Review: The F Word by Liza Palmer

Review

A hot-shot L.A. publicist leads a perfect life—her clients are big-time celebs, her husband is a gorgeous doctor, her planner is filled with enviable event invitations. Everything is picture-perfect indeed, until her past and present collide, opening the floodgates to everything she worked so hard to forget. Suddenly, her perfect life begins to unravel at the seams… was it even real to begin with?

Liza Palmer’s The F Word was a breath of fresh air—honest, humorous and whip smart. Hers is a cautionary tale to all young women who reach for the glamorous life and can sometimes sacrifice authenticity and truth in the process. I couldn’t put it down with all its relatability, heart and addictive wit.

We meet Olivia Marten just before her life begins to fall apart. Her enviable life is exposed after running into the adult version of the boy she crushed on her entire school life (despite his cruel words). Seeing him again ushered in all those feelings of inadequacy and insecurity, feelings that defined the girl she no longer was. Olivia had left her behind, recreated herself to be confident, tough, impenetrable.

With each passing day, however, she can’t seem to stop the past from disrupting her future, making her see life through a whole new lens. Worse yet, she’s been hiding painful secrets and she’s not the only one. While the drama of her celeb clients hits an all-time high, Olivia is doing everything she can to keep it all together. But try as she may, there’s no going back, no unseeing that her life is far from perfect, no unfeeling the sense of freedom which takes over.

The question is, can Olivia salvage her life before it falls apart irreparably? Does she even want to?

I promise you won’t be able to put this novel down. Fun, fast-paced and with lots of heart, this is the next book you’ll be recommending to all your friends!

About The F Word

Olivia Morten is perfect. Maybe she’s constantly hungry, but her body is to die for. Maybe her high-flying publicist job has taken over her life, but her clients are L.A.’s hottest celebrities. Maybe her husband is never around, but he is a drop-dead-gorgeous doctor. And maybe her past harbors an incredibly embarrassing secret, but no one remembers high school…right?

When Ben Dunn, Olivia’s high school arch nemesis and onetime crush, suddenly resurfaces, all of her hard-won perfection begins to unravel. As she finds herself dredging up long-suppressed memories, she is forced to confront the most painful truth of all: sometimes who we become isn’t who we really are.

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Review: The Animal Under The Fur by E.J. Mellow

  • Summary: A fast-paced, fun and fierce enemies-to-lovers romance
  • Type: NA adventure/romance
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Review

High-stakes action has never been hotter and so exciting with E.J. Mellow’s The Animal Under The Fur. This enemies-to-lovers romance sparks to life amidst missions and murder, as two highly skilled operatives oscillate between hating each other and desiring each other in a way they’ve not felt before. Reminiscent of the show Alias, you’ll get the same kind of feels and badass vibes, with a different kind of story that thrums with secrets, surprises and superhuman savagery.

Nashville Brown, otherwise known as operative 3, is used to being on her own. She’s had to survive, relying on grit, determination and some extraordinary abilities—all which have made her the perfect assassin. No mission is impossible, she’s a quick moving shadow in the night.

While on her latest mission, however, she collides with another operative who’s all swagger and good looks. Luckily for 3, his arrogance gets him nowhere.

Carter Smith has never not completed a mission.  He’s the best in his field—or so he thinks—in and out of any situation fast enough to enjoy a festive romp in between the sheets. This time, however, he’s bested by a girl who’s all red hair, fast moves and ferocity.

Worse yet, once back home, they’re both shocked to hear they have to work together.

Angry and armed, can they trust each other enough to not kill each other first? They can’t afford to fail this mission… it’s big, with the potential for widespread consequences. To make matters worse, the deeper they dig, the more ugly truths are unearthed—truths that hit close to home with the potential to change everything.

I loved how fun and fast paced the story was, how exciting and suspenseful it felt. If you’re looking to add a little intensity, a little blood spatter and a whole lot of delicious angst to your love stories, read this book now!

About The Animal Under The Fur

Orphaned on the streets as a baby, Nashville Brown, a.k.a Kill Operative 3, knows better than to rely on anyone. With heightened senses and superhuman strength to survive, she’s been raised as the perfect assassin.

The trick to her success? Keeping everyone, even her best friend, at arm’s length.

Losing his entire family in the span of a year, Carter Smith left his ability to love buried deep in their graves. His only concerns now are completing his missions and effortlessly charming the next temptress to warm his bed.

The key to his accomplishments? Working alone mixed with a Casanova smile.

But when a deadly weapon needs to be stopped from falling into the wrong hands, the lone wolves find themselves thrown into an explosive partnership. Can Carter and 3 lower their guns aimed at one another long enough to succeed, or will their unwillingness to compromise end up destroying more than their perfect records? Whatever their differences, both agree on one thing—in the game of lies and deceit, the line between friend and foe is often blurred by blood splatter.

The Animal Under The Fur is a hate-to-loath-to-love standalone novel filled with savagery, secrets, and enough angst to wrinkle the pages you’ll find gripped in your hands.

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Review: The Opposite of You by Rachel Higginson

Review

Can a talented food truck cook find love with a famous yet arrogant restaurant chef who’s criticized her food?

