Thursday, 16 November 2017

Blog Tour & Giveaway: An Ex For Christmas by Lauren Layne

She’s making a list—and checking it twice. But is there a nice guy among all her naughty exes? The New York Times bestselling author of Blurred Lines returns with a charming friends-to-lovers rom-com.

When a psychic tells spunky, superstitious Kelly Byrne that she’s already met her true love, she becomes obsessed with the idea of tracking him down before Christmas. Kelly immediately writes up an “Ex List” and starts contacting old boyfriends to figure out which one is the one. When her college sweetheart rolls into town, Kelly convinces herself that they’re meant to be. The trouble is, sparks are flying with someone she’s never given a chance: her best friend, Mark.

Mark Blakely has watched the guys on Kelly’s list break her heart, and he’s not looking forward to watching them do it all over again. Mark’s always been there for her, but the timing’s never worked out for their relationship to be something more. Now, just as Mark is ready to move on, the sexual tension between them is suddenly off the charts. With Christmas morning around the corner, he just hopes Kelly will wake up and realize that everything she wants has been right in front of her all along.

Kindle Edition
Expected publication: November 7th 2017 by Loveswept 
Series: Love Unexpectedly #5
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Kristine's Thoughts:

** I received an advanced readers copy in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!**

I absolutely adored An Ex for Christmas! This book was Lauren Layne at her very best. It had all of the things that I love best about her writing with the added bonus that all of the feels were wrapped in some holiday cheer. I have read and enjoyed all of the Love Unexpectedly series but there is something to be said about the addition of some over the top Christmas spirit. It made it feel more sweet, sexy and magical.

Lauren Layne is one of the best at writing quirky, witty and sarcastic characters in the romantic comedy genre and Kelly Byrne was one of her best. A believer in horoscopes, magic 8 balls and all things superstitious, Kelly was a hoot to get to know. Heading home from work for the holidays she had an encounter with a stranger who told her that she had already met her one true love. She couldn't wait to tell her neighbour, co-dog owner and extremely hunky best friend all about it. At the same time she made a list of all her ex boyfriends in order to track them down before Christmas so that she could spend the holiday with "the one" instead of alone. She didn't understand why Mark, her biggest supporter, wasn't behind her with her grand plans.

I have to interrupt my thoughts for a minute and talk about Mark. Trust me when I say that he needs his own paragraph. Mark Blakely is official my new favourite book boyfriend of 2017. There was nothing that I didn't like about him besides the fact that he was a fictitious character inside a book. He was the strong, silent type who was an amazing and loyal friend. Did I mention that he owned a business and a home and co-owned a dog? He was completely drool worthy and his commitment, patience and loyalty where Kelly was concerned sealed the deal for me. I couldn't get enough of him.

You can probably guess the direction that this story was going. With all of the tree cutting, snowball fights and holiday magic, the chemistry between the two was jingling all the bells! I love a friends to lover story and this was no exception. I was yelling at Kelly to quit decking the halls and notice the present that was right in front of her. The anticipation was killing me but anticipation is half the fun and when things did heat up it was more than hot.

If you are looking for a fun holiday read with lots of humour, great characters and a ton of Christmas cheer I highly recommend picking up An Ex for Christmas. I guarantee it will put a smile on your face and put you in the holiday mood.

