Aug 14

Can’t Wait Wednesday #17 – Monstress, Volume 4

Books/Writing 0

I’m joining in the fun with a Can’t-Wait Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. Usually the books are ones yet to be released. It’s based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

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Can’t Wait Wednesday #17 – Monstress, Volume 4Monstress, Vol. 4: The Chosen by Marjorie M. Liu, Sana Takeda
Published by Image Comics on October 1, 2019
Pages: 176
Goodreads

Maika and Corvin make their way through a warped and lethal land in search of Kippa, who is faced with her own terrible monsters. But when Maika comes face-to-face with a stranger from her deep past, startling truths are uncovered, and at the center of it all lurks a dangerous conspiracy that threatens the Known World. Maika is finally close to getting all the answers she ever wanted, but at what price? With war on the horizon-a war no one wants to stop-whose side will Maika choose? Collects MONSTRESS #19-24.

EEEEEEK!!!! *ahem* I am over the moon and can’t wait to read this! (Yes, I know, I could read the individual issues…but I started with the collections and feel obligated to continue.) I loved the first three collections of Monstress and have no doubt Marjorie Liu will continue to deliver with this installment.

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Aug 13

They’re a Match – Blog Tour!

Book Tours 1



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I’ve read the first two books in this series and absolutely loved them! I can’t wait to dive into this final book in the trilogy, and also to see what Chloe Liese comes up with next. I’m hoping Zed’s little brother gets his own series…

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They’re a Match
Chloe Liese
(Tough Love #3)
Publication date: August 12th 2019
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense

One blazing relational bond formed by two fiery lovers. And a new element just joined the formula.

Chemistry calls it covalence. Shakespeare named it the “marriage of true minds.” Historically speaking, Nairne never liked the impractical notion of marriage, and Zed never thought he’d live to see the day when tying the knot was even an option. After a decade of entanglement in the mafia, Zed’s now free to play the game he loves and love the woman who owns his heart.

Problem is, the spitfire’s been a loner her whole life. Independent, self-reliant, and driven. And she wants nothing to do with marriage, since statistically it fails more than it succeeds, which to her scientific mind is the universally acknowledged definition of an experimental bust. But the elemental pull toward matrimony between the sexy scientist and her dark and handsome soccer star is stronger than Nairne anticipates. Can she risk her heart for her perfect match, even if it’s a gamble rather than a sure bet?

In the game of life,

you win some, you lose some.

And They Lived Happily Ever After” is theirs for the taking,

but for that pesky little word that so often gets overlooked…

Lived.”

Book Three in the Tough Love Series—a suspenseful romance, full of sexy Italians, feisty heroines, a house full of friends and family, and an ending that closes the chapter on these lovers, and paves the way for new ones.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

The drive back to London from Edinburgh was a seven hour straight shot down the M6. We could have flown, paid someone to drive the Ferrari back. But making a road trip of it felt fun, and delightfully ordinary to me. The lowlands in winter were stunning—fog on the moor, and frost turning the grass into fields of spired icicles. Then the Lake District, with its rolling hills and water formations. Once you approached Manchester and farther inland, the scenery of course become industrial, but Zed loved it nonetheless. We drove the day, eating crisps and sweets and listening to music of every genre.

Until the quotidian bubble of obscurity and normality popped. We pulled up to a beautiful Georgian terraced home glowing in the light of a winter sunset. I’d only seen the façade in digital photos, and in person it looked even more classic and frightfully expensive. As I stared at our home out the window, I tried to hide my ethical war with its opulence.

Right after we stole away to Prestonpans and I’d told him about the baby, Zed asked if we could buy a place and make it ours. No strings, no pushing me to forever, but somewhere we could live as long as I wanted to live with him, where we could be a family. I preferred to blame my acceptance on hormones and gratitude that Zed hadn’t died from being attacked. But perhaps I was just growing up and moving past my fear of letting down my walls of independence. I hadn’t promised him forever, but he also hadn’t asked for it, either.

Which was a relief. Because while I knew everyone who looked at us was only waiting for the engagement announcement, I was still reeling from falling for Zed in the first place. From the insanity of our dynamic in Boston to the violence that plagued us when we reunited in London. Now I was five months along to a world class footballer, and moving into our exorbitant Georgian townhome, when all I’d planned for in life was to be a contented cat lady spinster who slept under the desk in her lab and vanquished diseases.

I stared up at the house, located in the posh historic London neighborhood of Bloomsbury. The place had to have cost him millions, the thought of which made my stomach sour with the kind of nausea that rivaled my morning sickness. I’d felt similarly the first time he showed me pictures of the place while we had been in Scotland.

