Bet the Farm (2021)

by Staci Hart
ASN/ISBN: 9798710185599
Publication: February 23, 2021
Series: Small Town Romance

(Review at the End)

Bet the Farm is LIVE and available from your favorite online book retailer! This heartfelt, flirty story of opposites attract from Staci Hart is just what you need. Happy reading! 💕

Amazon | AppleBooks | Kobo | B&N | Goodreads


Description

Olivia Brent has one summer to save the dairy farm she just inherited. But there’s one problem, and it’s not her lactose intolerance.

Jake Milovic.

The brooding farmhand has inherited exactly fifty percent of Brent Farm, and he’s so convinced the city girl can’t work the land, he bets she can’t save it in a summer. 

Determined to prove him wrong, Olivia accepts what might be the dumbest wager of her life.

His strategy to win seems simple: follow her around, shirtlessly distracting her between bouts of relentless taunting. And it’s effective—if his dark eyes and rare smiles aren’t enough to sidetrack her, the sweaty, rolling topography of the manbeast’s body would do the trick.

What they don’t know: they’ll have to weather more than each other. 

Mysterious circumstances throw the farm into disarray, and with the dairy farm in danger, Olivia and Jake have to work together. But when they do, there’s more to fear than either of them imagined. Because now their hearts are on the line, and the farm won’t be the only casualty if they fail.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Staci has been a lot of things up to this point in her life — a graphic designer, an entrepreneur, a seamstress, a clothing and handbag designer, a waitress. Can’t forget that. She’s also been a mom, with three little girls who are sure to grow up to break a number of hearts. She’s been a wife, though she’s certainly not the cleanest, or the best cook. She’s also super, duper fun at a party, especially if she’s been drinking whiskey. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, sleeping, gaming, or designing graphics.

Amazon | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Website | Newsletter


REVIEW

**I was provided a copy of the book by publisher and author. I voluntarily read and reviewed it. All opinions are my own.**

Bet the Farm is a romance set in a rural farming town in California, which I thought was a nice change from most small town settings. It gives a different view of California that most people aren’t exactly used to–something other than tech, beaches, and palm trees. The plot is fairly straight forward with city girl Olivia returning home to her roots to help save the farm she recently inherited from her grandfather.

Olivia is a regular Pollyanna with her happy-go-lucky attitude while Jake is a complete grump and set against any kind of changes Olivia wants to make to the farm. I liked Olivia. Her earnestness at helping with the farm is sweet. At times, her attitude annoyed me because she would feel bad for doing something that she shouldn’t have had to feel bad about because Jake was making her feel bad. She wasn’t flawless, but she didn’t have to apologize for so many things. Unlike the typical city girl with a farm on her hands, Olivia doesn’t want to return to the city nor does she want to sell the farm. Returning to the farm is returning home for her. While Olivia wants to stay, Jake would prefer she leave back to New York and allow him to manage the farm the way her grandpa always did. Jake draws the the line at just about every corner, including drawing the line between them. Jake is so fickle, he irritated me a lot. Just about everything would set him off, and Olivia would take the brunt of it. He would do something that showed he cared and then he’d run off or get mad. Don’t even get me started on how he never really apologizes to Olivia for being such a sh*t to her–if he did and I forgot, it’s likely because it didn’t sound like he meant it at all. I’m getting frustrated just thinking about him right now!

Olivia and Jake have some shared history but it wasn’t enough for me to root for them. In fact, I was rooting for Olivia and another character in the book despite knowing he wasn’t meant to be end game. He was charming, and they had chemistry even if Olivia said she supposedly didn’t feel it. I was never quite on board with the direction of Olivia and Jake’s relationship also because they butted heads more than they got along, which isn’t necessarily bad especially if there are undercurrents of attraction. Again, while each would explain there was something there, I never quite felt it the way I felt in Hart’s other books. (Spoiler but not really a spoiler because it is a romance novel…when they’re together, they’re pretty great together but the getting there wasn’t something I entirely I found convincing…or I just disliked Jake a lot. Ha!)

Despite my frustration with Olivia, Jake, and their relationship, Hart doesn’t disappoint in her writing. It’s probably the biggest reason why I continue to read her novels. I was frustrated with her characters here but I couldn’t be frustrated with her descriptions. Some of my favorite parts in this book come from the beginning when Olivia describes riding in the car and looking out the window or the feeling of coming home and still feeling her grandfather everywhere. These were the moments I just wanted to give the book 5 stars everywhere–it was the what and the way Hart made me feel.

