Review: Fade to Us by Julia Day


*ARC provided by Wednesday Books in exchange for an honest review*
This was my second novel by Julia and I am sad to say that I didn’t enjoy it as much as I did the first one. A lot had to do with the fact that it excluded a lot of vital (at least vital to me) details that would’ve enabled me to delve deeper into the characters and connect with them. The writing tended to skip around a lot.
I didn’t really have a strong reaction where Brooke was concerned. I didn’t like her, but I didn’t hate her either; It was sort of a weird experience. But I will say that I really liked reading the thought process she had when it came to her step sister, Natalie. I enjoyed following along as Brooke took care of her. Her step sister (who has Asperger’s) ends up moving in with her for the rest of her summer vacation and we get to witness as that alone turns her world upside down. I will say though that I felt for Brooke when I witnessed how she was putting Natalie’s happiness before her own. It was sweet and thoughtful and very, very unhealthy… But I admired her for it nonetheless.
I feel like Natalie was more interesting to follow. She was blunt (which I enjoyed) and seemed to steal the show in every way possible when she appeared. I kind of wished we got to see her point of view in this novel since it made me super curious to witness her thought process when it came to certain things that she had to deal with. It must not be east to juggle two different family dynamics, let alone when you are dealing with a mental disorder.
I felt like some details about the characters came so out of nowhere that I couldn’t take the author’s word for it. Some other details were too obvious to spark any emotion from me other than a shrug. Also, some of the conversations that the characters had seemed a bit too juvenile for my taste.
I really loved the topics Julia decided to tackle in this novel since some were new to me and some weren’t. With that said, I feel like the execution fell short. It had a lot of potential but the exclusion of certain details really put a damper on things.
Another thing I really liked was the development between our main character and her step father. I felt like Julia did that relationship justice and I couldn’t be happier with the way things were wrapped up in the end for both of them.
I also really liked getting to know Micah, Brooke’s love interest. Even though a lot of the scenes that were skipped resulted in me not being able to be on board with their relationship, I still liked him as his own character. I really wish I could’ve seen his point of view as well. But I am more than happy with everything we got to see from him nonetheless. There was ONE line he said close to the end that completely tore me apart and made me cry but I’ll keep it to myself because of spoilers. I didn’t like the way Brooke treated him and I honestly still think he deserved better but whatever makes him happy makes me happy. I had nothing but respect for him and for everything he has accomplished for his age.
Anyway, I’ll definitely be on the look of out for the next Julia Day novel. I am curious to see what other topics she chooses to tackle next.

3/5 stars


Review: What He Doesn’t Know by Kandi Steiner!


*ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review*
I am still raw from all of the emotions this novel just tore out of me but if I don’t type this review out after finishing this a few minutes ago, I will go crazy. I am so scared!!!! But we will get back to that soon. For now, let’s rewind to the person I used to be before Kandi ruined me.