“Nairne.” He sighed, head falling back on the pillows in my bed. “We need somewhere to live. You go to school there, I work there. That’s how much it costs.”

I swallowed the objections that clawed at my throat when he pulled up photos of the property’s interior in the throes of construction. It looked atrociously involved, and that meant atrociously expensive. “I know that, Zed, but aren’t there more reasonable neighborhoods we could live in?”

Massaging his brow, Zed turned to face me. “Why are you so uncomfortable with me spending the money I’ve earned?”

I stared at him, at a loss for words.

“Nairne, you deserve to live in a home that’s easy to move around in, that’s comfortable and safe, that’s close to your schooling and my work. Don’t you believe that?”

I nodded.

Zed smiled and, as always, it felt like the sun slipping out from behind a cloud, warming my soul. “Then let me give it to you, because I can. Because I want us to have a good life.” He leaned in, softly kissing the corners of my mouth, the tip of my nose, my cupid’s bow. “We deserve that.”

Zed watched me with a guarded expression as he let himself out of the Ferrari, and it broke me from my thoughts. Hands on my belly, I replayed what I’d been telling myself as I gave the situation a good, long think—this was about our child’s life, opportunities, and wellbeing. And if this home was a little expensive, it kept us safe and allowed us to be together as a family. Who was I to demean that? The baby did what felt like a summersault and I laughed to myself.

“You agree then?” I asked.

Zed had come around to my side to open the passenger door, and ducked his head in. “Sorry, I missed that.”

“I was just thinking aloud, and the baby did some acrobatics. I took it to mean he or she agrees.”

Zed frowned and focused on my lips. “Agrees on what? That their dad is a vile cog in the capitalist machine making London even more prohibitively expensive and elite?”

I sighed and scratched my nails against his scruff. “No. I’ve come around to the idea.”

Zed smiled. Then he swept me up and carried me to the door, reminiscent of the bride and groom at the threshold. The door was a shiny black lacquer with fresh brass fixtures. White brick, new, dark-paned windows twinkling like cheery stars against the evening sky. It looked like a home. Our home.

 

Author Bio:

Chloe’s always been a sucker for a suspenseful steamy romance, ever since she managed to find the one saucy mystery series hiding in her high school’s prim little library. Nothing drives her crazier than a story that cranks up the heat, then closes the door on the reader’s face, so don’t read her books if you don’t want to know what actually happens when the lights fade to black…

When she’s not writing, Chloe’s busy reading books of all genres, rereading Harry Potter (which she can’t help but make her characters similarly obsessed over), and playing catch-up with her bad@$$ little girls. She’s also been known to scramble around the pitch for a pick-up soccer match and run along the river while dreaming up her next book.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

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Aug 13

Sunday Post #15 – Vacation is Too Much

Books/Writing 0

Hey everyone! Back with another Sunday Post update, via Kimberly at Caffeinated Book Reviewer.  I’m totally patterning mine off of Kimberly’s, at least for now.

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This last week was a doozy (as evidenced by this post going up on a TUESDAY instead of the appropriate Sunday)! It ended with a badly sprained ankle for me, after falling down some stairs. I did get quite a bit of reading done though, which was nice. Reviews will be forthcoming but you can keep up with my progress on Goodreads – I raised my reading goal to 100 last week!

Weekly Dose of Adorableness

Noah looking concerned.

Last Week on Blog

This Week on the Blog

  • Remember Me – YA horror/paranormal review
  • Can’t Wait Wednesday #17
  • The Wolf in the Whale – historical/fantasy review

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Aug 12

Remember Me – Review and Tour!

Book Reviews, Book Tours 0 ★★★★

Remember Me – Review and Tour!Remember Me by Chelsea Bobulski
Published by Feiwel and Friends on August 6, 2019
Genres: Historical, magical realism, Paranormal, Young Adult
Pages: 256
Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World WideBuy on Amazon
Goodreads four-stars

In this eerie and suspenseful YA, a teen girl discovers what connects her to the hotel she calls home as horrifying visions lead her to the truth.

Nell Martin is moving again, this time to the Winslow Grand Hotel, built in 1878. As Nell is settling in, strange things begin to happen. Doors lock of their own accord, writing appears on bathroom walls--and most horrifying of all--visions of a dead boy permeate her waking life. Thinking it was her mind playing tricks on her, she soon finds the past and the present colliding as she learns horrific details of a murder that happened at the hotel in 1905 involving a girl named Lea.

Nell and a mysterious bellboy must relive that day in hopes of finally breaking a curse that imprisons them both. And Nell discovers what truly links her to the history of the Winslow Grand Hotel.

