Review: Her Surprise Engagement (The Sorensen Family #4) by Ashlee Mallory

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Synopsis from Good Reads:

Single mom Daisy Sorensen doesn’t believe in fairytale endings—at least not for her. All she wants is to enjoy a much-needed, stress-free family vacation at a friend’s Lake Tahoe home. So of course everything that can go wrong does. Including a gorgeous man and his daughter showing up in the middle of the night.

Soon-to-be Governor Jack Harrison has had a crazy week, but he’s sure nothing can top arriving to find a bathrobe-clad, beautiful stranger in the home he’s staying in for the week. He’s wrong. When things spiral out of control the next morning, Jack makes Daisy an offer she can’t refuse. She’ll pretend to be his fiancée and he’ll help her open the bakery she’s been dreaming about.

But in between late-night campfires and days on the lake, Jack finds himself falling for the strong, stubborn woman for real.

I received a copy of this title via NetGalley. It does not impact my review.

I’ve been a fan of Ashlee Mallory’s The Sorensen Family series since the first book, Her Backup Boyfriend, and have enjoyed each book since. I love the relationships between the Sorensen siblings and have enjoyed getting each of their stories.

In Her Surprise Engagement we focus on the last of the Sorensen siblings, Daisy. Daisy has recently become a single mother and she’s determined to prove that she can provide for herself and her three children. She frustrated me at times because that determination came off as prideful and it didn’t seem like good parenting to turn things down that would be beneficial to her kids. However, as we get to know her a little better we see how it’s not so much pride keeping her from asking for help, but the fear of once again being in a position where she relied solely on someone else for support and how hard it would be to pick up the pieces of her life again if that support leaves. I liked how she learned that accepting some help sometimes didn’t mean she would lose her independence.

The fake-relationship storyline is always one of my favorites to read about and I liked that it was incorporated here. I thought the events that led up to it were humorous. I did think that the fake relationship turned real a little too fast, though. Jack is a love-at-first-sight kind of guy and while I thought he was sweet and romantic and did like him and Daisy together, it was a little too insta-love for me to really get behind it. They only know each other for a couple of weeks before he’s all in and I would’ve liked to have seen their relationship develop a little more before that.

Overall, I enjoyed Her Surprise Engagement. I enjoyed re-visiting the Sorensen clan one more time and thought this book did a good job of showing us all their Happy Ever Afters. I would definitely recommend this to fans of the series and Contemporary Romance.

Overall Rating (out of 5): 3 Stars

Review: The Playboy’s Proposal (The Sorenson Family #3) by Ashlee Mallory

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Synopsis from Good Reads:

Doctor Benny Sorensen has had it up to here with her party-throwing playboy neighbor. She’s declaring war. She doesn’t care how gorgeous or charming he is, he’s going down. That is until he proposes something she’s not sure she can say no to…

Wealthy ad man Henry Ellison lives an uncomplicated life that revolves around work, women, and partying. In that order. Until Benny storms into his life. To placate his attractive but hotheaded neighbor, Henry offers to help her land a date with the man of her dreams. Only as Henry makes her over and coaches her on the fine art of flirting, he realizes that the idea of this woman in any other man’s arms but his own is unacceptable. But Benny’s a forever kind of girl and forever might just be the one commitment he can’t make.

Each book in the Sorensen Family series is a standalone, full-length story that can be enjoyed out of order.
Series Order:
Book #1 Her Backup Boyfriend
Book #2 Her Accidental Husband
Book #3 The Playboy’s Proposal

I received a copy of this title via NetGalley. It does not impact my review.

I’ve been in the mood recently for a cute romance and The Playboy’s Proposal was the perfect book for my mood. It had great characters and a cute, slow-burn romance that makes me want to break my self-imposed rule to never use the word “swoony” in a review.

Benny Sorenson (the youngest of the Sorenson clan, who we’ve gotten to know from the first two books in the series) has a major crush on another doctor in her practice, but lacks the confidence to do anything about it. I found her spazzy behavior around cute guys to be really relatable, as was her lack in self-confidence. When she finally makes a formal complaint to the HOA about her excessively loud neighbor, Henry Ellison, he makes a deal with her. He’ll help her become more confident with men if she drops the complaint.

Benny and Henry begin to spend time together – clothes shopping, makeovers, golf lessons. But they also begin to just hang out together, watching Property Brothers and drinking wine, becoming friends. Though the book doesn’t span a whole lot of time, the romance still seemed like a slow-burn, which I always like. They really became best friends as they fell in love. There’s obviously some roadblocks along the way – Benny’s lack of confidence and Henry’s disbelief in love and I liked the way those problems were reconciled. I really liked both characters and I loved seeing them together.

