Category Archives: Interesting Reads

The Glow Up Shines Bright

Chris and Aidan exude the college boy yin and yang. One has a solid foundation of where the future will lead and the other questions his path. The push and pull of the pressures of life and the hopeful college learning experience takes the reader down a different path as AM Johnson uses her knack of slowly sewing together real life with the power of fiction. Chris and Aidan’s story hits so many perfect crescendos on both the relationship front and the realism that there is no chance for the reader to doubt how powerful and playful these two become through learning how to trust, commit, and love unconditionally. Once again AM Johnson creates characters the reader falls in love with and roots for as they deserve the world on a platter.

BLURB

•Chris Delaney•

I’ve promised myself that this was going to be the year to finally buckle down. I’m a junior, and I’ve settled on a major. I’ve got focus and determination. The one thing I haven’t figured out yet? How to deal with the massive crush I’ve been harboring on the guy in study carrel six.

I don’t know his name and some of my friends think it’s time for me to move on, but he has this whole sexy, broody, dark eyes and messy hair thing going for him. And yeah, he seems like he could be my polar opposite. The kind of unapproachable, serious type who doesn’t smile much, but I’d like to think he’s all rays of sunshine underneath his stormy expressions and disheveled demeanor. All that intense energy… I dig it.

I want to know him.

The rub?

I’ll have to find the courage to actually introduce myself.

•Aiden Russo•

The college experience is supposed to be parties, drinking, and fun with a few classes mixed in. It sounds pretty amazing, right? For me, it turned out to be endless lectures, avalanches of homework, and copious amounts of caffeine. The study carrel might as well be my dorm room. And that guitar under my bed? It’s got two years of dust growing on it. But this is the life I have to lead if I’m ever going to help my dad.

Pre-med isn’t for the weak.

The problem? Loneliness holds me hostage.

If only I could find someone willing to break through my ever-present cloud bank, and remind me what it’s like to have fun again.

Buy Link: https://mybook.to/TheGlowUp

Bitter Sweet Heart Checks all the Boxes

Helena Hunting checks all the boxes and scores big with Bitter Sweet Heart. Maverick Waters carries the world on his shoulders. He’s an altruistic young man, mature beyond his years. However, hidden deep inside lives a little boy hiding in the shadows of his past. He holds that boy at bay until he meets his destiny and lighthouse in the storm in Clover Sweet. The hot summer one-night fling haunts him in ways he didn’t expect. His world stops when Clover stands at the podium of his senior writing class, The professor who slipped into his life changes his hopes and dreams.

Maverick Waters scores all the points with his dynamic characterization. Hunting’s development between Maverick and Clover not only shows physical chemistry but digs deep into two people truly committed to unconditional love. For readers unfamiliar with the Pucked series this particular novel shows a new side of the Waters family and the depth of commitment, love, and understanding each member contributes to the dynamic.

Hunting brilliantly weaves the humor and lightheartedness of this hockey series but she threads in more heartstring pulling which ultimately leaves Maverick as one of the most well-rounded men in the series. He and Clover work through more than their share and the dynamic of the age gap washes away with each step they move forward.

If you have not slipped your feet onto the ice and ventured down the path of this hockey series, it is high time to do so. Hunting builds a world well worth the read.

Buy Link: Amazon World → https://geni.us/BitterSweetHeart

The For Him Series Heats Up!

A.M. Johnson continues writing the perfect feels in the next installment of the For Him series with To Whom it May Concern. Clay Saxton and Syrus Albie make magic over the microphone while they partner up with a manuscript, a beautiful voice, and a passion warming their souls—not only in the task at hand but on a personal level neither expected.

Syrus, the nerdy introvert with quirky ticks turns out to be a character who finds his wings when Clay turns out to be the one to tear Syrus away from his cocoon. Each man, a success in his own rights, also hides behind barriers they’ve built for themselves. The experience of watching them grow when one spark lights a new pathway breathes life into both characters and turns them from static to dynamic in no time.

A great novella that will put a smile on your face.

Blurb

To whom it may concern,

I can’t be sure what you’re into, that being said, if you like sexy and sweet romance with a whole lot of quirk, keep reading…

Ever since Clay Saxon’s parents passed away a year ago, he’s been stuck in a rut, running their business, and suffering from the worst writer’s block ever. But when Syrus Albie, aka yellow sweater guy, (you’ll see) walks into The End Book Store, Clay’s mundane little world turns to sunshine.