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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Be sure to check out the entire tour lineup over at The Fantastic Flying Bookclub! Also scroll to the bottom to enter the giveaway. 🙂

I was not, honestly, expecting this book to be creepy. In my experience most YA books that try to be “horror” or even just plain mystery are usually only vaguely so. I am thrilled to report that Remember Me was better than most! I actually felt the hair on my arms raising at points. It was awesome! It did have a little trouble getting off the ground, in my opinion, but once the settings (yes, plural, as the POV alternates with a modern day one and a historical one) were established I absolutely couldn’t put it down. Highly recommend if you enjoy both YA and mystery/paranormal type books!

My one caveat: mental illness is somewhat used as a plot device. Treatment is given respect and not made fun of, and Nell’s feelings about her mother’s death and her subsequent therapy and very common, but I didn’t like the way it was made to be just a result of a THING in the plot. Terribly vague to avoid spoiling.

This is a very hard book to review because of the risk of spoiling, which really would ruin a lot of the story…so here are some quotes to whet your appetite! It really is an amazing, multi-layered tale and I strongly recommend it. Also, there’s a good bit of sweet, swoon-worthy romance. 😉

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It’s as if the air is heavy with their presence, every year and every guest superimposed on the other, all occurring in the same place, standing on the same floors, surrounded by the same walls. The only thing separating us is time.

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He does not have to say the words: Or else. They are implied in the tightening of his fists and in the memories of bruises hidden where no one could see. “Yes, Father.”

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I just keep feeling my hair twisting in midair, keep hearing the bulbs shatter, keep seeing those bodies lying on the floor, drenched in blood, and the man standing over them, asking me to join them.

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He looks at me with a hunger so intense, I feel it radiating down to the tips of my toes. He looks at me like I’m the only thing he wants. The only thing he’s ever wanted.

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I understand kissing now.

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About the Author

 

Chelsea Bobulski was born in Columbus, Ohio, and raised on Disney movies, classic musicals, and Buckeye pride. She’s always had a penchant for the fantastical, the stories that teach us there is more to this world than meets the eye. She has a soft spot for characters with broken pasts, strange talents, and a dash of destiny in their bones. After graduating from The Ohio State University with a degree in history, she promptly married her high school sweetheart and settled down in Northwest Ohio with her notebooks and daydreams and copious amounts of chocolate. THE WOOD is her debut novel.

 

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four-stars

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Aug 08

Magnetic

Book Reviews 0 ★★★½

MagneticMagnetic by Anya J. Cosgrove
on August 8, 2019
Pages: 209
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads three-half-stars
five-flames

Who said life was a fairy tale? Because I’d gladly slice that jerk’s head off.

I’m Vicky, though that’s not really my name.

I never expected to end up half-naked in the woods with my guts hanging out. I didn’t plan to stumble upon the most powerful shifter clan in North America and three of the sexiest men I’ve ever laid eyes on.

Dominic, the fun and reckless new wolf. 

Sam, the hot doctor with glacial-blue eyes.

And Gabriel, the intense, secretive alpha who wants nothing to do with me.

My real name is a one-way ticket back to hell, and my secrets need to stay buried like the girl I used to be.

Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Red Riding Hood—I can be all three.  I can use my powers to earn a place in their werewolf town, away from the bite of my past mistakes. I can use them—and their bodies—to survive.

The only thing I can’t do is fall for them.

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

three-half-stars

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Aug 07

Can’t Wait Wednesday #16 – Blood Heir

Books/Writing 0

I’m joining in the fun with a Can’t-Wait Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. Usually the books are ones yet to be released. It’s based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

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Can’t Wait Wednesday #16 – Blood HeirBlood Heir (Blood Heir, #1) by Amélie Wen Zhao
Published by Delacorte Press on November 19, 2019
Pages: 496
Goodreads

This hot debut is the first book in an epic new series about a princess hiding a dark secret and the con man she must trust to clear her name for her father's murder.

In the Cyrilian Empire, Affinites are reviled. Their varied gifts to control the world around them are unnatural—dangerous. And Anastacya Mikhailov, the crown princess, has a terrifying secret. Her deadly Affinity to blood is her curse and the reason she has lived her life hidden behind palace walls.

When Ana’s father, the emperor, is murdered, her world is shattered. Framed as his killer, Ana must flee the palace to save her life. And to clear her name, she must find her father’s murderer on her own. But the Cyrilia beyond the palace walls is far different from the one she thought she knew. Corruption rules the land, and a greater conspiracy is at work—one that threatens the very balance of her world. And there is only one person corrupt enough to help Ana get to its core: Ramson Quicktongue.