With The Opposite of You, Rachel Higginson draws us into a bright and clever story full of life, humor and possibility. This enemies-to-lovers romance flourished in the late-night food scene, coming to life in a way that felt real with characters I quickly felt invested in and wanted to learn more about—a hallmark of the Rachel Higginson books I’ve read to date.

Every interaction crackled with tension and chemistry and from the very first pages, I couldn’t get enough, couldn’t read fast enough. The story of Vera and Killian shines brightly and I adored every word.

After a bad breakup, Vera Delane escapes to Europe to immerse herself in the hustle and bustle of small kitchens, to hone her long-time love of cooking. She’d always dreamed of running the kitchen of a renowned restaurant, but life had thrown a wrench in the possibility of it and her reality had sent her back home to Durham, to pour everything she had into a shiny, new food truck venture.

Across the street, Chef Killian Quinn enjoyed his status as the darling of the food world. Loved by critics and immensely talented, his dishes graced the tables of the restaurant Lilou. But as Vera should have expected, his talent was marred by the arrogance and condescension she had felt first hand. This motorcycle-riding-bearded-bad boy had made it clear her food wasn’t good enough and her business didn’t have a place in their shared plaza.

And yet, night after night, Killian couldn’t stay away, couldn’t forego the opportunity to try more of her food, even if it was only to tell her how she could do better.

But as Vera’s turbulent past threatens, and her interactions with Killian begin to change, new desires and possibilities fill her every thought. And as it turns out, there’s so much more to Killian than she expected. She’d been there before, however, she’d trusted someone like him and she’d promised herself to one day find the exact opposite of someone like Killian Quinn. Could she trust him with her heart? With her future?

I promise you, you’ll fall in love with this story as deeply and easily as I did. I could see the entire thing in my head, vivid scenes of a new favorite movie. Higginson’s novel is delightful, delicious and an cherished addition to my 2017 favorites list.

About The Opposite of You

I’ve sworn off men.

All men.

Famous last words, right? You’re expecting some epic tale of reluctant love and my dramatic change of heart? Well, you’re not going to get it.

I’m stubborn. And headstrong. And I’ve just survived the worst three years of my life. After escaping an abusive boyfriend to live in hostels and cheap hotels while I worked my way across Europe, I’ve come to two conclusions.

The first? Now that I’m back home, I’m going to squander my expensive culinary degree on a food truck that caters to the late night drunk crowd.

The second? I’m going to prove to the bastard across the plaza that my street food is better than his fussy five course monstrosities.

Killian Quinn might be Food and Wine’s Chef to Watch Out For. He might have a Michelin Star. He might have every food critic in the city wrapped around his too-large fingers. But he’s also pretentious and unbearably arrogant and the very opposite of me.

So he can keep his unsolicited advice and his late night visits and his cocky smiles. I want none of it. Or him.

I want the opposite.

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Review: Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi

Review

With Crown of Wishes, Roshani Chokshi once again transports us to a world woven by magic. Inspired by Hindu mythology, the narrative reads like a fable—the kind whispered around fire light, shimmering with didactic stories of wishes, desires, fears and betrayal. Every page comes to life with Chokshi’s poetic hand, as the princess of Bharata and the cunning heir of Ujijain embark on an unlikely adventure deep into the mythical corners of Alaka.

We once again meet Gauri (Maya’s sister) who’s been betrayed by her brother, tossed into the clutches of a rival kingdom. For years she’s sharpened her physical and political skills, forced to play a deadly game to survive. But too much grinding has hardened her, despite her single mindedness to dethrone her brother and help her people.

Meanwhile, Vikram struggles against the confines of his future—a puppet king at the whim of the Council. But when he receives an invitation to the Tournament of Wishes, hope flares for a different destiny.

“He’d built his life on wanting the impossible—true power, recognition, a future—and now magic had found him the moment he stopped looking. It breathed life into all those old dreams, filling him with that most terrible of questions: What if…”

Before too long, Vikram offers Gauri the same hope, a chance for freedom should she agree to be his partner in the tournament.

Finding the mythical city of Alaka (where the tournament is held) is only the first challenge. They must decipher clues hidden in riddles before they face unimaginable trials that will force them to confront their deepest fears and desires. And in a land of illusions and magic, death is almost certain with every step.

With a slow-burning romance and danger at every turn, Chokshi’s beautifully written fantasy comes alive vibrantly. If you love poetic fairy tales with a dash of suspense and romance, this is one you shouldn’t miss.

About Crown of Wishes

Gauri, the princess of Bharata, has been taken as a prisoner of war by her kingdom’s enemies. Faced with a future of exile and scorn, Gauri has nothing left to lose. Hope unexpectedly comes in the form of Vikram, the cunning prince of a neighboring land and her sworn enemy kingdom. Unsatisfied with becoming a mere puppet king, Vikram offers Gauri a chance to win back her kingdom in exchange for her battle prowess. Together, they’ll have to set aside their differences and team up to win the Tournament of Wishes – a competition held in a mythical city where the Lord of Wealth promises a wish to the victor.

Reaching the tournament is just the beginning. Once they arrive, danger takes on new shapes: poisonous courtesans and mischievous story birds, a feast of fears and twisted fairy revels.

Every which way they turn new trials will test their wit and strength. But what Gauri and Vikram will soon discover is that there’s nothing more dangerous than what they most desire.

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Series reading order

Each can be read as a standalone

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