Friday, June 30, 2017

Book Review and GIVEAWAY: Dating You / Hating You, by Christina Lauren {ends 7/7}

"Hi." I hold out my hand. "I'm Evie."

"Is that short for Evil?" He pretends to be scared as he tentatively returns the handshake. "Are you sure you're Griffindor? Your laugh makes me think you have a secret lab and are building an apocalyptic robot dog that's going to eat every smug person here. Slytherin for sure."

"It's short for Evelyn. The cackle is my gift. It keeps the delicate ones away."

"I'm Carter." He points two thumbs at his chest. "Not delicate, I promise."

Is he ... flirting? I consider the rolling tumbleweeds of my dating life and marvel that I can't even tell anymore.

Long-time readers of this blog know that I'm a huge fan of anything by Christina Lauren, and this novel was no different. It's actually their (they are an author duo) first standalone novel, and I loved that it jumped between the two main character's points of view.

Official synopsis:
Book Review and GIVEAWAY: Dating You / Hating You, by Christina Lauren
All’s fair in love and work. The first standalone romance by New York Times and #1 international bestselling author Christina Lauren (Beautiful Bastard) is a sexy, compulsively readable romantic comedy that dives headlong into the thrill and doubt of modern love.

Despite the odds against them from an embarrassing meet-awkward at a mutual friend’s Halloween party, Carter and Evie immediately hit it off. Even the realization that they’re both high-powered agents at competing firms in Hollywood isn’t enough to squash the fire.

But when their two agencies merge—causing the pair to vie for the same position—all bets are off. What could have been a beautiful, blossoming romance turns into an all-out war of sabotage. Carter and Evie are both thirtysomething professionals—so why can’t they act like it?

Can Carter stop trying to please everyone and see how their mutual boss is really playing the game? Can Evie put aside her competitive nature long enough to figure out what she really wants in life? Can their actor clients just be something close to human? Whether these two Hollywood love/hatebirds get the storybook Hollywood ending or just a dramedy of epic proportions, you will get to enjoy Christina Lauren’s heartfelt, raucous, and hilarious romance style at its finest.

There were a lot of elements in this novel that were very "real-life," which I liked - Evie doesn't want to just throw her job away for Carter, and the two of them are very competitive, so when they're pitted against each other for the same job, they put aside their romance and go for it. 

Also, Evie is a bit older than Carter - I think she was 32 or 33, and he was 26 - and she agonizes over that a bit too, not wanting to appear like a "cougar," ha. 

Overall, this is a very cute story that has a lot of real-life elements in it. Carter and Evie both have great friend groups, too, who advise them what they should do in their situation, and although they do listen to them, sometimes it's better for them to just take thing into their own hands.

4 stars out of 5.

*Disclosure: I received a copy of this novel for reviewing purposes. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.


One of my lucky readers will win a paperback copy of Dating You / Hating You!

Enter via the widget below. Giveaway will end on Friday, July 7th, at 11:59pm EST, and winner will be emailed the next day and have 24 hours to respond, or an alternate winner will be chosen.

U.S. residents only, please.

Good luck!

Dating You/Hating You book

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Book Review and GIVEAWAY: When Dimple Met Rishi, by Sandhya Menon {ends 6/20}

"So, you think Ashish is going to come stay with you?"

"Probably. To be honest, I think he's mostly just interested in ogling college girls rather than checking out the merits of the campus." Rishi rolled his eyes.

"Oh, like that thought never occurred to you when you were coming here," Dimple said.

The doors opened to an empty elevator, and both of them stepped in. Rishi turned to her as the doors closed. "It didn't," he said seriously. "I was only thinking of you."

This is probably one of the cutest YA books I've read in a while. I was intrigued by both the premise and the cover (an Indian girl drinking Starbucks or some sort of other drink, who is obviously a bit younger) and the novel did not disappoint.

Official synopsis:
Book Review and GIVEAWAY: When Dimple Met Rishi, by Sandhya Menon
A laugh-out-loud, heartfelt YA romantic comedy, told in alternating perspectives, about two Indian-American teens whose parents have arranged for them to be married.

Dimple Shah has it all figured out. With graduation behind her, she’s more than ready for a break from her family, from Mamma’s inexplicable obsession with her finding the “Ideal Indian Husband.” Ugh. Dimple knows they must respect her principles on some level, though. If they truly believed she needed a husband right now, they wouldn’t have paid for her to attend a summer program for aspiring web developers ... right?

