Thursday, January 23, 2020

Review: Loose Ends by Morgan Brice


Loose Ends
(Badlands #3)
Morgan Brice
Release: December 30, 2019
Goodreads Amazon
Cold cases, old enemies, ex-lovers, and vengeful spirits are making life dangerous for psychic medium Simon Kincaide and his boyfriend, homicide detective Vic D'Amato.

The ghosts of Myrtle Beach are restless, trapped by love, secrets, scandals, and spells, keeping Simon busy protecting the living from the unhappy dead. Someone from Vic's past is out to destroy him and everyone he holds dear, and the high-profile trial of the first case Simon and Vic worked together puts them in the spotlight--and put a target on their backs. As a deadly trap closes around them, can Simon and Vic tie up the loose ends to stop the threat, or will they become the newest ghosts of the Grand Strand?

Loose Ends is an urban fantasy MM paranormal romance with spooky supernatural suspense, hot sex, hurt/comfort, feisty friends, found family, ghosts galore, and dark magic. It is part of a series but can be read as a standalone and features an evolving, established romantic relationship with all the feels. Intended for readers 18 years of age and older.

Review:
I know I'll have a great day when a new Morgan Brice book hits my kindle. I've completely fallen head over heels for her intertwining series and characters but my favorite by far is her Badlands series with Simon and Vic. I started this one before bed and meant to only read a couple chapters but I ended up devouring the whole thing in one sitting.

I was a little nervous going into this one after I read the synopsis. The ex-lover comes back into the picture has never been a favorite trope of mine but I loved how Morgan Brice approached it. No matter the WTFery that was going on in this story, Simon and Vic had each other's backs and were there to comfort and support one another. This series makes me want more romance books with established couples at the center.

The mystery was almost mundane in nature and I enjoyed that foil to the supernatural element with the riled up ghosts. I had an idea of what might be happening as I was reading but was only partially right. The ending had me almost in tears and I'm glad things didn't end on a cliffhanger. I was surprised with where the plot went but that's one of the reasons I've fell in love with Morgan Brice's books. I won't say more about the plot because this one is better if you go in more blind than not.

This one was a bit tame on the supernatural side of thing but I adored what we got. I love the paranormal aspect of Simon's psychic abilities and how they come to play in the investigations he gets involved in. I will always jump at the chance to see more of Simon's ghosts and learn more about them. I love the stories that we get with them even if they're not crucial to the plot like the statue ghosts in this one. It adds a certain charm to the story.

I loved this newest addition to what is becoming one of my favorite series! I can't recommend them enough. If you're looking for a riveting M/M paranormal romance thrillers, you need to pick up the Badlands books ASAP!

Reviewer's Note: Morgan Brice has two short stories, Cover Me and Night, that take place between books two and three in this series. I'd highly recommend reading them before starting this one. The author has them available for free on her Prolific Works page along with the Restless Nights short story that takes place before book two.

    
  5 / 5 Stars
 Book 1: Sleuth Street (Moon)- Read a Mystery Where the MC is an Amateur Sleuth

 Book 1/12- Read an Indie Book

Book 1/12- Read a 2019 Release


 
My reviews of other books in this series:
Badlands by Morgan Brice
The Rising by Morgan Brice

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Blog Tour: Tweet Cute by Emma Lord Excerpt and Early Review


Welcome to our stop on the Tweet Cute blog tour! If you've been following, you'll know that we don't read a lot of YA romance, but I just couldn't resist this one. The cover is adorable, the blurb is adorable, and the book was adorable. Check out my review below, along with an excerpt from Tweet Cute.

Tweet Cute
Emma Lord
Release: January 21,2020
Goodreads Amazon
ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley
Meet Pepper, swim team captain, chronic overachiever, and all-around perfectionist. Her family may be falling apart, but their massive fast-food chain is booming — mainly thanks to Pepper, who is barely managing to juggle real life while secretly running Big League Burger’s massive Twitter account. 

Enter Jack, class clown and constant thorn in Pepper’s side. When he isn’t trying to duck out of his obscenely popular twin’s shadow, he’s busy working in his family’s deli. His relationship with the business that holds his future might be love/hate, but when Big League Burger steals his grandma’s iconic grilled cheese recipe, he’ll do whatever it takes to take them down, one tweet at a time. 

All’s fair in love and cheese — that is, until Pepper and Jack’s spat turns into a viral Twitter war. Little do they know, while they’re publicly duking it out with snarky memes and retweet battles, they’re also falling for each other in real life — on an anonymous chat app Jack built. 