I don’t want to ruin it, but I can definitely say, when an introverted as hell narrator finally meets his favorite author and crush, all of his usual protocols go up in flames.

Set in the For Him World, this standalone is the perfect introduction or addition to this steamy MM collection.

Buy Link: https://bit.ly/4HimNovella

Wildflower—Nothing More Pure!

Mae Wood clears the path for another later in romance. Riggs and Julianna light Vermont on fire with their bees and beer intimacy. Wood’s talent lies in the weight of painting strong women and men who respect them for those high aspirations, smarts, and sexy good looks. Her characters never dance around a lack of intellect and they all have lived a few decades, making life experience something they reflect on readily.

Riggs and Julianna provide a great platform for midlife restarts and the recognition of changing gears when the time comes. One of the strengths Wood brings to this story is her solid research and dabble in both the bee and beer industries. She also provides untraditional roles for women, yet creates them to be not only bright in their careers but beautify soft where necessary. These fine details leave the reader wanting more of the Vermost and also of the Runaway Pond Brewing gals!

Knowing that life is full of high topping powerful situations as well as pitfalls lower than hell, Wood’s sums it all up here. “You look around and see what you have and it may not seem special at first, but then you put in the work, and sometimes what comes out is just magic.”

If you’ve not read Mae Wood, you don’t know what you’re missing!

Buy Links:

Amazon: https://geni.us/AmazonWildflower

Apple: https://geni.us/AppleWildflower

Kobo: https://geni.us/KoboWildflower

Nook: https://geni.us/NookWildflower

Google: https://geni.us/GoogleWildflower

Audio → https://geni.us/AudibleWildflower

Blurb:

When the prize is love, sometimes you get stung. But if you’re lucky, you just might hit the sweet spot…

Juliana Burton needs a medal at Speakeasy’s beer festival to push her brand-new brewery into the spotlight. She thinks she knows how to do it, too–with a beer made exclusively from Vermont hops, barley and the best honey in the state. Too bad the only thing standing in her way is a six feet tall, smokin’ sexy, and her secret high school crush.

After a very public disaster in Boston, Riggs Lyon is home with his teenage son in tow.  Riggs is taking over the family beekeeping business with an eye to offload it and start life over somewhere where “Lyin’ Lyon” isn’t a joke. Selling honey to Juliana doesn’t make business sense. She can’t afford the high prices Lyon honey fetches in specialty shops and farmer’s markets. But somehow, he’s having trouble saying no to anything she asks for, whether it’s in the hive or in the bedroom.

Dear Mr. Brody: More than Meets the Eye!

Amazon Cover Dear Mr. Brody

The world of Lowe Literary gets better and better with every new story. Van and Parker won over my heart and my soul as each of them navigates a new experience entranced with one another. Their perspectives resonate with so many and AM Johnson nails their pursuit of happiness.

In true Johnson style, she weaves in the pain and difficulty of the conflicts at hand and then wraps the reader inside the character development and creates an amazing real to life read. Her ability to develop sophisticated compelling realism within each work is what brings her creativity to a new level with each work she pens.

If you’re ready to get torn down and built back up with two amazing characters, then Van and Parker are your next read. Once again, I bow in awe to the talented AM Johnson.

Alternate Cover Dear Mr. Brody

Buy Link: mybook.to/DearMrBrody

Blurb:

Parker,

I never meant for any of this to happen, to fall for you. It doesn’t matter that we’re both adults, or how much we want this to work. The college policy is clear. I can’t see a way around this without one of us getting hurt. If I would’ve known who you were when we met online, I would have never pursued a relationship. I’m new to all of this, and besides my daughter, getting to know you has been the best thing to ever happen to me. But I can’t make you hide again. I won’t. It’s not fair to either of us.

Deepest regrets,

Donovan

****

Dear Mr. Brody,

You’re right, we are adults. I’m twenty-four years old, and I think I can decide for myself what’s best for me. If this is about you losing your job, I’ll walk away. But if this is you trying to protect me, then you’re an idiot. I want you. I care about you. My past isn’t an issue. What we’re doing… it isn’t the same thing. If we have to hide, so be it. I’m not ready to let you go.

Your Lost Boy,

Parker

Not So Sincerely, Yours is All Peaches and Cream!

