TTT: Top Ten Favourite 2016 Releases So Far This Year

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is Top Ten Books on Top Ten Favourite 2016 Releases So Far This Year

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Built by Jay Crownover 

“I choose you, Sayer. Lover, lawyer, and all the shit you are in between that, I choose it. I choose us. When you’re ready to accept that, you come find me.”

I had been waiting for Zeb and Sayer’s story since we were introduced to them in Rowdy and it did not disappoint. Ahh, Zeb! ❤ Who knew I had a thing for construction workers…or shall I say a specific construction worker. 😉 I had a lot of expectations and they were well met.

Happily Ever Ninja by Penny Reid
“If they don’t learn about launching rockets at home, then they’ll just learn about it on the streets.” I glowered at him. “That sounds like something Hitler would say.”

I have been obsessed with Greg and Fiona’s story ever since I read Ninja at First Sight. Greg wooed me with his debates, one-liners, banter with Fiona, and the way he appreciated her just the way she is. I knew then that these two would be something special. Happily Ever Ninja did not disappoint, it definitely wasn’t something I’m used to reading but I devoured it nonetheless. Penny Reid takes an unusual turn and makes ordinary married life into something extraordinary yet relatable. (Well not so much for me, but I could get the gist that married couples go through what they did in their everyday lives.) Despite being married for 14 years their love for one another had not diminished one bit, they were smitten with one another as they were when they first met.

The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapta

“What if everyone hates me and no one talks to me? What if someone throws something at me?” Aiden snorted, setting the shirt he’d been holding aside and picking up the next one on the pile. “What are they going to throw? Bookmarks?”

The Wall of Winnipeg and Me is one of them books I didn’t know I needed. A friend recommended a few months back and because our tastes coincide I decided to give it a chance. And, boy am I glad I did. I loved every single second of it, I devoured it in a single sitting. I could not get enough of it. I re-read it a few days back because that’s how much I love it.

Cuff Me by Lauren Layne

It wasn’t supposed to be like this. She was supposed to have come back from Florida feeling like he had that day he impatiently counted the hours until he saw her at the welcome-home party. She was supposed to feel what he was feeling. If he only knew what that was.

I had been waiting for Vin and Jill’s book since Frisk Me. I love the ‘will they, won’t they’ trope and Lauren Layne executed it incredibly. I am a sucker for subtle romance and this is an epitome of subtly. It was the little things they did for each other and how in tune they are with each other that had me swooning. This was much more than a friends to lovers romance. They were each other’s everything long before they took chance at a romantic relationship.

The Player and the Pixie by L.H. Cosway and Penny Reid

“It’s sandalwood,” he replied. “Here, give it to me.”

I handed it across the table and he swiped his fingers in, extracting a small blob. Before I could react he took my hand and smoothed the cream into my wrist. His hands were very….large. My fingers felt completely encapsulated, minuscule by comparison. A tingling, nervous feeling buzzed in my belly as his fingertips massaged my sensitive skin. When he was done he lifted my wrist to his nose and inhaled deeply.

“Smells good on you,” he said. I was momentarily lost for words.

Cosway and Reid are a riot. Alone they produce art, but together they produce a masterpiece (or should I say masterpieces). Their writings complement each other so well, I thought the first book was great but this…this is on a whole ‘nother level. Sean and Lucy were a delight to read. And now I miss them, looks like I need another reading session with them. 😉

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Flying by the Seat of My Knickers by Eliza Watson

“What better place to reinvent myself than a place where nobody knew me. I could be whoever I wanted to be.”

This is one of the cutest books I’ve ever read. It’s a power pack filled with laughter, joy, and growth. Caity is an amazing and relatable protagonist – she had her ups and downs and watching her grow was remarkable. I also loved the romance – it gave off slow burn vibes. 😀 I’m eagerly waiting for the next book, like this, I’m positive it’ll be a riot. I cannot stop smiling thinking about this.

Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

I was a desert girl. I thought I knew heat. I was wrong.

Rebel of the Sands is an interesting and creative book – the mythology and desert combination worked out really well. The story is really well fleshed out – with so many plots and characters everything came together quite nicely. And, Amani is a remarkable protagonist – the blue eye bandit won me over from the start.

Good Girl by Lauren Layne

“You’re playing with fire, little girl,” he says quietly. “I’m not one of your toys, and I’m not interested in what you’re offering.”
“I’m not offering anything.” I retort, even though his words sting. “I like my men more…refined.”
His grin calls my bluff. “You sure about that?”