As I walk, I check the weather app on my phone, delighted to see that while it’s nothing but rain today, there’s a chance of a snow shower tomorrow. Nothing says Christmas break like snow.
I just miss my train, but there’s a decent-ish voice singing “White Christmas” nearby, and the platform’s not too crowded, so waiting’s not as bad as it could be.
My eye catches on a middle-aged woman who’s set up camp under one of the stairwells. It’s not unusual to see all manner of people under the streets of New York, although this one’s better dressed than most. She’s wearing a blousy red shirt, jeans, and ankle boots, and is sitting cross-legged on a plaid blanket. She’s got twigs of what seem to be fake roses in her hair.
None of that’s the weird part.
What’s weird is that she’s watching me. Intently.
We make awkward eye contact, and I give a quick smile before turning my attention back to my phone.
But I still feel her eyes on me.
Not in an unfriendly way, not in the way that makes me mentally catalog whether or not I saw any cops on my way down here who would hear me if I scream. She doesn’t seem eager to push me onto the train tracks either, and since that’s every New Yorker’s secret fear, that’s a plus.
Still, the focus is unsettling. I glance up again, and her eyes lock on mine. Her dark gaze is clear and focused, and I can’t decide if that’s more or less disturbing than if she seemed sort of hazy.
Then she smiles right at me. “Kelly.”
I get immediate goosebumps for reasons that have nothing to do with the winter weather. She knows my name.
“Come.” She beckons. “Come. I see.
Now you’re thinking, Hell, no. Run!
I should be thinking the same, and on some level, I am, but . . .
There are a couple dozen people around. None are paying attention to me, but it’s not like I’m all alone in a dark alley.
And look, we’ve already established that I believe in fate expressing itself through a Magic 8 ball and horoscopes, and though I haven’t mentioned it yet, I totally avoid black cats, the number thirteen, and walking under ladders.
I also believe that there’s such a thing as sight. I know, because my grandma had it.
Grandma Shirley was one of those delightfully batty old ladies that most people dismissed as quirky, but nobody can deny that she seemed to know stuff. She knew when I’d win my soccer game, and by how many points. She knew when her cat’s litter of kittens would be born, down to the minute. Once she’d even predicted an earthquake, even though
they’re really rare in New York.
She’d passed away when I was in eleventh grade (she’d predicted the when and how of that too), and though I didn’t inherit her talents, I’ve never stopped believing that some people see and know things that they shouldn’t. I call it the Sight.
I step closer, and the woman grins and beckons me even nearer.
I stop a healthy few feet away. I’m superstitious, not crazy.
The woman leans forward. “You seek love.”
Huh. Color me unimpressed. I mean, don’t most humans seek love? Sure, I’m recently single, and I don’t particularly want to be. And maybe I sometimes try a little too hard to find my forever guy.
But I’m not hearing anything other than generic lucky guesses from this lady.
“Sure,” I say, already starting to back away.
She holds up a hand. “The one you seek? Your forever guy, the love of your life . . .”
I freeze, because her phrasing echoes my thoughts almost exactly. A coincidence? Maybe. I don’t move away just yet, willing to hear her out.
She smiles again. “You’ve already met him.”
I blink. “What? I think you may want to recheck that crystal ball. I’m single.”
Her smile merely grows. “I didn’t say you weren’t single. I said you’d already met him. You just let him go. He’ll come back to you before Christmas.”
Whoa whoa whoa. This is . . .
“You’re telling me that the love of my life is one of my exes?”
She extends both of her palms as though to say, There you have it!
I stifle a little surge of disappointment. Clearly she hasn’t met my exes. There are some decent ones in the mix, but mostly they’re duds, and none of them make my heart beat faster. Well, maybe—
Nope. No. Do not go there.
Thankfully, I feel the rumble of an oncoming train, and a glance over my shoulder tells me my ride outta here is approaching.
“Thanks very much,” I say with a strained smile. “Merry Christmas.”
“Happy holidays,” she says with a nod, standing and gathering up her blanket. Apparently she’s taken a cue from Madison Meyers and is sticking close to the PC route. Fair enough. 

I lift a hand in a wave and move toward the train, but her next words give me a fresh wave of new goosebumps.
“Tell your parents happy anniversary. Thirty’s going to be a magical year for them.”
I whip my head around. “How did you—”
The woman is gone.
Like vanished gone.
Leaving me to wonder . . .
If a woman I’d never met was right about my parents’ anniversary, was she also right about other stuff?
Have I already met my one true love?

About the Author
Lauren Layne is the New York Times bestselling author of over a dozen romantic comedies.

