Book Talk: Public Relations by Katie Heaney & Arianna Rebolini

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Talk: Public Relations by Katie Heaney & Arianna ReboliniPublic Relations by Katie Heaney, Arianna Rebolini
Published by Grand Central on May 9, 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 368
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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Young PR star Rose Reed is thrown into the big leagues when her boss leaves town the day of the firm's meeting with Archie Fox, a young, hot, internationally famous British singer-songwriter. The meeting is going badly until Rose suggests a staged romance with up-and-coming, young indie star Raya. He'll do it, but only if Rose becomes his publicist. As the faux-mance begins to rehabilitate Archie's faltering career, Rose finds his herself having unexpected, inconvenient and definitely unprofessional feelings for the crooner. But do late night texts and impromptu burrito binges mean he feels the same? In the end, Rose will have to decide whether to let her fantasy crush go, or to risk her reputation to be with the charming, handsome, scoundrel-y but sweet pop star she's grown to love.

Finding adult contemporary romances that work for me has been a bit of a struggle. I’m more into the rom-com kind than the more traditional kind, and those are a bit hard to find since the crash of “chick lit” and Red Dress Ink. Ever since The Hating Game, though, I’ve has a desperate need for more truly exceptional contemporary romance. Public Relations was exactly what I needed, a fun romantic comedy that adds some depth to the traditional celebrity romance trope.

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Book Talk: Frat Girl by Kiley Roache

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Talk: Frat Girl by Kiley RoacheFrat Girl by Kiley Roache
Published by Harlequin Teen on March 27, 2018
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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Sometimes the F-word can have more than one meaning….

For Cassandra Davis, the F-word is fraternity—specifically Delta Tau Chi, a house on probation and on the verge of being banned from campus. Accused of offensive, sexist behavior, they have one year to clean up their act. For the DTC brothers, the F-word is feminist—the type of person who writes articles in the school paper about why they should lose their home.

With one shot at a scholarship to attend the university of her dreams, Cassie pitches a research project: to pledge Delta Tau Chi and provide proof of their misogynistic behavior. They’re frat boys. She knows exactly what to expect once she gets there. Exposing them should be a piece of cake.

But the boys of Delta Tau Chi have their own agenda, and fellow pledge Jordan Louis is certainly more than the tank top wearing “bro” Cassie expected to find. With her heart and her future tangled in the web of her own making, Cassie is forced to realize that the F-word might not be as simple as she thought after all.

When I first heard about Frat Girl, I was on the fence about whether I wanted to read it. When I saw the cover reveal, I settled more firmly on that fence (this color scheme, really?). When it went up on NetGalley, I had the feeling I probably shouldn’t request it, but I’m me so I went ahead and did so anyway. Frat Girl‘s a tough read at times, but it was a thought-provoking one, and I’m glad that I did give Roache’s debut a shot.

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Book Talk: Blame It on the Duke by Lenora Bell

I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Talk: Blame It on the Duke by Lenora BellBlame It on the Duke by Lenora Bell
Series: The Disgraceful Dukes #3
Published by Avon on April 18, 2017
Genres: Historical, Romance
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
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Have you heard?
The future Duke of Barrington has just been gambled away by his father. To an heiress!
The delicious details thus far...

Nicolas, Lord Hatherly, never intended to marry—nor add to the “mad” Hatherly line—but now he must honor his father’s debt to a social-climbing merchant or lose the family estate.

A notoriously wild marquess, won by her father at a game of cards, is the very last thing Miss Alice Tombs wants. She’s spent the last three seasons repelling suitors in spectacular fashion so she’d be at liberty to explore the world. She’ll just have to drive this one away as well.

Until Nick proposes an utterly tempting arrangement: one summer together to prove the legitimacy of their union, then Alice is free to travel while Nick revels in the time he has left before the Hatherly Madness takes hold.

It will be easy to walk away after a few months of make-believe wedded bliss—won’t it? Alice and Nick are about to find out...one sultry night at a time.

This ought to be fun . . .

Though I didn’t review them, I enjoyed my initial foray into Lenora Bell’s books with the first two Disgraceful Dukes books. Though I had some hesitations with both, I knew immediately that Bell was an author I needed to read exhaustively because of her humor and her fresh twists on tired romance tropes. Basically, I want to read any romance author who’s hilarious. Blame It on the Duke, though, is the first Bell book that I have straight-up adored, which is why I need to tell you all about it.

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Book Talk: Retribution Rails by Erin Bowman

I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Talk: Retribution Rails by Erin BowmanRetribution Rails by Erin Bowman
Series: Vengeance Road #2
Published by Houghton Mifflin Books for Children on November 7, 2017
Genres: Historical, Western
Pages: 374
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
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REDEMPTION IS NEVER FREE
When Reece Murphy is forcibly dragged into the Rose Riders gang because of a mysterious gold coin in his possession, he vows to find the man who gave him the piece and turn him over to the gang in exchange for freedom. Never does he expect a lead to come from an aspiring female journalist. But when Reece's path crosses with Charlotte Vaughn after a botched train robbery and she mentions a promising rumor about a gunslinger from Prescott, it becomes apparent that she will be his ticket to freedom—or a noose. As the two manipulate each other for their own ends, past secrets are unearthed, reviving a decade-old quest for revenge that may be impossible to settle.

In this thrilling companion to Vengeance Road, dangerous alliances are formed, old friends meet new enemies, and the West is wilder than ever.

Rereading Vengeance Road before launching into Retribution Rails (which I keep mis-titling Retribution Road—does anyone else struggle with this title?), it was one of those times where, though I still liked the book, I couldn’t get as caught up in it. The writing really annoyed me this time; Kate’s got this thick southern frontier accent, and I don’t enjoy reading dialect of any sort except on rare occasions. Retribution Rails has a much more accessible style and another breakneck plot; it’s even better than Vengeance Road.

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Book Talk: After the Wedding by Courtney Milan

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Talk: After the Wedding by Courtney MilanAfter the Wedding by Courtney Milan
Series: The Worth Saga #2
Published by Author on April 24, 2018
Genres: Historical, Romance
Pages: 364
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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The only thing more inconvenient than Camilla's marriage at gunpoint is falling in love with her unwilling groom...

Adrian Hunter, the son of a duke's daughter and a black abolitionist, is determined to do whatever his family needs-even posing as a valet to gather information. But his mission spirals out of control when he's accused of dastardly intentions and is forced to marry a woman he's barely had time to flirt with.

Camilla Worth has always dreamed of getting married, but a marriage where a pistol substitutes for "I do" is not the relationship she hoped for. Her unwilling groom insists they need to seek an annulment, and she's not cruel enough to ruin a man's life just because she yearns for one person to care about her.

As Camilla and Adrian work to prove their marriage wasn't consensual, they become first allies, then friends. But the closer they grow, the more Camilla's heart aches. If they consummate the marriage, he'll be stuck with her forever. The only way to show that she cares is to make sure he can walk away for good…

Courtney Milan’s one of my favorite authors, even though I only read her for the first time last year. Her romances are daring, original, vibrant, bantery, and incredibly clever. She takes risks and doesn’t do what’s typical for the genre very often. That’s probably one of the benefits of her self-publishing, actually. Some of her books don’t work out as well, because that’s why risks are risks, but when they do, they’re sheer perfection. Bless her for books like After the Wedding.

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