Review: The Princess and the Fangirl (Once Upon a Con #2) by Ashley Poston

The Princess and the Fangirl (Once Upon a Con, #2)The Princess and the Fangirl by Ashley Poston
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Jessica Stone planned to use the Starfield reboot as a stepping stone to greatness. Unfortunately, she doesn’t feel it’s working out that way.

Afraid of being typecast, she wants to distance herself from it as much as she can, but with the sequel in the works and the fate of her character up in the air, that is becoming a challenge.

Attending the same Con that her costar, Darien, met the love of his life, Elle Wittimer, at the previous year, she begins to feel overwhelmed by the pressure of it all.

Imogen Lovelace is a fangirl attending the Con as well. A fangirl who looks surprisingly like Jessica Stone. When people end up confusing one for the other, a brilliant life swap takes place.

Imogen is hoping to save her favorite character, Princess Amara, from being wiped out of the Starfield universe forever. Certainly, Jessica, who played Amara on screen would agree?

We follow the two girls as they swap lives and learn the valuable lesson of, the grass is not always greener on the other side of that damn fence.

I was so happy to return to ExcelsiCon and the whole fan vibe surrounding it. For me, this one wasn’t quite as enjoyable as Geekerella.

I legit swooned over that for a week!

While I did still like this a lot, Ashley Poston’s writing is just so fun, I think it suffered a bit because I don’t really know the story of The Prince and the Pauper.

Obviously, this is not the book’s fault, it is mine.

One of the things I loved so much about Geekerella was all the little details connected to the original Cinderella story. To me, these were like finding little Easter eggs throughout. I loved it!

I still had a lot of fun with this book, don’t get me wrong, just not as much.

I am really looking forward to Book 3, a Beauty and the Beast retelling! Heck, I know that story like I wrote it myself.

To the stars, Ashley Poston!

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Blog Tour: Tweet Cute by Emma Lord

Tweet CuteTweet Cute by Emma Lord
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My heart just exploded over the cheesiest (grilled-cheesiest, that is) romance I have ever read!!!

Love, love, love this with my whole body and soul!

When fast food behemoth, Big League Burger, announces a new line of grilled cheese sandwiches, no one is more surprised than twins, Jack and Ethan Campbell.

Their surprise comes from the fact that one of the specialty sandwiches has the exact same ingredients, and name, as a grill cheese they know very well.

It was created by their Grandma and has been on their family’s New York City deli menu for decades.

Shocked and chagrined by the announcement, Jack turns to Twitter to call BLB out. That one tweet sparks an epic Twitter battle that takes not just NYC, but the world by storm!

Little does he know, at the other end of the Big League Burger Twitter account, is an overachieving classmate of his, Pepper.

Pepper is not native to NYC, having moved there at the start of high school, leaving her hometown of Nashville behind.

Feeling lost and alone in the big city, Pepper throws herself into her studies with an intensity unmatched by most of her peers at the super competitive private school in which she is enrolled.

Unfortunately, neither teen is prepared for the physical and emotional toll the social media battle will have on them.

Over time, neither Jake, nor Pepper feels good about the whole thing and both wish they weren’t involved. They’re losing sleep and other more wholesome activities begin to take a backseat to the nonstop drama fest.

At school, Pepper and Jake begin to see more and more of each other and a precious friendship develops.

Little do they know, they have also been corresponding for months on an anonymous direct messaging app created by Jake and used by everyone in their school.

Assigned the pseudonyms, Wolf and Bluebird, their flirty banter is a ray of light in both their lives. But when Jack inadvertently figures out who Bluebird is, how will he navigate transitioning their relationship from the screen to real life.

Full of heart, humor and delicious food, Tweet Cute is sure to delight readers of all ages. I absolutely ate up this story from beginning to end.

There is so much more to this than I have words to describe here. Great friendships, fantastic character growth, witty banter, this book truly brought it all!

Pepper and Jack were both so well developed. The challenges they faced as they completed high school, trying to figure out what they wanted to do with their lives, were really well handled.