A former e-commerce and web marketing manager from Seattle, Lauren relocated to New York City in 2011 to pursue a full-time writing career.

She lives in midtown Manhattan with her high-school sweetheart, where she writes smart romantic comedies with just enough sexy-times to make your mother blush. In LL's ideal world, every stiletto-wearing, Kate Spade wielding woman would carry a Kindle stocked with Lauren Layne books.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Review: A Hundred Small Lessons by Ashley Hay

From the author of the highly acclaimed The Railwayman’s Wife, called a “literary and literate gem” by Psychology Today, comes an emotionally resonant and profound new novel of two families, interconnected through the house that bears witness to their lives.

When Elsie Gormley leaves the Brisbane house in which she has lived for more than sixty years, Lucy Kiss and her family move in, eager to establish their new life. As they settle in, Lucy and her husband Ben struggle to navigate their transformation from adventurous lovers to new parents, taking comfort in memories of their vibrant past as they begin to unearth who their future selves might be. But the house has secrets of its own, and the rooms seem to share recollections of Elsie’s life with Lucy.

In her nearby nursing home, Elsie traces the span of her life—the moments she can’t bear to let go and the places to which she dreams of returning. Her beloved former house is at the heart of her memories of marriage, motherhood, love, and death, and the boundary between present and past becomes increasingly porous for both her and Lucy.

Over the course of one hot Brisbane summer, two families’ stories intersect in sudden and unexpected ways. Through the richly intertwined narratives of two ordinary, extraordinary women, Ashley Hay uses her “lyrical prose, poetic dialogue, and stunning imagery” (RT magazine) to weave an intricate, bighearted story of what it is to be human.

Kindle Edition, 304 pages
Expected publication: November 28th 2017 by Atria Books 
Genre: Literary Fiction

Kristine's Thoughts:

** I received an advanced readers copy from Simon & Schuster in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!**

A Hundred Small Lessons told the alternating story of two different women of different generations who lived in the same house. After reading the synopsis I knew I had to read it because it was exactly the type and style of book that I tend to enjoy most.

I really wanted to love this book but I just didn't. Unfortunately I found it terribly dull and hard to stay focused. The thoughts and stories of the two women in this book were so scattered and random but above all they were mostly boring. I kept waiting for it to grab me but it never really did. It was hard to stay focused and I found myself nodding off on numerous occasions. I am an avid reader and tend to get through a book quickly but this one took me days. Often I considered not finishing it but I plugged away in the hopes that it would eventually pull me in. It didn't happen.

Other early reviews for this book are quite good so I don't know if it was just me or if I was having a bad week. It just didn't do anything for me.

About the Author
Ashley Hay’s new novel, A Hundred Small Lessons, was published in Australia in April 2017 and will be published in the US in late 2017.

Set in her new home city of Brisbane, it traces the intertwined lives of two women from different generations through a story of love, and of life. It takes account of what it means to be mother or daughter; father or son and tells a rich and intimate story of how we feel what it is to be human, and how place can transform who we are.

Her previous novel, The Railwayman’s Wife, was published in Australia, the UK, the US, and is heading for translation into Italian, French and Dutch. It won the Colin Roderick Prize (awarded by the Foundation for Australian Literary Studies), as well as the People's Choice award in the 2014 NSW Premier's Prize, and was also longlisted for both the Miles Franklin and Nita B. Kibble awards.

Her first novel, The Body in the Clouds (2010), was shortlisted for categories in the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and the NSW and WA premier’s prizes, and longlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. It will be published in the US in mid-2017.

Her previous books span fiction and non-fiction and include Gum: The Story of Eucalypts and Their Champions (2002), Museum (2007; with visual artist Robyn Stacey), and Best Australian Science Writing 2014 (as editor)s

A writer for more than 20 years, her essays and short stories have appeared in volumes including the Griffith Review, Best Australian Essays (2003), Best Australian Short Stories (2012), and Best Australian Science Writing (2012), and have been awarded various accolades in Australia and overseas. In 2016, she received the Bragg UNSW Press Prize for Science Writing.  

