Review: Beard With Me by Penny Reid

Beard With Me by Penny Reid
Series: Winston Brothers #6 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: September 16th 2019
Links: EbookPaperbackGoodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review

‘Beard With Me’ is the origin story of Billy Winston and Scarlet St. Claire (aka Claire McClure) and is just the beginning of their epic love story.

No one is better at surviving than Scarlet St. Claire and making the best out of circumstances beyond her control is Scarlet’s specialty. In an apocalyptic situation, she’d be the last person on earth, hermitting like a pro, singing along to her CD Walkman, and dancing like no one is watching.

Scarlet is clever, Scarlet is careful, and Scarlet is smart . . . except when it comes to Billy Winston.

No one is better at fighting than Billy Winston and raging against his circumstances—because nothing is beyond his control—is Billy’s specialty. In an apocalyptic situation, he’d be the first person on earth to lead others to safety, overcome catastrophe, or die trying.

Billy is fearless, Billy is disciplined, and Billy is honorable . . . except when it comes to Scarlet St. Claire.

I AM NOT OKAY!!!! Words can’t describe how much I need Beard Necessities in my life. Right now.

If the soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts, then my soul was Scarlet.

I stayed up until 1AM finishing Beard With Me up, and it was so worth it. I knew I would love Billy and Scarlet, and Penny Reid didn’t disappoint. Even though this origin story wasn’t quite as angsty as I expected (except in the last 15% of the book, which was hit after hit to the heart), I loved getting to see how Billy and Scarlet met and fell in love for the first time as teens. Their friends-to-lovers story is sweet, slow, and so beautiful. I hurt for their family struggles but the love they found in each other made me so happy, even when I knew it wouldn’t end happily.

If you love the Winston family, you will be seeing them in all their glory in Beard With Me! This origin story gives us a great insight on how this family grows up and especially how Billy loves and takes care of all of them. I really just wanted to give this boy a great big hug for all the sacrifice and work he puts into caring for his family.

My heart ached for Scarlet and her loneliness. It’s not easy growing up as the daughter of an MC president, with parents who couldn’t care less about you. But she finds a new family in Billy and the Winstons, which makes it all the more heartbreaking when you know that her love story doesn’t end well, at least for now.

Can you tell how much I love Scarlet and Billy? They are on their way to becoming my favorite couple of the series, and we haven’t even gotten their actual book yet. These are two wonderful humans who deserve the best of things, not least of which is a second chance at love, which I am SO READY FOR!!!


lacey


Reading Order: Winston Brothers series

Truth or Beard by Penny Reid Grin and Beard It by Penny Reid Beard Science by Penny Reid
   

#1 ~ Truth or Beard: My Review • Ebook • PaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#2 ~ Grin and Beard It: My Review • EbookPaperback • Audible • Goodreads
#3 ~ Beard Science: My Review • EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#4 ~ Beard in Mind: My Review • EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#5 ~ Dr. Strange Beard: My ReviewEbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#6 ~ Beard With Me: EbookPaperbackGoodreads
#7 ~ Beard Necessities: EbookGoodreads (Nov. 4, 2019)


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Blog Tour // Review + Excerpt: Broken Knight by L.J. Shen

Broken Knight by L.J. Shen
Series: All Saints High #2 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: August 20th 2019
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From USA Today and Washington Post bestselling author L.J. Shen comes a new, standalone romance about first loves, betrayal and loss.

Not all love stories are written the same way. Ours had torn chapters, missing paragraphs, and a bittersweet ending.

Luna Rexroth is everyone’s favorite wallflower.
Sweet.
Caring.
Charitable.
Quiet.
Fake.
Underneath the meek, tomboy exterior everyone loves (yet pities) is a girl who knows exactly what, and who, she wants—namely, the boy from the treehouse who taught her how to curse in sign language.
Who taught her how to laugh.
To live.
To love.

Knight Cole is everyone’s favorite football hero.
Gorgeous.
Athletic.
Rugged.
Popular.
Liar.
This daredevil hell-raiser could knock you up with his gaze alone, but he only has eyes for the girl across the street: Luna.
But Luna is not who she used to be. She doesn’t need his protection anymore.
When life throws a curveball at All Saints’ golden boy, he’s forced to realize not all knights are heroes.
Sometimes, the greatest love stories flourish in tragedy.