Family is a big influence on this story as well and I thought those elements were so relatable and well written.

I am really impressed with this as a debut novel. The pacing and plot twists were expertly crafted to keep the reader engaged throughout.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Wednesday Books, for providing me with a copy of this to read and review, as well as including me in the blog tour.

It has been so much fun and I wish Emma Lord the best with this release.

If this book is any indication, she is poised to have one heck of a career. I cannot wait to see what sort of story she comes up with next!

Tweet Cute releases on Tuesday, January 21st and will be available at your favorite book sellers and via online retailers. Be sure to pick up your copy. You don’t want to miss out on this adorable story!

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Review: Geekerella (Once Upon a Con #1) by Ashley Poston

Geekerella (Once Upon a Con, #1)Geekerella by Ashley Poston
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What can I say?

I am a geek and I loved this book.

My last completed book of 2019.
What a great reading year.

During the course of my holiday 2019 travels, I found myself alone in the car, A LOT. I wanted a little romance to keep me alert during my drive.

Not for me exactly but on audio. I had been putting this book off forever, for unknown and totally irrelevant reasons, and on a whim decided to download it.

The stars had blessed me on that day, as I found so much more in this story than romance. It touched my nerdy soul.

I felt filled to capacity with acceptance and understanding whilst listening to this modern-day Cinderella retelling. At its heart, a story about embracing your passions and never apologizing for who you are or what you love.

Our protagonist, Elle Wittimer, is a teen living with her Step-Mother and two Step-Sisters in South Carolina, and yes, you guessed it, the Steps are wicked!

Elle tries to stay out of their way at home. She spends her summer days working in a food truck called the Magic Pumpkin and her nights blogging about her favorite fandom.

Starfield, a classic scifi show that she has loved her whole life is her drug of choice. It’s the one thing that makes her still feel connected to her deceased parents, both huge fans.

When it is announced that Starfield is soon to get a movie reboot, Elle can’t wait to see who they cast. As any superfan though, she’s worried they are going to ruin it.

Do reboots or adaptations ever truly do justice for our loves?

After teen heartthrob, Darien Freeman, is announced to be playing the pivotal Federation Prince Carmindor, Elle knows it is going to suck.

What would he possibly know about Starfield? All he knows are abs workouts and alarmingly charming smiles, right?

Fueled by anger, she takes to the web and blogs what a travesty it is.

Darien Freeman is a fan however. Being cast as Carmindor has been a life-long dream for him but he’s been cast to play a role, not just in the movie but in life. Bubble-headed playboy is his image and he is forced to stick with him.

Written off by the Starfield fandom as a faker of the highest order, Darien finds himself frustrated and misunderstood. But what can he possibly do about it? He’s trapped.

Under the same stars, Elle is trapped as well. Her Steps are downright cruel to her but she has no means of retaliation or true escape. She feels powerless against them.

To promote the new movie, the Starfield execs plan a cosplay contest to be held at ExcelsiCon; the very same Con created by Elle’s late father. She can’t believe her luck and sees the grand prize, tickets to L.A., as her means of escape.

Darien is not pleased when he discovers he will be forced to attend the Con. He used to love attending Cons but to have to go and not be able to proclaim his love as a true fan feels stifling.

Reaching out to a phone number listed as info for ExcelsiCon he ends up getting in touch with Elle but neither knows who the other is. Thus begins their relationship, via texts, and their means of finding escape through one another.

From the very first chapter, I fell for Elle and her story, hook, line and sinker. The homage to the original tale of Cinderella, while bringing it fully into the 21st-century, was beautifully crafted. I loved all the little details and connections throughout the book.

As the synopsis states, this is also a love letter to nerd culture and for many of us, that means a lot. To feel that we aren’t alone and there are legions of people out there just like us, who love the same things and accept us and don’t call us weird. It feels good.

Overall, I was really damn impressed with this and hope to be picking up the next, Once Upon a Con installment soon!

Thank you, Ashley Poston, for writing this. It was absolutely wonderful!