Bet the Farm might not be the best fit for readers looking for a bold female lead but I would recommend this book for Staci Hart fans. I’d also recommend this book for those who like small town romances with hate-to-love as a central trope.

Sock on the Loose (2021)

by Conor McGlauflin
ASN/ISBN: 9781250304575
Publication: February 23, 2021


**I was provided a copy of the book by the publisher. I voluntarily read and reviewed it. All opinions are my own.**

I have lots of nieces so I try encouraging them to read more by reviewing and purchasing children’s books and middle grade books. They tell me that when they come over, it feels like they’re in a library. Best compliment ever! I recently dropped of two middle grade reads for the two older nieces. Here’s a children’s book I got a chance to take a peek at and it’s definitely a fun read!

SockontheLoose02Sock on the Loose is an imaginative story of what happens when a sock goes missing. When you only find one sock, rest assured the other side isn’t really lost so much as on an adventure. It’s out discovering what it likes and finding new friends. The adventures are fun and the illustrations are made memorable with its vivid colors. My nieces adored it, especially the sock’s visit to the watermelon cave. The story promotes identity and pushes kids to step out of their comfort zone by trying to find out new things they might like. 

I was lucky enough to be a part of the promotional tour for the book’s release.  My sock Sprightly and I went on a walk because it’s really beautiful around here this time of the year.  Sprightly got a chance to hang out (heh) and admire the beautiful blossoms. Sprightly photobombed the one below.  That’s what happens when a sock is on the loose!

SockontheLoose03

Love at First (2021)

by Kate Clayborn
ASN/ISBN: 9781496725196
Publication: February 23, 2021


**I was provided a copy of the book the publisher through NetGalley. I voluntarily read and reviewed it. All opinions are my own.**

After inheriting his estranged uncle’s apartment, Will returns to the apartment and unexpectedly meets Nora, the girl he saw only once but never stopped thinking about. Will doesn’t understand why his uncle would leave him the apartment and immediately makes it clear that he has no plans to live there, instead opting to turn it into a vacation rental. Nora and the rest of the building residents are vehemently against this, so Will finds himself at odds with the girl he never forgot. Despite their feud, Nora and Will are constantly thinking about the other as well as hoping to catch a glimpse of the other.

I’d been reading so many books where things between the leads get hot and heavy fast, where emotions (and limbs) just fling off the pages, that I’d forgotten what a slow, subtle romance could do, what it could feel like. It didn’t immediately take hold of me, and my interest may have waned a bit in the beginning, but then I began to fall into its rhythm–slow and steady. Rather than an onslaught of passion, it was whispers of attraction. It was the little things Will and Nora noticed about one another–a thumb silently rubbing a palm, the pink indentations from wearing glasses–that slowly seeped its way in. Before I knew it, I was smiling, and then there were flutters, the zings appearing and multiplying as Will and Nora gravitated toward one another despite their current predicament. The book left a lasting impression, one filled with a long sigh of contentment.

This is a slow read, but one that is so good. If you have the patience and the time, you’ll be rewarded with a quiet romance filled with quirky side characters–Dr. Gerald Abraham was my absolute favorite. The story alternates between Will and Nora so you know exactly how they feel about one another, how each struggles with their feelings, and why the problem isn’t necessarily one easily contributed to just communication. They’re both still processing grief in their own ways. Nora is protective of her found family but also resistant to change. Will hides his wounds and is hesitant to start a relationship despite how attracted he is to Nora. There are things each has to work through before they can decide what the next step is. Clayborn’s beautiful prose provides us a snapshot into their lives and I am so glad got to read it.

Twist of Fate (2021)

by Tia Louise
ASN/ISBN: 9798704702146
Publication: February 22, 2021
Series: Standalone but crossover with other books

(Review at the End)

A sexy, friends-to-lovers, second-chance romance with a twist by USA Today bestselling author Tia Louise.

$2.99 for a limited time!!
Goodreads
Amazon: US | UK | CA | AU | Paperback
Nook | Kobo | Apple Books | Google Play

AUDIO COMING SOON!
Releasing in March and narrated by Sebastian York & Samantha Brentmoor

Get an ALERT when it goes LIVE:
*Text TIALOUISE to 64600 for a New Release Alert. (US Only)
*Sign up for Tia Louise’s newsletter and get an email as soon as it’s live: http://smarturl.it/TLMnews


DESCRIPTION

To be “just friends” with a guy, you’ve got to follow The Rules:
Don’t touch him unnecessarily.
Don’t share your intimate dreams with him (even if he asks).
Don’t kiss him, and definitely don’t sleep with him.