Good Girl is an all-rounder – I laughed, I cried a little, and I blushed (a lot)! Lauren Layne is one of those authors who cannot do wrong in my books, she understands what I need and she delivers it. This is a little different from her usual but it still won me over. There is nothing LL will write and that I won’t adore. Jenny is an amazing protagonist, I loved her to bits. My heart really went out to her when the paparazzi went cuckoo and when Noah was being an ass.

Memories of Ash by Intisar Khanani

Run far, run fast, keep the wind in your hair.

MoA is one of the best books I’ve read this year. I cannot even begin to describe my love for it. This high fantasy is nothing like I’ve read before. Hitomi is a really likeable protagonist – she’s strong, witty, loyal, intelligent, and flawed. Intisar Khanani’s writing is remarkable; she kept me on the edge of my seat, fully immersed in the story, without a care of what was going around me. She has the perfect mixture of plot, world building, and character development. We were introduced to many new characters and they weren’t without reason, everything tied up. I am in awe with her writing.

Grin and Beard It by Penny Reid

“You’ll be tactile, and I’ll be clingy, and we’ll be very happy just as long as we sleep in a twin bed and call each other seventeen hundred times a day.”

Grin and Beard It is an awfully adorkable yet meaningful story. Jethro and Sienna have their own thing going – one has turned his life around for the better and the other is happily living her without the need of a man. They cross paths and the rest is history. Jethro and Sienna are magical together; their chemistry was blazing and they had an easy-going, genuine relationship. They had real obstacles and they were dealt in a mature and beautiful way.

 

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Review + Spotlight + Giveaway: Cuff Me by Lauren Layne

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Cuff Me
by Lauren Layne
New York’s Finest Series
Publication Date:
March 29, 2016
Genre: Romance

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Vincent Moretti is one of the NYPD’s top homicide detectives-and one of the most eligible bachelors in town. His family, however, thinks he should date his longtime partner, Jill-a sassy, sexy, smart-mouthed blonde who drives him absolutely crazy.

Behind the quiet authority, tough-guy demeanor, and dark aviator glasses lies a man with a big soul-and a hard body that can soften any girl’s heart. After years as his coworker, Jill Henley has given up hope that anything could happen between her and Vin. Besides, loving him would break all the rules. But seeing Jill with someone else triggers feelings in Vincent he never knew he had. Now he’ll have to stop playing good cop/bad cop-and find a way to convince her to be his partner for life. . .

Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks | Google Play

My Review

Vincent Moretti and Jill Henly are NYPD’s top homicide detectives. When Jill’s mother gets sick, Jill takes a three month leave to aid her mother. During their time away Vin realises the importance of Jill in his life. On the day she gets back she drops a bomb…she’s getting married.

Lauren Layne never ceases to turn me into a pile of goo. Cuff Me is a story with the ‘will they, won’t they’ vibe. The Moretti’s have been rooting for Vin and Jill for as long as they have known Jill, and they appear to know more about the situation than Vin and Jill themselves.

Vin being an introvert has not had a lot of luck in socialising which has thus made him believe he is incapable of love that is not familial. Jill despite wearing her heart on her sleeve refuses to acknowledge her true feelings for Vin.

For Vin, Jill is his everything, it’s how he thinks of her and when he finds out she’s engaged, to be married, his whole world comes crashing down. Jill, despite not labelling her feelings for Vin, is tired of waiting and when she gets an opportunity at love and companionship she takes it.

Things start looking down for Vin and Jill after she comes back engaged. They’ve been in sync with one another for years and their first case after Jill’s leave isn’t too hot. Jill and Vin both rely on each other implicitly, but their unable to connect with the case as they have previously.

I am a sucker for subtle romance and this is an epitome of subtly. Like when Vin bought Jill and maple bar doughnut on her welcome home party. Or when he tried setting up a romantic dinner. It’s the little things they did for each other and how in tune they are with each other that had me swooning.

This was much more than a friends to lovers romance. They’re each other’s everything long before they give them a chance romantically.

I also enjoyed being introduced to Marco. I really hope he and Elena get their own books. I’m not ready to say goodbye to the Moretti’s.

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Excerpt

One never really realized how much New York City got under your skin until you left it for a while.

It was like one minute New York was your adopted home—a little bit intense, a lot scary.

And the next, you were holding your breath as your plane landed, your entire body on edge with the anticipation of being home again.

Jill Henley smiled as the plane touched down, her eyes closing just for a moment at the realization that she’d be sleeping in her own bed tonight. Going back to her job tomorrow. Eating at her favorite gyros place tomorrow.

