atria books

BLOG TOUR: All Your Perfects, Colleen Hoover (July 17, 2018)

“Sometimes when people change, it’s not always noticeable in a marriage, because the couple changes together, in the same direction. But sometimes people change in opposite directions.”

Every once in a while we all need one of those rip-your-heart-out-cry-through-a-whole-box-of-tissues kind of book and Colleen Hoover’s yearly releases always provide this for me. Even though it was very different from her previous works, I highly enjoyed WITHOUT MERIT—but if you prefer the heartwrenching romance aspect of CoHo’s work…she’s back in full force with her newest release.

And DEAR LORD keep a box of tissues close and well-stocked because you’re going to need it.

 


“If you only shine light on your flaws, all your perfects will dim.”

The 411: Quinn and Graham have a perfect love story, but their unique connection is threatened by their imperfect marriage. The memories, mistakes, and secrets that they have built up over the years are now tearing them apart, day by heartbreaking day. The one thing that could save them might also be the very thing that pushes their marriage beyond the point of repair. So do they risk it? Is their history worth saving?

ALL YOUR PERFECTS is a profound novel about a damaged couple struggling with a relatable issue – infertility – whose potential future hinges on promises made in the past. In Colleen Hoover’s inimitable style and brilliant narrative voice, this heartbreaking page-turner asks: Can a resounding love with a fairytale beginning survive a lifetime between two imperfect people?


For as much as I read, I haven’t read a lot of books about infertility, and this book was certainly a deep dive into the pain couples go through when they’re struggling to get pregnant. The book is from Quinn’s POV and the sorrow and pain she feels is palpable. There were many parts where I was physically hurting from A) how much I was crying and B) simply by empathizing with her character.

We alternate between present day Quinn and Graham and when they first met. The difference is so striking and really a testament of how quickly something like infertility can derail a marriage. As per typical CoHo, Graham is a complete dreamboat and gives some magnanimous speeches that had my poor little heart fluttering. The climax of the book is a scene so incredibly heartbreaking and, ultimately, uplifting that I’m convinced no one else could have pulled this book off other than Colleen.

I have loved every single one of Colleen Hoover’s books and there hasn’t yet been one that didn’t make me cry uncontrollably. I like that her books aren’t just sex, sex, sex (not my cup of tea), and they always have intense stories and a conflict that tackles an important subject.


MY RATING:  ✰✰✰✰✰
RECOMMENDED READING: Colleen Hoover’s entire catalog (obvi), but also Lauren Layne, and Christina Lauren.

Thank you Atria Books for including me on this tour and for my galley.


COLLEEN HOOVER is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Slammed, Point of Retreat, This Girl, Hopeless, Losing Hope, Finding Cinderella, Maybe Someday, Maybe Not, Ugly Love, Confess, November 9, It Ends with Us, and Without Merit. Colleen has won the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Romance three times—for Confess in 2015, It Ends with Us in 2016, and Without Merit in 2017. Confess was adapted into a seven-episode online series. In 2015, Colleen and her family founded The Bookworm Box, a bookstore and monthly subscription service offering signed novels donated by authors. All profits are given to various charities each month to help those in need. Colleen lives in Texas with her husband and their three boys. Visit ColleenHoover.com.


Colleen will be hitting the road on the ALL YOUR PERFECTS tour! See below for all the dates, and hopefully see some of you at the Minneapolis stop!

