Monthly Archive: April 2017

Review: THE F WORD by Liza Palmer

The F Word

by Liza Palmer

Published by Flatiron
288 pages
Genre: women’s fiction
3.5 / 5

My Review:

The “F” word in question here is not the one you might expect, nor is there only one. In fact, the title of this book very well could be The F Words.

Olivia Morten is a successful Hollywood publicist and is married to a gorgeous, successful E.R. doctor. They live in a beautiful home, drive beautiful cars, and have beautiful friends. She’s living the dream, isn’t she?

Over the course of a few months, though, Olivia realizes that her life is far from a show piece. For one thing, there is a fact from her high school years that she would rather keep hidden. When she bumps into Ben Dunn (that name … it made me laugh), a former high school enemy and a guy she secretly loved, the feelings attached to that fact rocket to the surface. For another, that perfect husband might be a façade. He’s never around, unless is suits him to be, and he’s hardly a support system for his wife. Then there is Olivia’s job, in which she perpetuates fraud. She is a professional fixer-of-reputations, even if that fixing requires faking her clients’ truths.

Facts. Feelings. Façade. Fraud. Fake. Those are the F words controlling Olivia’s life.

Olivia, then, needs to add a sixth F word: faithful. She needs to learn to be faithful to herself, to who she truly is. Those friends of hers? The relationships seem built on proximity rather than anything real. When they need to support each other, that support never materializes. And her husband? He presents a shiny, attractive patina, but what does he offer beneath that? Of all of the frauds Olivia perpetuates, her job – the one that requires her to trade on deception – may be the most real thing in her life.

Liza Palmer does not limit her focus to Olivia. She also turns a winking, satirical eye on Hollywood and its phoniness. The running joke on eating bread is humorous and, you sense, spot on. At the same time, Palmer makes it clear that you, the fan, are as much a part of this mirage as the actors and their teams. We want to believe the pretense, even when we know it’s a lie.

Olivia is not always likable. In fact, I spent most of the book not liking her at all. There were moments, though, when I felt for her deeply. Ben Dunn (again … that name) is a catalyst for the changes Olivia needs to admit she has to make, but he’s too undeveloped to be more than that. This story sits squarely on Olivia’s shoulders, whether she likes it or not, and sometimes she is not up to the task. Yet when she rises to a confrontation that Palmer builds to, you are right there with her, cheering for her and bolstering her.

Our lives consist of many F words, the most important, perhaps, being ‘faithful.’



At once a funny, whip-smart sendup of Los Angeles culture and an irresistible love story, internationally bestselling author Liza Palmer’s The F Word is a novel about how sometimes who we become isn’t who we really are.

“We’re all pushing some version of the life we want you to believe. It’s all just PR.”

Olivia Morten is perfect. Maybe her high-flying publicist job has taken over her life, but her clients are Los Angeles’ hottest celebrities. Maybe her husband is never around, but he is a drop-dead-gorgeous, successful doctor. Maybe her friends are dumb, but they know how to look glamorous at a cocktail party. 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, Olivia realizes how precarious all of her perfection is. As she finds herself dredging up long-suppressed memories from her past, she is forced to confront the most painful truth of all: maybe she used to be the fat girl, but she used to be happy, too.


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About the Author:

Liza Palmer is the internationally bestselling author of Conversations with the Fat Girl and five other novels. An Emmy-nominated writer, she lives in Los Angeles and works for BuzzFeed.

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Review copy provided from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.

Cover Reveal & Giveaway: ALL ABOUT THE D by Lex Martin & Leslie McAdam

Title: All About the D
Authors: Lex Martin & Leslie McAdam
Genre: Standalone Romantic Comedy
Cover Design: Najla Qamber Designs
Model: Mitchell Wick
Photographer: Wong Sim
Release Date: May 2, 2017


A sexy new romantic comedy from USA Today bestselling author Lex Martin and bestselling author Leslie McAdam…

I’m known for being formal. Meticulous. Professional. So you’d never suspect I spend my nights photographing my impressive junk for a NSFW blog. Don’t roll your eyes. I’m not bragging. I have millions of followers who’ll tell you they live for my posts. 

I’m like a superhero, saving humanity one dick pic at a time. 

Except leading a double life means I need someone to help me protect my anonymity, so that no one, especially my family, ever discovers my online celebrity. 

