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Jaidis

Juniper Grove

Blog of author Jaidis Shaw!

Blackmail Boyfriend (Entangled Crush) - Chris Cannon

Haley is your typical good girl. She is an honor student and practically invisible thanks to her over protective brothers who have threatened any boy who dares to show interest in her. All she wants is to get her brothers to lay off so that she has the chance to find a boyfriend.

Bryce is a rich and popular guy who can have his pick of any girl. He soon starts regretting his choice of women when his shallow, materialistic girlfriend becomes too clingy. After trying to break up with her three times, he resorts to hooking up with someone else to make her leave him alone. The only problem is the girl he hooked up gave him the wrong name. Haley's name. What starts out as a mistake turns into a compromise when Haley decides to blackmail Bryce into being her "boyfriend" to show that she's girlfriend material and to keep her brothers at bay.

This story developed quickly. We jump straight into the rumor mill and Haley uses it to her advantage. It ends up creating more problems for her and she starts to question if it was worth it. While both Haley and Bryce agreed to the situation, both questioned how they really felt about it and each other. I would have like to see more character development though. Haley was very touchy, jumping from like to hate and back again too quickly. Bryce was similar, being spoiled and wanting things to go a certain way one minute to being a jerk the next minute.

There were also a few bombshells dropped that should have garnered more of a reaction from both Haley and Bryce but they were placed on the back burner. I would have liked to see the situations play a larger role in the story as I feel it would have given more depth to their characters.

All in all this was a quick read and a pleasant way to pass the time. There were some funny moments and secondary characters, Nathan and Jane, made the story interesting.

I received a copy of Blackmail Boyfriend from the publisher, Entangled Publishing, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Scarred - Elizabeth Montgomery

Avery feels like an outsider. Her whole life has consisted of her building up walls to protect herself from the bullying she receives due to something she can't help. She was born with a cleft lip and though the surgeries have fixed it and the scars are minimal, teenagers will be teenagers. Avery must learn to take risks and not let anyone pull her down so that she doesn't spend her life missing out on the good things coming her way.

Scarred was a quick read that shows what teenagers think and feel when they encounter bullying. It reminds us that bullying is inevitable and we each have to find out own way to deal with it. Just as being bullied has multiple facets, Scarred shows us that bullies may have something going on in their lives that has encouraged their behavior. It's important to stay strong and take the higher road, especially when karma comes knocking because as the saying goes: What goes around, comes around.

Momma Don't You Worry - Louie Lawent

Momma Don’t You Worry by Louie Lawent is the cute tale of a young boy who thinks he is old enough to do things on his own. Soon the boy finds himself in a scary situation and learns that maybe it won’t be so bad to listen to his mom just a little while longer.

 

My seven-year-old daughter read this one for review. She didn’t have any issues with the words and understood the story. After reading the second page, she stopped and says “This is going to teach me a lesson, isn’t it?” She enjoyed looking at the illustrated pictures as well.

 

The story is only 5 pages long and so it is quick and easy for young readers.

See Bride Run! - Charlotte Hughes

Annie Hartford has found herself in a terrible situation. After breaking off her engagement to a man she doesn't love, her billionaire father has frozen her bank accounts and all assets as a way to force her down the aisle. Minutes before she is to head to the altar, she makes a break for it and finds herself in a small town in Georgia with nothing but the wedding dress on her back and a diamond tiara on her head. Being on her own for the first time in her life, will she be able to survive or will the urge to run home be too strong?

 

I really enjoyed reading this story! Even though she has lived her life trying to please her father, Annie is still a strong character who is willing to try things out. She learns to cherish the small things in life and comes to acknowledge that money isn't everything. She sees that there are still good people in the world, people who are willing to help out a woman in need even though they don't know her.

 

I only have two minor complaints about this story. I wish there would have been a little more background information on both Sam and Lillian, especially since they both have a special place in Annie's future. I also would have liked the story to have a tad more drama. The ending really kicked the drama/suspense up and I would have liked to see that throughout the whole book. Since it was just at the end, the story felt a little rushed. Regardless, this was still an pleasant read with an awesomely sweet epilogue! I was drawn in by the author's writing style and look forward to reading more by Charlotte Hughes.

Dragon's Lair (Wind Dragons Motorcycle Club) - Chantal Fernando

Faye has everything in order. She has been in a relationship with her high school sweetheart for years, she is top of her class, and is quickly on her way to becoming a lawyer. Her perfect world is turned upside-down when she walks in on her boyfriend cheating on her. Deciding that she deserves some fun too, she finds herself in the arms of her childhood crush, who also happens to be her ex-boyfriend's brother. One night changes everything and she finds herself homeless, scared, and in a world that she knows nothing about.

This is the first MC book I've read and I'm glad that I started with this one. I loved the author's writing style. The pacing was great and it kept me turning the pages. I felt for Faye as she struggles to fit into this new environment she's found herself in. The chemistry between Faye and Dex is thrilling and steamy. They balance each other out well. Dex gives Faye strength and protects her while she helps calm his temper and makes him a better man. If you love your men tattooed, clad in leather, and riding motorcycles, you should definitely check this one out.

I received a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Due to adult sexual content, this book should be read by mature audiences only.

Addy And The Smart Guy (Big Girl Panties Book 3) - Carter Ashby

Addy is a prim and proper lady. She has always done things the way she was taught and never let loose or broken any rules. Her head tells her to be practical and ignore the growing feelings she has for her professor, Dr. Greyson McDaniel, but her heart is urging her to take a leap of faith. When she is presented with an opportunity to escape to a secluded cabin with Greyson, she decides to step out of her comfort zone just this once and live life on the edge. After all, what could possibly happen by breaking the rules just once? Addy and Grey are both about to find out.

I really enjoyed Addy's character. She reminded me of myself in some aspects, especially when she misses out on opportunities due to her lack of courage to go against the rules or do something uncomfortable. This made her easy to relate to and I found myself encouraging her to embrace the unknown. The sexual chemistry between Addy and Grey was super steamy! They had no problems in that department and yet they both found themselves struggling with wanting more. Addy wants some sort of commitment and Grey isn't the commitment type. As their affair is brought to light, they are tested in several ways and they grow; both as individuals and as a couple.

I liked the author's writing style and the flow of the story kept me turning the pages. I also enjoyed being introduced to Maya and Zoey, Addy's friends, as I haven't read the first two books in this series. That said, it in no way hindered me and I feel as though these books are standalone. I will be picking up the first two as I'm curious to learn more about those characters.

I received a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This book is for mature audiences only due to sexual content.

Naomi Grim (Complete Novel) (Book 1 of The Silver Scythe Chronicles) - Tiffany Nicole Smith

Naomi is a Grim. Her one and only job is to collect lifestones from humans after they die. Grims are not only paid for each lifestone they collect, they also have the age of the deceased added to their own life, thus allowing them to live forever if they keep acquiring lifestones. Like with most jobs, her boss has total control over who is assigned to collect lifestones so every Grim lives by a certain set of rules to stay in good favor. When the opportunity of a lifetime arises, Naomi and her brothers are given a huge assignment that will propel them from the middle class to the Upper Estates and guarantee their comfy lifestyle. Death is knocking and now Naomi must choose which door to open: guarantee the life of her family or save the lives of hundreds of teenagers.

I absolutely loved reading this book! It has an interesting storyline that kept me wanting to know more. Naomi has only known death and yet she can't help feeling like she should do something to help humans continue to live. It's a hard choice anyone would have to make and it is easy to feel sympathy for Naomi. The plot only thickens as we are introduced to various levels of Grims and those who are being pushed aside and dying off, all because they aren't deemed worthy of collecting lifestones because they aren't rich or don't suck up to the boss enough.

My only complaint with this book is that the ending felt very rushed. The entire book was paced nicely but the end felt as though the author was rushing to complete the story before a word count cut the story off. I would have liked to know more about what happened to Naomi while she is in her current predicament and what kind of impact something of hers had on other Grims.

I will definitely be grabbing book two, Keira Grim, so that I can continue on this wonderful journey.

I was provided a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest opinion.

An Uncertain Choice - Jody Hedlund

Lady Rosemarie's parents made a promise to the church when she was born. On her eighteen birthday, she will take her sacred vows and live her life as a nun. Rosemarie didn't know of the promise until the death of her parents and after getting over the shock, came to terms with her future. Her life is turned upside down when a month until her birthday, an exception to the vow is found. If she finds true love and marries before midnight on her eighteenth birthday, she can live a normal life. She begins questioning everything she thought when three mysterious and handsome suitors are vying for her attention. Not only is she confused in matters of the heart, but her people are dying from illness and she wonders how she can best serve her people. Should she dedicate her life to the church, where she can focus more on her charitable deeds, or should she open her heart and try to find love?

An Uncertain Choice was a quick and easy read. It flowed nicely and I loved the romance aspect. I'm a sucker for sappy love and cheesy pick-up lines so I enjoyed reading this book. Lady Rosemarie is a flawed character. At times she is a strong character who is putting her people above everything else. Other times we are reminded that she is just a teenager and may not be ready for the responsibility that she was forced to take when her parents died. My only complaint was that there was little mystery as to who was behind the shenanigans that occurred during the book. I wish there had been a little more suspense but rather it was all laid out perfectly so I knew what to expect. If you are looking for a light, clean romance, this will do the trick.

I received a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Lost Souls Dating Agency - Suneeti Rekhari

Shalini has moved to Australia, from India, to attend a university and experience life. Things are on track when she receives word that her uncle has disappeared and left her a mysterious, run-down warehouse. After much consideration, she decides to fix-up the warehouse and open a dating agency. She decides she wants her business to stand out from the rest so when a newspaper that talks of supernatural beings is delivered to her office, her business adventure goes from normal to paranormal.

I liked the overall premise of the book. A dating agency for supernatural beings sounds fun and exciting, but I found myself wanting something more. We read about three individual cases and each focuses on a different type of being: vampire, shapeshifter, and witch. Though each of these cases were written separately, they all flowed together which was nice. The flow of the story was a little slow for my tastes though. It just bobbed along and didn't really start getting into the big stuff until the very end, at which point the book ends and we are left with a huge cliffhanger.

I was provided a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest opinion.

Ugly Young Thing - Jennifer Minar-Jaynes

Allie is a disturbed teenager who has been through more tragedy than any one person should have to endure. Her brother looked after her while their mother's mind deteriorated but now her brother has left her too. Now it's up to her and she does whatever she must to survive. She is finally placed into foster care and is starting to question everything that she was told growing up. Is she able to trust her new foster mother? Is she starting to suffer from the same mental illness that claimed both her mother and brother? Death has always followed Allie and now that dead bodies are starting to appear again, she wonders if this time it may just be enough to claim her.

This book was such a page-turner! The author revealed the pieces to the puzzle at the right time to give hints as to who was involved in the recent murders but yet kept me guessing until the big reveal. The pacing of the story was wonderful and I eagerly awaited what was coming next. Allie was a flawed individual, as are some other characters, and it helped me relate to them. This book shines the light on mental disorders and how life can be affected by them. I wasn't aware until after I was done reading the book and posting my review to Goodreads that this is actually the second book of a series. Now that I've been introduced to these characters, I must pick up the first book so I can get a better look at what they went through before getting to this point. I would also like to note that even though I haven't read book one, Never Smile at Strangers, that it in no way hindered me from enjoying and understanding Ugly Young Thing.

I received a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest opinion.

Sisters of Blood and Spirit - Kady Cross

Wren and Lark Noble are twins and are identical in every way except two; their hair color and ability to breathe. Wren was stillborn and thus is a rarity among her ghostly kind. She has a special connection to her sister Lark and together they can do and see things that most people, dead or alive, can't do. So when the boy who saved Lark's life after a failed suicide attempt is marked by an evil ghost, the twins will do whatever it takes to save not only his life, but the lives of his friends as well.

This action-packed story was engaging, thrilling, and intriguing! I loved the connection between Wren and Lark. It was strong, loving, and forgiving. Though Wren is sometimes jealous of not being alive, she understands that she wasn't meant to be. Lark understands about Wren's loneliness and allows her to take over her body so she can experience things for herself. They have a great relationship and work well together.

I only had two complaints about this story. The first being that I felt as though we needed more background information on why the sisters are so special. The rarity of their connection is mentioned through the book several times and even the sisters question it, but they don't do anything to figure out what makes them that way. My other issue is that I felt the ending was not complete. Someone special helps the sisters out periodically in the story and at the end we find out who that person is and their connection to the twins but not much else. I would have loved a closer look at their importance and what it meant to the girls specifically.

Other than that, this was a great read! This was my first time reading anything by Kady Cross but I loved her writing style and will definitely check out some of her other works. I hope to see this story continue on and hopefully clean up some of the loose ends.

I was provided a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Where the Road Takes Me - Jay McLean

Chloe is a girl who has built walls around her so high that they are impossible to breach. She refuses to let anyone get near her and is counting down the days until she graduates high school and can take to the road on her own adventure. The only problem with shutting everyone out is that it's an invite for people to try and tear down those carefully placed walls. Soon the day arrives where Chloe bumps into Blake, literally, and she begins questioning her heart and wondering if sometimes walls were meant to be taken down.

Overall, in my opinion, this book is a mix between the movies A Walk to Remember and Here on Earth, only with more adult language, drug use, and mild sexual situations. Chloe has lost both her mother and aunt to an illness and she may, one day, end up having the same illness. She decides to shut everyone out and go on a road trip on her own in an attempt, in her mind, to live life to the fullest but in doing so, she misses out on the real joys of life like friendship, family, love, and laughter. It was sweet the way that Blake relentlessly stayed by Chloe's side, and I understand the pain and fear that Chloe was experiencing, but while we were given the sense that Chloe was trying to do what was right for everyone by leaving, it felt like she was only taking the easy route and causing more pain for those she supposedly cared for. It was hard to connect to her because she was so conceited. Thankfully this changed toward the end of the story and it pulled me back in. I'm a sucker for cheesy romance, but honestly, it did take me longer than usual to get through this story because there wasn't really anything that grabbed my attention and the romance factor just wasn't as genuine feeling as I'd have liked.

A copy of this book was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Line Between - Tamsyn Bester

Kennedy Monroe and Dane Winters have known each other since they were children. Their families have an on-going feud that the current generation really don't know much about or how it got started. All they know is that they were raised to hate each other. So things don't come easy for Kennedy as she not only struggled with normal things every girl goes through growing up but also all of the pranks and rumors that Dane spreads about her. She hates every moment of growing up with him around and it is only made worse when a tragedy strikes both families simultaneously, causing the hatred to deepen and the pain to increase.

Kennedy is a character that starts out weak and then grows and becomes a little stronger. It was good to see her expand but some of the scenes had me wondering if they would happen in reality based on the circumstances we read about in the book. Some of them seem plausible, like her standing up for herself finally, but others just didn't have me fully believing. Dane is a complete douche to Kennedy and the things that he has said and done, not to mention the things while growing up, should have made Kennedy hate him and never give him a second thought. But the drama kicks in and both Kennedy and Dane find themselves falling for each other yet unable to commit as they know their family history is just too twisted to allow them to be together.

Overall, this is a very steamy read filled with drama, lust, love, hate, and loss. It was a highly emotional read that had me engaged and wanting to know what would happen next. I did find myself feeling connected to the characters one moment and totally disinterested the next. One minute the characters are fighting and the next they are in bed together. One moment there is a sweet scene and just when we think that things will work out, they are back to fighting. It just wasn't a healthy dynamic with them knowing what they wanted and then changing their minds on the next page.

Definitely an 18+ only read due to mature sexual content.

I received a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Third Twin - Cj Omololu

Alexa and Ava are identical twins. When they were young they pretended to have another identical sister that was to blame for everything. As they grew older, the third sister allowed them to step out of their comfort zones and be someone they weren't in reality and date people they wouldn't normally be seen with. Alicia has certain rules to go by, especially when it comes to boys, but someone is starting to break those rules. When a boy is killed after going on a date with Alicia, really Lexi, she decides it's time to stop the game but Ava isn't up for it. Lexi realizes she's starting to get in too deep when evidence starts piling up making her the number one suspect and also puts Ava near the crime scenes. Has Ava turned into a killer or is someone else trying to set them up?

I really enjoyed this book. After starting the story it became clear how the novel would end, or so I thought. While I was correct in my main assumption, twists were thrown in to keep me wondering about who the killer really was. The author did a great job of leading me to believe that it would go one way, only to plant seeds of doubt after a few more pages. I just had to keep reading to see who was being themselves and who was just playing a part.

Overall a wonderful story that I'm glad I had the chance to read. I liked that I was able to guess parts and that others kept me guessing. It was well written and suspenseful.

Spawn Of Medusa - Mary Bernsen

Ambrosia, the daughter birthed from Medusa after she was beheaded, has spent her entire life preparing for the day she would get revenge. She wants nothing more than to find and kill Perseus, the demigod who took her mother from her. When the Fates point her in the right direction, she puts her best assets to work at a brothel owned by none other than Hercules. While her beauty may help her advance and become the most desired woman there, she is just waiting until she can fulfill her promise. Things are made much harder for Ambrosia when a man known as Chrysaor steps forward and claims to be the child born from Medusa. Then Perseus stumbles into the brothel and purchases her for a night in an attempt to save her from the grubby hands of Chrysaor, and Ambrosia's life is forever changed when he accidentally tells her that he failed and Medusa is very much alive. Ambrosia finds herself struggling with her feelings for the man she has gotten to know and killing the one determined to kill her mother once and for all.

Who doesn't enjoy a book filled with mythology that we are all familiar with? While we follow similar paths in Greek mythology, the author wrote the story in a way that made it her own. Ambrosia is a smart woman who will do whatever it takes, even selling her body to the highest bidder, while she waits patiently for her plan to take place. She is strong-willed and has a set way of thinking, but like everyone, she starts doubting everything she has known when things don't go the way she envisioned. Perseus is strong and worries about his reputation but can't deny that even though he is broken, there are things worth fighting for other than what people think of him.

Overall this was a quick read that had me feeling for the characters. The writing flowed nicely throughout the story and kept me turning the pages. The only thing I didn't really like about this book was that the ending felt too rushed. The whole book is leading up to a giant climax but then it just fizzled as everything fell into place and everyone went their respective ways. I would have liked to see the ending wrapped up a little better and provided some sort of closure other than what was provided. If you like Greek mythology, you should give The Spawn of Medusa a try.

Reluctantly Married - Victorine E. Lieske

Megan and Adam are co-hosts on a daily morning show. While most co-hosts get along, Megan can’t stand Adam as he is always being mean to her on-air. The audience loves their bickering and it is great for ratings and so the boss forces Adam to keep picking on her or he’ll be fired. One thing leads to another and Megan finds herself doing a dating show with a major network where the contract states she must marry Adam at the end of the show. While the money is great, will she be able to be around Adam for the duration of the show without losing her heart in the process?

Reluctantly Married is a fun and quirky read! I sat down intending on reading a few chapters and before I knew it, my Kindle battery died when I was 84% done. If you’re a fan of reality television shows like The Bachelor, then you’ll enjoy this book as we get a behind-the-scenes look at what goes into taping a show and how what we see may just be a pieced together version to boost ratings. I enjoyed the relationship between Megan and Adam as well. They are both flawed characters and have trust issues that prevent them from letting anyone in. Megan thinks Adam is in it for the money, and Adam thinks Megan is in it for her career, but they both are hiding feelings from each other.

Overall, this book was a quick and fun read that was a nice break from some of the longer/heavier books I’ve read lately. If you like romance and comedy, give this one a try.