A cunning crime lord of the Cyrilian underworld, Ramson has sinister plans—though he might have met his match in Ana. Because in this story, the princess might be the most dangerous player of all.

I am SO excited for Blood Heir! I was excited when I first heard about it, and now after all the immense drama surrounding the book Twitter controversy and subsequent pulling of the book…it’s back. BOOK TWITTER AIN’T ALWAYS RIGHT, peeps. I haven’t read this book yet, but will at the first opportunity and many bloggers/reviewers I truly respect have already given it great reviews.

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Aug 05

The Unhoneymooners

Book Reviews 0 ★★★★

The UnhoneymoonersThe Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
Published by Gallery Books on May 14, 2019
Genres: Romance
Pages: 400
Goodreads four-stars
three-flames

Olive is always unlucky: in her career, in love, in…well, everything. Her identical twin sister Ami, on the other hand, is probably the luckiest person in the world. Her meet-cute with her fiancé is something out of a romantic comedy (gag) and she’s managed to finance her entire wedding by winning a series of Internet contests (double gag). Worst of all, she’s forcing Olive to spend the day with her sworn enemy, Ethan, who just happens to be the best man.

Olive braces herself to get through 24 hours of wedding hell before she can return to her comfortable, unlucky life. But when the entire wedding party gets food poisoning from eating bad shellfish, the only people who aren’t affected are Olive and Ethan. And now there’s an all-expenses-paid honeymoon in Hawaii up for grabs.

Putting their mutual hatred aside for the sake of a free vacation, Olive and Ethan head for paradise, determined to avoid each other at all costs. But when Olive runs into her future boss, the little white lie she tells him is suddenly at risk to become a whole lot bigger. She and Ethan now have to pretend to be loving newlyweds, and her luck seems worse than ever. But the weird thing is that she doesn’t mind playing pretend. In fact, she feels kind of... lucky.

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“I saw that.”

“Saw what?”

“You checked out my chest.”

“Of course I did. It’s like having two other people up here with us. I don’t want to be rude.”

The Unhoneymooners took a very unlikely scenario and made it mostly believable, funny, and incredibly full of sexual tension. It was hysterical and moved along quickly – I finished it in one sitting on a Sunday! Olive is a very likable and spunky character. I especially loved how comfortable she was with her body, even though she mentions it not being to everyone’s standard of beauty. She and Ethan have clear chemistry and it was hilarious watching them dance around it while having to pretend they were madly in love.

I laughed out loud so many times while reading this. The banter is 100% on point! I kind of wished the incident that incited their intense “dislike” of each other had been handled differently, but you can’t have everything. View Spoiler »

4/5 stars. This is a great read for the beach or any summer vacation. It’s lighthearted and breezy and fun. On the same note, don’t expect depth from it…it’s cute and sweet and left me with warm fuzzies, but no real lasting connection to Olive and Ethan. That’s okay! It did what it was designed to do – entertain, and it did it extremely well. All the unlikely coincidences started to build up after awhile and made me roll my eyes a bit, and Ami (Olive’s sister) seemed more like a caricature than a character in a lot of ways. That said, I still thoroughly enjoyed it! This was my first Christina Lauren book but it won’t be my last!

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four-stars

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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Aug 04

Sunday Post #14 – Summer Classes Are Over

Books/Writing 0

Hey everyone! Back with another Sunday Post update, via Kimberly at Caffeinated Book Reviewer. I’m totally patterning mine off of Kimberly’s, at least for now.

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Summer classes are officially over! I (as I’ve mentioned about a million times, I know), I was taking organic chemistry in June and July. It royally sucked. Unfortunately, I was unhappy enough with my grade in the “second semester” class that I’ll be taking it again in the spring. I passed, but it doesn’t look good on my GPA and grad schools tend to have expectations. Imagine that. Meh. But, I’m trying to put all that behind me and enjoy my August off (mostly) from school. I read ONE book in July, but I feel like August is going to be a good one!

Weekly Dose of Adorableness

We got Samson a life jacket because he loves to swim but is a tiny bit unsure in deeper water. He LOVES it and gets so excited every time we get it out!

Also, sidenote on another project of mine…I put up a video of my last school year in my planner – a Plum Paper Planner student version. Check it out if you enjoy planners as well as books! 😀 There’s a little bit in there about book blogging, too. 😉

Last Week on Blog

Next Week on the Blog

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Aug 02

August 2019 New Releases

Books/Writing 0

Somehow, I only have ONE book pre-ordered for August! I did receive some ARCs of others that I’m sharing as well because I think they sound amazing (even if I haven’t *cough cough* got to read them yet).   This is just, as always, the books I have pre-ordered, it is by no means an exhaustive list of all the books being published this month…just the ones I absolutely couldn’t live without! This month seems a little light on the publishing front, but I guess that’s to be expected for summer. I’ve already been eyeing a TON of September and October books though…my bank account is going to be begging for mercy.