When I call one of the most respected law firms in town, I expect quality legal advice and confidentiality. Not a sinfully sexy attorney whose dangerous curves and soul-piercing gray eyes make me want to personally demonstrate my particular skill set. 

I shouldn’t be tempted. 

Especially when she knows all of my best-kept secrets. But everyone has a breaking point.

And I’ve met mine.

Pre-order Links
99c pre-order only price
Lex Martin
Lex writes contemporary romance, the sexy kind with lotsa angst, a whole lotta kissing, and the hot happily ever afters. When she’s not writing, she lives a parallel life as an English teacher.
She loves printing black and white photos, listening to music on vinyl, and getting lost in a great book. Bitten by wanderlust, she’s  lived all over the country but currently resides in the City of Angels with her husband and twin daughters.
Lex is represented by Kimberly Brower of Brower Literary & Management.
Leslie McAdam
Leslie McAdam is a California girl who loves romance, Little Dude, and well-defined abs. She lives in a drafty old farmhouse on a small orange tree farm in Southern California with her husband and two small
children. Leslie always encourages her kids to be themselves – even if it means letting her daughter wear leopard print from head to toe. An avid reader from a young age, she will always trade watching TV for reading a book, unless it’s Top Gear. Or football. Leslie is employed by day but spends her nights writing about the men you fantasize about. She’s unapologetically sarcastic and notoriously terrible at comma placement.
Always up for a laugh, Leslie tries to see humor in all things. When she’s not in the writing cave you’ll find her fangirling over Beck, camping with her family, or mixing up oil paints to depict her love of outdoors on canvas.

Review: DR. OB (St. Luke’s Docuseries Book 1) by Max Monroe

Dr. OB (St. Luke’s Docuseries Book 1)

by Max Monroe

Genre: romantic comedy
4 / 5

My Review:

I’m not sure which muscles you will pull more: your thighs from squeezing them during the sexy times in this book or your abs from laughing.

One thing Max Monroe do well is write romantic comedy. They know how to pick moments that are naturally funny, organically – if you will – witty, and place them fluidly in their books. That is an underestimated skill. Think about how many rom-coms you read (or watch) and then think about how many of their comedic scenes feel forced. It isn’t easy to write romantic comedy, much less write romantic comedy with hot headboard rocking.

In this book, Max Monroe bring Will Cummings, Georgia’s brother (she of the Billionaire Bad Boys series) to the fore. An OB/GYN, Will’s job is naturally hilarious given that his mother is a sex expert and counselor. Will is also gorgeous, and for that reason (far more so than for his professional skills), he was picked to star in a reality documentary focused on him as a physician.

It does not go well.

Will learns the hard way (no pun intended) that “reality” TV is all about editing. It’s all about faking a moment. That wink to the camera that seems to come when you are elbow deep up a woman’s uterus as you pull out a baby? You gave that wink to a cameraman during an unrelated conversation. The audience doesn’t know that, though. The audience thinks you’re a playboy.

The good news for Will is that Melody has no idea about this TV show. When she arrives for an interview to be nurse, she’s hired for just that reason: she’s there for an interview, not to meet a TV star.

These two share an immediate, intense attraction. But Will is trying to manage his growing reputation as a rogue, and Melody is fresh off a breakup with a guy she felt was insincere. So this romance is going to take some work. Melody may be confident and know what she wants, but she still will question herself. When she starts to fall for Will, she finds herself making spot-checks of her heart. She wants to love him fully, but is she loving the real WIll or a TV persona?

Max Monroe bring back the six characters from their Billionaire Bad Boys series, and it is so fun to see them again. Georgia and Kline are now parents, Cassie and Thatch seem to enjoy the toddlerhood of their son Ace, and Wes and Winnie are steady and sure. Thatch lets loose with some of his Thatch-isms, yet fans of that series know that underneath all of his surface bravado lies a guy with a heart as huge as his head.

I have loved Max Monroe’s books since the start, always giving them five stars. This one, though, gets four, and as I write this, I realize that if I’d read this book first, I probably would have given it five. I loved it. As a fan of theirs, though, I’m worried that some of their characters are feeling repetitive. In this case, I found myself sometimes confusing Melody with Lola from Sex Says because some of the things she says seem straight out of Lola’s mouth. Will reminds me a little of a mashup between Wes and Reed (also from Sex Says).

Understand that this book is so good. It’s fun. It’s HOT. It will give you The Feels (I did cry, as I always do), and it feels amazingly awesome to spend time with Kline, Georgia, Thatch, Cassie, Wes, and Winnie.