Love is never easy, and Anders and Ethan find themselves thrown together without any warning. A.M. Johnson develops Anders and Ethan with a comfortable playful tone while uncovering the ugly struggle of commitment, giving too much of oneself in prior relationships, and family stress over sexual orientation choices. Johnson handles the trials and tribulations of Anders and Ethan with sincerity and authenticity to provide both the ugly truths and the lovely blossoms of a new budding romance. She is gifted in delivering the spice of passion and painful realizations but also lacing the characters with the delicate warmth of a more homey peaches and cream sweet treat. Anders and Ethan rate as one of the top couples to root for and is a read not to be missed. Get your copy of Not So Sincerely, Yours now!

NOT SO SINCERELY, YOURS (For Him Series #2) by A.M. Johnson

Buy links: http://mybook.to/NotSoSincerelyYours

Blurb:

Ethan,

About last night… I could blame the bourbon. I could say I let things get out of hand, that I should have never called you, but I’m done lying to myself—to you. I know what you’re going to say. You’re not very good at keeping your opinions to yourself, but this can’t happen. It’s inappropriate, at best. I’m your boss. Not to mention, you’re clearly still hung up on him. I’m not a consolation prize.

Anders

Anders,

You didn’t think it was inappropriate when you had your tongue down my throat, but I digress. As for your accusation, I’m not the only one stuck in the past, but at least I’m not running from it. I can’t believe I’m about to say this… Maybe you’re right. You shouldn’t have called me. Especially if you never intended to own it. Own that you wanted it to happen. Admit that you wanted me.

Not so sincerely,

Yours

Add Not So Sincerely, Yours to you TBR: https://bit.ly/NSSYBookGR

LJ Shen The Devil Wears Black

The Devil Wears Black contains a paradox that Maddie Goldbloom can’t run away from. Her battle to refuse yet accept the wild proposition she’s presented with by her ex, Chase Black, starts with her empathetic heart on her sleeve and ends with her breaking down barriers she never anticipated unfolding.

LJ Shen continues her antihero trope and explodes it into another universe. She dangles the perfect man in Ethan Goodman right before one’s eyes and then douses the reader with the Devil in black. The cloak of darkness surrounding Chase is brilliantly executed, and in Shen’s signature penning, she forces the reader to love to hate him.

Maddie is Chase’s perfect sparing partner. She’s strong, opinionated, and recently grown into her own self-confidence which shines when challenged with the indecent proposal Chase presents to Maddie. This story goes beyond the wolf circling the lamb and explodes into two dynamic characters taking their seats among the gods of lore. Shen’s ability to create two dynamic characters learning the ropes of life, loss, and love reaches new heights with The Devil Wears Black.

Blurb:

Maddie Goldbloom stitched up a plan to ensure everything in her life was perfect – from a career in fashion to a chic NYC apartment to a pediatrician boyfriend.

When her ex, Chase Black, storms back into her life with an outrageous request, her immediate reaction is to refuse him. But he only wants to fulfill his father’s last wish. So even though he’s the man who broke her heart, playing his fiancée shouldn’t be hard, especially if it means she gets to watch the arrogant devil squirm a bit.

What ensues is a chain of events that detonates Maddie’s life – and when Chase’s walls come down, they both are forced to face reality.

They say keep your enemies close. But what if your enemy is also the man you love?

-eBook: https://amzn.to/38ovsSK

-Paperback: https://amzn.to/3ek1iUv

-Audio (narrated by Sebastian York and Ava Erickson): https://amzn.to/38msq15

Pretty Playboy Hits the Mark!

In all good stories, the hero and heroine butt heads and bring some good lessons to the table. Make no mistake, in Pretty Playboy, Sloane Howell and Alex Wolf hit those trope marks and then hit the sweet spot. They’ve created book eight of the Cocky Suits Novels with as much passion and fire as the first seven. However, they drive home some real-life issues which also play to the heartstrings and provide depth and breadth to the characterization development for both the main characters, Penn Hargrove and Campbell Page. Hargrove emulates the typical “Pretty Boy” with the world at his fingertips and no steady relationship, as he is “too good” to get caught in the dating pool. While Page holds a truth near and dear to her soul; she fights for the rights of others and has no time for relationships, and all the clutter they bring to the table. Howell and Wolf work their characters like any good coach and challenge them beyond what they think they are capable of, and the key here is love. They test Hargrove and Campbell’s ability to love and be loved through a natural, yet well-coaxed design. With each Cocky Suit Novel the characters, conflicts, and major plot elements get better and better. These two creative authors leave it to pop culture, allusions, humor, heartache, and passion-driven motivators to provide a solid wrap-up to the Cocky Suits Novel Chicago Series and Pretty Playboy hits the mark!

