ARC Review · Reviews

ARC Review: Risky Play by Rachel Van Dyken

Thanks again to Skyscape for sending me an ARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

When Mackenzie Dupont is left at the altar, she decides to treat herself to a single-girl honeymoon in Mexico where she loses her virginity to pro soccer player Slade Rodriguez. However, she doesn’t know that he’s one of the biggest soccer stars in the world and he doesn’t know she’s a famous Seattle heiress. But the following morning, Slade is gone. After suffering a tragic loss, he has his reasons for leaving and even though it’s not the right thing to do, he’s blaming Mackenzie for it and never wants to see her again. So they’re both in for a shock when Mackenzie shows up on Slade’s doorstep as his new personal assistant. 

Just like all of Rachel Van Dyken’s books I’ve read so far, Risky Play was a very fun and well-written novel and it’s definitely one of those books you can easily just read in one sitting. I also laughed a lot while reading it, so if you’re having a bad day and you’re looking for something that’ll cheer you up, Risky Play is the right choice. 

Another very important aspect of any book of course are the characters and the characters in this novel were great. My favorite one by far was Alfie, Slade’s dog, and every scene he was in made me smile so much. My only problem with the novel was that Mackenzie was a bit annoying and over the top during the first few chapters. Thankfully though, she became much more likeable soon afterwards and I ended up really liking her. 

All in all, this was a great novel and I really enjoyed reading it. I can’t wait for the next part to come out this summer but in the meantime, I really have to finally check out all the other books by her I still have on my kindle because I bet they’re all going to be great reads!  

ARC Review · Reviews

ARC Review: Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus

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Echo Ridge is small-town America. Ellery’s never been there, but she’s heard all about it. Her aunt went missing there at age seventeen. And only five years ago, a homecoming queen put the town on the map when she was killed. Now Ellery has to move there to live with a grandmother she barely knows.

The town is picture-perfect, but it’s hiding secrets. And before school even begins for Ellery, someone’s declared open season on homecoming, promising to make it as dangerous as it was five years ago. Then, almost as if to prove it, another girl goes missing.

Ellery knows all about secrets. Her mother has them; her grandmother does too. And the longer she’s in Echo Ridge, the clearer it becomes that everyone there is hiding something. The thing is, secrets are dangerous–and most people aren’t good at keeping them. Which is why in Echo Ridge, it’s safest to keep your secrets to yourself.

My Review

*Thanks again to Penguin Random House for sending me an ARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.* 

Last Christmas, I read One Of Us Is Lying and I really enjoyed it, so I was very excited about getting an ARC of this book and thus being able to spend another Christmas reading one of Karen M. McManus’s novels. 

Just like Karen’s first book, Two Can Keep a Secret was a very quick read and I really enjoyed it. I’m still absolutely in love with her writing style because she just has a way of drawing you in and glueing you to the book. But while Two Can Keep a Secret was another very gripping novel by her, I have to say that it just wasn’t as suspenseful as One Of Us Is Lying was. That book just left me guessing a little more and almost till the very end, I didn’t really know how everything would be wrapped up. This time around, it was definitely a little easier to guess what had happened. 

However, one thing I really loved about this book was the cast of characters even though I wish that Ezra and Mia had gotten a little bit more screen time. Also, I sometimes mention great first sentences in my reviews of books but this Two Can Keep a Secret had an amazing last sentence instead!

So all in all, Two Can Keep a Secret is definitely a 2019 release you should check out. It’s a great mystery novel with a gripping plot that one can easily read in one sitting and I definitely don’t regret that I preordered a final copy of this several months ago. 

ARC Review · Reviews

ARC Review: Harshville by Olivia Wildenstein

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High school senior Angie isn’t usually a secretive person, but when her idol launches a songwriting competition which her mother forbids her from entering, Angie decides to do it anyway. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity… possibly her lucky break into the music industry.

When Angie meets Nevada, who has an extraordinary voice, she’s convinced that they’ll win if they work together. But Tennessee, Nevada’s older brother, is wary of Nevada’s friendship with Angie — especially when he learns about the contest.

Can Angie convince Tennessee that she’s interested in his family for the right reasons—or will her dream of becoming a songwriter crumble before her eyes?

My Review

*Thanks again to Olivia Wildenstein for sending me an ARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.* 

Even though it took me three weeks to finish Harshville, I still have to say that it was a pretty quick read because whenever I actually felt like reading the book, I really flew through the chapters. The only problem was that it just wasn’t interesting enough to make me want to finish it in like a week or so. Don’t get me wrong, it was a fun story and seeing a character like Nev – who has a rare medical condition – in a young adult novel was very interesting and it’s important to see more of that in literature. But most of the plot was very cliché and so was the writing. A lot of phrases the author used were some I’d just heard so many times before.

What I really liked about Harshville though were the characters and the romance. Angie and Ten were an adorable couple and I loved following their story. I just think there was a bit too much back and forth between the two and the story dragged on a little before the novel ended way too abruptly.

But overall, Harshville was a cute read which I enjoyed for the most part. It just wasn’t anything special and way too cliché for my liking but I’ve definitely read worse books which is why I decided to still give it three stars.

ARC Review · Reviews

ARC Review: The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory

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*Thanks again to Berkley Publishing Group for sending me an ARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.* 

When freelance writer Nikole Paterson goes to a Dodgers game with her actor boyfriend, his man bun, and his bros, the last thing she expects is a scoreboard proposal. Saying no isn’t the hard part–they’ve only been dating for five months, and he can’t even spell her name correctly. The hard part is having to face a stadium full of disappointed fans… At the game with his sister, Carlos Ibarra comes to Nik’s rescue and rushes her away from a camera crew. He’s even there for her when the video goes viral and Nik’s social media blows up–in a bad way. Nik knows that in the wilds of LA, a handsome doctor like Carlos can’t be looking for anything serious, so she embarks on an epic rebound with him, filled with food, fun, and fantastic sex. But when their glorified hookups start breaking the rules, one of them has to be smart enough to put on the brakes…

Based on the synopsis, I thought this would be a cute and very quick read. But unfortunately, this book was badly written, unoriginal and pretty boring which is why it took me two weeks to finish it even though I even skimmed the last 20 percent of it.

There were just so many things that happened in “The Proposal” that were so incredibly cliché and that I’d already seen so often that they mostly just made me roll my eyes. Due to my disinterest in the story itself, I also didn’t really care about any of the characters. I mean, I loved the diversity in this book but their personalities just weren’t really that interesting.

However, the thing I had the biggest problem with was definitely the writing style. I know that I read an ARC of this, but those are still in the final stages of editing and this book simply read like a first draft which really interrupted my reading flow. Furthermore, I also had a huge problem with the formatting of this novel though I hope it might be different in the final novel. The author really should have put quotation marks to indicate a text that’s been sent to someone or should’ve formatted the text messages differently. There were tons of text messages in this book but I always ended up reading the text message and thinking that they were talking to themselves, until I realized that someone else had texted them which meant I had to go back and read the last few lines again which was extremely irritating.

So all in all, this book just wasn’t for me and so I can’t give it more than two out of five stars.

ARC Review · Reviews

ARC Review: Dangerous Exes by Rachel Van Dyken

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Isla made one teeny little mistake. Now she and her PI company, Dirty Exes, are being targeted by one seriously angry and furiously sexy ex-quarterback. Jessie freakin’ Beckett. But there’s no way some NFL superhunk is going to take her business away. If only he didn’t make her so hot—and bothered.

Jessie wants payback for a ruined reputation. His plan? Top secret. His hard-to-hide arousal for Isla? Not so much. Especially when they let down their guards and sneak a kiss. Like any juicy scandal, it goes so viral, so fast, that only a good lie can combat the bad press. Mortal enemies in a fling? No way. Um…this is love!

Actually…could it be?

Isla’s not faking it. Jessie can’t. As the game of let’s pretend gets real, Jessie forgets all about revenge. That’s the problem. His plan is already out of his control. Now it could undo everything they’ve been trying to build. Coming clean may be the only thing that can save it.


*Thanks again to Skyscape for sending me an ARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.* 

I absolutely loved Dirty Exes and so I was very excited about my ARC of this book. The synopsis sounded like the book was going to be right up my alley and I was looking forward to getting to know Isla and Jessie a little better. So it’s safe to say that I had very high expectations for Dangerous Exes but thankfully, Rachel Van Dyken didn’t disappoint.

This book was such an entertaining read and an absolute page turner. I loved Isla and Jessie just as much as I hoped I would and it was also so much fun to see how Blaire and Colin’s relationship continued after the first book. But I still have to say that this book just wasn’t as good as Dirty Exes. While there was a bigger plot twist in the last quarter of the book that I didn’t really see coming, there were also a few scenes that were quite boring and dragged on a bit. Furthermore, Isla had a great-aunt – Goo-Poh – who generally was a very cute and lovely character but especially towards the end of the book, I think she was a little too much sometimes and if she was my great-aunt, she’d probably freak me out a little.

So all in all, even though I didn’t like Dangerous Exes as much as Dirty Exes, I still thought it was a great book and after seeing that I’d rated the first book 5 stars, I decided to give this one 4 stars.  While reading the book I also once again noticed how much I’m always enjoying Rachel Van Dyken’s writing and I’ll definitely try to still read some of her older books before the end of the year.

By the way, if you’re wondering if you necessarily have to read the first book before reading Dangerous Exes, I can assure you that both books can definitely be read as standalones.