I’m just … worried. Max Monroe are talented. They know how to spin a story and immerse you in it and their characters. I just don’t want them to repeat themselves.


It’s just a docuseries about your career as an OB/GYN, they said.

It won’t interrupt your life during or after filming, they said.

It is a great opportunity for the hospital and your practice, they said.

Well, they—the television executives who seem intent on ruining my career and personal life with a fair number of creative liberties—lied.

Now I’m stuck dealing with the consequences of believing them.

Instead of being known as Dr. Will Cummings, Head of Obstetrics and Gynecology at St. Luke’s Hospital, I’m now being called Dr. Obscene.   

What I’d hoped to earn in respect, I’ve instead received in patients flashing me seductive smiles and flirtatious winks during their exams.

How’s a guy supposed to convince the most perfect woman he’s ever met that he’s not as much of an idiot in real life as he appears to be on camera?

With all of the show’s shenanigans following me around like a parasite, it’s going to take a lot to persuade Melody Marco to be anything more than my new nurse, but I can’t get her out of my head.

I want her.

Good thing I’ve never been one to back away from a challenge…

Get ready, Melody.

The Doctor is in.

Tiny Tease:

“Oh, come on. If I were really trying to torture you, I wouldn’t have protected you from the fact that Savannah has been in there trying to convince Georgie that, and I quote, it’d be the most natural thing in the world for you to be her obstetrician.”

      Internally, I cringed. Externally, I cringed. In fact, it felt like Kline had just jabbed me in the back of the throat with his finger, and my gag reflex was doing nothing more than reacting accordingly—hacking cough, choking sensation, slight nausea.

      I loved my career as a physician in obstetrics, but I’d sign up to flip burgers at the nearest fast-food joint if it meant avoiding doing vaginal exams on my sister. The mere thought was worse than that disgusting horror flick called The Human Centipede.

Seriously, if you’ve never seen that movie, don’t fucking see that movie.

      That flick is more traumatic than the blue waffle and that “Two Girls One Cup” site combined.

Jesus. Don’t Google those either.

Buy Links:

Click here for links.


Click here for the Dr. OB playlist.


Click here for a tour-wide givewawy.

About the Author:

A secret duo of romance authors team up under the pseudonym Max Monroe to bring you a sexy, laugh-out-loud new series…& more. 😉

New writing partners and long time friends, Max and Monroe strive to live and write all the fun, sexy swoon so often missing from their Facebook newsfeed. Sarcastic by nature, their two writing souls feel like they’ve found their other half.

Stay tuned for the future—this is where the fun begins.

Max Monroe is represented by Amy Tannenbaum of Jane Rotrosen Agency.

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Review copy provided from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.

Cover Reveal: FOUND UNDERNEATH by KL Kreig


The SEXY cover for Found Underneath by KL Kreig is here!

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: May 30, 2017

BK2 Found Underneath E-Book Cover.jpg


It began as a ruse.

Take a girlfriend. Divert the press from the fucked up mess that’s my family until my father is re-elected. Stage a public breakup. Move on.

Only that brilliant plan went straight south the moment I set eyes on Willow Blackwell.

I found her.

My center. My future. A soulmate with the will of a mule and the mouth of a harpy.

I now want things I never wanted before. Permanent kinds of things.

Only Fate—and her ex—have other plans for us.

In some sort of cosmic impossibility, our lives unknowingly intersected years before when tragedy befell both our families. Once the devastating truth is finally revealed, the future I’d found in her will come crashing down around us and for the first time in my life I’m completely helpless.

I may very well lose the only woman I’ve ever loved to a past neither of us saw coming.

*warning: 18+ only. Contains foul language, explicit sex and a hot alpha (or two, or three). NOTE: This is NOT a standalone. It’s the conclusion to LOST IN BETWEEN, which MUST be read first.




Check out the TRAILER:

BK1 Lost In Between Promo E-Book and Print.jpg

FREE on #KindleUnlimited!
Lost in Between


As a USA Today Bestselling author, I write stories that are deeply emotional with flawed characters, because humans ARE flawed and if we read about perfect characters living in their perfect world, first of all, snoozer, but secondly, we never experience the gratification of redemption.