But none of that—not the city, nor her pillow-top bed, nor the really freaking amazing gyros—were as important as who awaited her.

The Morettis.

Jill loved her mother desperately—it was the reason she’d spent the past three months in Florida taking care of her.

But the Moretti family had become every bit as much family to Jill as her own mom.

She couldn’t wait to see them again.

All of them.

Okay, so maybe there was one Moretti in particular whom she was especially excited to see.

Not that the excitement was mutual.

As she walked through JFK toward baggage claim, she couldn’t figure out for the life of her why she was even the tiniest bit disappointed about the fact that Vincent Moretti wouldn’t be the one picking her up from the airport.

She hadn’t even asked him. He might have said yes. Maybe. But it would have been done with a grunt and a grumble, and probably a lecture about how his workload was double because his partner had “up and ditched him.”

Besides, it made more sense for Elena to pick her up anyway.

Not only was Elena her best friend, but Elena was an attorney at a fancy-pants law firm, with access to a company car that was a hell of a lot nicer than Vin’s car and didn’t smell like old coffee.

Plus, Jill had news.

Big news.

The biggest.

The kind of news that female friends squealed over in the appropriate, gushing manner.

So why was she so nervous?

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About Lauren Layne

A long-time romance reader, Lauren Layne thinks the only thing better than reading about happy endings is writing them. She now pursues a full-time career in Happily Ever After, a job she’s naturally suited for after marrying her high school sweetheart. A bit of a nomad, Lauren’s lived everywhere from Orange County to Manhattan. Her hobbies include coffee by day, wine by night, and lots of writing in between. She’s also a total website nerd and insists you check out LaurenLayne.com!

Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Waiting on Wednesday: Cuff Me by Lauren Layne

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking The Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.

cuff me

Cuff Me by Lauren Layne

(New York’s Finest #3)

Genre: Romance

Publication Date: March 29, 2016

Vincent Moretti is one of the NYPD’s top homicide detectives-and one of the most eligible bachelors in town. His family, however, thinks he should date his longtime partner, Jill-a sassy, sexy, smart-mouthed blonde who drives him absolutely crazy.

Behind the quiet authority, tough-guy demeanor, and dark aviator glasses lies a man with a big soul-and a hard body that can soften any girl’s heart. After years as his coworker, Jill Henley has given up hope that anything could happen between her and Vin. Besides, loving him would break all the rules. But seeing Jill with someone else triggers feelings in Vincent he never knew he had. Now he’ll have to stop playing good cop/bad cop-and find a way to convince her to be his partner for life. . .

I’m sure most of you already know that I am a huge Lauren Layne buff. Anything by LL is a must for me, and Cuff Me is no different. When I read the first NY’s Finest I wasn’t sure I would become invested in it, but now I am invested in all 5 Moretti siblings (I hope we get books for the other two). What makes me even more excited for this one is that is has the whole she’s been in front of me this whole time but I’m too emotionally stunted to realise trope. It’s one of my absolute favourites, and I cannot wait to see how LL handled it. Just one more week.

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books on my Spring TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is Top Ten Books on My Spring TBR. 

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I recently discovered this meme and decided to give it a chance. Here are the top ten books I’m looking forward to reading this spring:

  1. Cuff Me by Lauren Layne: I have been waiting for this from the moment Vincent and Jill were introduced. Just a few more days…
  2. The Player and the Pixie by L.H. Cosway and Penny Reid: Cosway and Reid are an explosive combination. I adored their first collaboration, I cannot wait for this one.
  3. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas: With A Court of Mist and Fury coming out it’s about time I read this.
  4. The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi: The cover is gorgeous and the synopsis has me anticipating is zest.
  5. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater: With the last book coming out I can finally read the series without the torture wait.
  6. The Problem with Forever by Jennifer L. Armentrout: Armentrout is one of my favourites and anything by her is highly anticipated.
  7. Forget You, Ethan by Whitney Gracia Williams: After the high Sincerely, Carter catered me I have been anxiously waiting for this.
  8. Never Ever by Sara Saedi: A re-telling of Peter Pan, who wouldn’t be excited.
  9. Good Girl by Lauren Layne: Gorgeous cover + swoonworthy synopsis + Lauren Layne = MUST HAVE.
  10. Emerge by Tobie Easton: A re-telling of The Little Mermaid sign me up.

