Fiction Friday: Book Review- The Girl He Used to Know by Tracey Garvis Graves

The Girl He Used to Know

The Girl He Used to Know by Tracey Garvis Graves

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


“The Girl He Used to Know” tells the story of Jonathan and Annika who used to be college sweethearts until something tore them apart.
Now years later the two reunite and Annika is desperate to show Jonathan that she has changed and is a stronger person.
I was drawn to this book because I felt like I could relate to Annika (and honestly that didn’t change once I started reading it either).
I loved this book but it was also pretty predictable. It was easy for me to predict what tore the couple apart as well as what would bring them together.
This is a beautifully sad novel that I enjoyed immensely however I’m rating it four stars instead of five because I thought that the plot twist at the end was just extra.
Nonetheless Jonathan and Annika are an adorable couple and I couldn’t stop rooting for them!

Fiction Friday: Book Review- The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

The UnhoneymoonersThe Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Olive and Ethan are enemies who are forced to to on their siblings honeymoon when the entire wedding party gets food poisoning.
Neither of them can stand each other however they both desperately need a vacation.
Olive and Ethan decide to avoid each other on their fake honeymoon but a series of awkward run-ins with Ethan’s ex-girlfriend and Olive’s future boss leads the two enemies to fake an actual marriage.
I was hooked on this book from the very first page. Ethan seemed unlikable at the beginning but I grew to like him especially once the misunderstandings were cleared up.
I kept seeing this book recommended on BookTok and I have to say, I definitely think this is a must-read

View all my reviews

Recommended Reads: Books to Read if You Enjoyed The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

It’s been way too long since I did a recommended reads post and since I just watched “The Hating Game”, here are my recommendations for fans who are looking for something similar. Note- the links listed below are affiliate links which mean I earn a small commission when you purchase using those links.

1) The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren: Sworn enemies Olive and Ethan are forced to pretend to be newlyweds when their siblings get food poisoning and have to forfeit their all-expenses paid vacation. From the first page I was hooked on this novel. The enemies-to-lovers plot is fairly similar to “The Hating Game” and the chemistry between the two main characters is amazing.

2) The Spanish Love Deception by Elena Armas: Similar to “The Hating Game”, this novel has a pretend relationship in order for one of the main characters to save face at a wedding. There’s always amazing chemistry and once again enemies-to-lovers (so apparently I have a type when it comes to my romance novels?)

3) The Flatshare by Beth O’ Leary: “The Flatshare” doesn’t have any of the same themes as “The Hating Game” however somehow it just conveys the same flawless chemistry and romantic energy.

4) You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle: A quirky lovers-to-enemies-to-lovers, “You Deserve Each Other” is another gem that is a quick, easy-to-read with a really cute couple.

Is there any books that you think I missed? Let me know below

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The Rake, an all-new powerful and passionate royal romance from Wall Street Journal bestselling author L.J. Shen is available now!

Boston’s most infamous femme fatale meets her match in a dangerously mild Englishman who has vowed to never marry.

Emmabelle Penrose has cruised through life never needing a man, a plan that has worked stunningly well until about five minutes ago, when she decided she must have a baby.
Devon Whitehall is 6’2” of premium DNA, financial security, and British royal titles. Best of all, he fears the one thing she dreads the most: getting hitched.
Emmabelle figures it’s a no-brainer when Devon offers his services—sperm and involvement in her future child’s life.
What begins as an innocent, modern-family arrangement, quickly erodes into a web of lies, dark pasts, and unfurled secrets.
Inside this chaos, Emmabelle and Devon are forced to face the awful truth—they are capable of love.
Even worse, they might feel it toward each other.

Fall in love with Emmabelle and Devon FREE in Kindle Unlimited today!
Amazon: https://amzn.to/3G5rgoY
Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/TheRake

Add The Rake to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3Dp9J9H

Excerpt

One of the good things about Devon Whitehall (and unfortunately, there were many) was that he never took himself seriously. After I had shamefully banished him from my bed, he had stopped calling me. The next time we’d met, however, at a Christmas party, he had hugged me warmly, asked how I was doing, and even showed interest in investing in my club. 

He’d behaved as if nothing happened. And to him I guess nothing had. I didn’t know why Devon had never married, but I suspected he suffered from the same relationship-phobia I was prone to. Over the years, I’d watched him parade one woman after another. They were all leggy, stylish, and held degrees in subjects I could hardly pronounce. 