Outside of writing, I’m just a regular ol’ Midwest girl who likes Game of Thrones and am obsessed with Modern Family and The Goldbergs. I run, I eat, I run, I eat. It’s a vicous cycle. I love carbs, but there’s love-hate relationship with my ass and thighs. Mostly hate. I like a good cocktail (oh hell…who am I kidding? I love any cocktail). I’m a huge creature of habit, but I’ll tell you I’m flexible. I read every single day and if I don’t get a chance…watch the hell out. My iPad and me: BFFs. I’m direct and I make no apologies for it. I swear too much. I love alternative music and in my next life I want to be a bad-ass female rocker. I hate, hate, hate spiders, telemarketers, liver, acne, winter and loose hairs that fall down my shirt (don’t ask, it’s a thing).


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Release Blitz: THE TERMS by Ruby Rowe


 Title: The Terms: Part One
Series: The Terms Duet
Author: Ruby Rowe
Genres: Romantic Suspense, Erotica Romance, BDSM
 Release Date: April 27, 2017

I wanted to hate her. For three years, Camilla withheld the fact that my brother had a son, Liam.

Then, Tony died without ever knowing his kid, and I was going to make sure Ms. Rose paid a price for her deceit. I also wanted Liam to be raised as a Burke. Our family’s legacy was one to carry on, so the terms were straightforward.

Live in my home.

Allow me to help raise Liam.

Oh, and agree to be my submissive.

In return, I agreed not to rip Camilla’s child away from her. I also offered them both financial security and a life of luxury. It seemed generous to me. It might’ve been simple, too, had she not reminded me of the lady in red. The one who haunted my dreams at night. Camilla’s hazel eyes were a mirror image, her sweetness more than an acquaintance to my subconscious.

I was a hacker by trade, and the internet was my best friend, sharing with me every secret I wished to unearth. I believed that until an unfathomable truth revealed itself in a different way.

Some secrets are never whispered, only sensed by the heart, and all along, my soul held the truth. It hid even from me the most important secret of them all.

The Terms ends in a cliffhanger. It contains explicit language and graphic sex, including aspects of BDSM. The second novel in the duet, The Terms: Part Two, will release June 1st.








Excerpt from The Terms: Part One (The Terms Duet)
© Ruby Rowe 2017
Tears well up in my eyes, and my lower lip quivers. “Tony was right; you’re evil.”

His fingers grip my chin once again and press harder this time.

“I knew he’d cause me grief from the grave. You and Tony Jr. are interruptions I don’t need, but my parents deserve to know their only grandchild. For that reason, I’ll allow this situation to disrupt my world. Besides, it will be good to have another male to carry on the family name.”

“Please, leave us be. Let me raise Liam. I promise I’m a good mother. I struggle financially, but he’s always cared for and loved.” Desperation tips the scale, and my lukewarm tears tumble to my cool cheeks. Looking away, Ellis clears his throat and releases my chin.

“Money, right… I recommend you change the password to your bank account to something more challenging. It was quite easy to empty that miniscule nest egg of yours.”

From my dry throat, a sob emerges. He’s going to take Liam away and leave me homeless. I have no choice but to play by his rules, so I cough from my cry and suck in short breaths, attempting to collect my dignity. Sniffling, I pull a tissue from my purse and wipe my eyes.

“OK, I’ll do whatever you want. Please, please, don’t take my child from me.”

Snaking his fingers through my hair, his thumb skims along my cheekbone, wiping away the tears. He moves closer, his sultry breath inches from mine, and his eyes roam my face as if he’s admiring a gallery painting.

“There’s no need to cry. If you’re open to this, your life will be easier–better even. Do exactly as I say, and you won’t lose Liam.”

I should shove him away. Spit in his face. Anything other than what I’m doing, which is leaning into his hand at my cheek to savor his touch. I’m emotionally fucked in the head, always finding myself attracted to the villain instead of someone nice, like my friend Christopher, for instance.

As if Ellis feels something, too, he withdraws his hand. “First, you’re going to quit your job.”

The Terms: Part Two (The Terms Duet, #2) 


If you are a Reader/Reviewer or Blogger that is interested in receiving an ARC and participating in the Cover Reveal & Release Blitz of The Terms: Part Two, please sign up!



I tried to keep my distance. I knew how much trouble Summer could cause me once she was, in her words, “legal.” She wouldn’t accept that being my best friend’s sister meant she was governed by another set of laws.

She was the forbidden fruit.

The “off-limits” trophy prize I couldn’t win.

The “don’t look and sure as hell don’t touch” female in my life.

But Summer pushed until I was backed into a corner. My hands and mouth had nowhere to go but on her. That was my story, and I was stickin’ to it.