Connect with Ashley

Cover Reveal & Giveaway: Love by the Slice by Heather Young-Nichols


Love By The Slice
by Heather Young-Nichols


What’s better? Love, or pizza? Definitely pizza.
Bianca Russo is obsessed with Romano’s; her grandfather’s pizza parlor comes with a lot of memories, as well as trouble. A secret sauce recipe handed down through generations keeps Romano’s popular with tourists and locals alike. It’s so good, several corporations have offered to buy the business… and have even attempted to steal the recipe that makes Romano’s pizza great.
Bianca came to help her grandfather run the parlor. She didn’t expect to find a hot Italian working there with her.
Gio Diamati is ridiculously sexy, and he sure can throw a pizza. Their chemistry is instant, their romance forbidden and delicious. Bianca refuses to date Gio because they work together, but she can’t deny the truth her heart betrays… she’s falling for him.
But Gio isn’t there for the money. He’s there for the sauce.
Gio wasn’t supposed to fall in love during his mission to discover Romano’s secret recipe, but that’s just what he did. Now, he has to choose between the family who has given him everything, or the girl he can’t stop thinking about.
Gio must decide… his obligations? Or his heart?
Mysterious, romantic, and full of twists and betrayal, Love by the Slice is a new adult contemporary romance novel featuring laughs, pizza, sweet kisses, and erotic nights. This college-age story is a heartbreaking and endearing tale about forbidden love and second chances.

99 Penny Pre-order!

Snippet #1

“Hey.” I shook his hand as his eyes roamed my body from top to bottom which warmed my blood. Yeah, it probably should have bugged me but it didn’t. I didn’t mind him looking even if I only wore shorts and a tank top.
I’m pretty sure Gio could’ve been wearing a trash bag and it would’ve been the hottest trash bag in the world. The man was gorgeous.
Standing six feet, maybe a touch more, Gio looked like a mountain next to my five feet and a couple of inches. The way the white t-shirt stretched across his chest led me to believe I wanted to see what was underneath and it’d be worth any wait. On top of all the hotness, Gio had a face that made you want to slap your Italian grandma. Nice olive skin perfectly complementing short black hair and dark, almost black, eyes.
I was light where he was dark. I was soft where he was hard. And boy was his body hard.

Snippet #2

Suddenly, he stopped. Both of his hands fisted against the counter on either side of my thighs while his head dropped as he stared at the floor, his eyes squeezed shut. What the what? I wondered what I may have done wrong but nothing came to mind, tried to find the moment when things had changed but there wasn’t one. He took deep breaths but avoided any eye contact with me.
“I can’t do this,” he said softly.
Thinking he was trying to be chivalrous, I pushed my knee against the front of his pants.
“I think you can,” I said trying to sound and look as enticing as possible.
“That’s not what I meant.” His fingers wrapped around my wrist to pull it away from his chest. The gentleness with which he did it crushed me. Was he turning me down? With as hard as he’d tried in the beginning and the way he seemed to enjoy spending time with me, it was hard to fathom he might not want it as much as I did. I refused to believe that. Something else had to be going on.
Finally, he looked up at me, our eyes locking in some sort of nonverbal showdown. I tried to read whatever he had going through his head. He definitely had desire sparkling within those beautiful brown orbs, but why he’d stopped wasn’t clear. At first. And then it felt like a slap to the face. It was me.
“O…oh…ok.” I stammered past the humiliation. “You mean you can’t do it with me. Got it.”