Buy Link: https://smarturl.it/prettypboy

Blurb:

He wants her. She hates him.

Penn Hargrove is a playboy.

He goes through women so fast he doesn’t remember their names.

Until he sees her…

Campbell Page, the ball-busting, no nonsense union rep.

The first time she glares at him, he knows there’s more behind those light blue eyes and sassy mouth.

He wants her in his bed. She wants to kill him, more than once.

He’s relentless in his pursuit.

He won’t stop until he has her.

When she finally gives in, crushing secrets are revealed that threaten to rip them apart at the seams.

When the smoke clears, one question remains…

Will they sail off into the sunset, or sink in the wake?

The Villain: A Modern Day Greek Myth Brought to Life!

Cillian “Kill” Fitzpatrick stands with his shoulders back, and his head held high; a man proud of being cold as ice and untouchable. He’s likened to Hade’s and leaves no paths untouched if they wedge their way into his vision.

Persephone Penrose lives and breathes for the growth of mankind and exudes altruistic actions through her teaching of pre-school students, and her willingness to leave her burdens kept tight inside rather than seek help. That is until she is left with no choice. She’s not to be underestimated.

In true LJ Shen fashion, she wraps the difficult ills of society into a package where the surface appeals to the old tales but twists them into something magical and brings Olympus to its knees. Shen’s ability to write a villain with misplaced ideals and bring them full-tilt into the light of goodness and redemption is her wheelhouse. However, the villain in this story is a sleight of hand as there is more than meets the eye in this Greek tragedy, and Shen’s brilliant skills of weaving the subtext of long time inequities in society with the damage created through these dark secrets drive the feels for this brilliant work. There is nothing better than ending 2020 with The Villain and wondering who to root for as there is more here than meets the eye.

The Villain by LJ Shen

Buy Links:

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/3qBYGoA

Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/3qFjmMC

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/33UhpSF

Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/33RC2yB

Blurb:

Cruel. Coldblooded. Hades in a Brioni suit.
Cillian Fitzpatrick has been dubbed every wicked thing on planet earth.
To the media, he is The Villain.
To me, he is the man who (reluctantly) saved my life.
Now I need him to do me another, small solid.
Bail me out of the mess my husband got me into.
What’s a hundred grand to one of the wealthiest men in America, anyway?
Only Cillian doesn’t hand out free favors.
The price for the money, it turns out, is my freedom.
Now I’m the eldest Fitzpatrick brother’s little toy.
To play, to mold, to break.
Too bad Cillian forgot one, tiny detail.
Persephone wasn’t only the goddess of spring; she was also the queen of death.
He thinks I’ll buckle under the weight of his mind games.
He is about to find out the most lethal poison is also the sweetest.

Playing with Fire: Shen’s version of the Ugly Duckling

Playing with Fire by LJ Shen Cover

Flaws, flaws, and more flaws. We’re all filled with them, and some carry theirs on the outside, while others internally. Grace Shaw and West St. Claire each have scars that carry them into the pits of the flames of imperfection, self-doubt, and hidden insecurities. LJ Shen forces them out of their own lava pits and embarks them on a soul searching journey to face the facts of life: It isn’t fair. However, it can be molded into everything you dream of if you find your key and share it with someone who understands you. Shen develops two unlikely sorts in Shaw and St. Claire and pens a beautiful tale, filled with deep characterization and a paradox not only through the irony of the title but with the deeper internal working of each character once the surface is broken. The ugly duckling represents both characters when one examines them both beyond the surface and Shen raises them above all the nasty societal finger-pointing and self-loathing into something angelic and beautiful. A 2020 read bound to give you all the feels.

Playing with Fire by LJ Shen

Buy Links: https://amzn.to/2VEOZqZ

Blurb:

Grace Shaw and West St. Claire are arctic opposites.
She is the strange girl from the food truck.
He is the mysterious underground fighter who stormed into her sleepy Texan college town on his motorcycle one day, and has been wreaking havoc since.
She is invisible to the world.
He is the town’s beloved bad boy.
She is a reject.
He is trouble.
When West thrusts himself into Grace’s quiet life, she scrambles to figure out if he is her happily-ever-after or tragic ending. But the harder she pushes him away, the more he pulls her out of her shell.
Grace doesn’t know much about anything beyond her town’s limits, but she does know this:
She is falling in love with the hottest guy in Sheridan U.
And when you play with fire—you ought to get burned.