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Blog Tour Announcement: Tweet Cute by Emma Lord

Good news, book friends!

Thanks to the lovely people over at Wednesday Books, I will be participating in the Blog Tour for Emma Lord’s upcoming debut release, Tweet Cute!!!

This adorable romantic comedy follows a boy and girl in a heated Twitter battle. Can love result from their online shenanigans?

My review will be posted here, and on GoodReads, on Wednesday, January 15th, so stay tuned for that!

BLOG TOUR: New Release, The Widow of Pale Harbor by Hester Fox

The Widow of Pale HarborThe Widow of Pale Harbor by Hester Fox
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

**4.5-stars**


A town gripped by fear.
A woman accused of witchcraft.
Who can save Pale Harbor from itself?


Welcome to Pale Harbor, Maine, 1846, where a young widow, Sophronia Carver, haunts the halls of her mansion by the sea. Her home, Castle Carver, goes unvisited by the locals as they believe Sophronia to be a witch suspected of killing her husband, magazine magnate, Nathaniel Carver.

Shunned and mistreated by those in town, Sophronia shuts herself off from the rest of society. Having inherited her husband’s magazine upon his death, she spends her days reading submissions, drinking tea and taking short walks on the cliffs of her property.

Sophronia’s only company, her loyal domestic staff made up of one lady’s maid, a serving girl and a groundskeeper. Her maid, Helen, is more than just a maid however, she is a trusted companion who takes her task of caring for Sophronia quite seriously.

When a new transcendentalist minister, Gabriel Stone, a widower himself, arrives in the sleepy town, he takes an interest in the case of the secluded woman. After visiting with her, he finds her to be quite charming and quickly becomes smitten.

Soon dark events push the two of them further together and things really begin to take off. Someone is out to get Sophronia, leaving cryptic messages and dead things for her to find.

The clues all relate to different poems and stories by Edgar Allen Poe. When the cryptic messages turn to murder and Sophronia is a suspect, she and Gabriel team up to investigate the crimes on their own.

With equal parts Mystery and Romance, this Historical Fiction novel is steeped in the gothic atmosphere that I love. Set on the rocky coast of Maine, this is a perfect book to pick up during this most wonderful season of the year, AUTUMN.

I really enjoyed Sophronia as a character. She was not dealt an easy hand but took all that was thrown at her with a grace that truly set her apart from those around her. She was sweet and caring and although misunderstood and mistreated by the townsfolk, she never became jaded or vengeful.

Gabriel, as well, was a great. Although a bit mysterious, and perhaps not exactly what he was purporting to be, he was strong and caring. I loved watching him and Sophronia learn to confide in each other and trust one another. They both really needed someone on their side and as a duo, they paired quite nicely.

As the pace is picking up, we also have an old friend of Gabriel’s arrive for a visit, Tom. He was fantastic. He brought a flirty good humor to the story that was much needed at that point as the action was getting dark. Gabriel and Tom had such a strong friendship, it was great to see that on page between two grown men. Very well done indeed.

I also appreciated the complex relationship between Sophronia and Helen. I don’t want to get into this too much as it could be a bit of a spoiler but let’s just say that, in truth, it was not the most healthy of relationship. Dedicated, to be sure, but also quite codependent. Helen was great to read. She is surrounded in mystery and quite creepy. She definitely adds a lot to the story!

Overall, I adored this book. While it did start out a little slow, once it picked up the pace was incredible. I always appreciate a slow burn and this one would certainly fall into that category. I would have enjoyed a bit more atmosphere, particularly surrounding Castle Carver itself, but that is definitely a personal taste issue and no reflection on the actual story.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Graydon House Books, for providing me with an early copy of this book to read and review. This was one of my most anticipated books of the year and it did not disappoint.

In my opinion, Hester Fox is an absolute blessing and this book helped cement her status as an auto-buy author for me. I cannot wait to see what she comes up with next!!!