Buy Links:
EbookPaperbackAudible

review button

God. I don’t even know how I feel about this book, if I’m being completely honest. Broken Knight is raw, emotional, gutting – every word you can think of that means a hit to the feels, perfectly describes BK. I enjoyed it, but at what emotional cost? The part near the end had me so conflicted, because I don’t know whether I loved it or hated it. And of course LJ Shen would do this to her readers – I love and hate her equally for doing this to us! LOL.

They used the word smitten because batshit crazy wasn’t cute. But everyone knew I was smitten with chicken wings and vintage Tumblr porn, not with Luna. With Luna, I was in fucking everything. Love. Lust. Obsession. Take your pick.

Finding out who Luna would end up with, Knight or Vaughn, has been a question since Pretty Reckless released. Well, maybe even before then. But now that Broken Knight is here, we all know that Luna’s hero is the one and only Knight Cole, her very best friend, protector, and love. Luna and Knight have a very unconventional friends-to-lovers romance. They grew up together, the mute and the popular, charming jock, and have been in love with each other since forever, but don’t want to risk losing their friendship for more. But it’s Knight’s last year of high school and Luna’s first year of college, and Knight doesn’t want to wait anymore. He wants to claim the one woman he knows is meant for him… but Luna doesn’t make it easy. And because Knight gets hurt in the process, he wants to hurt Luna back.

I loved Luna’s character. She goes through a whole transformation throughout BK and I couldn’t help but be so proud of her by the end. Knight makes her go through some pretty awful things – there is a lot of annoying OW/OM drama. It’s immature, over-the-top, angsty… everything you expect from such young characters who are trying to grow up. But I loved Luna and Knight was such a mini-Dean I couldn’t help but slowly grow to love him too.

“There was never any doubt you were a Cole, Knight. You weren’t a choice; you were destiny.”

The main reason why I can’t give this full 5 stars is because I feel like Luna and Knight’s romance was overshadowed by more of the heavier, emotional aspects of this book. Knight goes through substance abuse because he is dealing with his mother’s illness. Because of this, BK felt more like Knight’s story than Luna’s, which was a little disappointing since I loved her character so much. But just because the romance was overshadowed doesn’t mean the story itself was bad. It was well-written, with great character development, and I truly couldn’t put the book down. The good, the bad, the ugly, all of it is beautifully written and I applaud LJ Shen for doing so.

If you enjoyed Pretty Reckless, you will most likely enjoy Broken Knight. They are similar in terms of angst and drama. BK can be read as a standalone, but I’d suggest reading Ruckus and Scandalous from the Sinners of Saint series to get a better sense of Luna and Knight’s families. Right now, I can’t wait to get my hands on Vaughn’s book, and I’m crossing my fingers that his heroine is who I hope it will be!


lacey

Quotes are taken from the arc and are subject to change in the final version.

Now here’s an excerpt from Broken Knight! ❤

excerpt button

Right now I wanted to just be here in silence with my best friend. And somehow, I don’t know how, but Luna sensed it. So we sat there for what felt like two hours but was probably a lot less, until I opened my eyes again. Her eyes were closed, too. I watched her for a while.

When she opened her eyes, it felt like she took something away from me.

“Let’s jump,” she said.

“I’m quite fond of my limbs, Moonshine.”

“Stop being such a big baby.”

“Big, quarterback baby who just finished a football season in one piece and would like to keep all his body parts intact.”

She crawled out of the treehouse and settled on the branch. It was thick, but I doubted it could carry my muscular ass for more than a few seconds before snapping. I rolled my eyes and settled next to her. She slipped her hand in mine.

“Three, two, one.”

It was a short, sweet way down.

Reading Order: All Saints High series

 

#1 ~ Pretty Reckless: Ebook • PaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#2 ~ Broken Knight: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#3 ~ Angry God: Goodreads (2019)

about the author button

L.J. Shen is an International #1 best-selling author of Contemporary Romance and New Adult novels. She lives in Northern California with her husband, young son and chubby cat.

Before she’d settled down, L.J. (who thinks referring to herself in the third person is really silly, by the way) traveled the world, and collected friends from all across the globe. Friends who’d be happy to report that she is a rubbish companion, always forgets peoples’ birthdays and never sends Christmas cards.

She enjoys the simple things in life, like spending time with her family and friends, reading, HBO, Netflix and internet-stalking Stephen James. She reads between three to five books a week and firmly believes Crocs shoes and mullets should be outlawed.

Website • Twitter • Facebook • InstagramGoodreads


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Release Day Review: War by Laura Thalassa

War by Laura Thalassa
Series: Four Horsemen #2 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: July 11th 2019
Links: EbookGoodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review

They came to earth—Pestilence, War, Famine, Death—four horsemen riding their screaming steeds, racing to the corners of the world. Four horsemen with the power to destroy all of humanity. They came to earth, and they came to end us all.

