Foxe & the Hound- R.S. Grey



When your life is a hot mess at twenty, it’s cute. At twenty-seven…well, not so much.

It’s just that my lofty dreams—making it as a real estate agent, paying rent on time, showering daily—have stayed just that: dreams. Oh, and love? I’ve decided love might be a little ambitious for me at the moment. Instead, I’ve settled for the two guys who will never leave me: Ben & Jerry.

That is, until Dr. Adam Foxe takes up residence as the town’s new vet.

With his strong jaw, easy confidence, and form-fitting scrubs, it’s not long before every housewife in Hamilton is dragging neglected tomcats in for weekly checkups.

Like everyone else, I’m intrigued. Even after I spoil my chance at a good first impression, he still offers me a proposition I can’t refuse: play his girlfriend at a family function and he’ll hire me as his real estate agent. Welcome to love in the 21st century.

It’s too bad I underestimated Adam’s irresistible charm and the undeniable attraction that burns between us. The day he pins me to the wall and silences me with a kiss, the line between reality and ruse begins to blur. Every teasing touch brings me to my knees. Every kiss promises more.

It looks like my hot mess of a life is about to get a little hotter.


The Foxe & the Hound was a great light-hearted and quick summer read.  It was a sweet story about Madeleine and Adam- the handsome new veterinarian who arrives in her small town in Texas.  It’s a standalone book but characters from Anything You Can Do make an appearance, so I would suggest reading that one first.

At 27 years old Madeleine is still struggling to figure out adulating.  She doesn’t pay her rent on time, drives a piece of crap car that’s held together with duct tape and a prayer and feels like she should be closer to figuring things out at her age.  And then along comes Adam who isn’t just handsome put seems like he’s got his life together.

I struggled a bit with Madeleine.  Sometimes she seemed like her own worst enemy and I wanted to see her get out of her way. It would have been easier to believe that she was just out of high school vs. her late twenties.  It seemed that when things weren’t going her way she was either quick to jump into “nothing good every happens to me” headspace or blame everyone else for her problems and act immaturely.

“I hate Diane. I fling her cinnamon roll out into the pasture—I will not eat the bread of my enemies, and that’s exactly what she is if she wants Adam to sit down with Olivia. He loved her for so many years. God, he probably still loves her. If they see each other, all those feelings are going to come flooding back, and the fact that she brought Molly—that underhanded bitch knew exactly what she was doing. I stomp out into the pasture and kick the cinnamon roll another ten feet. It feels good to demolish something, though I am now admittedly starving.”

The book opens with Madeleine’s dog basically mauling Adam; he berates her dog-parenting skills only to find out in the next chapter that he’s the new vet.  Their first meeting has all the ingredients to be a typical meet cute but Adam’s crusty response gives it a great twist.  I love that their immediate dislike of each other leads to a bit of an enemies to friends to lover’s plot.

Adam is finding adapting to small town life isn’t happening as quickly as he thought He’s handsome and professional although he’s a bit grumpy and easily annoyed.  Every woman in town is interested in flirting and he just wants to settle in and recover from his life in Chicago.  I really liked Adam a lot.  I have such a soft spot for a grumpy hero.

The best character in the entire book was Madeleine’s dog, Mouse.  He was just adorable.  I could picture him exactly and he and Madeleine were a perfect match.

Overall, the book drama is all very predictable, miscommunication and surprise arrivals of exes but neither drags on for an excruciating length of time.

I didn’t find this book as laugh out loud funny as R.S. Grey’s previous books but it was still cute and sweet especially if you’re a dog lover or looking for a slow-burn book that isn’t the length of a Mariana Zapata.

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About R.S. Grey:

R.S. Grey is the USA Today bestselling author of thirteen novels, including THE FOXE & THE HOUND. She lives in Texas with her husband and two dogs, and can be found reading, binge-watching reality TV, or practicing yoga! Visit her at rsgrey.com

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Confessions of a Former Puck Bunny- Cindi Madsen



Confession #1: I used to be a puck bunny, but after a hockey player broke my heart, I gave up all things hockey. Now I’m just focused on finding a way to pass my math class so I can graduate college.