As their relationship deepens and their online shenanigans escalate — people on the internet are shipping them?? — their battle gets more and more personal, until even these two rivals can’t ignore they were destined for the most unexpected, awkward, all-the-feels romance that neither of them expected.

Review

This book, you guys! It has all the cute! And all the food cravings! Grilled cheese and dessert mashups! But Jack and Pepper are so charming I resisted the urge to start baking in the middle of the book.

Their Upper East Side prep school has all the Gossip Girl vibes, which the characters acknowledge more than once. But they are both a lot more Rory Gilmore, surrounded by the Blairs and Serenas but somehow apart from them, which makes them more relatable for most of us. Pepper even has her own Paris Geller-like frenemy.

What was so interesting to me about Pepper and Jack's relationship was that it developed simultaneously on three different levels: in person as classmates, in a chat app as Wolf and Bluebird, and on Twitter as business rivals. There's actually an additional connection that's revealed at the end too. Watching all of those identities converge was so much fun. Like Jack was the answer to all of Pepper's questions.

Everything they go through brings them closer to friends and family as well so neither are so "separate" by the end of the book. I would love to read a companion novel following other characters from their friend group away at college.

Tweet Cute was so much fun and a refreshing break from my usual reads. Fans of Gilmore Girls are sure to love this one.


    
 stars


Excerpt 

JACK

“Look.” I glance into the classroom, where Ethan is thoroughly distracted by Stephen and no longer keeping an eye on us. “I may have . . . overreacted.”
Pepper shakes her head. “I told you. I get it. It’s your family.”
“Yeah. But it’s also—well, to be honest, this has been kind of good for business.”
Pepper’s brow furrows, that one little crease returning. “What, the tweets?”
“Yeah.” I scratch the back of my neck, sheepish. “Actually, we had a line out the door yesterday. It was kind of intense.”
“That’s . . . that’s good, right?”
The tone of my voice is clearly not matching up with the words I’m saying, but if I’m being honest, I’m still wary of this whole overnight business boom. And if I’m being honest, I’m even more wary of Pepper. If this really is as much of a family business as she claims it is—to the point where she’s helping run the Twitter handle, when even I know enough about corporate Twitter accounts to know entire teams of experienced people get paid to do that—then she might have had more of a hand in this whole recipe theft thing than she’s letting on.
The fact of the matter is, I can’t trust her. To the point of not knowing whether I can even trust her knowing how our business is doing, or just how badly we need it.
“Yeah, um, I guess.” I try to make it sound noncommittal. My acting skills, much like my breakfast-packing skills, leave much to be desired.
“So . . .”
“So.”
Pepper presses her lips into a thin line, a question in her eyes.
“So, I guess—if your mom really wants you to keep tweeting . . .”
“Wait. Yesterday you were pissed. Two minutes ago you were pissed.”
“I am pissed. You stole from us,” I reiterate. “You stole from an eighty-five-year-old woman.”
“I didn’t—”
“Yeah, yeah, but still. You’re them, and I’m . . . her. It’s like a choose your fighter situation, and we just happen to be the ones up to bat.”
“So you’re saying—you don’t not want me to keep this up?”
“The way I see it, you don’t have to make your mom mad, and we get a few more customers in the door too.”
Pepper takes a breath like she’s going to say something, like she’s going to correct me, but after a moment, she lets it go. Her face can’t quite settle on an expression, toeing the line between dread and relief.
“You’re sure?”
I answer by opening the container she handed me. The smell that immediately wafts out of it should honestly be illegal; it stops kids I’ve never even spoken to in their tracks.
“Are you a witch?” I ask, reaching in and taking a bite of one. It’s like Monster Cake, the Sequel—freaking Christmas in my mouth. I already want more before I’ve even managed to chew. My eyes close as if I’m experiencing an actual drug high—and maybe I am, because I forget myself entirely and say, “This might even be better than our Kitchen Sink Macaroons.”
“Kitchen Sink Macaroons?”
Eyes open again. Yikes. Note to self: dessert is the greatest weapon in Pepper’s arsenal. I swallow my bite so I can answer her.
“It’s kind of well-known, at least in the East Village. It even got in some Hub Seed roundup once. I’d tell you to try some, but you might steal the recipe, so.”
Pepper smiles, then—actually smiles, instead of the little smirk she usually does. It’s not startling, but what it does to me in that moment kind of is.
Before I can examine the unfamiliar lurch in my stomach, the bell rings and knocks the smile right off her face. I follow just behind her, wondering why it suddenly seems too hot in here, like they cranked the air up for December instead of October. I dismiss it by the time I get to my desk—probably just all the Twitter drama and the glory of So Sorry Blondies getting to my head.
“One rule,” she says, as we sit in the last two desks in the back of the room.
I raise my eyebrows at her.
“We don’t take any of it personally.” She leans forward on her desk, leveling with me, her bangs falling into her face. “No more getting mad at each other. Cheese and state.”
“What happens on Twitter stays on Twitter,” I say with a nod of agreement. “Okay, then, second rule: no kid gloves.”
Mrs. Fairchild is giving that stern look over the room that never quite successfully quiets anyone down. Pepper frowns, waiting for me to elaborate.
“I mean—no going easy on each other. If we’re going to play at this, we’re both going to give it our A game, okay? No holding back because we’re . . .”
Friends, I almost say. No, I’m going to say. But then—
“I’d appreciate it if even one of you acknowledged the bell with your silence,” Mrs. Fairchild grumbles.
I turn to Pepper, expecting to find her snapping to attention the way she always does when an adult comes within a hundred feet of disciplining her. But her eyes are still intent on me, like she is sizing something up—like she’s looking forward to something I haven’t anticipated yet.
“All right. No taking it personally. And no holding back.”
She holds her hand out for me to shake again, under the desk so Mrs. Fairchild won’t see it. I smile and shake my head, wondering how someone can be so aggressively seventeen and seventy-five at the same time, and then I take it. Her hand is warm and small in mine, but her grip is surprisingly firm, with a pressure that almost feels like she’s still got her fingers wrapped around mine even after we let go.
I turn back to the whiteboard, a ghost of a smirk on my face. “Let the games begin.”