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All covers link to GoodReads!

I’ll be reviewing most if not all these in the coming few weeks, so keep your eyes open! Any of them on your list? Any others I should add?

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Aug 01

Rock Bottom Girl

Book Reviews 0 ★★★★★

Rock Bottom GirlRock Bottom Girl: A Small Town Romantic Comedy by Lucy Score
on March 8, 2019
Genres: Romance
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads five-stars
four-flames

“You may be faking the relationship, but you’re not faking the orgasms.”

Downsized, broke, and dumped, 38-year-old Marley sneaks home to her childhood bedroom in the town she couldn’t wait to escape twenty years ago. Not much has changed in Culpepper. The cool kids are still cool. Now they just own car dealerships and live in McMansions next door. Oh, and the whole town is still talking about that Homecoming she ruined her senior year. Desperate for a new start, Marley accepts a temporary teaching position. Can the girl banned from all future Culpepper High Homecomings keep the losing-est girls soccer team in school history from killing each other and prevent carpal tunnel in a bunch of phone-clutching gym class students?

Maybe with the help of Jake Weston, high school bad boy turned sexy good guy. When the school rumor mill sends Marley to the principal’s office to sign an ethics contract, the tattooed track coach, dog dad, and teacher of the year becomes her new fake boyfriend and alibi—for a price. The Deal: He’ll teach her how to coach if she teaches him how to be in a relationship. Who knew a fake boyfriend could deliver such real orgasms? But it’s all temporary. The guy. The job. The team. There’s too much history. Rock bottom can’t turn into a foundation for happily ever after. Can it?

Warning: Story also includes a meet-puke, a bouffanted nemesis, a yard swan and donkey basketball, a teenage-orchestrated makeover, and a fake relationship that gets a little too real between the sheets.

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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I’ve been branching out and reading more romance lately. Partially because I’ve needed fluffy books to soothe my increasingly exhausted brain, and partially because I’m not as cynical about love as I used to be. 😀 I have two absolute musts when it comes to romance –

  • The characters MUST be likable. Not perfect – no one wants perfectly manicured heroes and heroines (or if you do, that’s fine, but not my type of book), we want to be able to relate on some level to the characters! Even in fantasy books, I want to relate to the characters emotions if I can’t relate to the setting or their position in life.
  • It has to be written well – not an overabundance of plot holes, if it’s set in a historical time it needs to be at least SOMEWHAT accurate, if it’s modern day make it relevant and believable.

Rock Bottom Girl knocked it out of the freakin’ park. I am a Lucy Score convert. This book warmed my heart, tickled my funny bone, and gave me all the warm fuzzies (how’s that for using ALL the expressions).

I adore Marley and Jake together. ADORE. And Marley is to date THE most relatable heroine in a romance novel that I’ve ever come across. I got teary at several points because YES GIRL I get you, I’ve been there. Life knocks you down and sometimes it sucks. And then it might just throw you a Jake Weston.

Reasons to Like Jake Weston:
  • Marley never fell out-of-like with him from high school
  • He’s a sexy MF who has actually done something legitimate with his life
  • He cares about the kids he coaches
  • He’s great in bed
  • He’s a dog dad
  • Did I mention he’s a dog dad?
Reasons Marley is THE MOST RELATABLE:
  • She’s in her 30s and to her shock, finds herself crash landing at her parents’ after the end of a long term relationship
  • She’s mildly depressed (see above) and has stopped giving a shit about herself
  • She’s having a slight identity crisis involving her career
  • She loves wine and pizza
  • She loves dogs
  • She has a sex drive!! And isn’t ashamed of it!!
  • She’s also just as clumsy as myself and it makes for some HILARIOUS moments

Also, there’s a goth foster kid, and an entire soccer team of teenage girls. And Jake’s dog. Oh, and there are some STEAMY times. Get the cold shower ready!

Rock Bottom Girl is just so real. I loved it so much. The small town, the work drama, the lovable family. I loved how Marley slowly – with the help of her family, friends, the girls on her soccer team, and yes, Jake – pulls herself up and realizes what she really wants from life, and where she can make a difference. So. Freaking. Relatable.

5/5 glowing stars. This is a stand-alone, but I’ll be looking for more similar books from Lucy Score!

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five-stars

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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