Review & Excerpt Tour: Two Wedding Crashers (Dating by the Numbers, #2) by Meghan Quinn

Two Wedding Crashers (Dating by the Numbers, #2) by Meghan Quinn
Release Date: March 11, 2018
Publisher: Self-published
Genre: Romance, Contemporary
Source: ARC provided by the publicist in exchange for an honest review
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I don’t know what love is anymore. Well, that’s not entirely true, but I’m going to tell you a little secret: I’ve lost the spark. You know the kind of spark I’m talking about? Where butterflies take flight in your stomach from two hands innocently colliding. Or catching your breath when you first meet someone attractive. Yeah, that spark. Except I haven't felt that feeling in forever; there is nothing left inside of me. Normally, this wouldn’t be a problem--but I’m a writer on a serious deadline, and my editor is breathing down my neck for a romantic, Nicholas Sparks type love story. No pressure, right? That's how I find myself flying across the country to crash a wedding in the name of research, dress and heels stuffed into my small suitcase. It should be the easiest book research ever. Drinking some free champagne, basking in the love of two strangers, and tapping into my romantic side. That will be a breeze. I'm a pro. I can handle this. Until I mistakenly end up in the wrong hotel room, naked as the day I was born, with the sexiest human I have ever met staring me down, wondering what I'm doing taking a shower in his bathroom. I don't think calling it research will get me out of this pickle.

Earlier this year I devoured Meghan Quinn's Three Blind Dates, a romantic comedy following a young women's quest for love. Three Blind Dates was wickedly funny and steamy. It even managed to introduce three love interests that I couldn't get enough of and for someone like me who usually detests love triangles (or squares in this case) that was a BIG deal. 

Therefore, I was beyond excited when I found out that each "runner-up" in Three Blind Dates would be getting their own book/love story. Two Wedding Crashers focuses on Beck, the saucy rebel that previously took my heart by storm. 

Two Wedding Crashers features two POVs - Beck and his love interest Riley. Meghan did a wonderful job of alternating between them. Nothing ever felt redundant, which is something I always fear with multiple POVs. 

Given my love of Beck from Three Blind Dates it was no surprise that he was my favorite here. I loved getting a more intimate look into his life. He's a man who has hit rock bottom; however, he's managed to build himself back up, becoming better and stronger because of it. He was a sweetheart as well as incredibly kind as well as passionate. His line of work was admirable, and I also appreciated the way in which Meghan intertwined his vices. Even though time had passed, Beck still dealt with them daily. Some days were better than others but nothing was ever "perfect." On the other hand, it took me a while to warm up to Riley. I didn't always love how closed off she was. I could understand her reasoning, but gosh, I just wished she would've opened her heart up to Beck sooner. Like Beck, Riley's has experienced her own heartbreak and struggles, and when everything was finally revealed, my heart broke for her as well. What I liked the most about Riley was her personality. She was funny and outgoing, and I especially loved that she was a romance writer! 

Two Wedding Crashers primarily focusses on weddings and life after an incredibly romantic week. I will admit that this book didn't always keep my attention. Some parts were better than others, and there were times at which I felt that it could have benefited from more action and showing rather than telling. Things did become better as the book continued. Some of my favorite parts happened in the last twenty-five percent. The romance here was enjoyable. Once again Meghan Quinn brings the steam as well as swoon. I also liked the secondary characters. Riley and Beck had such hilarious friends. Their meddling in particular always had me laughing out loud! And the wedding crashing was so much! I wish there had been more of it. 

While Two Wedding Crashers didn't quite live up to Three Blind Dates, I still found it to be an enjoyable follow-up. It was incredibly satisfying to see Beck get his HEA. The ending brought so many smiles and even a fear tears out of me! I can't wait to read One Baby Daddy

3.5 stars!

About the Author: 
Born in New York and raised in Southern California, Meghan has grown into a sassy, peanut butter eating, blonde haired swearing, animal hoarding lady. She is known to bust out and dance if “It’s Raining Men” starts beating through the air and heaven forbid you get a margarita in her, protect your legs because they may be humped. Once she started commuting for an hour and twenty minutes every day to work for three years, she began to have conversations play in her head, real life, deep male voices and dainty lady coos kind of conversations. Perturbed and confused, she decided to either see a therapist about the hot and steamy voices running through her head or start writing them down. She decided to go with the cheaper option and started writing… enter her first novel, Caught Looking. Now you can find the spicy, most definitely on the border of lunacy, kind of crazy lady residing in Colorado with the love of her life and her five, furry four legged children, hiking a trail or hiding behind shelves at grocery stores, wondering what kind of lube the nervous stranger will bring home to his wife. Oh and she loves a good boob squeeze!