The day Jerusalem falls, Miriam Elmahdy knows her life is over. Houses are burning, the streets run red with blood, and a traitorous army is massacring every last resident. There is no surviving this, especially not once Miriam catches the eye of War himself. But when the massive and terrifying horseman corners Miriam, he calls her his wife, and instead of killing her, he takes her back to his camp.

Now Miriam faces a terrifying future, one where she watches her world burn town by town, and the one man responsible for it all is her seemingly indestructible “husband”. But there’s another side to him, one that’s gentle and loving and dead set on winning her over, and she might not be strong enough to resist.

However, if there’s one thing Miriam has learned, it’s that love and war cannot coexist. And so she must make the ultimate choice: surrender to War and watch humankind fall, or sacrifice everything and stop him.

I’m going to keep this as spoiler-free as possible, but AHHHHHH!!! War is about the size of two average-sized books, and I pretty much read it in one sitting (when I knew I had uninterrupted reading time). I DEVOURED this book. It was everything I was hoping for as the sequel to Pestilence! I fell in love with War (even when I knew I shouldn’t) and the heroine is so kickass and awesome. War is a possessive, alpha mofo and once he claims Miriam as his wife, there’s no going back. This absolutely lived up to my expectations and now I can’t freaking WAIT for the next book!

Laura Thalassa has written some of my favorite fantasy romances, and now War is going near the top of my list. It’s dark, twisted, addicting, and unputdownable. War is the perfect kind of hate-to-love and love-to-hate hero. He reminds me of the hero from The Golden Dynasty by Kristen Ashley, with the same warlord, alpha-male vibes. Miriam holds her own against him, which made for some incredible, steamy chemistry. I was glued to their romance, to the way it turned from hate (on Miriam’s part), to reluctant feelings, and finally, to genuine love. I think Laura Thalassa did an amazing job portraying War’s character – he’s is not a good guy, but you can’t help but grow to love him.

The wait for War was 100% worth it. Right now I’m crying about the wait for Famine, though I know Laura Thalassa won’t disappoint with that one, whenever it releases!


lacey

I talk more about War on my new BookTube channel! Feel free to check it out 🙂


Reading Order: Four Horsemen series

 

#1 ~ Pestilence: EbookPaperback • Goodreads
#2 ~ War: Ebook • Goodreads
#3 ~ Famine: Goodreads (release date TBA)


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Release Day Review: The Lying Hours by Sara Ney

The Lying Hours by Sara Ney
Series: How to Date a Douchebag #5 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: May 9th 2018
Links: EbookGoodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review

ABRAHAM DAVIS—Honest Abe to his friends—IS IN OVER HIS HEAD…

He’s a fixer and a do good-er. The all-knowing, resident “grandfather” on the wrestling team who everyone relies on to fix their problems. His teammates go to him for everything; advice, homework, or when they need a sober driver at three in the morning–whether he likes it or not.

Abe’s current mission is easy: mend his roommates broken heart by helping him find a girlfriend on the LoveU app–without getting caught in the lie…

SKYLAR GABRIEL. IS. OVER. IT.

Over her bad grades. And over dating douchebags. What she wants to know is: where have all the nice guys gone?

She longs for a handsome, sweet, and honest guy who can make her laugh. In one last ditch effort to prove that he exists—Skylar turns to LoveU.

On her worst day, Skylar has no filter (it’s a miracle she hasn’t been ditched mid-date).
On her best, she’s as wholesome, and sweet, as pie.
On Thursday? She matches with Abraham Davis’s roommate.

Skylar Gabriel is falling for the wrong guy—she just doesn’t realize it yet.

Why?

BECAUSE ABE DAVIS IS A LIAR.

You can imagine how happy I was when Sara Ney announced another book in the How to Date a Douchebag series! I love this new adult series and this group of wrestlers. She writes the best kind of characters that are endearing even when they have their douchebag moments. In The Lying Hours, we have two people who meet and fall for each other on a dating app. Except one of them is lying about who he is…

Abe Davis is a total sweetheart – he’s definitely more along the lines of Rhett and Kip than the other Douchebag boys. He’s the kind of guy who’s willing to do anything for his friends, which is why he’s on a dating app for his roommate to help him get over a bad breakup. He definitely doesn’t expect to match with one Skylar Gabriel, have fun, witty, meaningful text convos with her, and fall for her.

