Honesty by Seth King is a tragic yet beautiful story about love and loss. When I think about my first love, I remember the butterflies and longing that often consumed me. I also remember the angst and heartache. King conveyed all of these things perfectly in Coley and Nicky’s love story.
“He leaned in and kissed me hard, and the lights went out. I had never kissed a boy before, and it was…everything, really. His soft lips and coarse stubble felt like a poisoned daisy, just the wrong kind of right. Part of it felt so bad, worse than anything I’d ever done, but that badness felt beautiful, imperial even.” ❤
King’s writing is poignant and poetic. I found myself rereading certain lines multiple times either to ponder, reflect on how I could relate, or simply to enjoy again and again. How can I possibly relate to a story about love blossoming between two men? Because love is love. Every pulse-pounding moment, including the moments when Coley and Nicky were questioning their relationship or arguing, took me back.
Some reviewers have said they didn’t like the back and forth between the men. All the arguments and making up. All the I love yous and I hate yous. All the ‘we can never be together’ and the ‘let’s be together forever’ talk. Whatever. That’s what young love is often like. That’s real. And I commend King for keeping it real.
Like other books I’ve read by Conley, I was thoroughly entertained by Power of Love. Certain consistencies with her writing style that I’ve grown fond of were all present in this book, only increasing my appreciation for her work.
One thing Conley always does is provide a clear story arc. Girl meets boy (or vice versa), sparks fly, and drama ensues. But it’s not annoying, unbelievable drama. It’s just your everyday drama that people deal with all the time when it comes to love and relationships. Her characters are normal, everyday people too. They have believable flaws and always remind me of people I know in real life. As with other Conley couples, I found myself really pulling for Vanessa and Linc.
Another consistency of Conley’s is that no matter how serious things get in her stories, there’s always a bit of humor. It might be the result of a quirky character or the banter between certain characters, but there’s always something that tickles my funny bone. In this story, I got such a kick out of the Book B!tches in the book club!
I mentioned believability earlier, so I should note that this particular series has a paranormal slant. Some may believe the spirit-related things that happen in this book are possible while others won’t. I personally don’t know what I believe when it comes to paranormal activity. At any rate, I found the spirit activity in this book to be intriguing, and I look forward to seeing what comes of it.
It’s been about a month since my last post, so it’s time for some updates . . .
Click Date Repeat Again
CDR #2 is the main reason for my scarcity here and on other social media lately. My plan for June was to buckle down, finish it up, and send it off to my editor on the 24th. Things were moving along nicely until my keyboard conked out, no longer allowing me to type several letters! After hours of troubleshooting, I ordered a new one. Then I took a few days off because it’s extremely difficult to write without the letter A! Thanks to Amazon Prime, I had my new keyboard within 48 hours. However, the day after it arrived, I went to the Scripted Social Author Event in Des Moines, Iowa. Even though I was not a signing author at the event, I had the privilege of being a volunteer. And guess who I got to help with her line…KIM HOLDEN! AHHHH! It was such an AMAZING weekend! When I returned from Iowa, I had a few days to work, and then we welcomed house guests who stayed with us for a several days. Long story short, I ended up sending only about 75% of the book off to my editor on the 24th. But now that the 4th of July weekend is over and the guests are gone, I’ll be wrapping the book up this week.
Despite my week-long setback, I’m still planning to publish CDR #2 at the end of August. Obviously this could change, but I’m going to do my best to make sure it doesn’t! The cover is being designed this month, so watch for the reveal near the end of July or beginning of August.
Click HERE to add Click Date Repeat Again to your to-read list on Goodreads!
New Family Members
As some of you know, we said goodbye to our 17-year-old cat (Hal) a few months ago. Hal was also known as Hugh in Click Date Repeat. 🙂 My husband asked immediately after Hal was gone if I wanted to get a new cat but I just wasn’t ready. Fast forward to a couple weeks ago when my kids and I went to the local pet store to purchase a sponge for the hermit crabs. To our surprise, they recently added a new area for cats from local humane societies and shelters. One thing led to another, and . . . we ended up adopting two kittens! Eric (black and white) is 1 year old, and Sebastian is 7 weeks.
Holiday Fun with Family and Friends
It was so much fun spending time with my sister and her kids over the 4th of July weekend! We saw a movie, went to the local 4th of July parade and carnival, celebrated my niece’s birthday, spent some time enjoying a local lake (kayaking, paddle boarding and pedal boating), attended a party, and viewed an awesome fireworks display. Talk about a jam-packed weekend . . .
Book Reviews & Ask KJ
In light of my push to complete Click Date Repeat Again, I’ve had to sacrifice more than just a consistent social media presence. I’m now eight books behind schedule for 2016, and I only expect that number to grow. I do plan to spend a couple of weeks in August getting caught up, but I’m not sure that I’ll have time to write the reviews right away. I will eventually get back to posting at least two reviews a month though. I just can’t promise when.
As forAsk KJ, for which I planned to write a monthly post, that too will return. I’m just not sure when…
The 27 Club has a very interesting premise. It sort of reminded me of the movie 13 Going on 30 with a dark, paranormal twist. I went in blind with zero knowledge about the meaning of the title, and this made for a really cool aha moment when I realized what was going on. So if you’ve never heard of The 27 Club, I suggest not looking it up until you read this book!