Confession #2: Ryder “Ox” Maddox’s deep, sexy voice sends fuzzy tingles through my entire body, and I’m powerless to stop it. Which is a big problem since the hot, surprisingly funny hockey player is my new math tutor.

Confession #3: I can’t stop thinking about how ripped Ryder is from all his hockey training, and how fun it’d be to cross lines with him.

Confession #4: I kissed a hockey player and I liked it.

Confession #5: If I’m not careful, I might relapse and fall for Ryder, and then I’ll be totally pucked.


 When this book came across my radar everything about it called to me.  The description, the cover, the very high chance for a happily ever after (I really need my books to have a HEA).  Confessions of a Former Puck Bunny is an NA sports romance and #4 in the Taking Shots series by Cindi Madsen.

For some reason, I hadn’t realized that this book was a part of a series, while reading out of order is not typically something I would do I decided to persevere without pausing to read the others in the series first.  I’m so glad that I did.  This book was cute and sweet with an excellent beta hero.  While it was clear there were other couples that came first the story didn’t rely heavily on knowing this details and I was able to follow alone without any problem.

Now, the good part.  We need to talk about Ryder.  I just love a sweet, smart, caring hero and Ryder had it all going for him.  A hockey player with muscles upon muscles who’s sensitive and sweet and academically smart? Yes, please!!

Lindsay the heroine is a reformed puck bunny just trying to make it to graduation without slipping back into her puck bunny ways.  The two big obstacles are Ryder and her math grade.  Unfortunately for her, the best shot at conquering the math problem is spending more time with Ryder while he tutors her.  As she gets better at math, she starts to realize staying away from another hockey player is harder than she thought.

“If things were different . . . I could really see myself slipping.”

“Just slip.” I reached up and ran my thumb across her bottom lip, my blood pumping hotter at her sharp exhale. “I’ll catch you.”

I LOVED Ryder but I wasn’t a huge fan of Lindsay in the beginning of the story. She put up a lot of the obstacles between them. I found she was sometimes unnecessarily mean and actually fairly immature even though she was two years older than Ryder (although, can I just mention how much I love that our hero is younger?) He was thoughtful and considerate of feelings for most of the book like a true beta would be. Ryder really took his time, chased her, and always saw them as long-term even when Lindsay couldn’t.

“In the moments she laughed and fired off those quick comebacks, I was sure she felt the same spark I did, but before she let herself fully enjoy it, she’d quickly pull away.”

The story was fairly predictable but oh, so sweet and I was right about the HEA.  Overall this was a well written, very sweet NA story and I’d recommend it to anyone looking for an easy read with a guaranteed happy ending.  I’m definitely adding the other books in the series to my to be read list!


Note: I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

Find Confessions of a Former Puck Bunny here:

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Catch Up On the Series!

Getting Lucky Number Seven

Anatomy of a Player

Crazy Pucking Love


About Cindi Madsen:

Cindi Madsen is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance and young adult novels. She sits at her computer every chance she gets, plotting, revising, and falling in love with her characters. Sometimes it makes her a crazy person. Without it, she’d be even crazier. She has way too many shoes, but can always find a reason to buy a pretty new pair, especially if they’re sparkly, colorful, or super tall. She loves music and dancing and wishes summer lasted all year long. She lives in Colorado (where summer is most definitely NOT all year long) with her husband and three children.

You can visit Cindi at: www.cindimadsen.com, where you can sign up for her newsletter to get all the up-to-date information on her books.

Follow her on Twitter @cindimadsen.


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The Hating Game- Sally Thorne



Nemesis (n.)
1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome;
2) A person’s undoing;
3) Joshua Templeman.

Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman hate each other. Not dislike. Not begrudgingly tolerate. Hate. And they have no problem displaying their feelings through a series of ritualistic passive aggressive maneuvers as they sit across from each other, executive assistants to co-CEOs of a publishing company. Lucy can’t understand Joshua’s joyless, uptight, meticulous approach to his job. Joshua is clearly baffled by Lucy’s overly bright clothes, quirkiness, and Pollyanna attitude.

Now up for the same promotion, their battle of wills has come to a head and Lucy refuses to back down when their latest game could cost her her dream job…But the tension between Lucy and Joshua has also reached its boiling point, and Lucy is discovering that maybe she doesn’t hate Joshua. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.