Scout Dunne and I have been “just friends” since childhood.
He’s everything you could want—sexy, charming, confident—every girl’s wet dream.
Until we broke The Rules.
We broke them in the ocean, in my aunt’s bathroom, in my bed…
It was the hottest week of my life.
I’m one of the few people who knows the first-round NFL draft pick wants more than a life of sports.
Because we’re friends, right?
Not anymore.

Now he’s gone, and I’m trying to get my career back on track.
Mamma said a guy would never put your dreams ahead of his.
But the twist of fate?
It’s something you never see coming.

(TWIST OF FATE is a STAND-ALONE friends-to-lovers, single-parent romance. No cheating. No cliffhanger.)


ALSO AVAILABLE!


EXCERPT

Scout

“It’s been a long time since we danced together.”

She doesn’t look up, but her smile grows. “It was homecoming, first dance of the year.”

“And the last. I still can’t believe you didn’t go to prom with me. All high school romances end at the prom.”

Her nose curls. “We were not a high school romance.”

“We might’ve been. The high school quarterback, all around hot guy who falls for the quiet, bookish future librarian. It’s the perfect setup for a movie.”

“All-around hot guy…” Her brown eyes roll adorably, and I’m glad the tension seems to have melted. “I’m not a future librarian.”

“I know.” I think about that night. “You did promise to have my back, though.”

“Until you broke the rules and kissed me.”

“It was a really good kiss. We should try it again to see if we’ve still got it.”

She steps out of my arms. “I’ve got a job to finish. Then I’m leaving Fireside.”

“Okay.” I shrug. “I’m not going to be here for long. Maybe we could pass the time together. Hang out.” I lean down to catch her eye. “What do you say, Tink?”

“Tink?”

“Tinkerbell. You remind me of her.”

“Does that make you Peter Pan, the eternal man-child?”

“I’m no child.” It comes out a bit hungrier than I intended, and her cheeks turn red so fast.

Should I say oops? I’m sure as hell not taking it back.

“I’ve got to go.”

She does it, too. She walks off, leaving me alone on the dance floor…

© TLM Productions LLC, 2021

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tia Louise is the USA TODAY best-selling, award-winning author of super-hot and sexy romances. All her heroes are alphas with hearts of gold, and all her heroines are the smart, sassy ladies who love them.

Never miss a New Release!
1 – Sign up for Tia’s Book News: http://smarturl.it/TLMnews
2 – Get Exclusive Text Alerts and never miss a Sale or New Release: Text “TiaLouise” to 64600*

*US only.

TLM square logo

Website | Signed Books
BookBub | Goodreads | Book+Main
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest
Amazon


REVIEW

**I was provided a copy of the book by Give Me Books as part of the promotional campaign. I voluntarily read and reviewed it. All opinions are my own.**

Twist of Fate is an appropriate title for a book that’s all about how lives can change when least expected. Sometimes the things we want will also change along with what life throws at us. The plot of the book reflects the title along these lines starting with Daisy and Scout’s relationship–or lack of one–when they unexpectedly meet each other again. The twists continue to fall like dominoes from here.

One reason I like a friends-to-lovers stories is because when characters get together at the very beginning, it never feels like their relationship is moving too fast, especially when it’s possible one is in love with the other or they’re both in love with each other right from the start. Louise sets this up really well because in the span of one week, Daisy and Scout can’t keep their hands off each other and I was all for it. There was chemistry and I was rooting for then. I did want more of a backstory about the rules they set up in high school when they kept referring to what happened, but it doesn’t take away too much from the present day storyline. There were some events in the story I wish had been given more time or better explanations. While it can be read as a standalone, there’s a time or two when there was a reference to events that happen in a related book This Much is True (Scout’s brother JR’s book) and it made me wonder what happened or if I was missing something.

Life can change at any moment, and sometimes the things we want may change too. We just need to figure out what we’re willing to do about it. The twists that befall Daisy and Scout aren’t exactly surprising but it was still an enjoyable read.