About the Author



Emma Lord is a digital media editor and writer living in New York City, where she spends whatever time she isn’t writing either running or belting show tunes in community theater. She graduated from the University of Virginia with a major in psychology and a minor in how to tilt your computer screen so nobody will notice you updating your fan fiction from the back row. She was raised on glitter, grilled cheese, and a whole lot of love. Her sun sign is Hufflepuff, but she is a Gryffindor rising. TWEET CUTE is her debut novel. You can find her geeking out online at @dilemmalord on Twitter.









Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Our #Romanceopoly Recs

Have we mentioned how much fun we had playing Romanceopoly last year? We've been making our TBRs for this year's challenge but thought we'd take some time to help out our fellow players with our recommendations for some of the prompts. There are also a few that we're struggling with, so leave us a rec in the comments if you can help.

Our Romanceopoly Recs

We tried not to duplicate books that are on the Romanceopoly page. Links to our reviews are provided when they're available.

KILLER CRESCENT
MoonRead a thriller where there’s a serial killer on the loose

THE BAR
(Any)
Sun: Read a book set where you live or have lived – it can be city/town/state/country…be as specific as you like!

Here are some for places the Weres have lived:

Chicago:
28765742. sy475 26067633. sy475 7832158. sy475

Dallas:
21898402

Missouri:
631329
The Anita Blake series by Laurel K Hamilton

Idaho:
26236742. sy475

Moon: Read a book where you and the author share at least one initial
J

WINTER
(Any)
 Sun/Moon: Read a book where it Has a white, blue and or silver cover;
 Has snow on the cover; Has a winter word in the title; Is a winter holiday read
1804551034535189. sy475

FLIRTS CORNER
(Contemporary Romance)
SunRead a contemporary romance with a nerdy hero or heroine
3016672527856826. sy475 38357345

BFF’S HOUSE
(Any)
Sun: Read a friends to lovers romance
35909648. sy475 48331736. sy475

Moon: Read a best friend's sibling romance
27856826. sy475

AMOUR AVENUE
(Contemporary Romance)
Moon: Read a second chance contemporary romance
 

POST OFFICE
(Any)
Sun: Read a romance which started online
39863092. sy475 3835734545045129
Tweet Cute by Emma Lord

Moon: Read an epistolary romance

COURTSHIP ROW
(Historical Romance)
Sun: Read a historical romance where the h/H is a wallflower
36313515. sy475

Moon: Read a historical romance where the h/H is a spy or soldier

THE COBBLES
(Historical Romance)
Sun: Read a historical romance where the title is longer than 5 words
1782889513424032 

Moon: Read a Historical Romance NOT set in London

OUTER SPACE
(Sci-Fi)
Sun: Read a sci-fi set on an alien planet or spaceship
38730010. sy475

Moon: Read a sci-fi with an alien or cyborg main character

SPRING
(Any)
Read a book where it: Has a green or yellow cover; Has flowers on the cover;
Has the word ‘Spring’ in the title Where the hero or heroine is a gardener or farmer
2335589643189874. sy475 47236949. sy475

FANG ALLEY
(Paranormal Romance)
Sun: Read a PNR with a magic user or paranormal creature (not vampire or shifter) h/H
44022400. sy475 30152125. sy475 32176915

Moon: Read a PNR with a vampire or shifter H/h
1350751236096783. sy475

FATED FOLLY
(Paranormal Romance)
Sun: Read PNR where the h/H is part of a pack/coven/band/paranormal group
The Leopard King (Ars Numina, #1)43209718. sy475 25771199. sy475

Moon: Read a fated mates PNR
21898402

DRIVE IN MOVIE
(Any)
Sun: Read a romance where the h/H is a movie star or works in the film industry
15812177
Both main characters are former TV stars. I'm saying that counts.