The Hating Game was hands down one of my top 5 favourite books of 2016.  As soon as I finished it I read it again…and again…and again. When I was debating my fourth reread I thought maybe I should give the audiobook a chance.  It was just as great listening to it on my commute and it was reading it the first three times!

Some of my favourite books are office romances and hate to love plots, but they’re also so difficult to pull off.  I’m not always a fan of rotating POV and so many enemy to lover stories feature an asshole-ish hero who becomes a reformed womanizer, not something I’m a big fan of.  You won’t find either in the Hating Game.  Told from the single POV of heroin Lucy Hutton the story is a slow burn between two co-workers who are straddling the line of passionate and competitive.  Joshua is her surly but oh-so-attractive colleague and when they made out they’re competing for the same position an already tense working situation becomes worse.

I have a theory.  Hating someone feels disturbingly similar to being in love with them.  I’ve had a lot of time to compare love, and these are my observations.  Love and hate are visceral

Joshua is absolutely everything, and he’s a strong contender to beat out my best book boyfriend of all time, Will Sumner from Beautiful Player.  I love a smart, lanky, broody hero who is self-assured and full of dirty talk, Joshua checks every single box.

…if I were your boss, I’d work you so fucking hard. So fucking hard.

Don’t let the candy coloured, cartoonish cover art and slow burn fool you, this book isn’t chick lit.  It has some steam! I’d categorize as New Adult, falling in that middle ground of not quite erotica and not quite romance.

Like every good hate to love the banter is key and Sally Thorne nails it.  Joshua was totally swoon-worthy and his one-liners were hot.

-‘I didn’t ask for you advice, Joshua. I get so mad at myself, letting you drag me down to your level all the time.’
-‘And what level are you imagining me dragging you down to? Horizontal?’

The Hating Game is the debut book by Australian author Sally Thorne, although you’d never have guessed this was a first book.  I’m sure it’s going to remain a constant on my reread list and I’m anxious to read anything else she puts out!  I highly recommend reading, and then rereading.  The Hating Game by Sally Thorne.

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Sally Thorne lives in Canberra, Australia, and spends her days writing funding submissions and drafting contracts (yawn!) so it’s not surprising that after hours she climbs into colorful fictional worlds of her own creation. Sally believes that romance readers are always searching for intensity in their next favorite book—and it isn’t always so easy to find. The Hating Game is her first novel.


You can find more about Sally Thorne here:

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Dirty Work by Chelle Bliss and Brenda Rothert



From authors Chelle Bliss and Brenda Rothert comes a smoldering standalone enemies to lovers romance that will, ahem…check all your boxes.


I hate him. Jude Titan is everything that’s wrong with the male sex: cocky, domineering and loaded with swagger. Oh, and did I mention he’s a Republican? Yeah, the guy’s so conservative he leans to the right when walking. And lucky me, I’m running against him for Senate. But I’ve got plenty of fight in me. A golden boy war hero opponent with a smile that leaves melted panties in its wake? Bring. It. On.


Damn, she’s sexy. Reagan Preston intrigues me from the moment I lay eyes on her. And speaking of laying…I want between those thighs. But I want to make her burn for me first. Every debate and stolen moment is foreplay for us. She claims she hates me, but her body tells a different story. I plan to win this election, but I also want to win the sharp, fiery Democrat who captures my attention like no woman ever has. Politics is filthy, just like all the things I want to do to Reagan Preston.


I’ve actually been in a serious book slump lately.  I feel like I just can’t get more than a few chapters into a book before I realize it’s just not hitting the spot and I need to try something else.  That was until I was sent Dirty Work by Chelle Bliss and Brenda Rothert to review.  I’m a sucker for a romance with a politician but I was ready for a heroine who wasn’t an intimidated secretary.


I’m so glad I picked up this book, because I loved it!  I’d never read anything by either Chelle Bliss or Brenda Rothert before but both seem to have quite a fan following separately. I can definitely say they were a solid writing partnership and I hope to read more by them together in the future.  The writing transitioned well enough and each author gave Jude and Reagan a different tone and voice.  While I didn’t know which author wrote which part, it was fairly clear when the style changed; regular readers of both authors will likely be able to pick it out.