Overall, The Playboy’s Proposal, was a cute, quick, romantic read with likeable characters. I enjoyed seeing the Sorenson clan again and am looking forward to Daisy’s story. I would recommend this to fans of romance.

Overall Rating (out of 5): 3 Stars

3 stars

Top Ten Tuesday: New-To-Me Favorite Authors

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This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is: Top Ten New-To-Me Favorite Authors I Read For The First Time In 2015.

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1) Emma Mills – First & Then

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2) Renee Ahdieh – The Wrath & The Dawn

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3) Julia Heaberlin – Black-Eyed Susans

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4) Allison Leotta – The Anna Curtis series

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5) Rebecca Sherm – Unbecoming

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6) Nicole Baart – The Beautiful Daughters

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7) M.J. Alridge – Eeny Meeny

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8) Taylor Jenkins Reid – Maybe in Another Life

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9) Barry Lyga – I Hunt Killers

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10) Ashlee Mallory – Her Backup Boyfriend

What new authors have you discovered this year?

Reviewing the Unreviewed: October 2015

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I read a lot of books that I don’t end up reviewing for whatever reason. Some because I wasn’t impressed. Some because I didn’t have the time. Some I just wasn’t feeling it on whatever particular day I finished. I thought I’d start doing a post once a month  with just the couple thoughts I shared on Good Reads

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Date with a Rockstar by Sarah Ganon. Read October 2-3. 3 stars.

This book was a pretty cute, quick read. It’s lightly dystopian-set in the future where things are worse and different, but not crazy different and there’s no political revolution storyline. Though I don’t really like the show The Bachelor, I like the dating show concept in books so I found this pretty entertaining. I think it could’ve focused a little more on the show aspect, though. The main character was likable and only sometimes annoying. For most of the book I didn’t really care for Jeremy so I was kind of hoping Monet would end up with bodyguard Derek, instead (that really isn’t even implied at all in the book, just my wishful thinking). However, by the end I found him more likable and overall it was just a cute story.

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Storm (Paper Gods #3) by Amanda Sun. Read October 8-9. 3 stars.

A pretty good ending to the series. I thought it dragged at times and was a little repetitive and the appearance of Katie’s father I thought was a little pointless since it wasn’t more involved. However, I liked the overall arc of Tomo and Katie and liked that we got to see more of Ishikawa.

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RE-READS

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Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

With Carry On coming out this month, I became nostalgic for Fangirl. I enjoy this every time I re-read it. I am a little concerned, though, that after the first time I read this I’ve skipped over all the Simon Snow parts in every re-read. It does not bode well for Carry On, but I’m sure Rainbow Rowell will come though like always.

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Her Backup Boyfriend by Ashlee Mallory

Reading Her Accidental Husband made me really want to go back and read the first book in the series and I enjoyed it!

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BACK ON THE TBR

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Lady Maybe by Julie Klassen

After not being blow away by the past few Julie Klassen novels I wasn’t really sure about this one. However, after just the first chapter I was pretty intrigued. Unfortunately I waited too long to start this once I got it from the library and it expired before I could get very far into it. I’ll definitely give it a go, though, some other time..

Review: Her Accidental Husband (The Sorensen Family #2) by Ashlee Mallory

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Synopsis from Good Reads:

Payton Vaughn’s trip to Puerto Vallarta for her friend’s wedding was her big escape from her ridiculously overbearing mother–oh, and that little matter with her cheating fiancé. Now, her flight’s been cancelled, and she’s crammed into a tiny car with the gorgeous-but-irritating best man.

Viva la road trip from hell…

Cruz Sorensen doesn’t have time to babysit some spoiled socialite, even if she is the future daughter-in-law of the man who could change the fortune of his family’s company. He has no business getting to know her better—not even for all the tequila in Mexico…until they wake up with grande-sized hangovers as man and wife.

Now Payton and Cruz must decide if they’ve reached the end of their journey…or the beginning of a new adventure.

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I received a copy of this title from NetGalley. It does not impact my review.

When I started to read Her Accidental Husband I realized it was the follow up to Her Backup Boyfriend, which is a super cute fake relationship story. I’m happy to report that this one is just as cute.

Cruz and Payton have always had an attraction to each other – even if they can drive each other crazy. It’s a moot point, however, since Cruz has all but sworn off relationships to focus on work and Payton is engaged to someone else. But when Payton finds out her fiancé has been cheating and their mutual flight to Mexico to Cruz’s brother’s and Payton’s best friend’s wedding is grounded, they must come together to find a way to make it there in time.