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Review: Time Next (The Time Zero Trilogy, Book 2) by Carolyn Cohagan

Time Next (The Time Zero Trilogy, Book 2) by Carolyn Cohagan
Release Date: March 16, 2018
Publisher: Girls with Pens
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian
Source: eBook provided by publicist in exchange for an honest review
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Mina's adventure continues in this sequel to the award-winning Time Zero. In book one, Mina and her friends narrowly escaped fundamentalist-ruled Manhattan. Now, they've been taken in by the Unbound, a modern community that wants to shelter and care for them. Mina, however, becomes increasingly nervous as she and her friends are forced apart, and she's asked to alter her clothing, behavior, and even her faith. As she struggles to hold onto her identity, she also grapples with her secrets, even as the Unbound endeavor to discover each and every one.

Last year I read Time Zero, the prequel to Time Next. While it wasn't my favorite book in the world, I found it to be an enjoyable, eye opening read, and I was curious to see how the story would continue. 

As it turns out, Time Next blew Time Zero right out of the water! I couldn't believe how much I enjoyed it. The plot was enthralling and fast paced; the characters were interesting and well developed; and once again Carolyn Cohagan brought about a lot of important questions relating to women and society. 

Time Next picks up right where Time Zero leaves off. Mina has escaped Manhattan with her friends; however, instead of being free she's found herself in an entire new society, one filled with its own set of rules and beliefs. 

I had a hard time of remembering exactly what had happened in the first book, but as the story continued and Carolyn gave brief reminders of previous events, it became incredibly easy to follow along. 

In Time Next, Carolyn did an incredible job of of developing the new world. I was slightly worried about leaving Manhattan. I wondered if the new setting would be as interesting, but the Unbound territory was full of excitement, intrigue, and suspense. At first, it seemed a lot better than Manhattan. The rules weren't as strict, the people seemed happy, and the leader seemed young and willing to help; however, nothing was nearly as perfect as it seemed. My favorite part of the new world, however, was the surplus of food for thought it brought along with it. It was interesting to see how the Unbound found themselves to be "better" than the people of Manhattan, but in reality they did the same things they so strongly spoke out about only via different methods. It was also fascinating to see the world through Mina's eyes. In the first book, Mina's so convinced that the outside world will be so much better, but in Time Next she realizes that maybe there were good parts to her world, that maybe there never can be a perfect society. I appreciated that nothing was cut and dry, that Carolyn made Mina's journey three dimensional and perfectly imperfect. I feel that this series would be such a great book club pick. There's just so much to discuss, especially in today's climate. 

In the first book I wasn't the biggest fan of Mina; however, she truly grew on me this time around. I loved seeing her become more independent, more willing to risk everything to get what she wanted. She's a smart, resourceful girl, and it became incredibly evident in this. I also liked that Mina was willing to help others, that she tried to open herself up to new environments and new people, no matter how much they scared or intimidated her. I witnessed so much progress in this, and I couldn't have been prouder. I also enjoyed the new characters introduced. Carolyn truly had a unique bunch. Some were evil, some were nice, and some were unreadable; however, each brought something interesting to the table. The two Mina teams up with as the book continued, however, were my favorites. I look forward to seeing their dynamic evolve as the series continues. 

My only compliant? I wish there had been more romance; however, it wasn't the biggest problem in the world. 

Overall, Time Next was a fantastic follow-up. Full of action as well as suspense, Time Next offers up an enthralling adventure as well as a thought provoking story. I can't wait for book #3! 

4 stars!!


Waiting on Wednesday (169)

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

The Geography of Lost Things by Jessica Brody 
Release Date: October 2, 2018 

In this romantic road trip story perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen and Morgan Matson, a teen girl discovers the value of ordinary objects while learning to forgive her absent father.

After Ali’s father passes away, he leaves his one and only prized possession—a 1968 Firebird convertible—to his daughter. But Ali doesn’t plan on keeping it. Not when it reminds her too much of all her father’s unfulfilled promises. So when she finds a buyer three hundred miles up the Pacific coast willing to pay enough money for the car to save her childhood home, Ali can’t wait to get going. Except Ali has no idea how to drive a stick shift. But guess who does?

Ali’s ex-boyfriend, Nico. And Nico has other plans.

He persuades Ali that instead of selling the car, they should “trade up” the items they collect on their trip to eventually reach the monetary amount Ali needs. Agreeing with Nico’s crazy plan, Ali sets off on a unique adventure that is unlike anything she ever could have expected.

And it’s through Ali’s travels, through the strangers she meets and the things that they value—and why they value them—that Ali eventually comes to understand her father and how his life may not have been as easy and carefree as she previously thought. Because just like the seemingly insignificant objects Ali collects, not everything is exactly as it appears.

I completely wasn't expecting a new contemporary book from Jessica Brody this year. So when this appeared on my Twitter feed one day I was jumping-up-and-down exciting! It doesn't hurt that the synopsis sounds amazing (Road Trip! Ex-boyfriend!) and the cover is stunning. I'm loving the nature vibes. 

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