestselling author of The Hunted series. When she’s not writing, you can find her binge watching too many TV shows, taking long walks, playing outside, and generally refusing to act like an adult. She lives with her husband in Delaware.  


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Review and Blog Tour: Hard to Handle by @kbrombergdriven

Nothing beats hockey-themed romances. I’ve read almost a million of them, but I find myself totally engrossed in each new one that I come across. K. Bromberg’s “Hard to Handle” was hard to resist, from the time I heard the word “go” from her publicist. Book heroine, Dekker, and her sisters suddenly find themselves working to save their father’s ailing sports management agency. She and her sisters have daddy issues, but since it’s the family business, she’s gotta do what she has to. The book hero, Hunter, on the other hand, is on his final leg as a professional hockey player. For him, it’s the Stanley Cup, or bust. They met at the most opportune time. She needs a marketable and high-ticket athlete, and he needs good management stat. Too bad they have a history… broken dreams, cynical hearts, and all that jazz.

Bromberg’s story has kind of a slow beat to it. You know that something’s coming, but her style of writing keeps you in high anticipation. The dialogues read like a script and keep you glued to the pages. The emotions seem real and you find yourself immersed in the characters’ futures. There’s more drama on the way, I’m sure, since Dekker has sisters who also need HEAs of their own. With “Hard to Handle” as the beginning of this new series, I can’t wait to see what’s next.

4 stars

Hard to Handle, book one in the Play Hard series, an all new series of standalone books by New York Times bestselling author, K. Bromberg, is LIVE!

At first, the request seemed simple—sign a new athlete to the agency. Then I found out the new athlete was none other than the most wanted man in hockey today: Hunter Maddox

Gifted. Sexy. At the top of his game. And the only man who has ever broken my heart. If signing him will help save our family business, I’ll swallow my pride and do what’s asked.

But when it becomes clear his uncharacteristic antics off the ice are a hint of something deeper, keeping things strictly professional between us becomes more than complicated.

But I know better than to cross that line.

I’ll never date a client. Not even for him.

*** Win the Stanley Cup and do it before time runs out.

Not a small feat, but it’s what’s motivated me since the start of my career.

And time is running out.

Enter Dekker Kincade.

Feisty. Dogged. Damn gorgeous. The one I let get away.

I have no idea why she’s traveling with the team, but hell if resisting her is going to be easy.

But I have a job to do, and I refuse to lose sight of that end game. Even if she confuses me. Even if she sees parts of me I’ve hidden from the world.

I can’t lose focus. Not even for her.

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I stare at Hunter. At his shirt plastered with sweat and how it clings to his body, despite the chill of the ice his skates are standing on. He has his warm-up pants on and is without a helmet, his hair curling at the ends from the sweat. And all I see in his eyes is anger I didn’t put there. Or maybe I did. Rejection can do that to a man . . . but there’s something more here. Something I walked in on that doesn’t make sense. “Don’t give me that look, Kincade,” Hunter mutters as he skates over to the penalty box where his electrolyte drink sits. “What look?” I ask. He half laughs, half snorts and meets my gaze across the distance. “Disappointment. Disproval. Disdain. I’m the king of all of them, so save your breath—or in this case—your glare, because it’s not going to work with me.” “Are we working on emotions that start with the letter D today?” I ask. A hint of my embarrassment and anger over how I acted last night creeps into my voice, but I mask it with sarcasm. “If that’s the case, I’m more than impressed with your answers thus far.” He clenches his jaw in response and then skates back over to line up more pucks so he can shoot them. And he does, one after another, each shot taken with laser precision and a healthy dose of fury behind it. He goes through the first ten lined up and then stops to catch his breath. His talent and skill are undeniable, but so is the beer bottle in my hand. “Just because you’re the captain and star of this team, doesn’t mean management won’t frown upon this,” I say, unable to let this go. “Screw the management.” “No one likes a player who’s hard to handle and honestly, Hunter, you’re becoming hard to handle.” “No one likes unsolicited advice from someone who has no bearing on his career, either,” he counters, the rebuke stinging but deserved. The problem is, I do care about him. Doesn’t he get that’s where my hostility stems from? And only a crazy person would say that, Dekker. I put my hands up in surrender to both him and my own thoughts. “You know I only want the best for you.” I take a few steps in his direction in the first row of the stands. I’m close enough to catch the hitch of his movement and to see uncertainty flicker in his eyes. It’s almost as if he needs to talk but doesn’t see me as someone he can trust. I hate that. “What is it, Hunter?” “Nothing. It’s . . . never mind.” But I see it, and he knows I see it. The question is what do I see, though?

Meet K. Bromberg:

New York Times Bestselling author K. Bromberg writes contemporary romance novels that contain a mixture of sweet, emotional, a whole lot of sexy, and a little bit of real. She likes to write strong heroines and damaged heroes who we love to hate but can’t help to love.

A mom of three, she plots her novels in between school runs and soccer practices, more often than not with her laptop in tow and her mind scattered in too many different directions.

Since publishing her first book on a whim in 2013, Kristy has sold over one and a half million copies of her books across eighteen different countries and has landed on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestsellers lists over thirty times. Her Driven trilogy (Driven, Fueled, and Crashed) is currently being adapted for film by the streaming platform, Passionflix, with the first movie (Driven) out now.

With her imagination always in overdrive, she is currently scheming, plotting, and swooning over her latest hero. You can find out more about him or chat with Kristy on any of her social media accounts.