Trope-ical Readathon: March 2021

Start Date: March 01, 2021
End Date: March 31, 2021

I was ecstatic to find out that Jen and Rob decided to do two rounds of the Trope-ical Readathon. The readathon doesn’t begin until March 1 so there’s still a lot of time to sign up! This is one of the most organized readathons I’ve been a part of. Here are some things I like about it:

  • You can change the books on your TBR.
  • If you’re having trouble finding something to fit the prompts, they provide recommendations. It’s posted on the readathon page.
  • If you’re competitive, the leaderboard is automatically updated as people start entering points into a Google form. Not only does it help keep track of how the teams are doing but it also highlights the top contributor on each team.
  • You get points for every page you read even if it’s not a book on your TBR, so if you’re a mood reader like me, this means you still get points for your team if you deviate from the prompts.

For more information, check out the rules at Trope-ical Readathon.

  • I’ve been trying to read Cinderella is Dead for the longest time. Here’s hoping this is the time I finally read it.
  • I’m really excited about the buddy/group read that I’m doing with my IRL friends (gasp!). One of them decided her new year’s resolution would be to finish one book this year. Then we all decided to help each other with our resolutions–mine was to blog more and more consistently.
  • We Free the Stars totally counts because it’s being adapted. So it definitely counts!

Trope-ical Readathon March 2021 TBR

Dead Parents
Dystopia
Buddy
read
Has TV or Movie Adaptation
War Setting
Before 2000
Enemies to Lovers
Challenge #1
Celebrity Romance
One world title
Mixed Media
Multiple POC Characters
Challenge #2
Paranormal Romance
Coming of Age
Ebook
Genre don’t usually read
Team Book

Go #TeamRomance

Perfect on Paper (2021)

by Sophie Gonzales
ASIN/ISBN: 9781250769787
Publication: March 09. 2021

**I was provided a copy of the book through NetGalley. I voluntarily read and reviewed it. All opinions are my own.**

Darcy Phillips has a secret. She’s the person behind locker 89.  For a small fee of $10, peers drop off letters detailing their relationship woes, and she provides them with advice.  If her advice doesn’t work, she’ll return the fee. Her anonymity comes to an end when Alexander Brougham finds her taking the letters out of the locker.  Brougham blackmails convinces Darcy to help him get his ex-girlfriend back in exchange for a fee and, of course, for keeping her secret.

Darcy is a developed main character who has a window into the relationships of her peers.  Darcy doesn’t just make up her relationship advice as she goes, she does research.  She collects relationship theories and applies them accordingly.  It’s clear she takes what she does seriously but she also learns that objectivity can be difficult. While the transaction is supposed to be anonymous, this isn’t always the case. There are often bits of information that allow her to infer who the writer is, and this becomes problematic. Although she tries to stay objective in providing advice, it isn’t always easy when the relationship woes she reads about have the potential to impact her life. As much insight as she has about relationships, it starts to become clear that it can be difficult to navigate when they are your own—made much more complicated when it makes you question your identity.  Ultimately, relationship theories are just a simplification of the world, and real life is much more complex.

I was roped in by the book description but completely sold on it when Gonzales tackled the main questions I had as soon as I started reading the book, the question of objectivity when the advice-r (heh…), to an extent, knows the people asking for advice and where Darcy was getting all this relationship information.

I liked the progression of Brougham and Darcy’s relationship. Being in close proximity and sharing in each other’s secrets allowed them an intimacy they couldn’t afford to others. When they became more than just business aquaintances and turned into friends, it wasn’t abrupt but organic to their development. (Okay…there’s a chance I am going to reread my favorite parts if not the whole thing right now…hahaha)

Perfect on Paper isn’t the simple friends/enemies-to-lovers story it appears to be.  It is complex and touches on multiple themes including friendship, healthy relationships, and identity. Gonzales does a wonderful job of handling these multiple themes, with the highlight being the exploration of identity and acceptance.  My favorite part of the book is actually at the end where a question is raised about identity. The Queer & Questioning Club is such a great club, one that all schools should have. There is a range of representation in the novel that contributes to making this a worthwhile read from race/ethnicity to and gender identity. I enjoyed Perfect on Paper and look forward to reading more by Gonzales. 