This lovely gothic tale releases tomorrow, Tuesday, September 17, 2019. Don’t miss out, be sure to pick up a copy to add to your Spooktober TBR. You won’t regret it!

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Final Review: The Last Hope (The Raging Ones 2) by Krista and Becca Ritchie

The Last Hope (The Raging Ones, #2)The Last Hope by Krista Ritchie
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

**4.5-stars**

It’s hard to believe this one is over. There are still so many ways this story could go but I am quite pleased with the ending. It’s bittersweet to say goodbye to characters I enjoy so much.

If you are unaware, The Last Hope is the concluding book in The Raging Ones duology, written by sister-writing duo, Krista and Becca Ritchie. This YA SciFi Romance is one of my most anticipated sequels of the year. The first book, The Raging Ones, was release in August of 2018 and I was so impressed with it! I had never read anything by either one of the Ritchie sisters so wasn’t sure what to expect.

It really kept me engaged the whole way through and the world-building was excellent! The end of had a HUGE reveal and cliffhanger ending. Our young protagonists discovered something that shook their world to its foundations. When I finished that last page my jaw was legit on the floor!!!

How the heck was I going to wait a year before getting my hands on the second book?

Well, lucky for me, I didn’t have to wait a full year. I was blessed to receive an early copy of the second book, The Last Hope, from the publisher, Wednesday Books. I very hearty thank you to them and guys, guess what!?

I loved this so much! It starts off with our main three literally in a fight for their lives. Rescued by a cast of new characters they board a starship from Earth, where they begin to learn all things Earthling. It is at this time that they are made aware of the fact that the fate of planet Earth is on the line and they are amongst the only people who can do something about it.

Now on a quest against time, with the future of the universe on the line, Franny, Court and Mykal have to push past their limits and fight against all odds until the ultimate finale. As with the first book, this second is highly unique and wonderfully written. It again kept me engaged from start to finish and I seriously did not want it to be over. It hurts my heart.

There were some intense scifi twists at the end that at first had me scratching my head. Were they brilliant or were they there out of convenience? Overall, I don’t really care. The story ended great. Was it perfect? No. The pacing was a little off for me in this one. The middle dragged a wee bit and the end seemed a tad rushed but in its entirety, this is a great story.

This duology will continue to hold a special place in my heart and I recommend it to YA SciFi and Fomance fans. If you weren’t aware, there is quite a bit of romance in these books, mainly between Mykal and Court.

The romance elements were quite well done, in my opinion. Both Krista and Becca are experienced romance writers so that makes perfect sense. This being said, although there is romance, it definitely does not over shade the scifi elements.

At its core this is a scifi story that I feel is accessible to all levels of science-fiction readers. So, whether you are new to the genre, or an old hat like myself, I think everyone can enjoy this!

I hope the authors produce more in this genre as I really think they did an excellent job with this duology. They should be very proud of their efforts. Now that the completed pair is on the shelves, this is the perfect time to head to your local bookseller, or favorite online retailer and pick them both up for a binge session!

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Book Chat: The Last Hope is Now Available!!!

Tuesday, August 13, 2019 was a good day.
It was on this day, this past Tuesday, that the concluding book in The Raging Ones duology was released.

Titled, The Last Hope, this YA-scifi novel written by the sister writing duo, Krista and Becca Ritchie, is one of my most anticipated sequels of the year. The first book in the duology, The Raging Ones, released in August 2018 and I was so impressed by it. I loved it so much and easily gave it a full five star rating. To see my full review on Goodreads, click here: Meg’s Review of The Raging Ones

Set in the very distant future, 3525 to be exact, we follow three main protagonists who have a very peculiar relationship and seem to be unlike any other individuals on their planet. To be clear, this story does not take place on Earth. Our protagonists, Franny, Court and Mykal, are all linked by their senses. They can feel, taste and smell what the others are experiencing.

This idea of sensory linking is so interesting to me. Although the trio struggles to get used to this phenomenon, they have no clue why this is happening to them. One thing they do know is that if anyone discovers their secret, they could be in very serious trouble.