Rishi Patel is a hopeless romantic. So when his parents tell him that his future wife will be attending the same summer program as him—wherein he’ll have to woo her—he’s totally on board. Because as silly as it sounds to most people in his life, Rishi wants to be arranged, believes in the power of tradition, stability, and being a part of something much bigger than himself.

The Shahs and Patels didn’t mean to start turning the wheels on this “suggested arrangement” so early in their children’s lives, but when they noticed them both gravitate toward the same summer program, they figured, Why not?

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

GIVEAWAY: Signed copy of My Last Continent, by Midge Raymond {ends 6/14}

My Last Continent is now officially out in paperback, and I have a signed copy to give away to one of my lucky readers!

GIVEAWAY: Signed copy of My Last Continent, by Midge Raymond About the book:
An unforgettable debut with an irresistible love story, "My Last Continent" is a big-hearted, propulsive novel set against the dramatic Antarctic landscape original and entirely authentic love story.
It is only at the end of the world among the glacial mountains, cleaving icebergs, and frigid waters of Antarctica where Deb Gardner and Keller Sullivan feel at home. For the few blissful weeks they spend each year studying the habits of emperor and Adelie penguins, Deb and Keller can escape the frustrations and sorrows of their separate lives and find solace in their work and in each other. But Antarctica, like their fleeting romance, is tenuous, imperiled by the world to the north. 

A new travel and research season has just begun, and Deb and Keller are ready to play tour guide to the passengers on the small expedition ship that ferries them to their research destination. But this year, Keller fails to appear on board. Then, shortly into the journey, Deb's ship receives an emergency signal from the "Australis," a cruise liner that has hit desperate trouble in the ice-choked waters of the Southern Ocean. Soon Deb's role will change from researcher to rescuer; among the crew of that sinking ship, Deb learns, is Keller. 

As Deb and Keller s troubled histories collide with this catastrophic present, Midge Raymond's phenomenal novel takes us on a voyage deep into the wonders of the Antarctic and the mysteries of the human heart. "My Last Continent" is packed with emotional intelligence and high stakes: a harrowing, searching novel of love and loss in one of the most remote places on earth, a land of harsh beauty where even the smallest missteps have tragic consequences. Half adventure, half elegy, and wholly recommended.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Book Review and GIVEAWAY: Public Relations, by Katie Heaney & Arianna Rebolini {ends 6/8}

What I knew about Archie Fox before walking into the meeting was as follows: He was twenty-four years old, British, and blew up about five years ago when an amateur video of one of his open-mike-night performances got a million views on YouTube within thirty-six hours. Unlike many YouTube sensations, however, he actually had the goods to support a career, and before the world even had time to process what was happening, his dimpled simple and shaggy hair were everywhere.
He seemed charming in person, speaking in a slow, deep drawl—though there was less of that now that he was ducking out of interviews, avoiding paparazzi, and blowing off red carpets. And that was kind of the problem.

This was a very cute book that's being compared to The Devil Wears Prada, though I have to say that the main character's boss in this novel is much nicer than Miranda Priestly. It gives an interesting look into the world of PR, and shows how many celebrity "relationships" are actually manufactured just for the press.

About the book:
Book Review and GIVEAWAY: Public Relations, by Katie Heaney & Arianna Rebolini
Young PR star Rose Reed is thrown into the big leagues when her boss leaves town the day of the firm's meeting with Archie Fox, a young, hot, internationally famous British singer-songwriter. The meeting is going badly until Rose suggests a staged romance with up-and-coming, young indie star Raya. He'll do it, but only if Rose becomes his publicist.

As the faux-mance begins to rehabilitate Archie's faltering career, Rose finds his herself having unexpected, inconvenient and definitely unprofessional feelings for the crooner. But do late night texts and impromptu burrito binges mean he feels the same? In the end, Rose will have to decide whether to let her fantasy crush go, or to risk her reputation to be with the charming, handsome, scoundrel-y but sweet pop star she's grown to love.

Rose Reed is good at her job - she got promoted at a young age, and currently is only 26. That being said, she's currently falling for her new client, the singer Archie Fox, which is a definite no-no, especially when you are trying to set him up with another new musician (for the press, of course).

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