Snippet #3

“Come on,” I took his arm pulling him into my apartment. Grabbing a bag of frozen peas, I tossed it to him then plopped onto the couch. He followed, dropping the bag onto his crotch with a groan. He hadn’t said anything. I didn’t know if it he couldn’t or if he had nothing to say in response to being hit in the nuts.
“I deserved that. She’s right,” he finally said.
“Yeah, she kind of hates you.”
“Is she the only one? Do you want a shot at my junk?” He didn’t sound like he was kidding. Like he would gladly stand there and let me injure him further if it’d make me feel better.
I’d be lying if I said my ovaries hadn’t been jumping like a basketball since he’d been back. Only now I let my head do the thinking. “I’m good. Thanks for the offer, though.” I guessed it was time for grown-up talk. “I don’t hate you. I tried to, but it never took. I’d steer clear of my dad, though.”
“You told them…everything. Everything?”
I nodded.
He squeezed his eyes shut as if he’d been punched again. “Then I deserve for him to kick my ass, too.”  

Heather Young-Nichols is a multi-published YA and contemporary romance author and a native of the great and often very cold state of Michigan. She is better known at home and to her friends as the Snarker-in-Chief, a job she excels at beyond anything she could have imagined. She loves many things, but especially cold coffee, hot books, and baseball. But not necessarily in that order.  

Monday, 13 November 2017

Review: Melting Snow (Braving the Heat #1) by Leora Gonzales


Broke college student Winter Snow wants Christmas to be over. Thanks to her annoying name, this time of year always leaves her feeling Scrooged. The only cheer she wants is cold hard cash from her mall cleaning job—until a surprise offer from a hunky firefighter sparks one sizzling midnight temptation . . .


William Holiday needs a replacement elf for his fire station’s fund-raiser. Convincing Winter she's perfect for the part—and giving her some one-on-one training—is a task he’s happy to take on. Because her irrepressible smarts and luscious curves are making this seductive Saint Nick want to deliver all night long . . .


Winter isn't betting on more than an X-rated Xmas fling. But Will plans to show her they have more in common than their quirky last names—enough to keep their wildest holiday wishes coming true . . .

Kindle Edition, 2nd Edition
Expected publication: November 21st 2017 by Lyrical Press

Terri's Thoughts

I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you!

I am so baffled as to what I should say about this story.  It was so short it literally took me ten minutes to read it.  Due to its short length, its pretty tough to give an opinion.  What I will do instead is tell what you will not get with this story and what you will get.

What you will not get.  You will not see the typical formula that the majority of stories are centered around.  Usually in a romance type book there is the boy meets girls, they are instantly attracted to each other but deny said attraction.  Then they succumb to said attraction and then a some type of drama unfolds to tear them apart before they eventually ride off in to the sunset.  No, aside from the boy meets girl and instant attraction....the rest is not applicable.  You will not get a conclusion...

What you will get.  Boy meets girl, instant chemistry followed by instant action on said chemistry.  You will get steamy sex without any of the getting to know you parts.

What confused me was the story synopsis that suggested a story with more depth than this had.  Also, the beginning of the story has the reader getting to know the character of Winter however I am not sure it was that important to get to know her based on the direction the story took.  Unless...thinking out loud that this could be a teaser for a full length story to be released at a later time?  I don't know.  My biggest issue is the misleading synopsis.

So...if you are looking for a meaningful plot, this would not be the book to select.  If you like your stories to feature steamy sex scenes between virtual strangers in semi-public places, this could be the story for you.

About the Author

(From her Goodreads profile)

I am originally from Kansas and love the area even though I am now located in Florida.

I started writing last year after plotting a story line in my head and having it slowly drive me insane. I am a HUGE reader and my tastes vary from MC to historical so there is a pretty broad range of books that I adore.

Writing for me was not easy. I have some college under my belt but had never really taken any writing courses so the process started out with simply getting a story on paper. From there, I handed it over to my husband for editing and the rest is history. (side note-I still get twitchy when I see him with a red pen.)