This was the first novel I’ve read of Kandi’s and of course, it won’t be the last. BECAUSE THE SEQUEL TO THIS COMES OUT IN A FEW WEEKS AND IT MINUS WELL SHOULD BE A FEW YEARS!! No, but really. I absolutely loved Kandi’s writing and I can’t wait to meet more of her characters. Just as I thought I had this story figured out, I was left trying to grasp fragments of what I believed to be solid as it all crumbled around me without warning. The way she chose to execute every word made me feel as if this were my first love story to ever have the pleasure of reading. This is definitely a gem I am glad to have stumbled upon. Sort of.
This story is love triangle.
Angst galore.
We have Charlie, who is married to Cameron. Charlie is a teacher and Cameron works for her dad but their marriage is put to the ultimate test as our boy, Reese, walks back into Charlie’s life after having walked out of it 14 years ago.
I took a liking to Charlie almost immediately after starting this novel. She’s struggling with her desire be appreciated and comforted by the one person who vowed to do just that for the rest of her life.A part of me connected to her through the pain of being deprived of such things. We follow her not-so-happy marriage and I felt protective of her as the story progressed. My heart hurt to no end as I uncovered the things she has been going through since her wedding.
“In my brain, there was always music.”
My heart belongs to Reese without a doubt. The things he used to do for Charlie when they were kids and still does for her in their adult life were nothing short of heart warming. I also was a goner the moment I connected to him through his immense love for music. He’s a piano teacher and it was a pleasant surprise to have my memories from my piano classes resurface through him. (I wouldn’t have minded to have had him as my teacher. Maybe then I actually would’ve continued learning. *waggles eyebrows*) I want nothing but the best for him, especially after all the things he has gone through as well.
I can’t even see him with anyone other than Charlie. Not that I want to anyway. I swear, if my ship doesn’t sail… I will stop reading forever. Just kidding. But I WILL take a break from reading to mourn my choice of trusting so many authors with my feelings. That’s seriously how intense my own personal happiness is tied to these two and I hope I am not let a devastated excuse of a human after this duet concludes.
My heart went out to both of them in different ways and it was so obvious they belonged to each other. Especially with the way that they interacted with each other. The genuine trust between them was palpable beyond belief. I also felt like Kandi took the most important parts of me and sprinkled them into a garden that sprouted these two characters. My connection to both of them was another welcome surprise.
Also, I want to point out that I listened to the soundtrack to The Greatest Showman on a loop while reading this (still am) and I’ll be damned if From Now On and Rewrite the Stars didn’t fit perfectly with the story.
All I have to say now is that, Kandi, if you’re reading this, you asked us to trust you… And death almighty help me because I hope I’m not making a huge mistake by doing just that. I am beyond TERRIFIED of you, Kandi. But my heart is in your hands nonetheless. And after that ending… (WHAT HAVE YOU DONE, KANDI?!?!?!) I don’t even know what to expect from you. But… I will T-word you and wait (not so patiently) for What He Always Knew to hopefully hit my kindle soon. Don’t worry, I’ll start refreshing… now.

5/5 stars!


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Release Day Blitz: What He Doesn’t Know by Kandi Steiner!



Publication Date: March 15th, 2018
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Photographer: Perrywinkle Photography, Lauren Perry
Cover Designer: Kandi Steiner


WHDK cover FINAL_1

On the northeast side of town, there is a house.
The house was once magical, filled with love and joy and plans for the future.
Inside its walls are many things that belong to me — my books, the china from my mother on my wedding day, the beautiful cage once home to two birds, now empty, just like me.
And a man.
A man who also belongs to me.
A man I no longer wish to keep.
A man who, no doubt, has not slept, though the sun is rising. Because the house where he waits is where I laid my head to rest every night for eight years. Until last night.
No one who knows me would believe Charlie Pierce, the quiet, bookish girl who never made waves is pulling out of the driveway of a man who isn’t her husband.
But they don’t know me at all.
I don’t even know me.
Not anymore.
They say there are two sides to every story, and I suppose in most cases, that’s true. But the one I live inside of? It has three.
On the northeast side of town, there is a house.
But there is no longer a home.

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Kandi Steiner is a Creative Writing and Advertising/Public Relations graduate from the University of Central Florida living in Tampa. Kandi works full time as a social media specialist, but also works part time as a Zumba fitness instructor and blackjack dealer.

Kandi started writing back in the 4th grade after reading the first Harry Potter installment. In 6th grade, she wrote and edited her own newspaper and distributed to her classmates. Eventually, the principal caught on and the newspaper was quickly halted, though Kandi tried fighting for her “freedom of press.” She took particular interest in writing romance after college, as she has always been a die hard hopeless romantic (like most girls brought up on Disney movies).

When Kandi isn’t working or writing, you can find her reading books of all kinds, talking with her extremely vocal cat, and spending time with her friends and family. She enjoys beach days, movie marathons, live music, craft beer and sweet wine – not necessarily in that order.