 

 

2016 – The Year of Lauren Layne

2016 – The Year of Lauren Layne

Lauren Layne plans to dominate 2016 with 8 releases, that’s right, 8. Can you imagine how much time and effort it takes to release 8 books a year? If you’re an avid follower of Lauren Layne’s newsletter you’d know that she barely sleeps: she works till 3 in the morning to finish a book only to get out of bed and note down ideas for another book. She’s also not very good at taking mini breaks after completing a book, as much as we love your dedication we do believe you should treat yourself longer than 6 hours, Mrs Layne.Romance

For everyone living under a rock, Layne’s first release of the year, I Wish You Were Mine (Oxford #2), came out on February 2. The story revolves around Jackson Burke, an ex-hotshot quarterback for the Texas Redhawks and now a health and fitness columnist for Oxford magazine, and Mollie Carrington, his ex-wife’s younger sister. Complicated much?

Here’s a tiny excerpt

“I thought I might find you out here,” he said quietly as he took a sip of his own champagne.

Mollie snuck a look out of the corner of her eye. He’d come looking for her? She hadn’t thought anyone had noticed she’d slipped away.

“I messed up the toast,” she said quietly.

“Nah,” he said, stretching his long legs out in front of him and slouching down a bit to get comfortable. “Just think how many people you educated on the mating ritual of parasitic worms. They should be thanking you.”

Mollie groaned. “It was supposed to be romantic. I did a paper about them for my systematics and biotics diversity final. They’re unusual because they’re bonded for life. Most organisms sleep around or, you know, the male dies after mating—”

Jackson winced, and Mollie wished she could wither and die just like a male bee.

If youcuff me still haven’t read this, what are you waiting for? Go, read it!

Her next release, Cuff Me, is about two homicide detectives, Vincent Moretti and Jill Henly, who have been partners for years. With Jill on a leave of absence, Vincent realises how much he misses Jill. However, things take a turn when Jill comes back…with a fiancée. Don’t forget to check it out on March 29.

And, how gorgeous is the cover. *heart eyes* Layne definitely has some of the best covers.

Here’s a tiny excerpt

“Quit it. You’re looking at me without blinking with those big old eyes. It’s staring.”

Jill continued to look at him, deliberately trying not to blink now, just to annoy him. “You never told me what you’ve been up to.”

“Huh?”

“While I was gone,” she explained with what she thought was admirable patience. “What did you do? Give me the highlights. Any new women or new restaurants discovered? Did you get that weird squeak in your heater xed? I mean, three months passed. You must have done something.”

“Three months where you were off getting engaged, you mean.”

His statement hung between them for several moments, although she didn’t really understand why.

“Yeah. Like that.” Her voice was just the tiniest bit touchy, but she really wasn’t loving the way he acted pissed about the fact that she was getting married.

It’s not like she was expecting him to go dress shop- ping with her or be the one to give her something bor- rowed, but Vincent Moretti was . . .

He was her best friend. Not in the traditional sense, of course. He was closed-off and irritable, and most of the time he acted like he didn’t even like her. But over the years, they’d become partners in more than just the work- together kind of way.

They were like two halves of . . . something.

Or at least they had been. There seemed to be a rift now, and Jill was oddly desperate to fix it.

For more goodies like this, subscribe to Lauren Layne’s weekly newsletter.

good girl by lauren layne

Good Girl is Layne’s third release of the year. It follows country music’s good girl, Jenny Dawson, who hides away from the world to write her next album. She finds herself bunking with the caretaker of the estate Noah, who has a secret of his own – he is actually Preston Noah Maxwell Walcott, the owner of the estate. But the charade gives Noah a much-needed break from his own problems, and soon their verbal sparring is indistinguishable from foreplay. Hold your horses because Good Girl isn’t releasing just yet, you’ll have to wait till May 17th for it.

Here’s a tiny excerpt

I climb into the truck, adjusting the seat slightly since Finn’s a couple inches shorter than me. I glance over at Jenny, hoping she doesn’t ask why I’m adjusting the seat in what she thinks is my truck, but she’s too busy adjusting something orange and hideous in her head.

I freeze in the process of jamming the key into the ignition. “What the hell is that?”

“A wig,” she says, pulling down the visor to look in the mirror. Only there isn’t one, having broken long ago, so she turns to me. “How does it look?”

“Ridiculous,” I grumble, meaning it. I’ve got nothing against redheads. Hell, gingers can be plenty hot. But this one doesn’t suit her at all, and it’s on crooked.

She leans down to look at herself in the side mirror, adjusting it slightly. Her cotton ball of a dog has been sniffing around the floor of the cab, munching what seems to be a stale French fry before hopping up and settling all five points of its body into onto my lap before panting happily up at me.
“Do you think it would look better if I added highlights?” Jenny muses. “I feel like the lipstick is clashing. Is the lipstick clashing? Noah? Are you listening? Do you think coral would be better?”
I look from her to the dog, who I belatedly realize is wearing a bow.

No. Just hell no.

What have I gotten myself into?

More importantly: how do I get myself out?

The WedFrom This Day Forward by Lauren Layneding Belles Series is a hybrid of Sex in the City meets The Wedding Planner, now who wouldn’t want to read that? After reading Nora Robert’s Wedding Quartet I needed another wedding planning series, and voila Lauren Layne announced her plan of writing about high-powered New York City women who can plan any wedding…but their own.

Layne kicks off the series with a novella called From This Day Forward, which releases on June 6. Up-and-coming wedding photographer Leah McHale’s career is on the rise, thanks to the Wedding Belles, and when one of the Belles asks Leah to fill in at the Former First Daughter’s Wedding, Leah jumps at the opportunity. That is until she finds out who she’ll be working with, Jason Rhodes, aka the man who broke her heart.

Here’s a tiny excerpt

Alexis leaned forward and touched her arm.
“Leah, you have to know how impossible it is to book one good photographer on short notice in June, much less two, and I’m counting myself lucky because two of the best happened to be available, but…”
“But what?” Leah asked, her heart pounding faster as she somehow knew what her friend was trying to say. Knew whose name Alexis was too nervous to say.
Alexis’s gaze cut away from hers and fell somewhere over Leah’s shoulder, even as Leah felt the shiver of awareness that someone else had stepped into her personal space.
Alexis glared at the newcomer. “You’re early, Rhodes.”
Leah’s heart stopped, just for a moment.
Slowly, she turned around and glanced up into the dark brown eyes of Jason Rhodes.
He pulled a toothpick from his mouth and gave her a slow, sexy once-over “Hiya, Red. Long time.”
Leah could only shake her head. It had been a long time, but not nearly long enough.
Not only was he the one man on the planet she could absolutely, positively not work with.
He was the one man who Leah had let in close enough to break her heart.

To Have and To Hold is the first full length novel in the series. Brooke Burke, To Have and To Hold by Lauren Laynea celebrity wedding planner, finds out her fiancée is an international con man moments before they exchange vows. Not only breaking her heart but also destroying her business leaves Brooke a pariah in L.A. She starts afresh, in NYC, with her first bridal client; that is until she meets the brother, Seth Tyler. He needs to prove that Maya’s fiancée is a liar, and he needs Brooke’s help. But can he persuade her to unplan the wedding, and more importantly convince her that the wedding she should be planning is actually theirs? Catch them on July 26.

The second book of the series is called For Better or For Worse, and it releasFor Better or For Worse by Lauren Laynees on August 30. A small-town girl Heather Fowler finally gets promoted from assistant to actual wedding planner. Unfortunately, her first client demands an opulent black-tie affair at the Plaza…in five months’ time. Heather’s days are consumed with cake tastings, dress-fittings, RSVP cards, and bridal tantrums; but, what she’s really losing sleep over is the live music blaring from her playboy neighbour’s apartment all night. Five years ago, Josh Tanner was an up-and-comer on Wall Street. But a grim cancer diagnosis made him realize there is more to life than the corner office. Now, if only he could convince his To Love and to Cherish by Lauren Laynepretty, workaholic neighbour to let loose. Soon, it’s Heather’s turn to convince Josh to take the biggest risk of all: love.

The third book, To Love and to Cherish, will release on October 25. Other than the gorgeous cover there isn’t much we know about it. We’ll just have to make do with staring at the cover.

The last book to be released is the one we’ve all been waiting for…Lincoln’s book, Someone like You (December 13). Ever since Irresistibly Yours released we craved for Lincoln’s book, and I know a lot of you were upset to find out it would be the third one, but we’re still getting it this year (albeit at the end of the year). As we all know by now there is so much more to Lincoln than meets the eye – his playboy charade is just a façade to hide his pain. And, thanks to the new photo copy editor, Victoria Blake, we might just find out the cause for his charade. But Victoria has no interest in being another notch in his belt, a mean-spirited college prank taught her not to trust that a gorgeous playboy could truly be interested in her. We’ll just have to wait and see how their story unfolds.

Now sit back, relax, and have a happy Lauren year!