If the idea of a book about politics is making you pause, you shouldn’t.  This was simply a sweet, sexy story of two opposing candidates who should have been off limits to each other fighting their feelings while out on the campaign trail. The story seems like it’s going to start off as a classic “frenemies” to lovers but shifts gears pretty quickly to to be more like forbidden romance with a slow burn.


Jude is a veteran who is set on making a change and feels duty bound to run for office to fight for the rights of the regular citizen.  He’s also a bossy, semi-alpha with a romantic streak and knows his feelings for Reagan aren’t worth fighting against.  He didn’t waffle or fight his feelings for Reagan, I loved that he dove in with both feet even though being together could hurt both of their chances at election.

“Is it the thrill of the forbidden? Will you still want me once you’ve had me?”


He lowers his brows. “Once I’ve had you? You mean once we’ve fucked?”


I nod once.


A wolfish smile creeps across his face. “That’s not having you, Reagan. To me, having you means you’re mine, body, heart, and soul. It means we belong to each other.”

I really liked Reagan at the beginning, she was strong and feminine but in no way a push over.  She fought against the idea that her age made her inexperienced and that she was being elected on her name alone.  So much of the first half focused on her wanting to be seen as hard working and not as someone falling back on her famous political family to build her own career.  Whereas Jude was diving into a relationship with both feet Reagan was concerned about how it would work and she didn’t want to be perceived as compromising her integrity to reach her goals.  Unfortunately, I felt that some of the decisions when made in the second half of the book didn’t match the Reagan we met in the first half of the book. To me, this made Jude a much stronger and more developed character than Reagan was.


Overall this was a great book with a sweet story that did a fantastic job at pulling me out of reading slump.

You can find more about Chelle Bliss and her other books online here:

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You can find more about Brenda Rothert and her other books online here:

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Add Dirty Work to your TBR List or purchase it for your Amazon or Kobo


Review- Knot by M. Mabie (Wake Family)




He knows everything.

She has all the damn answers. I’ve always been a free spirit. It’s my nature.

I crave control, but with her it’s far more. 

He’s a power hungry climber.

Her wealth could buy and sell me. 

It’s too much pressure being the center of anyone’s focus.

She underestimates my desire for her, my need to please just her. 

When he’s vulnerable, it’s hard to deny him.

Her crooked smile cripples me. 

He hides his demons, but I’m no fool.

She thinks not committing to anyone makes her more honest. She’s wrong. 

A man like him deserves someone who can offer that kind of love.

She promises nothing, yet I feel like a king when she says my name. 

I never let anyone possess me like he did. Not before. Not after.

My greatest regret was compromising. I should have never held back. 

Still, when we’re apart I’m not myself.

I miss the days when she was just down the hall. 

He’s better off without me, and it hurts.

The ugly truth is I need her more than she needs me. 

Our relationship was born out of lust and curiosity.

The lies we told ourselves killed it. 

Together, we found Nirvana.

We learned it was all a mirage. 

I ruined him.

I broke her heart. 

I keep coming back.

I can’t let her go. 


I just finished reading the last word of this book, I opened my laptop to start my review while everything was fresh, but I find I’m just staring at my screen.  I keep starting to type my thoughts before back spacing them out right away.  Nothing I write seems good enough to describe the beautiful and emotional writing in Knot.  M. Mabie has indescribable talent, I loved Bait and Sail and I never thought the turmoil I felt during Blake and Casey’s story could be replicated but here I am, at a loss for words.


Knot is standalone but is a spinoff of the Wake series, telling the story of Blake’s brother Reggie and Nora, who we met briefly in the Wake series.  Nothing felt manufactured about Reggie and Nora’s love story. It was emotionally charged but all of the angst was real and personal.


“When did we stop telling the truth?” I asked.  “When we fell in love,” she answered. “I guess when you have something worthy lying for, you’ll lie to protect it.  Even if it is just to yourself.”


Their romance was one of two emotionally flawed peopled who couldn’t get their timing right.  They were ultimately two different versions of the same person who were lost, lonely and afraid of trusting.


Knot is emotional and tense right from the beginning.