This book unfolded a little differently than I thought it would. I thought the marriage would happen almost right away and the rest of the book would be them trying to get out of – while falling in love. However, it focuses a lot on their road trip as they learn more about each other and their attraction grows into something more, which I really liked. We also get to see them deal with the fallout and the range of emotions and decisions they go through. I thought the overall arc was done well and I appreciated that it was a little different than I’m used to reading when it comes to this particular trope.

I loved seeing Dominic and Kate again from the first book in this series and how happy they are. I also enjoyed seeing the rest of the Sorensen clan again. I really enjoyed both Cruz and Payton. They were well-developed and likable characters. I like how Payton started to stand up for herself and make her own decisions and especially liked that it didn’t take until the final chapters for it to happen. They both had moments where I wanted to clunk their heads together for their miscommunication, but overall they were pretty great characters.

Overall, I really enjoyed Her Accidental Husband. It was a quick, fun read and pretty darn adorable. I think my biggest complaint is that the cover has nothing to do with the book – they are never once on the beach together. I would recommend it to fans of romance and those looking for a light read.

Overall Rating (out of 5): 3.5 Stars

3.5 stars

The Fall Time Cozy Book Tag

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It’s the weekend, which means it’s time for a new Book Tag. In searching for tags I came across The Fall Time Cozy Book Tag on A Novel Glimpse. Fall is my favorite season – even if Ohio only likes to give us a couple of weeks of it before starting Winter early.

Crunching Leaves: The world is full of color. Choose a book that has reds, oranges and yellows on the cover.

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This cover just screams fall to me. Despite the couple kissing, I like this cover. And this book was adorable.

Cozy Sweater: It’s finally cold enough to don warm cozy clothing. What book gives you the warm fuzzies?

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Pretty much anything by Kristan Higgins!

Fall Storm: The wind is howling and the rain is pounding. Choose your favourite book OR genre that you like to read on a stormy day.

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I don’t necessarily pick out a genre based on the weather, but when I think of the elements, I think of the Elementals series. (Again another cover you shouldn’t judge the book by!)

Cool Crisp Air: What’s the coolest character you’d want to trade places with?

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Jessamin from Illusions of Fate

Hot Apple Cider: What under hyped book do you want to see become the next biggest, hottest thing?

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I love the Anna Curtis series by Allison Leotta. I think Leotta is such a great author and one of my favorites of her genre.

Coat, Scarves and Mittens: The weather has turned cold and it’s time to cover up. What’s the most embarrassing book cover you own that you like to keep hidden in public?

I avoid this by mostly reading on my Nook. But I would probably say almost any Romance book. Those covers are just awful!

Pumpkin Spice: What’s your favourite fall time comfort food/foods?

Hmm this doesn’t have anything to do with books? But I’ll go with Pumpkin flavored coffee drinks and Pumpkin pie!

I tag whoever loves Fall

Reviewing the Unreviewed: June 2015

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I read a lot of books that I don’t end up reviewing for whatever reason. Some because I wasn’t impressed. Some because I didn’t have the time. Some I just wasn’t feeling it on whatever particular day I finished. I thought I’d start doing a post once a month  with just the couple thoughts I shared on Good Reads

Introductions (The Ghost Bird, #1)

Introductions (The Ghost Bird #1) by C. L. Stone. Read May 31-June 1. 3 stars.

This is probably more like 2.5 stars, but I’m rounding it up to 3 because I’m looking forward to the next book. I’ve read a lot of reviews that list this series as a “guilty pleasure” and I think it will be the same for me.

The book does just what it says, it introduces all the main characters – which include SEVEN guys. And one girl. The guys are super protective of Sang (yes, stupid name) right away – like Edward Cullen level protective. Like made me a little uncomfortable level protective/possessive. But still…I’m intrigued.

Sang kind of got on my nerves. She kind of fell for every single guy she met and goes on and on about the tingly feelings she gets whenever one of them touches her in any way – which is often. I feel bad for the abuse she faces at home (and her mother isn’t just agoraphobic as the synopsis states – she’s a pill addicted, paranoid, crazy person), but it almost feels like her relationship with the boys is a little abusive in that they tell her what to do, what not to do, insist on following her around, etc.

Overall, though, I’m interested to find out what exactly this Academy is about. While the writing wasn’t exactly great, it was still fast and kind of addictive.

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First Days (The Ghost Bird #2) by C. L. Stone. Read June 1-3. 2 stars.

Oh dear. This series is driving me crazy, but I still plan on reading the next book. It’s like a train wreck you can’t look away from.

Sang still drives me crazy. The majority of the book continued to focus on how she feels whenever one of the guys touches her. She’s also verrrry immature. There was a random student who “proposed” to her and she actually wondered whether or not he was serious.

The boys continue to be protective/possessive of her in an unhealthy way. She now asks them for permission to speak and apologizes for trivial things. Bella Swan looks like a feminist hero compared to Sang.

All this said, and I still want to know what happens next. That’s the only reason it’s getting 2 stars from me instead of 1. The final chapter finally gave some answers, though I’m still a little confused.

Maybe in Another Life

Maybe in  Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid. Read June 6-7. 3.5 stars.

A full review of this will be posted closer to it’s release date (July 7). For now I’ll just say that it’s an interesting twist on alternate universes that I found enjoyable.

Her Backup Boyfriend (Entangled Bliss)

Her Backup Boyfriend by Ashlee Mallory. Read June 7-8. 3.5 Stars.

I was looking for a good fake relationship story and this definitely fit the bill. It was cute and the characters were likable.

Magnolia

Magnolia by Kristi Cook. Read June 9-10. 3 stars.

Cute story with likable characters. At times it felt a little rushed and there was a lot of subjects that could have been more explored, but instead it only scratched the surface. Overall, though, a quick read that works for my contemporary kick.

Friends vs. Family (The Ghost Bird, #3)

Friends vs. Family (The Ghost Bird #3) by C. L. Stone. Read June 4-13. 2 stars.

So there was some good which is why it’s getting 2 stars instead of 1. Finally some stuff happened towards the end of this book. Some answers about Sang’s family are finally revealed. Her crazy mom is finally getting some help (for now). Sang finally realized that “normal friends” don’t act like how the boys act like her.

However, then there was the ridiculous. They play truth and dare and Sang’s dares are to sit on one boy’s lap and give another hug and get her teeth brushed by another…Then in the end they *SPOILER* vote on SHARING her.

This series is weird, guys. But it’s kind of an addicting read. I’m going to have to take a break for awhile, though to see if I still want to continue it.

Black-Eyed Susans

Black-Eyed Susans by Julia Heaberlin. Read June 13-15. 4 stars.

A full review of this will come out closer to it’s release date (August 11), but for now I’ll say, Heaberlin effortlessly weaves together past and present into one suspenseful tale of a woman trying to outrun her monster. Ignore the Gillian Flynn comparison. Julia Heaberlin’s Black-Eyed Susans is so good it doesn’t need it.

Discretion

Discretion (Anna Curtis #2) by Allison Leotta. Read June 20-21. 4 stars.

I am so loving this series! Discretion is everything a DC based crime/mystery should be. The city’s top escort is found murdered outside of a powerful Congressman’s office. Anna and her (secret) boyfriend Jack investigate, filled with surprising twists. Added to the team is FBI Agent Samantha.

I loved both the progression of the case and Anna and Jack’s relationship. I had a lot of issues with Jack being condescending to Anna and I’m glad some of those came to light. I’m really looking forward to the next book!

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RE-READS

A Good Killing (Anna Curtis, #4)

A Good Killing (Anna Curtis #4) by Allison Leotta. Since I read this book before reading the beginning of the series, I wanted to re-read it to see what I thought once I read books 1-3. I still love it and knowing the background added some more emotional depth for me.

Twilight (Twilight, #1)

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. Do not ask me what possessed me to pick this book up again. I do credit it for getting me back into reading several years ago, but the last time I tried to re-read the series I just couldn’t make it through. I feel like enough time has gone by that I can look at it more objectively. I don’t think it deserves all the hate it gets. Sure it’s ridiculous and not brilliantly written and we can all talk about the damaging relationship Edward and Bella have, but this book is really no more ridiculous than most YA books out there today, it’s just been much more hyped and has terrible movies.

The Fill-In Boyfriend

The Fill-in Boyfriend by Kasie West. I won this in a giveaway and it came right after I finished reading a series and seemed just the ticket to help me transition out of my book hangover. So cute.

Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy, #1)

Unspoken (The Lynburn Legacy #1) by Sarah Rees Brennan. No other books were sounding good to me, so I decided to start re-reading this series. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve re-read the first two books in this series, but I only read the third book once and never reviewed it, so I think I’m going to try and review it after it’s re-read.

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BACK ON THE TBR SHELF

The Other Typist

The Other Typist by Susanne Rindell. This was recommended to me and I thought it looked interesting, but I just could not get into it. There’s supposed to be a good twisty ending, though, so I don’t want to write it off completely in case I feel like trying it again later.