I’d known Colton Graham all my life, and he was always a pest … until he wasn’t. That handsome face and masculine body he grew into became hard to look away from, and the more he matured and distanced himself from me, the more I wanted him close.

Since I’d grown up with a brother, I knew how college guys operated. Relationships were off the table, and fine by me; I only wanted two adventurous months with Colton. I knew he wouldn’t be my last, but I was hell-bent on making him my first. What was the harm in that? I could do casual … or so I thought.

Summer Trouble is a Ruby Romp Novella, meaning it contains insta-lust, along with an abundance of dirty talk and graphic sex. It can typically be enjoyed in one reading, so get ready for a fast-paced “get your panties wet” ride.




Q: “Where do you get the ideas for your books?” – Author Autumn Sand

A: I come up with the ideas for my books in several ways. Sometimes, I can’t explain why a character or storyline appears in my mind, and other times, an idea evolves from personalities or situations I have a desire to write about.

There are certain types of people and lifestyles I’ve never been exposed to, but I’m curious about them, so I often build stories around those personalities or situations. For example, after reading novels with wealthy, affluent alpha-male heroes, I wanted to try writing about one, so I created a story around that type of man.

Other times, there is a life lesson or topic I want to expose readers to. Like under my pen name Scarlet Wolfe, I wrote a story about self-harm to shed light on that subject.

I admit to living vicariously through my stories and characters. I mean, isn’t that a big reason why people read? We’re eavesdropping on a life we’ll likely never live.

Q: “How did you get started writing?” – Reader Amber Dover

A: Unlike a lot of authors who say they’ve been writing all their lives, I had never tried to write anything other than what was assigned to me in school. A few of my friends insisted I read Fifty Shades of Grey, and I actually laughed because I’d never read anything racy before.

Once I finished the series, I found myself creating characters in my mind at random moments. From there, I started thinking of a premise. A friend of mine at the time had written a couple of books, and once I shared with her that I had all of these thoughts crowding my head, she encouraged me to type them out.

That’s how my other pen name, Scarlet Wolfe, came about. Sometimes I wish I had known more about writing when I began, but on the other hand, naivety got me to take that first step. I don’t think I would’ve written a book had I known the challenges that would lie ahead.

Q: “What’s your favorite thing about each character?” – Reader Sarah Vadermillen

A: In The Terms, my favorite thing about my hero, Ellis, is how vulnerable and kind he truly is beneath his hardened exterior. As far as Camilla, she’s strong and protective, especially in regard to her family. I love that in a heroine. Greyson, Ellis’s cousin, is witty, and I look forward to showing more of that in part two of The Terms. I don’t like Christopher, and if my readers don’t either, then I’ve written his character well. We don’t know much about Sasha, but I look forward to showing her grow and strengthen in the next book, and Liam … well, he’s just happy and adorable.

Q: “What is your favorite part of the process of writing books?” – Author Autumn Sand

A: My favorite part of the writing process is character development. I strive for my characters to have a deeper level of emotional intelligence by the end of their journey. I want to evoke from my readers the same feelings I show in my characters. If my readers can connect emotionally with my characters when they’re nothing like them, then I’ve done something right

Ruby Rowe began writing in January of 2013 under the pen name Scarlet Wolfe,

releasing contemporary and young adult. She soon tried her hand at writing erotica

romance and fell in love with the genre.

The pen name Ruby Rowe came about in 2017 when she decided it best to keep her

racier books separate from her young adult romances. She’d like to branch out and

release straight erotica, however, she’s a romantic at heart, and believes it will be

difficult not to include romance in every story.

When not writing, Ruby reads naughty books about possessive, hot alpha males. She has

an addiction to Pinterest, pinning all the sensual photos she can find. She loves bacon,

coffee, and other flavors of ice cream besides vanilla. 😉 She hopes her writing will allow

her readers a reprieve from the real world, giving them an opportunity to live out their




Announcement: IMPERFECT LOVE Kindle World by Kendall Ryan



Announcing the IMPERFECT LOVE Kindle World, a fabulous new series featuring strong alpha heroes who get knocked sideways when they suddenly begin noticing the heroine in a whole new light.

In partnership with Kendall Ryan & these amazing bestselling authors: Kelly Elliott, Adriana Locke, Mandi Beck, T. Gephart, Kim Karr, Rachel Brookes, Cora Kenborn, Magan Vernon & Natasha Madison.