The first ten chapters or so detail Erika Takai’s horrible birthday experiences, year after year. I have to admit, all of her “bad luck” put me in a funk, and I kept wondering when things were going to get better for her. Well, when that moment arrives, it isn’t what it seems, and her newfound good fortune has a price. At that point, I didn’t want to stop reading until I knew what Erika’s fate would be.
If you enjoy new adult books with paranormal elements that explore fate and second chances, then you might enjoy this one.
When I heard All the Missing Girls was being compared to The Girl on the Train, I just had to read it. After all, I love suspenseful psychological thrillers. Unfortunately, this book did not live up to the comparison, but I still liked it for other reasons.
One unique, yet confusing, quality of this book is that much of it is told in reverse order. It starts out in the present, with Nicolette (Nic) returning to her hometown to help sell her father’s house after being away for ten years. Going home is difficult for her due to the reason she left in the first place: Her best friend Corrine disappeared without a trace and the case was never solved. Right after she arrives at her childhood home and visits her senile father, the story is catapulted forward two weeks. And that’s when things became hard for me to follow.
Over the course of the two weeks (told in reverse), another girl disappears, and everyone is wondering if it has anything to do with Corrine’s disappearance. Well, here’s a SPOILER for you…the disappearances are related, just not in the way you will most likely think they are.
Two things All the Missing Girls does have in common with The Girl on the Train is that it has an intricately woven plotline, and there are a few twists and turns–none nearly as shocking as those in The Girl on the Train, but surprising nonetheless.
Despite the misleading title (there are really only two missing girls) and the confusing reverse order narration, I liked the story and appreciate the way Miranda brought everything together in the end. Honestly, I might have liked it more had the comparison bar not been set so high.
Swoon is about Steph and Lawrence, a pair who are wildly attracted to one another.
“Swoon. Gulp. Swulp?”
They flirt, they joke around, and they really seem to get each other, so you’ll find yourself rooting for them to be together. But Foss doesn’t make it that easy. Instead she throws in all sorts of issues related to timing, emotional baggage and life in general, making it a realistic account of how it sometimes takes a person a long time to finally end up with that special someone she should have been with all along.
Things I love about this book:
1) There’s zero instalove. Steph’s best friend marries Lawrence’s best friend, so they’ve known each other for a while. They’ve hung out with each other. They like each other. Heck, they’ve even hooked up before. But at no point do things just click, and BOOM, happily ever after. It’s a slow process of increasing attraction and admiration with many ups and downs.
2) There’s a role reversal, which is atypical of most romance novels that include someone who flakes out about commitment. Usually it’s the guy, but in this story, Steph is the one who’s hesitant. I really like this because men are generally stereotyped as being commitment-phobes.
3) The ending made me smile. It was perfect.
“I fell for you years ago, and I’ve never really gotten back up.”
Swoon is the second book I’ve read by CM Foss and it won’t be the last. I love her witty humor and the way she infuses her experiences with horses and farm life into her stories. If you like HEAs and strong, independent heroines you need to check out her books!
Craze is the third Anne Conley book I’ve read, and I think it’s safe to say I’m a fan. While The Fixer Upper, Craze, and Wire are all heavy on the romance, fans of other genres (suspense, humor, general women’s fiction) are likely to be satisfied too.
When Krista catches her boss in a compromising position, her world is turned upside down. To make matters worse, her boss has a powerful accomplice who will stop at nothing to make sure Krista tells no one what she witnessed. Knowing that her safety is on the line, she flees and does her best to disappear. But her plans are thwarted when her boss hires Pierce Securities to track her down. Enter Coast Guard veteran Ryan, the muscle behind Pierce, who’s tasked with finding her. And that’s where the romance comes into play.
I really enjoyed the shift that occurs when Ryan goes from tracking Krista to protecting her. And I liked all the details related to how the Pierce boys all have their roles to play in figuring out exactly what the boss is involved in.
Conley’s writing style is smooth and easy, yielding a quick, enjoyable read. The characters are well drawn, and she really had me pulling for the H and h. But at the same time, she had my stomach in knots over what the bad guys had done and their individual plans for Krista.
If you’re looking for a solid series of books that can be read as standalones, I highly recommend Conley’s Pierce Securities boys. Starting with Craze!
Click HERE to purchase Don’t Call Me Kit Kat. (This link will direct you to the Free Kindle Books & Tips site. They are running a promo announcement for Kit Kat and will benefit if people use their purchase link. It’s a great way to help out a blog that functions to promote authors.)
Newly divorced Jesse moves back to her hometown for a fresh start. However, with three sons in tow, romance isn’t a top priority for her. But life is full of surprises, so before you know it, she finds herself involved with two men from her past: her high school sweetheart and an old acquaintance. To make things even more complicated, she has to deal with her asshole ex-husband.
I liked Jesse’s independent nature, her subtle sense of humor, and the way she didn’t fall head-over-heels for either of the guys. I also liked the way she dealt with her ex, never allowing him to get the best of her and setting a good example for her kids. As for the men, I was satisfied with the development of her relationship with Levi, but I wish there had been more about the situation with Cole. In other words, I’m a fan of flawed characters and drama, so I wish Cole had played a bigger role. Regardless, this was a sweet contemporary romance with small town flair and several tastefully done sex scenes.
I’m curious about what DeVisser has in store for the next installment in the Coal Country series!