  • 07/17: Denver, CO, 7:00 PM | TATTERED COVER BOOKSTORE | Tickets
  • 07/23: Portland, OR, 7:00 PM | POWELL’S BOOKS | Call store for details: 503-228-4651 or pre-order
  • 07/24: Seattle, WA, 7:00 PM | THIRD PLACE BOOKS | Tickets
  • 07/25: San Francisco, CA, 7:00 PM | BOOK PASSAGE | Tickets
  • 07/26: San Diego, CA, 7:30 PM | WARWICK’S | Tickets
  • 07/27: Phoenix, AZ, 7:00 PM | CHANGING HANDS BOOKSTORE | Tickets
  • 07/28: Los Angeles, CA, 4:00 PM | THE RIPPED BODICE | Tickets
  • 07/29: Dallas, TX, 6:00 PM | HALF PRICE BOOKS | Information
  • 08/02: Atlanta, GA, 7:00 PM | EAGLE EYE BOOKS | Tickets
  • 08/03: Asheville, NC, 6:00 PM | MALAPROP’S BOOKSTORE/CAFE | Tickets
  • 08/04: Cincinnati, OH, 5:00 PM | JOSEPH-BETH BOOKSELLERS | Tickets 
  • 08/05: Chicago, IL, 3:00 PM | ANDERSON’S BOOKSHOP | Tickets
  • 08/06: Detroit, MI, 6:30 PM | SCHULER BOOKS & MUSIC, Okemos | Tickets
  • 08/07: Minneapolis, MN, 7:00 PM | BARNES AND NOBLE/Edina | Call for more details: 952-920-2124
  • 08/08: Kansas City, KS, 7:00 PM | RAINY DAY BOOKS | Tickets
  • 08/09: Austin, TX, 7:00 PM | BOOK PEOPLE | Tickets
  • 09/17: New York, NY, 7:00 PM | THE STRAND BOOKSTORE | Tickets

BLOG TOUR: Heart Land, Kimberly Stuart (July 17, 2018)

Summer is the perfect time to spread out a blanket on the beach and pick up a fluffy, feel-good romance. HEART LAND by Kimberly Stuart is the book you need this summer. Think, Sweet Home Alabama: The Midwest Version. So basically, Sweet Home Iowa. As an Iowan myself, I jumped at the chance to read a book about Iowans, set in Iowa, and written by an Iowan. Go Hawkeyes.


The 411: Grace Klaren has finally made her dream of living in the Big Apple and working in the fashion industry a reality. But when she’s unexpectedly fired and can’t afford the next month’s rent, Grace does something she never thought she’d do: she moves back home.

Back in Silver Creek, Iowa, Grace is determined to hate it. She rails against the quiet of her small town, where everything closes early, where there’s no nightlife, where everyone knows each other. She’s saving her pennies and plotting her return to New York when she almost runs over a man who’s not paying attention at a crosswalk. It turns out to be Tucker, her high school sweetheart whose heart she broke when she left ten years ago. They reconnect, and Grace remembers why she fell for him in the first place.

And her career begins to turn around when she finds a gorgeous but tattered vintage dress at a flea market. She buys it, rips it apart seam by seam, and re-creates it with new fabric, updating the look with some of her own design ideas. She snaps a picture and lists the dress online, and within a day, it sells for nearly $200. Suddenly, Grace has her ticket out of here.

But Grace can’t fight her growing feelings for Tucker. Sometimes when they’re together, Tucker paints a picture of what their future could be like, and it feels so real. And when she finally gains the funding to move her new business back to New York, Grace must decide where home really is—will she chase her long-held New York dream, or find a new dream here in the heartland?


Ok. So I LOVE books that are set in Iowa or have characters from Iowa. But they always seem to follow this kind of narrative: Main Character is made for more than their small town. They move to the Big City where they are finally able to blossom and grow. Personal growth stories are always great to read, but this kind has always left a bad taste in my mouth. What’s wrong with small towns? What’s wrong with staying in your small town? Some people may need to go to the Big City, I’m not denying that. But not everyone does. Some of us can flourish just fine in our small towns. And I’m over-the-moon that HEART LAND doesn’t fall into this type of story.

I think this is also part of the reason why I didn’t find Grace all that relatable for the first few chapters. Her feelings of superiority over her hometown and her classmates who stayed there were upsetting at first. Stuart made me love Grace, her passion, and, ultimately, her love for Silver Creek.

Now can we talk about how dreamy Tucker is?! I’m not gonna lie, in Sweet Home Alabama, I was all for Patrick Dempsey over Josh Lucas (sorry.) In HEART LAND, there’s not really a prominent triangle but Tucker plays the Josh Lucas character and he wins. He just wins.

The faith factor was also an unexpected and not completely unwelcome aspect to HEART LAND. Tucker and Gigi are both devoutly religious, to the point where Grace teases them about praying and church. Grace’s journey back to Christianity and finding faith in her life again is another part of the journey she goes down during her time in Silver Creek. If you’re looking for a Christian book that isn’t preachy, HEART LAND is perfect. And if religion is something you’d rather not read about, it’s a small enough part of the story that you should still be able to read with no problem.