“Every happy minute we’d shared was solidly grounded in my mind, but each of her tears eroded bottomless canyons into these memories.  She thought it was just her body, but what she didn’t know was I knew so much more.  I knew her reasons. I knew her demons.  I even knew the truths in the lies she told herself”


There was a lot of push and pull- mostly Nora pushing and Reggie taking her back.  Initially I really disliked Nora, I felt the same way about Blake in the Wake series. M. Mabie has this amazing ability to write a female character that makes me so angry while still leaving me craving a happily ever after for someone I don’t think deserves one.

But Reggie I loved.  My heart hurt for him.  He knew that Nora only offered herself in pieces and he took them hoping for more but never anticipating it was a reality.


“I may eventually find another woman.  I may have sex with her.  I may even enjoy her company and then marry her.  Lost in my thoughts I felt bad for the poor woman who lived in my future.  She’d only get half a man; Nora was the only other human who made me whole”


This book is written in a dual POV, with a timeline that jumps between past and present. The present occurs primarily on one pivotal day and the past chapters are flashbacks in chronological order leading up to that day.  You can feel like you’re handed the story in fragmented pieces and often feel like you know what happens without knowing how they got there which gives you a suspenseful feeling. Due to the timeline jumps and dual perspective this is a book requires your full attention.  If you’re attempting to multi-task it may be difficult to follow and you will probably miss something.  The chapters are labelled with the character’s POV, as being past or present but also with a specific day.  I’d suggest paying attention to the dates, there were a couple times I had to flip backward to double check exactly what day I was on.



One of my favourite features of Knot was that the timing lines up with Blake and Casey’s story.  They overlap almost perfectly and we’re reintroduced to portions of their story from Reggie’s perspective.  It also gave me some fresh eyes since I was re-reading portions of Blake’s story now that I didn’t dislike her as much.  While the book is technically a standalone I would highly recommend reading Bait and Sail first, it will make following the jumping timelines way easier.


I absolutely loved Knot and I will be adding it to my re-read list.  It’s the kind of book where you just know you’ll discover something new or find a connection that you missed every time you read it.  M. Mabie is always a favourite of mine so I expected to love Knot, but she blew me away with this one!




You can find more about M. Mabie and her other books online here:


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Everything by Erin Noelle



With my twin sister by my side in our indie-rock duo, Singed Wings, we were ready to finally see our name in lights when we opened for the hottest act to sell out stadiums – Jobu’s Rum Summer Reunion Tour.


The life I’d always wanted was finally within my reach. All I had left to do was finish out my last semester of high school.


But there was one problem: Ms. Sloan, the new art history teacher.


The same Ms. Sloan I’d met as Belle, the sexy little pixie who’d captivated me at a New Year’s Eve concert last year.


The same Ms. Sloan who’d owned nearly every one of my thoughts since that night.


The same Ms. Sloan whose class I was in danger of failing.


With my dream gig dangling just on the other side of that cap and gown, all of my focus should’ve been on my school work and improving my music as I prepared for my big shot to rock the world…


But I never expected her to rock mine first… and to change everything.


Everything is a standalone novel. It is a spin-off from the Book Boyfriend Series.


This book showed up as a suggestion on my Facebook page.  I’ve never read anything else by this author and the blurb described it as the story of Everett, a hot virgin rock star who falls for his high school teacher, Belle.  Initially I was put off by Everett’s age, but I decided I just had to at least attempt a book that tried to cover so many themes.

Everett has a great relationship with his family and twin-sister. His father has arranged an opportunity for him and his sister to go on tour as the opening act for his very successful and famous band as soon as they graduate.  Everett has dreams of a career in music, he’s quiet, introverted and worried about doing anything that will affect his future.  He’s determined to keep his head down and stay out of trouble until he can get finish high school and get on the road.  His plans are derailed when he meets Belle during a gig at his family owned bar.  She’s new in town, getting settled after a bad breakup up, and their chemistry is instant and undeniable.

Imaginary lightning cracked overhead in the cloudless, star-dusted sky we stared at each other.  Intense is too mild a word to describe the electric charge that buzzed inside of me as if tiny needles prickled my skin from head to toe.


Everett is young and sometimes you can really see it in his personality; I thought of him like an alpha male in training.   He took control, knew what he wanted and he wasn’t going to take no for an answer.  I felt his age and selfishness really showed when he was determined to convince Belle that she shouldn’t try to deny their chemistry.  For someone so consumed with his own career and success he didn’t seem to think seriously about how hers would be ruined if anyone found out about them.  She sacrificed much more for him but he jumped to conclusions over and over about Belle’s relationship with other men and then instead of communicating with her through a temper tantrum.