As a trio, they enroll to compete for a chance to be a part of the Saga-5 mission, essentially a space mission that will get them off their planet and away from prying eyes. Accepted into the competition they are made to live in dormitories, undergo training and compete in challenges to prepare for the mission. Y’all know that a competition is one of my all-time favorite tropes. I love competition in real life and books are no different.

The end of the first book had a HUGE reveal and cliffhanger ending. Our young protagonists discovered something that shook their world to its foundations. When I finished that last page my jaw was legit on the floor!!! How the heck was I going to wait a year before getting my hands on the second book?

Well, lucky for me, I didn’t have to wait a full year. I was blessed to receive an early copy of the second book, The Last Hope, from the publisher, Wednesday Books. I very hearty thank you to them. Guys, guess what!?

I loved this one just as much. It starts off with our main three literally in a fight for their lives. Rescued by a cast of new characters they board a starship from Earth, where they begin to learn all things Earthling. It is at this time that they are made aware of the fact that the fate of planet Earth is on the line and they are amongst the only people who can do something about it. Dah dah dah….

Now on a quest against time, with the future of the universe on the line, Franny, Court and Mykal have to push past their limits and fight against all odds until the ultimate finale. As with the first book, this second is highly unique and wonderfully written. It kept me engaged from start to finish and I seriously did not want it to be over. It hurts my heart.

This duology will continue to hold a special place in my heart and I recommend it to YA scifi and romance fans. There is a heavy dose of romance in these books, the main romance being a male/male romance between Mykal and Court. The romance elements were quite well done, in my opinion. Both Krista and Becca are experienced romance writers so that makes perfect sense. This being said, although there is romance, it definitely does not over shade the scifi elements. At its core this is a scifi story that I feel is accessible to all levels of science-fiction readers. So, whether you are new to the genre, or an old hat like myself, I think everyone can enjoy this!

I hope the authors produce more in this genre as I really think they did an excellent job with this duology. They should be very proud of their efforts. Now that the completed duology is on the shelves, this is the perfect time to head to your local bookseller, or favorite online retailer and pick them both up for a binge session! I personally am planning a full ‘Scifi September’ TBR — perhaps you would like to join me!? These books would certainly be a perfect fit for that theme!

Cheers, my friends & Happy Reading!

 

Review: The Wedding Party (The Wedding Date #3) by Jasmine Guillory

The Wedding Party (The Wedding Date, #3)The Wedding Party by Jasmine Guillory
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When Maddie Forest first meets Theo Stephens, she thinks he is an uptight, over-organized, spreadsheet-creating jerk.

When Theo Stephens first meets Maddie Forest, he thinks she is a shallow, image-obsessed prima donna with her head in the clouds and no real ambitions.

After their mutual best friend, Alexa, becomes engaged, she asks them both to be in her wedding party. Initially chagrined that they will have to spend so much time together during the course of the wedding planning and event, they both agree with good grace and vow to get through it.

But as often happens, through their mutual distaste of one another comes a spark that soon grows into a full-blown FLAME!

They know they have to keep their relationship a secret. They cannot give Alexa the satisfaction of knowing they actually like each other and so begins their secret affair.

As you are probably aware, this is the third installment in Jasmine Guillory’s The Wedding Date companion novels. I have read all of the books in this series and this one is actually my favorite.

Although it has a similar structure to the previous novels, I enjoyed Maddie and Theo and their hidden romance the most out of all the plots. I felt I could personally relate more to this story than the others and that kept me invested.

One thing I did notice was this one seemed less steamy than the others so if that is what you are looking for, you may be disappointed. We really focused here a lot on both Maddie and Theo’s careers and self-growth. I enjoyed following along with them as they navigated difficult situations in their lives and grew to depend on one another for support and insight.

I do enjoy this series a lot. I’ll admit that it isn’t perfect but it’s addicting and it keeps me coming back. I will definitely continue to pick them up for as long as Ms. Guillory chooses to write them!