 

False Start (2021)

by Casey Hagen
ASIN/ISBN: B087PVMZQ5
Publication: February 16, 2021
Series: Beautifully Brutal #1

(Review at the End)

Goodreads
Amazon: US | UK | CA | AU
B&N | Kobo | Apple Books | Google Play

DESCRIPTION

I’m used to being an outsider, full of self-doubt, pain, and a longing to belong.
Until I found this family, my own band of derby sisters
But when the most notorious coach in roller derby sets his sights on me, my life is thrust into chaos.
He’s a perceptive, cocky hard-ass, who’s made me his enemy, and his student.
Despite being my adversary, he’s the only man I can trust when faced with insurmountable odds, even if I hate every second he tries to bend me to his will.
Our proximity brings with it a forbidden attraction.
One that can destroy everything my team has built.
One that threatens to break me down, piece by piece
I won’t let Cain Bishop break me…at least not on the track.
But maybe…I’ll let him break my bed.

One night home and I’m obsessed with the track.
Maybe not the track itself, but her. The most compelling player I’ve ever seen.
The way she maneuvers through the pack, I can’t take my eyes off her.
She’s a fighter, battling head to head for everything she believes in.
When the odds turn against her, I’m the key to her salvation.
Getting too close could cost me everything.
But there’s no chance in hell I’ll stay away.
Not even when redemption is on the line.
Maisy Flynn is mine, even if neither one of us wants it.
Only…keeping her might mean she loses everything she holds dear.
After all I’ve done, the Devil himself would sooner see me burning on my knees at his feet than let me keep my prize.


False Start is the first book in the Beautifully Brutal series with the next books in the series coming out through 2021. The next in the series is Hip Whip, coming out in March!


EXCERPT

I slammed down a stack of cash, snatched my jacket, and stomped out of Banked Track, leaving Mayhem on her hands and knees on the bar. 

I figured I had about ten seconds tops before she scrambled off and chased me down. 

Ten seconds to get to the parking lot, get in my truck, and get the fuck out of here.

And never come to town again. 

My breath billowed before me, illuminated by the dull glow of streetlamps in the inky darkness of the frigid night. I pounded down the sidewalk, the image of her voracious eyes combing over Patti’s pictures playing through my head. 

My amusement at her climbing clean up on the counter swept away by an avalanche of bitterness for what they asked of me even without saying the words.

The bitterness of what I couldn’t give them.

But damn, I wanted to. 

Too much.

I’d stay at the farm. I’d pay whoever I had to pay for grocery delivery. We’d survive, we could just call it quality time…so much quality, Lilith would be ready to murder me, but then my nephew would be born, Jordan would get home, and I’d be on my way out of town.

“Hey!”

Six damn seconds.

I kept my pace as I whipped around, only to find her chasing me down in that sweater. 

That. Fucking. Sweater.

My pulse pounded in my ears. My nostrils flared with the ragged breath I sucked into my lungs.

It didn’t even cover her shoulders and the temperature had mercilessly dropped into the low twenties the minute the sun disappeared over the horizon. By now, we’d plummeted to the teens.

I jabbed a finger in the direction of the bar. “Get your ass inside.”

She skidded to a stop, propped her hands on her hips, and arched an eyebrow. I knew that look. Every man on the planet knew that look and all the variations whether it be aimed with stunning precision at them from a girlfriend, a sister, a mother, or a grandmother. “Excuse me?”

“You don’t have a jacket,” I said, marching back to her, my hands curled into fists because fuck if I didn’t want to haul her ass off somewhere warm and private. 

Only I couldn’t trust myself alone with her. Warm and private meant giving in and tearing off every last shred of clothing so I could fuck her until neither of us could stand. 

Glowering down at her, I put every bit of anger and frustration into the force of my words, not caring if they hurt her, because they were the only way to save us from absolute disaster. “Get. Your. Ass. Inside.”

Better to hurt her now before the stakes got higher. 

Before feelings got involved.

Look at me pretending like they hadn’t already. 

We’d been nothing but feelings since our eyes met during her bout. We’d been adding good old-fashioned dry logs to that flame ever since, building the kind of heat that didn’t flash and die, but simmered, building a base of coals so damn hot it reached into the shadowed recesses of our lives.

“Not until you agree to help us.” Her chin wobbled as she shivered before me. She clamped down her teeth, but the telltale tremble of her teeth trying to chatter in the blistering cold was there.

“Goddammit.” I yanked my jacket off, wrapped it around her, and held it together so she couldn’t shrug it off. “I’ll walk you home. Which way?” 

She tried to yank away from me. “I don’t need you to walk me home; I need you to train us on your track.”

I curled my fists tighter into the soft leather, shaking her with every bit of resentment coursing through me, making her rock on her heels before holding her steady. “No.”

