Book Talk: Beautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren

Book Talk: Beautiful Bastard by Christina LaurenBeautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren
Series: Beautiful Bastard #1
Published by Gallery on February 12, 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 305
Format: eBook
Source: Library
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An ambitious intern. A perfectionist executive. And a whole lot of name calling.

Whip-smart, hardworking, and on her way to an MBA, Chloe Mills has only one problem: her boss, Bennett Ryan. He's exacting, blunt, inconsiderate—and completely irresistible. A Beautiful Bastard.

Bennett has returned to Chicago from France to take a vital role in his family's massive media business. He never expected that the assistant who'd been helping him from abroad was the gorgeous, innocently provocative—completely infuriating—creature he now has to see every day. Despite the rumors, he's never been one for a workplace hookup. But Chloe's so tempting he's willing to bend the rules—or outright smash them—if it means he can have her. All over the office.

As their appetites for one another increase to a breaking point, Bennett and Chloe must decide exactly what they're willing to lose in order to win each other.

When this book first came out, it was part of the massive pull-to-publish scandal, something which has long since blown over. I’d never had any interest in it, and it didn’t really sound like my sort of romance anyway. However, after getting recommendations for Lauren’s second series and after reading Autoboyography, I wanted to give the Beautiful Bastard series a shot. I’m so glad I did, because Beautiful Bastard was so much more than I expected.

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Book Talk: Royals by Rachel Hawkins

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

Book Talk: Royals by Rachel HawkinsRoyals by Rachel Hawkins
Series: Royals #1
Published by Listening Library on May 1, 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Humor
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
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Meet Daisy Winters. She’s an offbeat sixteen-year-old Floridian with mermaid-red hair; a part time job at a bootleg Walmart, and a perfect older sister who’s nearly engaged to the Crown Prince of Scotland. Daisy has no desire to live in the spotlight, but relentless tabloid attention forces her join Ellie at the relative seclusion of the castle across the pond.

While the dashing young Miles has been appointed to teach Daisy the ropes of being regal, the prince’s roguish younger brother kicks up scandal wherever he goes, and tries his best to take Daisy along for the ride. The crown–and the intriguing Miles–might be trying to make Daisy into a lady . . . but Daisy may just rewrite the royal rulebook to suit herself.

I like to think of myself as a bit of an expert on YA fiction. Perhaps that’s braggy or presumptive of me, but I suspect I’ve read more YA than most people in this world. Admittedly, though, I do still have some significant gaps in my reading, such as the fact that, aside from her middle grade novel (which was not really my thing), I’ve never read any Rachel Hawkins. If Royals is anything to go by, I’ve been missing out on sheer joy.

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Book Talk: The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl by Stacy McAnulty

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

Book Talk: The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl by Stacy McAnultyThe Miscalculations of Lightning Girl by Stacy McAnulty
Published by Listening Library on May 8, 2018
Genres: Contemporary
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
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Middle school is the one problem Lucy Klein can't solve in this middle grade novel perfect for fans of The Fourteenth Goldfish, Fish in a Tree, and Counting By Sevens.

Lucy Klein was struck by lightning. She doesn't remember it, but it changed her forever. An acquired savant, Lucy has genius-level math skills. In fact, at twelve-years-old, home-schooled Lucy has already passed high school. But before she can go to college, her grandmother insists Lucy pass one more test: middle school! Lucy doesn't understand why she needs middle school when she's already doing college professor-level math. But grandma insists she give it one year; make one friend; join one activity; and read one book (that isn't a math textbook!) Lucy knows she'll hate it; she already gets everything she needs online. But is it possible she miscalculated?

No miscalculations here! Loveable characters + energetic plot + STEM connections = One big hit!

For the past few years of reviewing for Penguin Random House Audio, I’ve tried a lot of books that I otherwise would not have. Some turn out exactly as you might expect: okay but not great because there’s a reason I wasn’t interested in it originally. Sometimes, though, I’m able to enjoy stories I would have missed out on, as is the case with The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl.  I really didn’t expect this book to be so entertaining and heart-wrenching.

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Book Talk: Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett

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: Starry Eyes by Jenn BennettStarry Eyes by Jenn Bennett
Published by Simon Pulse on April 3, 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 432
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
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Ever since last year’s homecoming dance, best friends-turned-best enemies Zorie and Lennon have made an art of avoiding each other. It doesn’t hurt that their families are the modern day, Californian version of the Montagues and Capulets.

But when a group camping trip goes south, Zorie and Lennon find themselves stranded in the wilderness. Alone. Together.

What could go wrong?

With no one but each other for company, Zorie and Lennon have no choice but to hash out their issues via witty jabs and insults as they try to make their way to safety. But fighting each other while also fighting off the forces of nature makes getting out of the woods in one piece less and less likely.

And as the two travel deeper into Northern California’s rugged backcountry, secrets and hidden feelings surface. But can Zorie and Lennon’s rekindled connection survive out in the real world? Or was it just a result of the fresh forest air and the magic of the twinkling stars?

Until her next book releases, I’m officially caught up on Jenn Bennett, both the adult paranormal series and the YA contemporaries. She truly excels at YA, and Starry Eyes is no exception, though admittedly I prefer The Anatomical Shape of a Heart and Alex, Approximately. Those books are books of my heart with incredible ships. Plot-wise, I think Starry Eyes is a much stronger novel, and it doesn’t veer into the same level of melodrama. However, I also didn’t feel the same emotional connection to this one. Your mileage totally may vary on that, and I did end up really enjoying this one.

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Spotlight On: Adult Contemporary Romance

Now, my friends, it’s time to take a stroll back in time to when I was in high school. Back when I was a young adult and primarily read adult romance novels (along with Jane Austen and Shakespeare and some other classics). Back then, contemporary romances were my absolute favorite. I was reading Jane Green, Sarah Mlynowski, Meg Cabot, and every single title I could find on the library shelves published by Red Dress Ink. RIP Red Dress Ink. RIP chick lit fad of the early 2000s.

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