THE LIES THAT DEFINE US by Micalea Smeltzer Release Day Blitz + Review + Giveaway

 

 

Title: The Lies That Define Us
Series: Us Series #2 (standalone)
Author: Micalea Smeltzer
Genre: Romantic Suspense
 Release Date: February 9, 2016
Blurb
Ariella Geller is on the run from some very bad people and Liam Wade doesn’t know what he’s running from.Freedom has been an elusive dream for Ari, but when her chance for escape comes, she takes it. She finds herself in California and forced to accept help from strangers in order to stay off the streets and avoid being found by those she ran from.

Liam Wade is sick of living in the shadow of his famous father. All he wants is to make a name for himself as a professional surfer, but it’s impossible when the media focuses on every other aspect of his life. All he wants is respect, a chance to prove himself, but when it never comes he finds himself running and hiding from the ones who love him the most.

When their paths collide Ari and Liam are forced to confront their demons, and in the process they just might find a reason to stop running.

Purchase Links

Excerpt

I laid my head against the cool glass of the bus window and watched the rain slick against it. The water beaded against the glass and then slid down in little rivulets that I traced with my finger.

I wouldn’t miss the rain.
I wouldn’t miss anything about Oregon.

That place wasn’t my home. Never had been, and never would be.

With a jolt, the bus roared to life, startling me, but I relaxed a moment later when we pulled out of the station.

Freedom was so close to being mine.

I watched the people on the street as the bus pulled away. I was searching for buzzed brown hair and eerie black eyes, but he wasn’t amongst them.

He didn’t know I’d left yet.

And hopefully, by the time he did, I’d be long gone.

I adjusted my hoodie so my face was hidden from the other people on the bus and wiggled around, settling myself in for the long ride to California.

Unlike the other people on the bus, I didn’t have a cellphone to keep me company. Cellphones were traceable so I’d ditched mine. I couldn’t risk him finding me, because if he had I was certain he’d kill me. He would’ve eventually killed me if I stayed, too. My only option had been to take the risk of running away. I would have rather died on my terms than his, but if everything went according to plan, I’d be free and he’d never find me.

He called me Scarlett, but Scarlett didn’t exist.

Scarlett was a lie.

My name was Ariella, and I was reclaiming my stolen life.

Review
I was really excited about this book. Liam was very mean yet mysterious in the previous book so I was curious what his story would be. This is a much darker book than this authors normal book. Way darker. I really liked that aspect of it. The first one was so light and carefree, the fact that this one was darker was a nice change. I loved this book up until I got 90% in. Then it went downhill and got way darker. There were some dark aspects to this which I really liked because it was different from normal for this author. However the end got much darker than the book had been.
The romance was very cute as per usual for this author. I loved Liam and Ariella. Ariella is one of my favorite female characters from this author. It seemed to take a very very long time to get any details or information out of her though which at a certain point got annoying. Liam was a good guy. Not one of my favorites from this author, but I liked him. The chip on his shoulder was annoying. I didn’t really buy the excuse he uses for why he avoids his family for two years. He has such a great supportive family and I didn’t think that it was believable that he would avoid them for such a long time. Or that they would let him. I also wished there was more interactions with his family. We have fallen in love with the enter band of Willow Creek and want to know about their lives and families!
I did love Liam’s friends! They were a great aspect of the story and I think added a lot of value to the narrative.
Overall I did enjoy the book. It was mainly the end. It got so dark so quick and I didn’t think the rest of the book was leading up to something that dark.
3.5/5 stars
**I received an ARC from the author in return for an honest review**
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AMAZON US / UK
Author Bio
Micalea Smeltzer is a bestselling Young and New Adult author from Winchester, Virginia.
She’s always working on her next book, and when she has spare time she loves to
read and spend time with her family.
Author Links
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What I Read This Weekend…Dark Watcher by Lilith Saintcrow

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Synopsis

The Lightbringer: Theodora Morgan knows she’s a little strange. Her talent for healing has set her apart, marked her as different all her life-a life spent moving from town to town when too much notice is taken of her abilities. Unfortunately, her talent for healing has brought her to the attention of the Crusade-and the Dark. The Crusade wants her dead because she’s psychic, the Dark wants to feed on her talent-and then there’s Dante. Tall and grim and armed with black-bladed knives, guns and a sword, he says he’s here to protect her. But what if Theo needs protection from him? The Watcher: Dante is a Watcher, sworn by Circle Lightfall to protect the Lightbringers. His next assignment? Watch over Theo. She doesn’t know she’s a Lightbringer, she doesn’t know she’s surrounded by enemies-and she doesn’t know she’s been marked for death by a bunch of fanatics. Perfect. He can’t protect her if she doesn’t trust him, but how can she possibly trust a man scarred by murder and warfare-a man who smells like the same Darkness Theo has been running from all her life?