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Review: The Marriage Game by @saradesaiwrites

I “discovered” Sara Desai, because of Oprah. Yep, THAT Oprah. A staff member on the O Magazine wrote something about books to watch out for 2020, and Desai’s “The Marriage Game” was on it. I read the blurb – and got hooked.

“TMG” is soooo drastically different from all the other books I’ve read so far this year. I was in desperate need of a laugh and with the plot laid out on the blurb, I thought this would be a fun read. As of 9pm yesterday, I’m glad to report that I was right.

Layla’s aunties were a riot. The dialogues were laugh-out-loud. Desai had thanked Mindy Kaling in the dedication… honestly, I could practically hear Mindy’s voice when Layla was talking. The entire story was soooooo Asian (insert: THIS BLOGGER IS 2500% ASIAN), yet so American (I am -52% on this one, DNA-wise) at the same time: fun and funny, with some pretty serious life issues surrounding it. It’s highly reminiscent of the films, My Big, Fat, Greek Wedding where cultures collide; and, Crazy, Rich Asians, except that Layla and Sam are solidly middle class Americans. I am so high with my post-reading buzz, I’m Googling Mindy Kaling comedies now. “The Marriage Game” is THAT good.

4 stars


Check out the purchase links for the book below.

Go to Sara’s FB page for a release day giveaway



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The Marriage Game by Sara Desai

A Standalone Novel   |   Available Now

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Book Blurb:

One of Oprah Magazine’s Most Anticipated Romances of 2020 A high stakes wager pits an aspiring entrepreneur against a ruthless CEO in this sexy romantic comedy. After her life falls apart, recruitment consultant Layla Patel returns home to her family in San Francisco. But in the eyes of her father, who runs a Michelin starred restaurant, she can do no wrong. He would do anything to see her smile again. With the best intentions in mind, he offers her the office upstairs to start her new business and creates a profile on an online dating site to find her a man. She doesn’t know he’s arranged a series of blind dates until the first one comes knocking on her door… As CEO of a corporate downsizing company Sam Mehta is more used to conflict than calm. In search of a quiet new office, he finds the perfect space above a cozy Indian restaurant that smells like home. But when communication goes awry, he’s forced to share his space with the owner’s beautiful yet infuriating daughter Layla, her crazy family, and a parade of hopeful suitors, all of whom threaten to disrupt his carefully ordered life. As they face off in close quarters, the sarcasm and sparks fly. But when the battle for the office becomes a battle of the heart, Sam and Layla have to decide if this is love or just a game.


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Review: The Girl in the Love Song by @EmmaS_writes Emma Scott

My first thought whilst reading Emma Scott’s “The Girl in the Love Song:” wow, teenagers these days 😀 😀 😀 Their trials and tribulations all seem earth-shattering and life-altering. I’m so damned glad I’m way past all that shitty drama. That being said, however… I want more of Ms. Scott’s Lost Boys. LOL! Other people’s problems (especially if they’re fictional characters) are so much more interesting to know about. Sure beats experiencing the same OTT life.

Miller and Violet were best friends. The way they met – it felt like kismet. Their respective parental units were extreme sources of stress, pain, and frustration.

{{{ Let me just insert here: whenever I get asked “Why don’t you want kids?,” I make my inquirer read books featuring shitty parents – I think it helps nosey folks understand why some many most people should never procreate. Now, I freely admit, I’m one of those people. So, when I read about kids (even fictional ones) with problematic homes, I feel truly bad for them. }}}

Then, there are Miller and Vi’s tormentors/bullies/traitors from school. Frankie and Evelyn – ugh. Mean kids. The angst overtakes me. However, the intriguing parts also involve other minor characters, specifically, Miller and Violet’s friends: Ronan, Holden, Shiloh, and River. They’ve also got their own issues with their parents/guardians. (Ugh – why do all of these teenaged characters’ problems stem from shitty parents?) Personally, I can’t wait for Holden’s story.

The first of, perhaps, 3 (?) Lost Boys books, Emma Scott made me hurt, reflect, and introspect. I wanted to smoke to let out all the icky feels, even though I’ve quit for more than 4 years already. HAHAHA! For that alone, “The Girl in the Love Song” is a straight up 4-stars.

Emma Scott Girl in the Love Song

At Santa Cruz Central High School, they called them the misfits, the outcasts, the weirdos. But most of us knew them as the Lost Boys…

The Girl in the Love Song, book one in the Lost Boys, an interconnected coming-of-age series of standalones, from USA Today bestselling author Emma Scott, is live!

Miller Stratton is a survivor. After a harrowing childhood of poverty, he will do anything it takes to find security for himself and his mom. He’s putting all his hopes and dreams in the fragile frame of his guitar and the beauty he creates with its strings and his soulful voice. 

Until Violet. 

No one expects to meet the love of their life at age thirteen. But the spunky rich girl steals Miller’s heart and refuses to give it back. 

Violet McNamara’s life hasn’t been as simple as it looks. Her picture-perfect family is not so perfect after all. Her best friend Miller is her one constant and she is determined not to ruin their friendship with romantic complications. 

But the heart wants what it wants. As Miller’s star begins to rise to stratospheric heights, what will it take for Violet to realize that she’s the girl in all of his love songs?

The Girl in the Love Song features two original songs written by Emma herself.

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About Emma:

Emma Scott is an internationally bestselling author whose books have been featured in Buzzfeed, Huffington Post, New York Daily News and USA Today’s Happy Ever After. She writes emotional, character-driven romances in which art and love intertwine to heal, and in which love always wins. If you enjoy emotionally-charged stories that rip your heart out and put it back together again, with diverse characters and heroes with a heart of gold, you will enjoy her novels.

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4 stars