“Why not?”

“You damn well know why not.” I growled. There’s no way she didn’t know. 

And the fact that she did made it damn near impossible to look her in the eye at times.

“You didn’t do it,” she said quietly. “What they say about you. You didn’t do it.”

The calm confidence of her words only fueled a dormant rage, now burgeoning inside me again since waking up the minute I rolled into Galloway Bay. I wouldn’t stand here while she looked at me with softness, caring, the hushed tone of her voice reverent, like I was some kind of hero. 

Not when all I had was a legacy of mistakes that brought others pain.

I tugged her against me. “You don’t know a damn thing about what I did or didn’t do,” I said, seething with the fine edge of anguish cutting through me. “What I’ve cost the people I love.”

My gaze dropped to her full pink lips and I closed my eyes. Her mouth wasn’t mine to taste, should never be mine to taste, and if I took, it would only prove what a selfish bastard I really was. “You’d do good to trust your instincts about me, Mayhem.”

She turned her face up to mine. Unflinching, she stared me straight in the eye without so much as a blink. Full of stubbornness and ready for confrontation, she took me head-on. “The funny thing is, I do,” she said with quiet finality. 

Her eyes dropped to my mouth and I fought the urge to waver. I hung my head and turned away from her, away from temptation.

How many more times would I scour my soul and find scraps of shredded honor before I ran out completely?

“You didn’t do it. I don’t know why you don’t shout it from the damn rooftops. I don’t know why you didn’t defend yourself, maybe it’s time to—”

I pierced her with a scowl. “Leave it alone,” I bit out the words in harsh warning. Fury pounded in time with the ripple of my beating heart.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

USA Today Bestselling author Casey Hagen pens her snarky, passionate stories from the salty air of Kennebunk, Maine. She’s a born and raised Vermont native, a New England girl to the core, with Ben & Jerry’s in her heart and real Vermont maple syrup pumping through her veins.

She’s the proud mother of three girls and a first-time grandma with an insatiable addiction to Fall Out Boy and the new Taylor Swift album, Folklore, because…AMAZEBALLS, and a new, rather concerning obsession with tattoos and piercings. Can you say “cool grandma?”

The inked and pierced grandma spends her time tucked away in her office, coated in cat hair, alternating between tearing her hair out trying to find the perfect words and being one step ahead of her three scheming fur babies she is positive are plotting her demise with every swirl around her ankles at the top of her office stairs.

She loves writing stories about real people, with complicated histories, relatable everyday problems, and giving them the hard-won happily-ever-afters they deserve.

And she thanks every last one of you who picks up one of her stories.

Logo-Transparent-Website-NEW-1280x895

Website | Newsletter | Text Alerts
BookBub | Facebook | Facebook Group
Instagram | Pinterest | YouTube | Spotify


REVIEW

**I was provided a copy of the book by Give Me Books as part of the promotional campaign. I voluntarily read and reviewed it. All opinions are my own.**

This would be a Hallmark movie if Hallmark movies were about a roller derby team with a fiery-tempered tattooed protagonist trying to save a community program while having sexy times with her hot coach. And the hot, sweltering kisses they share…whew! I can’t forget those either. Maisy is the tough but well-loved (at least by those who know her) protagonist who has finally found her family in her roller derby team after losing her mother as a teen. Cain returns to Galloway Bay to help his sister with her pregnancy but isn’t prepared to stay any longer than necessary in the town that shunned him. They quickly inspire lust in each other, and their love of roller derby brings them together.

In the first half of the novel, I was trying to connect to a sport I was unfamiliar with along with Maisy and Cain. I couldn’t connect with their potential relationship very well because the lust was immediate and I was afraid it would head into insta-love territory without establishing anything beyond physical attraction. Their attraction is acknowledged as lust, which I was grateful for, and then I came around to their chemistry when they finally started working on the same roller derby team–simply just making googly eyes at each other wasn’t enough for me to establish much. I don’t know very much about roller derby but by the second half of the book, I was invested enough in Maisy and Cain to do a little bit of research. I watched a few videos to visualize and understand the sport better and it helped me connect better with the story and with them.