Review

I was looking for a good new paranormal book and found this one. It sounded intriguing so I was excited to read it. This book is apparently a revised edition of a book that came out years ago. I haven’t read the first edition. This edition I thought was good. I have only read her Strange Angel novels, which I loved. They are YA though so I was interested to read one of her adult novels. This book was a very light romance. By that I mainly mean there is only about two kissing scenes so its a clean romance if that’s what you prefer. I usually prefer not as clean romance novels, but it worked really well for this novel. The paranormal aspects of this novel were a little confusing to me. I have a feeling that that is less so with the other books in this series as long as you read the previous ones. That is how it was with her Strange Angel novels too. Those were confusing at first, but the more books I read the clearer and better everything became. It was a steady introduction to a new series. It was more predictable at times, but I didn’t mind it. The pacing was fine. Pacing is a key factor for me if I like a book or not.

Character development was sorely lacking for me in this novel. I saw that with the Strange Angel series as well so it wasn’t a huge suprise, but I can see it disappointing other readers. You get no background information about the heroine and almost nothing about the hero. There was a little more with the hero, but still nothing of significance. You also get no information really about the paranormal society besides what things are. You don’t really know how it works together.

Overall I did like this book and would love to read the next ones.

4/5 stars!

What To Read This Weekend…STEEL AND STONE SERIES by Annette Marie

Ok so I read this series in the last couple months. It is amazing, one of my all-time favorites now. There is supposedly going to be five books and only three are out so here are my reviews of the first three in the Steel and Stone series by Annette Marie!

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Synopsis: Piper Griffiths wants one thing in life: To become a Consul, a keeper of the peace between humans and daemons. There are precisely three obstacles in her way.

The first is Lyre. Incubus. Hotter than hell and with a wicked streak to match. His greatest mission in life is to get Piper into bed and otherwise annoy the crap out of her. The second is Ash. Draconian. Powerful. Dangerous. He knows too much and reveals nothing. Also, disturbingly attractive — and scary. Did she mention scary?

The third is the Sahar Stone. Top secret magical weapon of mass destruction. Previously hidden in her Consulate until thieves broke in, went on a murder spree, and disappeared with the weapon.

And they left Piper to take the fall for their crimes.

Now she’s on the run, her dreams of becoming a Consul shattered and every daemon in the city gunning to kill her. She’s dead on her own, but there’s no one she can trust — no one except two entirely untrustworthy daemons… See problems one and two.

Review: To say that I inhaled this book would be the perfect way to describe it. I haven’t finished a book that quickly in a while! I LOVED this book! The story was fantastic, characters were unique and Annette Marie writes some of the best scenes between a guy and girl with the added sexual tension that I have read in a while! The chemistry is just coming off the pages between Piper, Lyre, and Ash. OMG ASH! Meet my new book boyfriend! Holy crap this guy is awesome! Definitely has the quiet, think but total badass thing going for him which is my favorite.

I thought Piper was a little weak in the beginning. She is supposed to be this great warrior but it takes a while to prove that yes, she is also a badass. That was probably one of the best parts of the story is when she fights her own battles and you really get to see what a strong woman she is. That was one of the stronger reasons why I loved this book so much. The assumed love triangle is actually one of the better ones that I have read. Sometimes they are awful and this was actually a good one. It isn’t even that strong of a love triangle so if you are worried about that or get annoyed with love triangles, don’t worry. It’s really not that bad.

Stars: 5/5

***Note: I received a copy of the book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*** 

 


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Synopsis: The most important rule for an Apprentice Consul is simple: Don’t get involved with daemons. Well, Piper is planning to break that rule — big time.