Moon: Read a romance that develops from a ONS or a brief romantic tryst
41017340. sy475

SOLDIER STREET
(Romantic Suspense)
Sun: Read a romantic suspense where the h/H is in the military
30267831. sy475 13088405

Moon: Read a romantic suspense where the h/H is in an action pose on the cover
2521542710764825

FARMERS MARKET
(Any)
Moon: Read a romance where the hero or heroine is a chef or works in the food industry, owns a bakery/restaurant/food or drink establishment
34217566

RAINBOW ROW
(LGBT Romance)
Sun: Read a F-F romance

Moon: Read a M-M Romance

LOVERS LANE
(LGBT Romance)
Sun: Read an LGBT set in college
(The last two have MCs in college but aren't strictly set at college.)

Moon: Read a LGBT romance which isn’t a contemporary

SUMMER
(Any)
Read a book where it: Has a brightly coloured or multicoloured cover;
Has the beach, sand or the sun on the cover; Has a summery word in the cover (sun, summer, heat, beach); Is a summer holiday read;
Ocean Light (Psy-Changeling Trinity, #2; Psy-Changeling, #17)45046796

ACTION AVENUE
(Urban Fantasy)
Sun: Read an urban fantasy with a dark cover
31213086. sx318 1583165326067633. sy475

Moon: Read an urban fantasy with a kick ass heroine on the cover
3485919234848410. sy475 25500288
Heart of Malice by Lisa Edmonds
Blood Kissed by Keri Arthur
Thunder Road by Sierra Dean

City Lane
(Urban Fantasy)
Moon: Read an Urban Fantasy published in the last 5 years
2436912234153369. sx318

THE GYM
Moon: Read a book that has a bangin’ body or gorgeously dressed person on the cover
2602954841812884. sy475 35294896. sy475
How the Duke Was Won by Lenora Bell
A Highlander Walks Into a Bar by Laura Trentham
Deacon by Kit Rocha

JOURNEY’S END
(Fantasy)
Sun: Read a fantasy where the main character is a magic user
239431372721322421414439

Moon: Read a fantasy with the chosen one trope

EMERGENCY SERVICES
(Any)
Sun: Read a romance where the h/H is in the medical profession
34389070. sy475 35842999. sy475 32177561

Moon: Read a romance where the h/H is a fireman or police officer
40144460. sy475


BEAU BOULEVARD
(Young Adult)
Moon: Read a young adult novel considered a classic

AUTUMN
(Any)
Read a book where it: Has an orange, gold or yellow cover;
Is a spooky or Halloween read;Has the leaves or trees on the cover
2095863223213197

THE OFFICE
(Any)
Sun: Read a non-contemporary romance where the couple meet at their place of work
1790176938407686. sy475

Moon: Read a romance where the couple meet at their place of work
23514316

LADY LANE
(Women’s Fiction)
Sun: Read a women’s fiction novel
43521785

Coffee Shop
(Any)
Moon: Read a book that has either food or drink on the cover or a foodie word in the title
(Historical Fiction)
Sun: Read a historical fiction novel
28186322

We Need Recs For

SLEUTH STREET
(Mystery)
Sun: Read a mystery where the title of the book includes any words associated with death. For example: death, grave, bones etc

KILLER CRESCENT
(Thriller)
Sun: Read a thriller where the main character is a detective or PI


AMOUR AVENUE
(Contemporary Romance)
Sun: Read an age gap romance
Moon: Read a contemporary romance with mature characters (40+)

FARMERS MARKET
(Any)
Sun: Read a romance where the h/H is a farmer/rancher/cowboy

CAMPUS CORNER
New Adult
Sun: Read a new adult where the h/H is a nerd
Moon: Read a new adult where the h/H is a jock

NEW VIEW
(New Adult)
Sun: Read a friends to lovers new adult romance
Moon: Read an enemies to lovers new adult romance

PASSION PLACE
(Erotic Romance)
Sun: Read an erotic BDSM romance
Moon: Read an erotic romance with a menage or reverse harem

Are you playing Romanceopoly this year?


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