The veins in Dad’s neck pulsed and his dark brows bunched together, his menacing glare speaking a thousand words.  ‘Obviously, something’s happened between you and Belle that’s what’s gotten you so worked up that you’ve forgotten who you are and who the hell is still in charge around here, so I’m going to forgive you for that outburst just once,” he said his voice low and intimidating”


The threat of discipline from Everett’s dad, Mason was a big fat reminder that Everett was still a kid who didn’t have a grasp on being in an adult relationship.

All that being said, I liked Everett a lot more than I liked Belle.  He was sweet and simple whereas Belle could come across as immature and indecisive.


I’d consider this book to be a teacher/ student romance more than anything else.  The male-virgin and rock star parts kind of seemed kind of like they were mentioned in passing simply to make the book more taboo.  While the plot of this book left something to be desired for me I’d definitely give more books by Erin Noelle a chance.  Her descriptions of the chemistry between Everett and Belle were detailed and very poet.   If you’re looking for a taboo read with a HEA pick up Everything, or try out Erin Noelle’s Boyfriend series which tells the story of Everett and Ashlyn’s parents.

You can find Erin Noelle online here:


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The Spiral Down by Aly Martinez



I was afraid to fly.

He made me soar.

After years of climbing the ladder of success in the music industry, I finally had everything I could want.

Yet I still found myself wandering through life alone.

Captain Evan Roth was the one man I never saw coming.

Tall, dark, mysterious… Straight.

We were both damaged beyond repair and searching for something so elusive we weren’t sure it even existed.

But, when two broken souls collide in midair, falling is a given.

I just never expected to crave the spiral down.


Confession time, I have never read anything by Aly Martinez. *gasp*, I have no idea how this author wasn’t on my radar – but she will be now! I’ve been in a major book slump lately so when a friend told me that I just HAD to read The Spiral Down, I dropped what I was reading and picked it up.

I skipped the first book in the series, The Fall Up to read this one so hoped I wouldn’t be lost.  While this book isn’t entirely a standalone, I didn’t feel like I was missing pieces.

I’d read that this was Aly Martinez’s first M/M which made me nervous, but the person who recommended the book wasn’t one to let me down and I can firmly say this book did not disappoint!
The story focuses on Henry Alexander, a secondary character from The Fall Up.  He’s a rich and famous singer who’s also openly gay.  Henry’s had a hard life growing up in the foster care system but he doesn’t come across as too damaged instead I’d describe him as insecure and emotionally vulnerable.


”I have millions of fans. But it’s the people who get to know me who leave. It always happens.”


Outwardly Henry is seriously charming and cocky, no one can resist him but he does have two weaknesses- flying and seducing straight men.  Fate brings both of these vices together in the form of ex-Air Force pilot Evan Roth.  Evan is dark and brooding where Henry is lovable and teasing.


There is a lot of sexual tension between the two and when Henry and Evan finally cross the line the scenes are HOT and steamy.


The story is told in a rotating, dual perspective which allows you to connect with both characters and their struggle to accept that their relationship isn’t a casual affair.


Of course, there was some drama and angst but it wasn’t over the top.  I also loved being able to read both Henry and Evan’s perspective as they overcame it to reach their happily ever after.  I think Aly was able to use this to insert some romance and keep the story from feeling too heavy.


“His laugh. His randomness. The way he can captivate me from across a room. The rush I felt when we were together. It was the closest thing to flying I’ve ever experienced with my feet on the ground.”


I did feel like the first half of the book was stronger.  Henry pursuing Evan made for a great story but I thought once Evan let his defenses down Henry’s character changed a bit too much from the one we’d initially been introduced to.  Despite this one short-fall I would still definitely recommend this book.  I’m anxious to read book one and learn Sam and Levee’s story in The Fall Up and I will be keeping an eye out for any future releases from Aly Martinez.


While you can totally read this book as a standalone, I can assure you that you’ll want to pick up The Fall Up, so you may as well read in series order!

Disclaimer: I was not provided a copy of this book for review

You can find Aly Martinez online here: