Book Blast: Revelry by Kandi Steiner – Review

Revelry Cover_FINALRevelry by Kandi Steiner
Publisher: Kandi Steiner
Publication Date: April 20, 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Format: eBook
Source: ARC
3.5 Stars
3.5/5 Stars

AmazonBarnes & Noble – Goodreads

Synopsis:
Wren Ballard is trying to find herself.

She never expected to be divorced at twenty-seven, but now that the court date has passed, it’s official. The paperwork is final. Her feelings on it aren’t.

Spending the summer in a small mountain town outside Seattle is exactly what she needs. The peaceful scenery is a given, the cat with the croaky meow is a surprise, but the real kicker? A broody neighbor with nice arms, a strange reputation, and absolutely no interest in her.

Anderson Black is perfectly fine being lost.

He doesn’t care about the town’s new resident — he’s too busy fighting his own demons. But when he’s brought face to face with Wren, he can see her still-fresh wounds from a mile away. What he doesn’t see coming is his need to know who put them there — or his desperation to mend them.

Sometimes getting lost is the way to find yourself. Sometimes healing only adds a new scar. And sometimes the last place you expected to be is exactly where you find home.


My Review

This story focuses on Wren Ballard and Anderson Black. Two seemingly different people, with one thing in common; they’re both broken.

Wren’s divorce from her high school sweetheart has just recently been finalized. She’s feeling lost, depleted, and more than a little broken. Designer and co-owner of a fashion boutique in Seattle, she’s been uninspired since the dissolution of her marriage. In hopes of finding herself, and inspiration, she rents a cabin in the country for the summer. This small town is where she meets the man who may just be as broken as she is.

Anderson hasn’t always made the best choices, but you can’t really blame him. Raised by his aunt since a young child, he grew up not knowing either of his parents. He was quite reckless as a teenager, and definitely not one of the responsible ones. Anderson carries a lot of guilt around for his past actions, and blames himself for one thing in particular. He lives each day doing the same thing, same routine, basically just going through the motions. That is, until a new girl moves into town for the summer.

Through each other, both Wren and Anderson find ways to heal themselves, and repair their hearts. I hate the term ‘fix,’ but the two of them gave each other the strength to move on, and find worth in themselves again. Two townspeople offered support to each of them in particular, Momma Von and Ron. They were great supporting characters, and each of them gave Wren and Anderson wonderful support and advice.

“This was my life, and I only had one. I didn’t know how long it would be, I didn’t know who would be in it, but I did know that I deserved to live it. Happily. And that’s what I intended to do.”

Wren’s story resented with me quite a bit. I’ve known other women who stay in broken marriages long after they should, because they think that is what they’re supposed to do; or that it is their fault the marriage is broken. But when you are married to someone abusive, whether that is physically, verbally, or emotionally, you have to learn that it is okay to do what is best for yourself, and leave the relationship. You aren’t being selfish by making sure your wellbeing is safe and healthy. And that goes for relationships in general, not just marriages.

Anderson was definitely bit of a broody, sourpuss at the beginning, but boy does he come into his own once he learns to let go of the past, and stops punishing himself. He can definitely make a girl swoon right along with the best of them.

There are a few reasons I didn’t rate the book super high. I’m pretty stingy when it comes to giving out 5 stars. So here’s what kept me from rating it higher. First, I had trouble getting into at the beginning. I can’t really pinpoint a reason other than, perhaps I was just getting used to Steiner’s voice. It being the first book I’ve read by her, it took me a while to get into the characters’ heads. Second, it felt repetitive at times. Since it switches POVs, I’m not sure if the repetitiveness was because the reader needed to be reminded of certain things, but to me, I felt like I was reading the same passages over and over. Lastly, it felt a bit predictable and too perfect. Even though it was drilled into the reader that the hero and heroine aren’t perfect, they still got all their shit together before the end, and that seemed a little too perfect for me. But, even with those criticisms, I still enjoyed the book as a whole.

Wren says something that really struck home with me.

“I’d learned that if a move in life didn’t make you feel like singing and throwing up all at once, it wasn’t big enough.”

As someone who has made (and is making) a lot of changes in their life direction, this jumped off the page for me. I’m keeping this quote safe, so I can read it, and it can encourage and inspire me to keep pursuing my goals; and to remind me that it’s okay to be excited and scared shitless at the same time.

In the end, this really was an uplifting and inspiring story. It was my first book by Kandi Steiner, and I’m definitely interested in reading more by her!

I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.


KandiSteinerAuthorPicMeet the Author: Kandi Steiner

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.

Connect with Kandi:
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Blog Tour: Lost Rider by Harper Sloan – Review

Cowboy holding saddle silhouette

lostriderLost Rider by Harper Sloan
Series: Coming Home #1
Publisher: Pocket Books
Publication Date: April 25, 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Western
Pages: 400
Format: eBook
Source: ARC

AmazonBarnes & Noble – iBooksKobo

Synopsis:
In Lost Rider, the first Western romance in New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Harper Sloan’s Coming Home series, an injured rodeo star encounters an old flame but will she be just what he needs to get back in the saddle?

Maverick Austin Davis is forced to return home after a ten-year career as a rodeo star. After one too many head injuries, he’s off the circuit and in the horse farming business, something he’s never taken much of a shine to, but now that it’s his late father’s legacy, familial duty calls. How will Maverick find his way after the only dream he ever had for himself is over?

Enter Leighton Elizabeth James, an ugly duckling turned beauty from Maverick’s childhood—his younger sister’s best friend, to be exact, and someone whose heart he stomped all over when she confessed her crush to him ten years back. Now Leighton is back in Maverick’s life, no longer the insecure, love-stricken teen—and Maverick can’t help but take notice. Sparks fly between them, but will Leighton be able to open her heart to the one man who broke it all those years ago?

Written in the vein of Diana Palmer and Lindsay McKenna, this Texas-set series is filled with sizzle, heart, and plenty of cowboys!


5 Reasons You Might Want To Read This Book!

1. You love contemporary western romances

This book is what I think of as a quintessential western romance. You’ve got the small town, supportive mother-like figure, the best friend, and the gossipy townsfolk. There are so many darlin’s, honeys, and talks of going for a ride (*wink wink*) you’ll be transported to the south faster than you can say “Well butter my biscuits!”

2. Damaged alpha heroes who also happen to be cowboys and rodeo stars are your bread and butter

Maverick Davis is the definition of a damaged alpha hero, in my opinion. He is quite frankly an asshole at the beginning of the book. (I prefer my heroes more beta than alpha, but that’s a discussion for another day). He doesn’t make the best decisions, and let’s his tongue loose before even thinking that his words might do damage to someone else. Thankfully, the Maverick at the end of the story is much more healed, and much less of an asshole.

3. Second Chance Romance with a dash of Unrequited Love

Personally, I love second chance romances. Things don’t always work out the way you want the first time, but in this story our Hero and Heroine get a second chance to make it right. The unrequited love aspect added a heartbreaking twist that keeps the reader on their toes.

4. Emotional Journeys and Self-Discovery equivalent to a rollercoaster ride

The journey each of our protagonists take throughout this book is one helluva ride. You learn about each of them at the same time that they are learning about themselves. Their personal growth throughout this book is quite astounding. There are lots of inner-monologues for both the Hero and Heroine, so if you like getting a first hand look into the psyche of the main characters, you’ll love this.

5. Love scenes so steamy you think the pages might incinerate

Now, this is kind of subjective depending on what type of romances you’re used to reading. For me, I considered the love scenes in this book to be super steamy with the door left wide open. Personally, I could have done with less steam and probably been happier. But everyone likes something different when it comes to their books – and that is what makes reading so great! There is a book out there for everyone. So, if you like your love scenes steaming off the page, then I don’t think you’ll be disappointed here.

I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


Meet the Author: Harper Sloan

harper1

Harper is a NEW YORK TIMES, WALL STREET JOURNAL, and USA TODAY bestselling author residing in Georgia with her husband and three daughters. She has a borderline unhealthy obsession with books, hibachi, tattoos, and Game of Thrones. When she isn’t writing you can almost always find her with a book in hand.

Facebook | Website | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Goodreads | Amazon Author Page



Quinn Davis, Maverick’s sister and Leighton’s best friend, takes center stage in KISS MY BOOTS, book two in the Coming Home Series, releasing in July!

Add KISS MY BOOTS on Goodreads

cominghome1

It Happens All The Time by Amy Hatvany – Review

It Happens All The Time Amy HatvanyIt Happens All The Time by Amy Hatvany
Publisher: Atria
Publication Date: March 28, 2017
Genres: Women’s Fiction
Pages: 320
Format: Paperback
Source: ARC
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
5/5 Stars

AmazonBarnes & Noble – KoboiBooks

Synopsis:
“I want to rewind the clock, take back the night when the world shattered. I want to erase everything that went wrong.”

Amber Bryant and Tyler Hicks have been best friends since they were teenagers—trusting and depending on each other through some of the darkest periods of their young lives. And while Amber has always felt that their Continue reading

The Thing About Love by Julie James – Review

The Thing About Love Julie JamesThe Thing About Love by Julie James
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: April 18, 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Women’s Fiction
Pages: 368
Format: eBook
Source: ARC
⭐️⭐️⭐️
3/5 Stars

AmazonBarnes & Noble – KoboiBooks

Synopsis:
FBI agents Jessica Harlow and John Shepherd have a past. The former lawyer and cocky Army ranger clashed during their training at Quantico, gladly going their separate ways after graduating from the Academy. Six years later, the last thing either of them expects is to run into each other again–assigned to work as partners in a high-profile undercover sting.

For both of them, being paired with a former rival couldn’t come at a worse time. Recently Continue reading

The Last Thing You Said by Sara Biren – Review

The Last Thing You Said Sara BirenThe Last Thing You Said by Sara Biren
Publisher: Amulet Books
Publication Date: April 4, 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Pages: 320
Format: eBook
Source: ARC
4.5 Stars
4.5/5 Stars

AmazonBarnes & Noble – Kobo

Synopsis:
Last summer, Lucy’s and Ben’s lives changed in an instant. One moment, they were shyly flirting on a lake raft, finally about to admit their feelings to each other after years of yearning. In the next, Trixie—Lucy’s best friend and Ben’s sister—was gone, her heart giving out during a routine swim. And just like that, the idyllic world they knew turned upside down, and the would-be couple drifted Continue reading