About the Author: Kimberly Stuart has always treasured a good story and a good laugh. When she’s not engrossed in the charming chaos of motherhood, Stuart writes stories that are intended to make readers laugh often and cry once—maybe twice. Kimberly resides in Des Moines, Iowa, with her fantastic husband and their three wily children.


MY RATING:  ✰✰✰
RECOMMENDED READING: KEEP HER SAFE by K.A. Tucker, KISSING GAMES by Tara Eglington

Thank you Atria/Howard Books for including me on this tour and for my galley.


BUY LINKS:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million | IndieBound

BLOG TOUR: Tell Me Lies, Carola Lovering (June 12, 2018)

If you enjoy reading about destructive and toxic relationships and like yelling, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!” at fictional characters—I have your next read.

TELL ME LIES by Carola Lovering is a compulsively readable drama that feels almost uncomfortably realistic.


The 411: Lucy Albright is far from her Long Island upbringing when she arrives on the campus of her small California college, and happy to be hundreds of miles from her mother, whom she’s never forgiven for an act of betrayal in her early teen years. Quickly grasping at her fresh start, Lucy embraces college life and all it has to offer—new friends, wild parties, stimulating classes. And then she meets Stephen DeMarco. Charming. Attractive. Complicated. Devastating.

 Confident and cocksure, Stephen sees something in Lucy that no one else has, and she’s quickly seduced by this vision of herself, and the sense of possibility that his attention brings her. Meanwhile, Stephen is determined to forget an incident buried in his past that, if exposed, could ruin him, and his single-minded drive for success extends to winning, and keeping, Lucy’s heart. 

Lucy knows there’s something about Stephen that isn’t to be trusted. Stephen knows Lucy can’t tear herself away. And their addicting entanglement will have consequences they never could have imagined.


So, warning: You’re going to get mad. Stephen and Lucy aren’t particularly likable characters by themselves, let alone together, and their decisions are even more frustrating. They’re clearly horrible for each other and the fact that they keep returning to each other had me at the end of my rope. But after sitting with this book a while, Stephen and Lucy’s actions aren’t just plausible—they feel completely accurate of a dependent relationship.

You know that saying, “The real world is ugly”? Well, TELL ME LIES is ugly. In the best way. You’re not going to come out the other side of this book and feel good. But you will have a better understanding of why people stay in their safe little boxes even when they know something isn’t healthy for them. There are millions of Lucys and Stephens out there. And their stories aren’t the most romantic, but are necessary to tell.


MY RATING:  ✰✰✰
RECOMMENDED READING: What Girls Are Made Of by Alana K. Arnold
**CONTENT WARNING: Lucy struggles with weight issues and there are some fairly detailed descriptions regarding her body and food.


Buy Links

Simon & Schuster | Amazon Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million |
IndieBound | iBooks | Google Play | Kobo


Thank you Atria for my galley and including me on the blog tour. Tell Me Lies is available now.

BLOG TOUR: She Regrets Nothing, Andrea Dunlop (Feb. 6, 2018)

If you’re like me and are missing your weekly glimpse into the lives of New York’s elite via Gossip Girl, I have terrific news for you. SHE REGRETS NOTHING by Andrea Dunlop is exactly what your CW-loving heart needs. Family drama, backstabbing, an “it” girl, a wannabe…I had so much fun with this book.


The 411: After unexpectedly becoming an orphan at 23, Michigander Laila Lawrence is introduced to her cousins, Liberty, Leo, and Nora,  all of whom are part of New York City’s in-crowd. Desperate to be part of their opulent life and to be near family, Laila makes the move to NYC and immediately starts to ingratiate herself into the lives of the rich and famous. But the rise to the top isn’t linear and doesn’t come without casualties.


As I previously mentioned, SHE REGRETS NOTHING is essentially the adult version of Gossip Girl. Beautiful people making horrible decisions in the Big Apple. There’s not necessarily a deep message or a moral to learn because of this book and sometimes you need that. Sometimes you need a good, drama-filled and addictive story. That’s what SHE REGRETS NOTHING was for me.

