A Hard Day for a Hangover by Darynda Jones

A Hard Day for a Hangover by Darynda Jones

Sunshine Vicram #3

Expected publication December 6, 2022

352 Pages

Goodreads Summary: Some people greet the day with open arms. Sheriff Sunshine Vicram would rather give it a hearty shove and get back into bed, because there’s just too much going on right now. There’s a series of women going missing, and Sunny feels powerless to stop it. There’s her persistent and awesomely-rebellious daughter Auri, who’s out to singlehandedly become Del Sol’s youngest and fiercest investigator. And then there’s drama with Levi Ravinder—the guy she’s loved and lusted after for years. The guy who might just be her one and only. The guy who comes from a family of disingenuous vipers looking to oust him—and Sunshine—for good.

Like we said, the new day can take a hike.

Review: First I would like to say that since this is the third book of a trilogy to proceed with caution as there may be spoilers about the first two books. If you haven’t picked up this series yet starting with A Bad Day for Sunshine… I highly suggest you fix that! 🙂 Mystery, intrigue, humor, romance, jaw dropping action… the list goes on.

A Hard Day for a Hangover was my most anticipated release of 2022 so I had high expectations for it and Darynda Jones delivered. Everything and everyone in Del Sol was their perfectly quirky selves and throughout this series I have come to love every single one of them. There were a few characters that were more absent in this book than the previous installments which was a little disappointing but my main girl Sunshine got the ending I hoped for. I felt like there was a shift in the story that put a lot more focus on Sunshine’s daughter, Auri, so I’m almost wondering if Jones was making way for a new spin off series featuring her in the lead. Honestly I am SO game for that. I feel like there are so many more tales to tell for the citizens of Del Sol that I am absolutely dying for more! Any kind of spin off featuring these characters, even novellas, would be majorly appreciated by this reader. I very much loved this finale and am already wanting to go back in for a second read. This is a series I can see myself reading over and over again, especially considering I’ve already read the first book 3 times and the second book twice. My only complaint is that this is a trilogy and not a longer series.

5 Stars

I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

It Happened One Summer by Tessa Bailey

It Happened One Summer (Bellinger Sisters, #1)

It Happened One Summer by Tessa Bailey

Bellinger Sisters #1

Published July 13th 2021 by Avon

397 Pages

Goodreads Summary: Piper Bellinger is fashionable, influential, and her reputation as a wild child means the paparazzi are constantly on her heels. When too much champagne and an out-of-control rooftop party lands Piper in the slammer, her stepfather decides enough is enough. So he cuts her off, and sends Piper and her sister to learn some responsibility running their late father’s dive bar… in Washington.

Piper hasn’t even been in Westport for five minutes when she meets big, bearded sea captain Brendan, who thinks she won’t last a week outside of Beverly Hills. So what if Piper can’t do math, and the idea of sleeping in a shabby apartment with bunk beds gives her hives. How bad could it really be? She’s determined to show her stepfather—and the hot, grumpy local—that she’s more than a pretty face.

Except it’s a small town and everywhere she turns, she bumps into Brendan. The fun-loving socialite and the gruff fisherman are polar opposites, but there’s an undeniable attraction simmering between them. Piper doesn’t want any distractions, especially feelings for a man who sails off into the sunset for weeks at a time. Yet as she reconnects with her past and begins to feel at home in Westport, Piper starts to wonder if the cold, glamorous life she knew is what she truly wants. LA is calling her name, but Brendan—and this town full of memories—may have already caught her heart. 

Tessa Bailey is back with a Schitt’s Creek-inspired rom-com about a Hollywood “It Girl” who is cut off from her wealthy family and exiled to a small Pacific Northwest beach town… where she butts heads with a surly, sexy local who thinks she doesn’t belong.

Review: When I first started reading It Happened One Summer, I wasn’t entirely sure if I was going to be able to make it all the way through the book. Piper is your stereotypical shallow Hollywood girl who is famous for being the stepdaughter of somebody famous and becoming a social media star. It opens with her being dumped by the guy she had been dating who was supposedly her longest relationship which had lasted all of 3 weeks. To blow off steam and repair the image of her begging not to be dumped, she breaks into a hotel pool and throws a raging party that gets busted by the cops. Her stepfather decides enough is enough and sends her north to the coastal WA fishing town where her biological father was from and she had spent the first few years of her life. I have a hard time reading and enjoying books where the main character is so far towards this direction but kept reading in the hopes that she would have some character growth once she got to WA and out of the Hollywood bubble

Enter Brendan… rugged fishing captain who finds Piper insanely gorgeous but incredibly naive and shallow. When they first meet you get a little enemies to lovers vibe, which I love, so I started getting more into it. As Piper and her sister Hannah settle into their new lives in Westport, the cast of characters they encounter have that classic Stars Hollow-esque charm… quirky and strange but lovable and would do anything for their community. The more Piper gets out there with her fellow townspeople, including Brendan, the more she begins to realize that the Hollywood bubble may not be all that she thought it was.

By the time the book was nearing the end, I was really rooting for Piper and had completely changed my view on her as a character. Overall I ended up really enjoying this book and am now looking forward to reading the sequel that follows Piper’s sister Hannah, and Brendan’s best friend and fellow fisherman, Fox. If you loved The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker and watching Schitt’s Creek, then this is the book for you.

4 Stars

I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

A Fate of Wrath & Flame by K.A. Tucker

A Fate of Wrath & Flame by K.A. Tucker

Fate & Flame #1

Published May 25th 2021 by K.A. Tucker

533 Pages

Goodreads Summary: Gifted thief Romeria has flourished from her days as a street kid pilfering wallets to survive. Now she thrives, stealing jewels from the rich under the involuntary employ of New York City’s most notorious crime boss. But when an enigmatic woman secures her services at swordpoint, Romeria is plunged into a startling realm of opposing thrones, warring elven, and elemental magic she cannot begin to fathom.

Her quest is straightforward: Steal a stone from Islor’s sacred garden without anyone discovering her true identity, which would earn her certain death. But the identity she has inexplicably assumed is that of the captured Ybarisan princess—an enemy to Islor after she poisoned their beloved king and queen on the day she was to marry the prince.

Her betrothed, the newly crowned King Zander, detests her with every grain of his handsome being. Fortunately for Romeria, she is more valuable to him alive than dead. Zander gives her a choice: life in a cell, or an acquittal of all charges in exchange for her help in exposing the growing plot against him.

Romeria sees no other option and embraces the tricky role of smitten queen-to-be until she can escape, a ruse that brings her far closer to the king than she anticipated and threatens more than her safety. As she digs deeper into this sacred garden and the ancient feud between Ybaris and Islor, she discovers monstrous truths that could spell ruin for all.

She would know the world of vengeful gods and monsters, and the lengths one would go for love. And nothing would ever be the same for her again.

Review: In the past year and a half, I started reading and loving K.A. Tucker’s novels. I really enjoy romance however, add in the fantasy genre and I am sold. When I first found out about this book, I was so excited! I mean, first of all look at that gorgeous cover! Second of all, did you read the summary?! And I was even more excited when I got to receive an advance copy to review!

First off… the characters… Romeria is a total badass in NYC earning her way by stealing goods for a notorious crime boss when she meets the mysterious Sofie. Romeria is definitely the kind of heroine I love reading about… strong, independent and can defintely take care of herself in tricky situations but has some emotional baggage that you know will come out to play at some point in the story… and boy, just wait until the twist about her dad! Zander is the new king of Islor and most definitely has baggage of his own, some of which involves Romeria, or should I say the original Romeria… *you’ll have to read the book to find out what I mean there, wink*. There are so many other colorful characters that I came to love while reading this book… Corrin, Elisaf, Wendeline, etc.

I don’t even know where to begin with the storyline, and in a good way! Everytime I picked up my Kindle to read, I did not want to have to put it down. I was completely enthralled by this world and the magic system, the different types of creatures, etc. I could not get enough. I think having Romeria end up there was a great help to the reader being new to the world because it didn’t feel like a total info dump on learning about the world as the book went on, it felt very natural. I loved seeing Romeria grow as she learned the new world around her and how she reacted towards the negative as well as the positive.

The closer I got to the end of the book, the more my heart raced as I was reading. The events at the end had me completely shocked and dying to get my hands on the next book! I loved this book so much and hope we won’t have to wait too long for the next book in the series. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves fantasy novels and especially for those fans of From Blood and Ash series by Jennifer L. Armentrout… this book will be right up your alley!

5 Stars

I received an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

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Meet Kathleen

K.A. Tucker writes captivating stories with an edge.

She is the internationally bestselling author of the Ten Tiny Breaths and Burying Water series, He Will Be My Ruin, Until It Fades, Keep Her Safe, The Simple Wild, Be the Girl, and Say You Still Love Me. Her books have been featured in national publications including USA Today, Globe & Mail, Suspense Magazine, Publisher’s Weekly, Oprah Mag, and First for Women.

K.A. Tucker currently resides in a quaint town outside of Toronto.

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Namesake by Adrienne Young

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Namesake by Adrienne Young

Fable #2

Published March 16th 2021 by Wednesday Books

368 Pages

Goodreads Summary: Trader. Fighter. Survivor.

With the Marigold ship free of her father, Fable and its crew were set to start over. That freedom is short-lived when she becomes a pawn in a notorious thug’s scheme. In order to get to her intended destination she must help him to secure a partnership with Holland, a powerful gem trader who is more than she seems.