Sexy, laugh-out-loud funny, and sweet at times, this series is all about exploring romance tropes like friends to lovers, fake fiancé, arranged marriage, surprise pregnancy, budding office romances, and more, that all share one fabulous thing in common–they end in a happily ever after.







Marry the girl I’ve had a crush on my whole life? Check.

Inherit a hundred-billion-dollar company? Check.

Produce an heir… Wait, what?

I have ninety days to knock up my brand-new fake wife. There’s only one problem—she hates my guts.

And in the fine print of the contract? The requirement that we produce an heir.

She can’t stand to be in the same room with me. Says she’ll never be in my bed. But I’ve never backed down from a challenge and I’m not about to start now.

Mark my words—I’ll have her begging for me, and it won’t take ninety days.

Amazon | Amazon UK | iBooks | Nook | Kobo



A New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of more than two dozen titles, Kendall Ryan has sold over 2 million books and her books have been translated into several languages in countries around the world. Her books have also appeared on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists more than three dozen times. Ryan has been featured in such publications as USA Today, Newsweek, and InTouch Magazine. She lives in Texas with her husband and two sons.

Visit her at: for the latest book news, and fun extras

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Cover Reveal & Giveaway: SOMETHING IN THE WAY by Jessica Hawkins

Cover Reveal:

Something in the Way

by Jessica Hawkins

Photographer: Perrywinkle Photography

Cover Design © R.B.A. Designs

Cover Model: Chase Williams

Coming Monday, May 22nd: Somebody Else’s Sky, book 2 in the Something in the Way Series…
If I closed my eyes, I could still see them—all blonde sunshine, ocean-blue eyes, and long limbs. The glint of Lake’s gold bracelet. Pink cotton candy on Tiffany’s tongue. My scenery may have changed from heaven to hell, but some things never would: my struggle to do right by both sisters. To let Lake soar. To lift Tiffany up. The sacrifices I made for them, I made willingly.

A better man would’ve walked away by now, but I never claimed to be any good. I only promised myself I’d keep enough distance. If I’d learned one thing from my past, it was that love came in different forms. You could love passionately, hurt deep, die young. Or you could provide the kind of firm, steady support someone else could lean on.

Lake was everything I wanted, and nothing I could ever have. I was nobody before I knew her and a criminal after. The way to love her was to let her shine—even if it would be for somebody else.


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Review: THE RIDGE by John Rector

The Ridge

by John Rector

Published by Thomas & Mercer
284 pages
4 / 5

My Review:

Regardless of where you’ve lived, chances are you’ve come across a weirdo or two. You know the type: they always make you feel a little uncomfortable, a little creepy. You find yourself wondering why no one else notices how strange these people are, Why can’t they see that there is something seriously wrong here?

For most of us, the creepiness is due to the freaks who double-dip their chips during block parties or mow their lawns at dawn on the weekend. For Megan, though, the creepiness is a little bit more substantive.

It begins with Rachel, the woman who lives across the street. What Megan at first chalks up to an unhealthy interest in her husband Tyler turns out to be far more sinister. It doesn’t help that Megan isn’t all that thrilled to be living in Willow Ridge, but she and Tyler had to move there when he took a job at The Institute, a nefarious-sounding organization that sits atop the ridge overlooking their development. One of the neighbors makes a Stepford joke, but my thoughts tended more toward Scientology. There is a Big Brother-ish feeling to some of the ominous stuff going on.

John Rector builds tension until you think you will explode. All along, he drops hints about what The Institute is up to and the truth behind Willow Ridge, but even so, when you find out, you will have a “WHAT?!” moment. He packs this book with deaths and murders, and those are the least of the disturbing circumstances. Be prepared to suspend disbelief for this one.

The ending, though. The ending made me SO SAD. I wanted something different, even as I knew that “different” wouldn’t – couldn’t – happen. John Rector is one of those writers who gives readers what they need, not what they want. In this case, he gives a compelling, disturbing story that will keep you turning the pages, anxious to find out what happens.


With its manicured lawns, pastel houses, and quiet, tree-lined streets, Willow Ridge seems to be the perfect place for Megan and Tyler Stokes to start a new chapter in their lives together. But soon after settling in, Megan begins to notice cracks in the neighborhood’s bright suburban facade—cracks that reveal a darker secret hidden just beneath the surface.