I am essentially a stay at home mom with two younger children and writing is my way to escape.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Review: Christmas on the Coast by Rebecca Boxall

Can the secrets of the past be forgiven this Christmas?
Christmas is approaching on the island of Jersey, but Libby is feeling far from festive. Her police work and duties as vicar’s wife weigh heavily on her, she’s anxious about her troubled children, and now her best friend, Stella, has suddenly turned against her, citing a mysterious family grudge.
Libby is devastated by Stella’s unexpected coldness. But then her father shows her a diary written by her great-aunt Queenie, which sheds light on a long-hidden secret—one rooted in love, loyalty and betrayal. Writing during the Nazi occupation of Jersey in the winter of 1941, Queenie reveals a community torn apart by illicit romance, heartbreak and revenge—and by dark acts of fear and desperation.
The more Libby immerses herself in Queenie’s journal, the more she understands why its secrets still haunt her family and Stella’s. Christmas is a time of forgiveness, but is the treachery of their shared past too shameful to be forgotten?

Kindle Edition, 222 pages
Published October 10th 2017 by Lake Union Publishing 

Kristine's Thoughts:

** I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. Thank you!**

I originally picked this book up with the thought of reading a festive Christmas story but soon found out that it was anything but. Yes, it took place over the holiday season and there was an underlying message of hope, love and forgiveness that is often found in a holiday book but this was so much more. It was so much more in a very pleasant way.

This story took place in the present with Libby and her family and in 1941 during the Nazi occupation of Jersey with Queenie's journal. In the present, Libby was struggling to juggle her work, family and social life when she had an unexpected falling out with her best friend over a family feud that she knew nothing about. Queenie's journal held the key to finding the answers to the questions she had.

As with any story that weaves between past and present, I found myself drawn to the story of the past. Although this was a work of fiction, quite a bit of research went into it and I found the story surrounding the Nazi occupation of Jersey fascinating. I have a thirst for knowledge when it comes to anything regarding both world wars and this book gave me a small glimpse that will have me researching for some time to come. Although the subject matter was heavy the writing was not. The journal was easy to read and understand and had a true likeness to the writing of a young lady. I found myself enjoying it tremendously.

I must admit that I struggled slightly with Libby and the present day story. Her family was brutal and I found myself really disliking them. Even as the story progressed and things changed for the better come Christmas, I found it was too little too late. They were just too obnoxious, selfish and spoiled to be redeemed within the pages of this book. Also, the issues surrounding her eldest son were too serious and concerning to be wrapped up as neatly as they were. I found myself rushing through the pages in order to get back to the journal and Queenie's story.

All in all, this was an easy and enjoyable book to read. The past story more than made up for what I felt was a much weaker present story. I enjoyed learning about the setting and felt that it was as much a character as the people in the book. Christmas on the Coast turned out to be a lot more, in a good way, than I was expecting out of a Christmas story. I am really glad that I had the opportunity to read it.

About the Author
Rebecca Boxall was born in East Sussex in 1977 and grew up in a bustling Vicarage always filled with family, friends and parishioners. She now lives by the sea in Jersey with her husband and two children. She read English at the University of Warwick before training as a lawyer and also studied Creative Writing with The Writer's Bureau.

'Christmas at the Vicarage', her first novel, became an international bestseller, selling over 100,000 copies, and her second book - 'Home for Winter' also made it to bestseller status. Her third novel - 'Christmas on the Coast' is due for release on 10 October 2017.

Connect with Rebecca

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Review: White Water Passion (Montana Mountain #1) by Dawn Luedecke

The Montana Territory is one of the last outposts of the American West—where adventure as grand as the wide-open plains is around every corner, and passion as wild as the land itself beats in every heart...

Elizabeth Sanders isn’t afraid of anything, except what will happen to her beloved town if the Big Mountain Lumber Mill is destroyed. When she overhears a plot to do just that, she vows to put a stop to it, even if it means dressing as a young lumberjack to expose the saboteur. There’s only one problem with her plan—her brother’s handsome friend and fellow logger Garrett Jones, who arouses a desire within her soul as fierce as the river rapids.

When Garrett discovers that the odd new lad on the crew is in fact Beth, he’s shocked. A logging camp is no place for a young woman—especially the spirited beauty he’s admired for so long. Keeping her safe is easier said than done, however, as the attraction between them flares into true passion. As the danger mounts, Beth and Garrett must work together to survive the last log run down the wild rapids and claim any chance of saving the mill—and their chance at a future.