This is a case of a mistaken identity over a dating app, which you can imagine doesn’t go well. But Sara Ney writes all of this with her laugh-out-loud humor and hilarious wit. I loved the way Abe and Skylar connected, and their chemistry is off the charts. Abe is basically a big ole teddy bear you just want to hug. Skylar is the kind of heroine who you want to be best friends with. She and her best friend Hannah were so much fun to read about. I wish this book was a little bit longer, and that we got more time with Abe and Sky as a couple, but other than that, this is another great installment in the series! Now I need Hannah’s book!


lacey


Reading Order: How to Date a Douchebag series

 
 

#1 ~ The Studying Hours: EbookPaperback • Audible • Goodreads
#2 ~ The Failing Hours: My Review • EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#3 ~ The Learning Hours: My Review • EbookPaperback • Audible • Goodreads
#4 ~ The Coaching Hours: My ReviewEbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#5 ~ The Lying Hours: EbookGoodreads


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Review: He’s a Brute by Chloe Liese

He’s a Brute by Chloe Liese
Series: Tough Love #1 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: May 6th 2019
Links: EbookPaperbackGoodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review

One dark and handsome control-freak sports star meets one smarty pants bioengineer with hair to match her fiery temper. It’s an experiment straight out of sexual thermodynamics.

Every good scientist knows the second law of thermodynamics: the universe’s disorder, entropy, is always increasing. Professionally and personally speaking, Nairne’s familiar with the principle. After a streak of costly fame, now she’s set on saving the world, microscope in hand, and there’s no time for romance. Problem is, when a rude, despicably sexy Adonis shows up to run their board meeting, chemistry and its ensuing chaos become more than a formula—now they’re a burning hot reality.

Mafia prince. Professional footballer. Bad boy demeanor and a reputation for being as talented between the sheets as he is on the pitch. Rumors are the man’s an absolute brute. And he turns out to be just as demanding, controlling and vicious in person as he is on paper. The Law of Attraction’s proven true, as Nairne finds herself accepting Zed’s proposal: rough, wild stress release, more orgasms than she can count, and most importantly—no falling in love.

Agreement in place. End date secured.

No attachments. No forever.

What could possibly go wrong?

Book One in the Tough Love Series—an enemies to lovers, suspenseful romance, full of sexy Italians, bedroom negotiations, feisty heroines, and an ending that’ll both satisfy you and leave you ready for more!

I’ve been making it a goal to read more debut authors in 2019, and I’m so happy that I can include Chloe Liese to my list! I wanted to read this book because 1) I LOVED the cover and 2) the blurb sounded so intriguing. Mafia, sports, AND science? I was definitely game. I ended up really enjoying Nairne and Zed’s story – if you’re looking for something a little different in your contemporary romances, you should give this a try!

Former professional soccer player and current bioengineer Nairne MacGregor is set on saving the world with science. She’s in the US for school and work, but in a few months, she’ll be back home to Europe. Which means she has no time to meet anyone, much less fall in love. But all that changes when she meets the boss at her new job. Zed Salvatore is confident, assertive, and has too much swagger for his own good. He’s an alpha through and through, and he’s never met anyone who can hold their own against him… until Nairne.

I don’t want to break her. I want to possess her.

There’s a serious chemical attraction between Zed and Nairne from the moment they meet at a board meeting. Zed wants to explore what they have while Nairne is more reluctant. But once they do start exploring, boy do they set things on fire. I’d almost say He’s a Brute is lite-erotica – they begin a Dominant/submissive relationship in bed (which stays in bed), and while it’s nothing like Tiffany Reisz’s Original Sinner series, it’s HOT and a little kinky. Zed has a filthy mouth on him that I couldn’t get enough of!

The one thing that detracted me from fully loving this book was that there seemed to be too much going on to fully devote enough time to each aspect. Zed is part of the mafia in Boston, with a leader role, but he doesn’t do much on the pages relating to the mafia. It was definitely overshadowed by the sports aspect of the story, though I did love all the soccer talk. I also loved the little twist towards the beginning of the book that changes the dynamics of the characters and how I perceived them. Other than that, the writing is fantastic, especially for a debut – I can’t want to read more from Chloe Liese and more about Nairne and Zed.


lacey

Quotes are taken from the arc and are subject to change in the final version.


Reading Order: Tough Love series

#1 ~ He’s a Brute: EbookPaperbackGoodreads
#2 ~ She’s a Spitfire: EbookGoodreads (June 24, 2019)


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