After an angry encounter with a neighbor takes a horrifying turn, Megan’s waking nightmare truly begins—growing ever more chilling and bizarre with each shocking twist. Suddenly forced to question everything around her, Megan finds herself trapped between the specter of madness and the shadow of something far worse. Her only hope is to expose the community’s pretty lies and discover the truth about what is really going on in Willow Ridge—a truth so devastating that her life will never be the same.


Buy Links:

About the Author:

JOHN RECTOR is the international bestselling author of the novels THE RIDGE, RUTHLESS, OUT OF THE BLACK, ALREADY GONE, THE COLD KISS, and THE GROVE. His short fiction has appeared in numerous magazines and won several awards including the International Thriller Award for his novella LOST THINGS.

He lives in Omaha, Nebraska.

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Review copy provided from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.

Review: THE WHOLE THING TOGETHER by Ann Brashares

The Whole Thing Together

by Ann Brashares

Published by Delacorte Press
306 pages
Genre: YA
4 / 5

My Review:

Ann Brashares begins this book with a family tree. Make sure you study that because I found myself having to go back to it a few times over the first chapter or two. So she’s his half-sister but he isn’t related to her at all?

As Brashares shows, this is how it is with family: you’re a part of more than one.

In the case of Sasha and Ray, it feels like they are related. Her father Robert and Ray’s mother Lila were once married and had three daughters. They divorced – quite acrimoniously – and Sasha’s father and mother had her, while Ray’s mother and father had him. They may share three half-sisters, but they share no blood.

Another thing they share is a bed. In the course of the divorce, Robert and Lila agreed to divide time in a Hamptons family home. They alternate weeks in the summer, and for Sasha and Ray’s seventeen years, they have shared a bedroom and a bed. Brashares details the minutiae of this sort of cohabitation – the scent Sasha leaves on the pillow, the crusted toothpaste Ray leaves in the bathroom – to show you how close these two are, even though they have never met and hardly communicated.

That all changes one summer, when both Sasha and Ray find themselves increasingly curious about each other. They are connected in fundamental ways – those three half-sisters – so naturally they would want to know more about each other. One of their sisters is getting married, which adds emotional drama to an already tempestuous situation.

Brashares also takes you into the minds of the sisters, Emma, Quinn, and Mattie. The young women work in the Hamptons, and they have steady relationships with their half-siblings. One of the facets of this book that I particularly enjoyed was seeing how Sasha and Ray viewed their sisters’ relationships with each other. Does Quinn like Ray more? Does Mattie share more of herself with Sasha?

Another thing Brashares does well is show you that the kids have this all figured out. Emma, Quinn, and Mattie know how to operate within the shared households and families They understand how the family and sibling relationships work – how the whole thing correlates together. Their parents, on the other hand, do not. Bitterness left from the divorce lingers, nearly two decades later, and, as Brashares reveals, it renders the grownups far less capable than the children.

I enjoyed this book so much, and it made me realize that I need to read those Traveling Pants books. Brashares’s sense of family is astute and empathetic: the emotional bonds we share, the emotional bonds of which we wish we could divest ourselves, the emotional bonds we wish we could forge, as well as the physical bonds that keep us together. I cried, I laughed, and I wished the best for these characters.


#1 New York Times bestselling author Ann Brashares’s The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series was a worldwide phenomenon, and she’s back with a beautifully written novel about love, class differences, and betrayal playing out over the course of a fractured American family’s Long Island summer.
Summer for Sasha and Ray means the sprawling old house on Long Island. Since they were children, they’ve shared almost everything—reading the same books, running down the same sandy footpaths to the beach, eating peaches from the same market, laughing around the same sun-soaked dining table. Even sleeping in the same bed, on the very same worn cotton sheets. But they’ve never met.

Sasha’s dad was once married to Ray’s mom, and together they had three daughters: Emma, the perfectionist; Mattie, the beauty; and Quinn, the favorite. But the marriage crumbled and the bitterness lingered. Now there are two new families—and neither one will give up the beach house that holds the memories, happy and sad, of summers past.

The choices we make come back to haunt us; the effect on our destinies ripples out of our control . . . or does it? This summer, the lives of Sasha, Ray, and their siblings intersect in ways none of them ever dreamed, in a novel about family relationships, keeping secrets, and most of all, love.


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About the Author:

Ann Brashares is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, 3 WillowsThe Last Summer (of You & Me), and My Name Is Memory. She lives in New York City with her husband and their four children.

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Review copy provided from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review.