I enjoyed reading a sports novel that wasn’t about hockey or football and focused on a women’s team. The camaraderie between the women was something I liked reading and helped to establish why Maisy saw them as her family. I enjoyed Hagen’s writing a lot. I read 100 pages and felt like it was less than half. Her writing is descriptive and evokes images and so many emotions. One of my favorite lines toward the beginning of the book is when Cain explains how Maisy getting to close to him would be problematic, leading to opening up a part of himself that he kept hidden because “it rivaled the force of any turbulent storm-ravaged sea crashing relentlessly against a rocky coast. Cracking open that well of pain, anger, and resentment would flood everything and everyone in its path.” Even if I wasn’t yet sold on Maisy and Cain’s attraction to each other, I was hooked because of Hagen’s writing style. I liked the book and recommend it for those looking for a romance centered around a nontypical sport with leads that are rough around the edges.

Fumbled (2021)

by Cala Riley
ASIN/ISBN: B087PVMZQ5
Publication: February 15, 2021
Series: Quick Snap Novella

(Review at the End)

Goodreads
Amazon: US | UK | CA | AU
Free in Kindle Unlimited

$10 Amazon Gift Card GIVEAWAY

Jude

Before training camp, I went on one last trip. Just me and the beaches of Miami without doting fans and the pressures of fame. Then I ran into Ivy, literally.

One thing led to another, and we spent a glorious week together. Then she utters the words I never wanted to hear: Just Friends.

I’m playing the best I’ve ever played, yet somehow with Ivy I keep fumbling. Our lives are worlds apart, but with each text, call, and stolen moment, my feelings for her grow. Can I keep my career and land the woman of my dreams?

Ivy

When I met Jude, I had no idea who he was to the world. He was a hot, vacation companion, nothing more. We spent one week getting to know each other, but at the end we went our separate ways as just friends.

Then he showed up back in my life. Jude Taylor, star wide receiver.

I don’t care that he’s on the TV every Sunday when I go to my parent’s house or that thousands of people worship him. I care about the man I met in Miami. I thought we could be friends, but the way he makes my heart race when the cameras are off is far from friendly. Every wink, smirk, and deep timbre of his voice makes me question why I ever wanted to be friends. Can I compromise my life plans to allow him a place by my side?

Also Available!



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Cala Riley Logo

Cala Riley, better known as Cala and Riley, are a pair of friends with a deep seated love of books and writing. Both Cala and Riley are happily married and each have children, Cala with the four-legged kind while Riley has a mixture of both two-legged and four. While they live apart, that does not affect their connection. They are the true definition of family. What started as an idea that quickly turned into a full-length book and a bond that will never end. 

Bookbub | Newsletter
Facebook | Instagram | TikTok


REVIEW

**I was provided a copy of the book by Give Me Books as part of the promotional campaign. I voluntarily read and reviewed it. All opinions are my own.**

Fumbled is a novella that packs nearly an entire 300-page novel worth of events into it’s limited number of pages (just over 100). This can be viewed as good or bad depending on what it is you’re searching for. Ivy and Jude meet, spend a week together, and then go their separate ways to only reconsider whether a week together was long enough. Because it’s so short, the events that occur don’t pack an emotional punch like they would if the story were a lot longer. There’s just not enough to go into detail about things that happen. There are only a few pages to spend on it, if at all, before quickly moving on to the next thing. There are a few places here and there where more than just a few pages are spent on a moment, and these allowed the ability of the authors to evoke emotion shine through. If you would like something that provides greater detail by concentrating on just one or a few significant events, that allows you to connect with the characters, this novella might not be the right one for you. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a quick read, this book will do the job. It reads like a full length novel but the pace is so fast–everything flies by. A lot of things happen and any problems or situations get resolved quickly.


There is a GIVEAWAY for a $10 Amazon Gift Card

Happy Valentine’s Day!!!

I made Valentine’s Day Cards! My cousin is a huge BTS fan so I made these just for her–that was originally my intention at least. I wanted to make some cards for some of my favorite book characters but I was having too much fun making these. Hopefully I’ll be able to make some next year. (They’re gifs so be wary of lots of motions..sorry!)

For some reason The Sound of Music was on my mind a few weeks ago
and then she showed me this photo of JK, reminding me of the famous Julie Andrews scene.


Are any of you Guardian: The Lonely and Great God (Goblin) fans?
You know what it means if you see the sword…right? Heh…


The rest turned into cards for me instead of her…Enjoy the cringe! Feel free to send/share!
I had a lot of fun making them. Suga’s is probably my favorite.





Jimin is just too…
{insert any adjective that describes how insanely good looking he is}