Kindle Edition
Expected publication: November 14th 2017 by Lyrical Press

Terri's Thoughts

I received and advanced copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you!

To be honest, I was a little concerned when I started to read this story.  I had failed to really look at the genre of the story and upon commencing realized it was one that really isn't my thing.  To be fair to the author, as I did request to read the story, I gave it a chance and kept an open mind and was pleasantly surprised.

While I am not 100% sure the story was overly believable, with a female pretending to be a male in a logger camp in the 1800s, it provided me with entertainment nonetheless.  Without divulging the plot, I have a hard time believing a female could get away with the ruse as long as Elizabeth did.  That aside, the story would have been very different if she didn't.

The romance was sweet and for the most part clean.  It was the 1800s after all and there was certain protocols.  That said, there was a little bit of steam to satisfy those who are seeking it.

There was plenty of action and suspense to keep you entertained while the reader longs for a resolution to the Elizabeth/Garrett romance.  Will they find a way to be together?  Or will society dictate the outcome of their romance?  You will have to read to find out.

I am glad I opened my mind to a genre I would usually avoid and in the process discovered a new author.

About the Author

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Review: Without Merit by Colleen Hoover

Not every mistake deserves a consequence. Sometimes the only thing it deserves is forgiveness.

The Voss family is anything but normal. They live in a repurposed church, newly baptized Dollar Voss. The once cancer-stricken mother lives in the basement, the father is married to the mother’s former nurse, the little half-brother isn’t allowed to do or eat anything fun, and the eldest siblings are irritatingly perfect. Then, there’s Merit.

Merit Voss collects trophies she hasn’t earned and secrets her family forces her to keep. While browsing the local antiques shop for her next trophy, she finds Sagan. His wit and unapologetic idealism disarm and spark renewed life into her—until she discovers that he’s completely unavailable. Merit retreats deeper into herself, watching her family from the sidelines when she learns a secret that no trophy in the world can fix.

Fed up with the lies, Merit decides to shatter the happy family illusion that she’s never been a part of before leaving them behind for good. When her escape plan fails, Merit is forced to deal with the staggering consequences of telling the truth and losing the one boy she loves.

Kindle Edition, 384 pages
Published October 3rd 2017 by Atria Books 
Genre: Contemporary

Kristine's Thoughts:

I an a huge fan of Colleen Hoover and I've adored all of her books until now. Unfortunately this one was not quite as good as any of her other books, it wasn't even close. You have no idea how much it pains me to say that but I have to be honest.

One of the things that I like best about Hoover's writing is her ability to make the reader really feel the emotions of the characters that she writes. Her books have literally gutted me in the past. That is what was really missing in Without Merit. I couldn't really feel anything good or bad. None of the characters were likeable and although some might argue that there was a reason for that, it didn't make reading about them any easier. I have read plenty of books with unlikeable characters and could still appreciate the value of the story but I found it lacking in this one.

Part of the problem was that there were many deep and somewhat dark issues in this book. Too many if truth be told. It was so busy that it actually distracted from the story and painted an unrealistic picture. I wasn't able to connect with any of the characters nor was there a desire (on my part) for anything to come of the romantic aspect. Sagan was too robotic, too squeaky clean and there were too many unexplained and unsolved parts of his story. Perhaps I missed it but why exactly was he living in the Dollar Voss? Other parts of the story were glazed over, swept under the rug and not fully dealt with.

I truly believe that Colleen Hoover has the ability to take on deeper, darker issues as we have seen it with It Ends With Us  however this one wasn't it.

About the Author
Colleen Hoover is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Slammed, Point of Retreat, This Girl, Hopeless, Losing Hope, Finding Cinderella, Maybe Someday, Ugly Love, Maybe Not, Confess, November 9 and It Ends With US. She lives in Texas with her husband and their three boys.

Connect with Colleen