Thank you so much to the publisher, Berkley Publishing Group, for providing me with a copy of this to read and review. Now…who do I speak to about an early copy of Royal Holiday???

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Review: Listen To Your Heart by Kasie West

Listen to Your HeartListen to Your Heart by Kasie West
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When summer comes to an end, Kate Bailey is bummed she has to return to spending her days in a classroom instead of on the lake at her parent’s marina. Kate is a lake girl through and through and struggles to see herself anywhere else.

This year, however, is going to be all about getting Kate out of her comfort zone.

At the behest of her best friend, Alana, Kate has signed up for a podcasting class where she ends up becoming a cohost of an advice show of her creation.

Being such a private person, Kate prefers to fly under the radar, but she soon finds herself taking on a sort of celebrity persona around school.

Alana gets to be in marketing and we meet a few other kids in the class as well. Victoria, Kate’s cohost, is an absolute doll and her rival, Frank, adds a slightly sinister, bad boy element.

Stealing the storyline however is Alana’s crush, Diego.

Cute, cute, cute — this boy is even grabbing Kate’s attention. But Alana is her best friend and it’s totally against girl code to go after your BFF’s crush.

I mainly picked this book up because I had been told there was a strong podcast storyline in it. That is a big selling point for me.

I have never read a Kasie West but figured, why not? It sounded so cute and fun and it’s summer! The perfect time to pick up a book like this.

I was not disappointed. I really enjoyed listening to this story. Sure, it’s cutesy and sugary sweet but that is exactly what it marketed itself as and that is what I got!

There was miscommunication, drama, funny characters, a cook-off, great family dynamics — the list goes on and on.

I would recommend this to anyone who is looking for a quick, adorable YA Contemporary read. I can also see people of all ages enjoying it. I will absolutely be picking up more of Kasie West’s books this summer. Really good stuff!

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Review: The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory

The ProposalThe Proposal by Jasmine Guillory
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

**3.5-stars**

Awwww, that was so fun.

In The Wedding Date we meet Carlos Ibarra as the fun and supportive best friend of Dr. Drew Nichols. We really get to know him on the day that he helps Dr. Drew by picking Alexa up at the airport when Drew gets called into the hospital on an emergency. At the time I was reading that, I thought to myself, this Carlos seems like quite a catch!

In this novel, Carlos takes on the role of leading man and I wasn’t wrong about him!

When Carlos watches the botched proposal made to Nikole Paterson on the jumbotron at a Dodgers game, he feels so bad. This poor girl is obviously have a super embarrassing moment and the paparazzi are in full force!

In order to rescue her, Carlos swoops in and pretends to be a long-lost friend, escorting Nik out of the stadium and away from prying eyes. He offers her a ride home and ends up bringing her to a bar to meet up with some of her friends.

Nik and Carlos really hit it off and the sweetest little friendship develops. But is more than friendship in the cards for them?

They both swear they are not looking for more but then things get physical.

Throughout this story we get a lot more of Carlos and Nik’s lives apart from one another. Carlos spends a lot of his time taking care of the women in his family. He feels an obligation to help them all so much. We also get to learn about Nik’s super tight friend group and the truly warm and supportive circle that provides her with.

One plot point I truly enjoyed was Nik and her friend group attending a women’s boxing class in order to learn how to protect themselves. It was a way of reclaiming her power after she was emotionally traumatized by her ex and his horrible proposal. In the aftermath of that, Nik really struggled with feeling safe. She is such a private person and to have her life exposed like that was really hard for her. I appreciated this and have taken boxing classes so know how empowering they can be.

I would say in comparison to The Wedding Date, this one differed by offering the reader more insight into our protagonists lives outside of one another. They both had really strong support systems and that was refreshing to see.

Overall, I thought this was really sweet. Although it didn’t have as much drama or steam as the first book, it was still a very fun read! I would definitely recommend this to people looking for a fun, easy summer read. Beach season is almost upon us and this would be a good one to take with you.

I am very much looking forward to starting the next companion book in this series, The Wedding Party which releases in July!!

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