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Review: Instructions for a Secondhand Heart by Tamsyn Murray


*ARC provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review*
“Love isn’t isn’t a tap you turn off when you don’t care anymore. It seeps into your soul, wears a path to your heart, and leaves an unbearable emptiness when it’s gone.”
This was my first novel by Tamsyn and it follows Jonny and Neve. Their story was like nothing I’ve ever read before. The premise was so beautiful that it made me have high expectations for it.
Sadly, one of the main reasons those expectations weren’t met was because of how much I struggled to connect/like these characters. I sympathized with their situations but they were a lot younger in age than I’m used to reading.
Neve’s twin brother was the original owner of the heart that now beats in Jonny’s chest.
Even though I had difficulties connecting to these characters, I managed to connect to Jonny through our love for anime/manga the most! (I haven’t read much manga but he was reading some based on my second favorite anime, Fairy Tail!) I really loved his sense of humor and some of the things he did melted my heart. I had a few problems where his actions were concerned but his character development took care of them. I absolutely did NOT like the way he was treated throughout most of the novel. I wanted to take care of him and shelter him from harm. (And from Neve.)
Neve on the other hand, I did not like her attitude 99.9999% of the time. I know her traits were probably chosen on purpose, but it could’ve been toned down, in my opinion. I just had too much of a difficulty feeling for her when she acted the way she did. I mostly wanted her gone from the story, if I’m being honest.
If I had to choose a favorite female character in this novel, it would be, Emily. I kind of wished she would’ve taken Neve’s place. She had such an amazing personality, I couldn’t get enough of her!
Anyway, I absolutely loved the ending! It was so perfect. It made me cry and wish for more!
I can’t wait to read more by Tamsyn!

3/5 stars

Review: More Than We Can Tell by Brigid Kemmerer!

“We all push sometimes, just to make sure someone is on the other side, pushing back.”
This is the sequel to Brigid’s Letters to the Lost and I was more than happy to devour them one right after the other. All of these characters own pieces of me that I didn’t know I had left to give.
Letters to the Lost followed Declan and Jules, but this book follows Declan’s best friend, Rev, and Emma, a stranger to the trio. I loved how the letter/email aspect from the last book was carried over to this one in a whole different, and unique way that was for Emma and Rev alone.
Emma is a gamer girl who has created her own game that has hundreds of players playing it. I had a lot of respect for her because of it but it took me A LOT to actually grow to like her. I couldn’t stand her for most of this novel, she said and did some things that had me in fits of rage due to how uncalled for they were. I wanted to knock some sense into her more often than not and it wasn’t fun. Just when I was starting to like her, she would put her foot back in her mouth and it had me going back to square one. But I loved that Brigid gave her an amazing character development. Eventually, I learned to respect her due to how far she came. I was almost scared I would finish this book with a major chip on my shoulder but I’m just glad that didn’t end up being the case.
And then we have Rev. Boy, where do I even start? I LOVE YOU, REV!`(But like a brother, Declan is my love, sorry.) Rev tore me A.P.A.R.T. from beginning to end. We got a hint of his background in LttL but this book went into so much depth that I couldn’t even handle the pain and emotional toll it was having on me. Yes, I devoured this like there was no tomorrow but I still had to take so many breathers in between chapters. Brigid kept stealing my breath away with the way she expertly pulled at my heart strings. One of the things that kept me sane throughout all of the torment was his relationship with his adoptive parents. It was so beautiful and inspiring that it brought me endless joy to know that he had them in his life.

Both of these poor souls almost had to move mountains in order earn their happiness and I couldn’t have cheered them on harder than I already was. Their hardships scraped me raw. No book has ever come close to changing my life just as this one has. Brigid has officially made me want to live a life that would make Rev proud.
This book covers a lot of serious and relevant topics that should be spoken about more often instead of being swept under the rug. This covers the major impact the internet can have in our lives and personal safety, both the good and the bad. It covers the difficulties adopted and abused children deal with most of their lives and a lot of other things. This is a cautionary tale for the world we live in now. I can only hope every reader that opens this book leaves richer in knowledge about what to do if they stumble upon situations like these.
Another thing I loved about this novel was that we got glimpses into Declan and Jules’ further character developments. I loved seeing what happened to them after book one and I never wanted to leave them. They kept making me proud just like Rev and Emma were.
This book was infinitely times more raw and devastating than the last. If the last book had me mostly in happy tears, this book had me mostly in heartbroken tears. It still had the amazing humor Brigid so easily weaves into these devastating plot lines but those rare glimpses were my only saviors amidst such devastation.
And again, I’m going to be greedy and hope with everything that I am that there will be another installment in this series. I can’t live without these characters any longer!

5/5 stars!