Do you like love triangles/squares/pentagons/octagons? You’re going to love this book. In true soap fashion, everyone is hooking up with everyone and lying to each other about it. Oh, and shout out to my girl, Liberty. I absolutely loved her character. I loved that she quit modeling and when she felt uncomfortable, she stood up for herself. I loved that she went into publishing and basically told her mom to accept her this way or lose her forever.

I’m an Iowa native and proud Midwesterner, and books/movies/tv shows that do the whole “I had such a boring life in XYZ state that I needed to go somewhere cool” or “all Midwesterners are naive” sort of thing usually annoy me. Just because we live a more low-key lifestyle and say “pop” doesn’t make us boring or naive. That was the only part of this book that kind of irked me–but Laila was so self-centered I wouldn’t want to claim her as a Midwesterner anyway.

As the Jenny Humphrey of this book, Laila is likewise very unlikable and a completely unsympathetic character. Her rise to the top is full of desperation, she’s manipulative to her family, and feels little to no remorse for her actions. And like Jenny Humphrey, you’re just waiting for the inevitable fall from grace. My lips are sealed as to if this happens to Laila.

Does she really “regret nothing”? Check it out for yourself.


MY RATING:  ✰✰✰✰
RECOMMENDED FOR: Contemporary “chick-lit” lovers and non-graphic romance
MAY I ALSO SUGGEST: THE ROYALS SERIES by Erin Watt, SWEAR ON THIS LIFE by Renee Carlino


Thank you Atria Books for  my galley and including me on the blog tour! SHE REGRETS NOTHING is available February 6. Buy here!

BLOG TOUR: Keep Her Safe, K.A. Tucker (Jan. 23, 2018)

Making a Murderer meets Scandal in this story of police corruption, family secrets, and illicit affairs from bestselling author K.A. Tucker, celebrated for her “propulsive plot twists and searing seduction” (USA TODAY).

I’m very excited to be part of the blog tour for KEEP HER SAFE. I read my first K.A. Tucker last year, UNTIL IT FADES, and I was such a fan. The story was sweet and I loved all the drama. Read on for a synopsis, my thoughts, and buy links!


The 411: Noah Marshall has known a privileged and comfortable life thanks to his mother, the highly decorated chief of the Austin Police Department. But all that changes the night she reveals a skeleton that’s been rattling in her closet for years, and succumbs to the guilt of destroying an innocent family’s life. Reeling with grief, Noah is forced to carry the burden of this shocking secret.

Gracie Richards wasn’t born in a trailer park, but after fourteen years of learning how to survive in The Hollow, it’s all she knows anymore. At least here people don’t care that her dad was a corrupt Austin cop, murdered in a drug deal gone wrong. Here, she and her mother are just another family struggling to survive…until a man who clearly doesn’t belong shows up on her doorstep.

Despite their differences, Noah and Gracie are searching for answers to the same questions, and together, they set out to uncover the truth about the Austin Police Department’s dark and messy past. But the scandal that emerges is bigger than they bargained for, and goes far higher up than they ever imagined.


While “romantic suspense” is an accurate description of KEEP HER SAFE, it definitely skews more toward the suspense side. The romance is not the A storyline. You could completely get rid of the romance between the two main characters and the narrative would not change. And the romance scenes that are in KEEP HER SAFE aren’t overly explicit. So, good news/bad news depending on your personal preferences. I was pleasantly surprised at the emphasis placed on the mystery aspect and not the romance, even though the relaysh is super sweet. It reminded me a lot of Colleen Hoover’s latest, WITHOUT MERIT, which also deviated a tad from her usual formula.

The mystery kept me interested the entire time, you become invested in these characters. If you are a fan of Tucker’s work, you won’t be disappointed–it’s different, but just as good.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: K.A. Tucker writes captivating stories with an edge. Her books have been featured in national publications including USA TODAY, The Globe and Mail, Suspense Magazine, and Publishers Weekly. She currently resides in a quaint town outside Toronto with her husband and two beautiful girls.


BUY LINKS:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-Million | IndieBound | Apple | Blio | Google


Thank you Atria Books for including me on this tour! KEEP HER SAFE is available now.