After a near-deadly scandal with the Sahar Stone, she has the chance to return to the only life she’s ever wanted. All she has to do to keep her Apprenticeship is forget about Ash and Lyre. Ash might be enigmatic and notoriously lethal, and Lyre might be as sinfully irresistible as he is irritating, but they’re not bad for a couple of daemons.

There’s just one problem: Ash is missing.

Really, she shouldn’t risk her future for him. He lied. He betrayed her. But he also saved her life, damn it. Wherever he is, he’s in trouble, and if she doesn’t save his sorry butt, who will? But with every dangerous secret she unravels, each one darker than the last, she slips deeper into Ash’s world — a world with no escape for either of them.

BIND THE SOUL is the second book in the Steel & Stone series.

Review: The plot thickens! Now I devoured the first book in this series and the second I think I read faster? I just loved it. I had to find out what happens! And Annette Marie did not disappoint! I was worried that the story wouldn’t be as good as in the first book, but I worried for nothing! Ms. Marie has great story-telling abilities! There are little things that bothered me in this book, but they really pale in comparison to just how great the story itself is. Piper seems to be really growing, becoming more independent, but I am worried about how her decisions she makes will effect her. It seems like that is the main plan to explore for the next book. Piper’s dad is also being completely unreasonable in my eyes! I am so worried about boarding school. It seems like a really bad idea but we will see!

Now lets talk about those boys! I was excited that we finally got to see Lyre without glamour! That was fun! Ash became my new book boyfriend in the first book and even more so in this one! Ash is just wonderful! One of the best guys that I have read!

The fact that another girl is also introduced I liked. Piper needs some girlfriends!

Can’t wait to see what happens!

Stars: 5/5 stars

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Synopsis: After surviving a round-trip to hell, Piper figures she can survive anything. After all, she just lived through the devastating loss of her Consul apprenticeship and a torturous stint at boarding school. How much worse could it get? 

Well, she wasn’t expecting a group of crazy radicals to burn her home to the ground and take her prisoner. 

The Gaians, a.k.a. the crazy radicals, plan to rid Earth of daemons and they want Piper to help them. In exchange for her cooperation, they promise her the answer to all her problems: magic. With her own magic, she could reclaim her apprenticeship, the only future she’s ever wanted. But her magic comes at price — it could kill her. 

With the life she’s always known crumbling around her and her future slipping from her grasp, she needs Ash’s help one more time. But the greatest danger of all lies within her, and no matter what she does, she may lose everything — including him.

 

Review:

I was DYING to get my hands on this book. I haven’t wanted the next book in a series this much in a while (not counting wanting to get the second book in the series ASAP). After the amazing sequel I was slightly nervous what was going to happen in the third book. As a FYI, there supposedly will be five books in the series. The story continued and readers will not be disappointed. The story is starting to shift more from being a teenager, to becoming more adult. I like this transition.

In this book Piper and friends travel to the Overworld. Now I try to not give away anything about books (I hate reviews with spoilers), but I don’t think saying that gives anything away. There are some questions that are answered which is always nice, but of course more questions arise. This book gives more into the origin of Piper which I loved. The sexual tension between Piper and Ash. Ash, can we say new book boyfriend??? Love Ash, he is just the strong, silent type, but is also a badass. All of these things are my favorite! I’m still waiting for more girls to show up and have actual friendships with Piper. There were a few surprises thrown in there that I wasn’t expecting. The ending was heartbreaking and I am so nervous about the next book! Also ends on another cliffhanger and I can’t wait to read the next one!

I will definitely be reading anything else Annette Marie comes out with! So delighted to find a new author!

Stars: 4.5/5 stars

***I received an ARC from the author in return for an honest review***

What to Read This Weekend…Rivulet by Jamie Magee

 

Synopsis:

In life he haunted her…in death she haunted him. Love is eternal…

Weeks away from her twenty-first birthday, the date where she would assume control over her family legacy, a night terror robs Indie of the balance she was clinging to. Like the dream she had before she lost her family, it predicts a fatal catastrophe on the horizon. The fight between life and death, good and evil, began the moment her thundering heart awoke her.

Everything changed after that dream. The one thing that keeps her curse at bay is stolen, and then her enigmatic boy arrives in the flesh. Face to face with her fiery born-again lover Indie realizes that the only way she can prevent the tragedy before her is to surrender everything she was, is, and could be.

Can she bend the laws of nature and fight the improbability that fire and ice could ever be one? As far as Indie is concerned, there is not a myth, spoken fate, or curse that is stronger than her stubborn desire to have it all … including him.

 

Review: I have read a previous work by Jamie Magee, Edge, and really loved it so I was excited to get to read something else from this author. The style of this book was similar to Edge in that it was paranormal, but took it to the extra level. This novel though was so much more confusing to me than her other work. That’s not to say I didn’t like it. I did. It was just very confusing at times.

I think some of my issues were just that some things seemed to move very quickly and I kept having to re-read parts to understand. It seemed like there was a continuation of problems arising and they would then to get pushed aside then more would arise. Indie just kept saying they would deal with everything later and it got a little annoying. Again, it was just really confusing to me. If I read it again, it might make more sense.

I did like this book, I just don’t know if I could tell you why I liked it. I read the entire thing and I wanted to keep reading, mainly because I was hoping some things would be cleared up. The story was also sorely good, its just that I really didn’t get it sometimes. Some parts were confusing on purpose and I get that. I really liked the secondary characters and those relationships. Sebastian and Indie relationship was different and I didn’t like that there really wasn’t a process of showing how they fell in love, just that Indie had seen it over the years. The dual dimensions were confusing. I think by the end of the book there are questions that were answered, but some were not. Hopefully in the sequels more questions will be answered. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

3/5 stars!

 

To learn more about Jamie Magee, check out her Goodreads page!

What I Read This Weekend…Edge Episodes 1-4 by Jamie Magee

What I Read This Weekend…Edge Episodes 1-4 by Jamie Magee

Screen Shot 2015-01-23 at 2.35.24 AMSYNOPSIS: Reveca Beauregard had long ago been dubbed the Queen of Darkness by the dead. To the living she was known as the Pentacle Daughter, the only acknowledged female member of the Pentacle Sons MC, the most lethal biker correlation known to exist. She was rumored to be a witch. That rumor, of course, was true.

New Orleans was her home, at the Beauregard Boneyard, the safe haven the Club resided within. Only those in the inner circle were as Reveca was—immortal. To be as such you had to choose the life, and the life had to choose you. For either to occur, death came first.

Those deaths came from wars the Sons fought with both the mortal and immortal worlds, as they bent the decrees of the modern lawmen and the paranormal world at large who had no hope of opposing the dark splendor of their vengeance.

Presently, the mysterious murder of a mortal coupled with the cold-blooded slaying of Reveca’s close friend has led the lawmen to place their corrupt accusations upon the Sons. A forced barter with a Lord of Death has landed the Club with a soul that is set to rock the foundation the Sons as a whole stand upon.

 

REVIEW: First off I hate that I only got to read 1-4 and then find out that there are 8 total. I didn’t realize it would be a serial nor that long of a serial. The first book gets you hooked and the rest just keep the story building. Not going to lie. I started this at another point and stopped because the beginning was just a little rough. It was confusing and took a bit to get my footing on the story. From there it was wonderful and I loved it, but all of it was also just confusing in the beginning. You just aren’t sure what is going on. Once you figure it out though you can’t stop. I absolutely adored this book. I thought it was great. The story was developing and there are a lot of new mysterious that each new serial brings in.

I really have loved MC books lately which is why I wanted to read this one. This is a different kind of MC book though, the immortal kind. Part of what thew me off was that I thought it would be a normal MC book and it wasn’t. It had MC elements, but was still not a typical MC book. Reveca was great. She is such a tough girl and you could really tell from the writing that being immortal was rough on her. It also has created all of these really complicated relationships that take a while to adjust to and figure out. They guys though. They are fantastic and so H.O.T. Definitely makes you want to keep reading! It’s hard to judge the serial overall since I haven’t finished the story, but I have loved what I have read so far! Definitely work checking out!

4.5/5 stars

***I received this book for free in exchange of an honest review***

Screen Shot 2015-01-23 at 1.42.16 AMAbout the Author: Jamie Magee has always believed that each of us have a defining gift that sets us apart from the rest of the world, she has always envied those who have known from their first breath what their gift was. Not knowing hers, she began a career in the fast paced world of business. Raising a young family, and competing to rise higher in that field would drive some to the point of insanity, but she always found a moment of escape in a passing daydream. Her imagination would take her to places she’d never been, introduce her to people she’s never known. Insight, her debuting novel, is a result of that powerful imagination. Today, she is grateful that not knowing what defined her, led her on a path of discovery that would always be a part of her.

What I Read This Weekend…The Reluctant Prince by Dani-Lyn Alexander

Screen Shot 2014-11-16 at 10.09.09 PMFor some reason it took me longer to read this book. I think part of it was because I was ok stopping which is rare.

 

This book was very fast-paced. The storyline kept moving and moving. I liked it though because it was different than a lot of other books that I liked.

 

I really liked how Ryleigh was spelt. Also there wasn’t a lot of freaking out on her end about the situation. I hate the required 10-page freak out about the situation. I really appreciated the relationship that she has with her sister. I really wanted more from the relationship between Jackson and Ryleigh. There were very few moments between them and I think it would be important to see more of their relationship.

 

There was some world-building in this book, but nothing too confusing. I think it would have been helpful to talk more about what makes Jackson different or the people in this other realm special. This book was all about not wasting time which I liked. I hate time-wasting in this book.

 

There will be a sequel so I am so excited for it!

 

Note: I received a free copy of this book in return for an honest review!

What I Read This Weekend…Alpha Divided by Aileen Erin

Screen Shot 2014-11-16 at 6.36.48 PMThis is the third in the series and I loved the first two so I was very excited about this book. I thought that it might be a trilogy, but at the end of this book you do find out that there will be a fourth and I am so excited for it!

 

Once again I really liked the author’s pace and her writing. The story is just complicated enough and well thought out for the most part.

 

Tessa irritated me more in this book than previous ones. There were things that were just so obvious to me or how things were connected and she didn’t see them. She just seemed to make some stupid decisions sometimes and it’s a little irritating. Since she does spend a lot of this book at the compound that means not a lot of progress was made on her relationship with Dastien.

 

I do love Dastien. He is French, which is awesome. He stands out from guys in other books, which is always good since sometimes they blur together.

 

I understood that Tessa needed to go and learn how to be a witch at some point, but she didn’t seem to learn that much. There didn’t seem to be any growth for her as a witch while she was there. The climax scene was a little short for me and I am excited about Claudia’s book because I liked the idea of getting some of the story from another perspective. I think this book could have been better if done with other perspectives included. Especially what is going on with the pack while she is at the compound which you could have scenes from Dastien or preferably Meredith’s’ perspective and it really would have added to the story in my opinion. I really like the pack so I wanted to know what was happening while she was gone.

 

3.5/5

 

Note: I received a free copy of this book in return for an honest review.

What I Read This Weekend…RUSHED by Gina Robinson

Rushed by Gina RobinsonRushed by Gina Robinson Review

 

This book is a great insight into how the Greek system at college campuses works. I was most impressed with the descriptions about rush than anything. Mainly because I have read books lately about rush and they are incorrect in my opinion on how rush actually works and I have seen rush at small and large universities. So great job there.

 

The pace of the story was decent. When it started it was a little slow for me, but part of that came from the fact that I knew she would get in the house so it was almost like wasted time to talk about the process and everything leading up to it, but I understood why it was there. For the most part I liked the main character. It was a little frustrating that she didn’t seem to get the her friend Em was not actually her friend. At times it seemed liked she was and others it didn’t. That friendship just seemed really complicated and I didn’t like it. I also would have liked her to have an actual friend somewhere. It didn’t seem like she had a good secondary character to turn to when things got complicated. Also her mother confused me at times. There was her continually demand that she be in the house, but then she talks about how her mother wasn’t popular or it wasn’t a popular house when her mother was there. Her mom was such a snob about everything and it was hard to imagine how she got to acting like that in the first place if the sorority wasn’t the best when she was there. Some of the relationships were just not very clear.

 

The couple also seemed to fall in love rather quickly. When they said ‘I love you’, it just threw me off. I thought I had missed something. It was like I blinked and there we were and I wasn’t sure how we got to this point.

 

I had a hard time believing that our main guys parents would be that horrible. Mainly in cutting him off. I just really don’t understand how if your parents would hate you enough to cut you off in terms of paying for school. Even if they hate you, but they can pay for school, they will probably pay for school. Also once they got caught there was a quick turnaround, literally the next page of a bunch of other stuff going down. That again was like I blinked, and there we were. Wasn’t sure how we jumped that quickly but we did.

 

Both the characters seemed to grow, him more than her. However I did like that they grew at least a little. I didn’t think we got enough background on our girl. It was almost like the start of rush was the start of her life. I mean she talked about her family, but that was just her parents.

 

Also, by the end there were a lot of loose ends so I assuming there is going to be a second book. Too much was left unanswered for there not to be like what happened to Jordan, what’s going on with Kayla and the geeky guy, and etc.

This may make it seem like I didn’t like the book, but I did.

Note: I received a free copy of this book in return for an honest review.

3/5

WHAT TO READ THIS WEEKEND…UNBORN BY AMBER LYNN NATUSCH

Screen Shot 2014-11-16 at 4.13.44 PMUnborn Review

 

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in return for an honest review!

 

I have never read a book by Amber Lynn Natusch, but after reading this one I want to go read everything!

 

I really enjoyed this book. The beginning was slightly confusing. I know this can be read as a standalone, but I think it would have helped to have read the Caged series before this one. While you eventually do understand everything going on, it did take me a bit to get it all figured out. I really liked the pace of the story. The way the main character speaks is a little annoying because its a mix between language of today and language of the early 20th contrary or earlier. However, I understand why it happened that way and it does make sense when you take in the characters background.

 

The writing and pace of the story was good. I love paranormal stories, but especially those with gods and/or angels involved. That being said this book had a lot of paranormal elements that I liked. The pace was good which is always important to me. Overall there seemed to be very little character development but because this appears to be being turned into a series I hope to see that growth more in the next few books.

 

I was really surprised that our main character couldn’t fight. I thought that she would at least have been taught to do that, but nope. Also, its a little confusing in terms of her sexuality. From what I gathered while reading the book she seems to have been raped several times, but we don’t talk about that as effecting her at all. I understood that she had to survive in the Underworld and therefore felt nothing it seems like, but I wanted more depth to this character because of her harsh upbringing.

 

Oz seemed complicated. I am not sure where the author will take this character in future books, but there is a lot of character growth that can be done there. In terms of all the brothers. It was nice to get insight into all of them. They were each very individual despite being brothers. I was worried they would seem too similar or confusing, but the author did a good job of making each brother distinct.

 

I am very anxious to see where this series goes, but I did love this book and look forward to the sequel!

 

4/5

What I Read This Weekend…Rock Addiction by Nalini Singh

Rock Addiction by Nalini Singh Review

 

Screen Shot 2014-10-18 at 12.42.08 AMOne thing to keep in mind when you start this book is that it is pretty unrealistic. The guy pretty much loves her from the very beginning so you have to accept that fact to really enjoy the book. I really loved this book. I have rad many Nalini Singh books recently. I love her Psy-Changling series. This book is similar quality, but it is different. It’s a contemporary romance and is almost like a New Adult. If you don’t like either one of those options then you shouldn’t read it. If you like this author and this genre then you should read this book. I thought it was excellent. She didn’t take the easy way out and make everything about misunderstandings between the couple. The couple actually talked about their issues and actually communicated which I loved. I thought they had a mature relationship. It was different from other books in that way.

 

Our girl was a librarian and matched every stereotype of that description. She was a little boring, confusing, but she was ok overall. She wasn’t too irritating. I really liked her relationships with other people more than anything. Not only with her man, but also her friends and his bandmates/friends.

 

One good thing about this book is like others by this author she talks about things that are the focus in her other books in the series. So what that means is htat you want those other books at the same time as you are reading the current one. This is very annoying when the other books are not out.

 

Our man is slightly ridiculous with the strength of his feelings right off the bat. It probably will bother some people, but it didn’t bug me too much. In this authors other books, there are ‘mates’, ‘soul mates’ and etc. Therefore I expected this even if it is more new adult and contemporary with no paranormal. This author has a good flow to her writing and character development is great.

 

Really loved it! 4/5 stars!

 

Can be read as a standalone, but will have a series focused on other characters in this universe.