As Fable descends deeper into a world of betrayal and deception she learns that her mother was keeping secrets, and those secrets are now putting the people Fable cares about in danger. If Fable is going to save them then she must risk everything, including the boy she loves and the home she has finally found.

Filled with action, emotion, and lyrical writing, New York Times bestselling author Adrienne Young returns with Namesake, the final book in the captivating Fable duology.

Review: Friendly reminder that Namesake is the sequel to Fable so beware of any spoilers head if you haven’t read Fable.

I absolutely fell in love with Fable last year so I had been eagerly awaiting the sequel which luckily enough we didn’t have to wait too long for. Namesake picked up right where we left off with Fable having been kidnapped by Zola and taken on board his flagship where she found Clove, former right hand man to her father, Saint. When she had last spoken to Saint about Clove, he made it seem as though Clove was dead. So when Fable encountered him acting as navigator to her father’s arch nemesis, she was consumed with hatred for him. But of course, looks can be deceiving! I was really surprised with the turns that this book was taking. Most of it I didn’t see coming. Just like in Fable, there is never a dull moment in Namesake. The action and drama keep churning throughout the entire book. I was rather shocked when it came to certain revelations that will remain nameless in this review because major spoilers, so you’ll just have to read the book to find out what I’m referring to. One thing I didn’t really care for though was West’s attitude and his actions. Yes, Fable was kidnapped, but that didn’t give him the right to go around in a path of destruction at every port trying to find her. His character seemed a lot darker than how he was portrayed in the first book. On the other end of the spectrum, I really loved how Saint softened up in this book. I’m a total sucker for father-daughter redemption type stories so there were some scenes in Namesake that really choked me up.

Overall I really enjoyed this final foray into Fable’s world and I very much wish that it wasn’t the end of her story. I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as I did the first book, but that’s kind of to be expected with sequels.

4 Stars

I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Also… one last thought before I sign off… When I’m reading I often visualize place settings and characters and sometimes if it’s vivid enough I make a connection to an actor/actress and while for this duology, I don’t quite have anyone picked out for the younger crowd, I can’t shake this gent for Saint… Sebastian Roché, aka Mikael from The Vampire Diaries and The Originals.

Sebastian Roché on Twitter: "Congratulations #Supernatural on ending your  run of 15 seasons, it was such a pleasure to play a small part in this  great adventure and the friendships that ensued,

Dark Tides by Philippa Gregory

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Dark Tides by Philippa Gregory

Fairmile #2

Published November 24th 2020 by Atria Books

464 Pages

Goodreads Summary: Midsummer Eve 1670. Two unexpected visitors arrive at a shabby warehouse on the south side of the River Thames. The first is a wealthy man hoping to find the lover he deserted twenty-one years before. James Avery has everything to offer, including the favour of the newly restored King Charles II, and he believes that the warehouse’s poor owner Alinor has the one thing his money cannot buy—his son and heir.

The second visitor is a beautiful widow from Venice in deepest mourning. She claims Alinor as her mother-in-law and has come to tell Alinor that her son Rob has drowned in the dark tides of the Venice lagoon.

Alinor writes to her brother Ned, newly arrived in faraway New England and trying to make a life between the worlds of the English newcomers and the American Indians as they move toward inevitable war. Alinor tells him that she knows—without doubt—that her son is alive and the widow is an imposter.

Set in the poverty and glamour of Restoration London, in the golden streets of Venice, and on the tensely contested frontier of early America, this is a novel of greed and desire: for love, for wealth, for a child, and for home

Review: Quick reminder that this is the second book of the series so if you have not read the first book, there may be spoilers ahead.

I was a little on the fence about reading this sequel because I didn’t quite hit it off with the first book but I decided to give it a shot anyways because I love Philippa Gregory. I was also intrigued by the addition of some new characters from Venice. The storyline seemed a little bit far fetched at times but it ended up really working for the book as a whole. I was a little surprised at how easily Alys was ready to accept Livia’s story of Rob at face value… it seemed a little out of character for her. I was very glad to see that Alinor wasn’t going to be taken in at all until she had solid proof. I really enjoyed Sarah’s journey to Venice to investigate Livia’s claims. She really seemed to come into her own and I loved having a strong female character in this story. James, though…. Oh James… what an absolute idiot. First he tries to come back into Alinor’s life to claim his son 21 years later and then completely falls under Livia’s ridiculous spell. I don’t want to say a whole lot more about all of that drama because for one, spoilers, and for another, you just have to read it to believe it.

One thing that I really didn’t think was necessary in this book was Ned’s part of the story. He’s living in America but the only times he really connects to his family is when Alinor writes him a letter or he sends them goods. I feel like his scenes could have just been cut because they kind of distracted me in a bad way from the drama still going on in England and Venice.

Overall I did end up enjoying this book and kind of hoping there will be a third book.

4 Stars

I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.