They also had the shelf life of an avocado. 

Devon never tried to get with me again but remained wryly fond of me, the way you were fond of the childhood blanket you used to snuggle with but would not be caught dead in the same room with it anymore. These days, he made me feel chronically undesirable. 

“What’s got your knickers in such a twist?” he asked, running his fingers through his thick hair. Streaks of cool wheat and gold. 

I wiped my eyes quickly. “Go away, Whitehall.”

“Darling girl, your chances of evacuating an Englishman from a bar on a Friday afternoon are slim to none. Any requests I can actually fulfill?” The casual benevolence rolling off of him made me nauseous. No one was supposed to be that perfect. 

“Die in hell?” I pressed my forehead to the cool bar.

I didn’t mean it. Devon had only ever given me good conversation, compliments, and orgasms. But I was really upset. 

He slipped onto the stool beside me, flicking his wrist to check his Rolex. I knew he wouldn’t answer me. Sometimes, he treated me like an eight-year-old. 

Our drinks arrived. He pushed the Tom Collins my way, handing my glass of chardonnay back to the bartender quietly. 

“Here, now. This’ll make you feel better. And then significantly worse. But since I won’t be there to deal with the consequences…” He gave a careless shrug.

I took a sip and shook my head.

“I’m not good company right now. You’d have a better time striking up conversation with the bartender or one of the tourists.”

“Darling, you’re barely civilized, and still better company than anyone in this zip code.” He gave my hand a quick but warm squeeze. 

“Why are you nice to me?” I demanded.

“Why not?” Again, he sounded completely at ease. 

“I’ve been nothing but horrible to you in the past.” 

I thought about the night I threw him out of my apartment, panicked that he’d somehow find a crack in my heart, pry it open, and sneak into it. The fact that he was here, pragmatic and unbothered, just proved that he had heartbreak written all over him. 

“That’s not how I remember our brief but joyous history.” He sipped his Stinger. 

“I kicked you out.”

“My arse had suffered worse.” He offered a dismissive flick of his wrist. He had nice hands. He had nice everything. “No need to take it personally.”

“What do you take personally?”

“Not many things in life, to be honest.” He frowned, giving it genuine thought. “Corporate taxes, perhaps? It’s essentially double-taxation, an outrageous concept, you must admit.” 

I blinked slowly at him, wondering if I was beginning to see a hint of imperfection in the man everyone looked up to. Under the layers of manners and chiseled looks was, I suspected, a truly odd man. 

“You care about taxes, but not that I humiliated you?” I challenged.

“Emmabelle, love.” He gave me a smile that would make ice melt. “Humiliation is a feeling. One must submit to it in order to experience it. You’ve never humiliated me. Was I disappointed that our affair had run its course faster than I had wanted it to? Sure. But it was your right to end things at any given moment. Now tell me what happened,” Devon coaxed. 

His accent seemed to have a direct line to that place between my legs. He sounded like Benedict Cumberbatch reading an erotic audiobook. 

“No.”

He studied me coolly, waiting. It annoyed me. How confident he was. How little he spoke, and how much he conveyed with the few words he used. 

“What do you want? We’re complete strangers.” My tone was matter-of-fact. 

“I reject that framing.” He slid a leaf of mint decorating his glass along his tongue. It disappeared in his mouth. “I know every inch and curve of your body.”

About LJ Shen
L.J. Shen is a USA Today, Washington Post and Amazon #1 best-selling author of contemporary, New Adult and YA romance. Her books have been sold to nineteen different countries.

She lives in California with her husband, son, cat and eccentric fashion choices, and enjoys good wine, bad reality TV shows and catching sun rays with her lazy cat.

Connect with L.J. Shen
Facebook: http://bit.ly/2OhSvp1
Twitter: http://bit.ly/36ELHZc
Pinterest: http://bit.ly/2oMbFsu
Instagram: http://bit.ly/2AIOiTo
TikTok: https://bit.ly/3wDlGa7
Stay up to date with L.J. Shen by signing up for her mailing list:
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Website: http://www.authorljshen.com/

Release Blitz: The Rake by L.J Shen

The Rake, an all-new captivating royal romance from Wall Street Journal bestselling author L.J. Shen is available now!

Boston’s most infamous femme fatale meets her match in a dangerously mild Englishman who has vowed to never marry.

Emmabelle Penrose has cruised through life never needing a man, a plan that has worked stunningly well until about five minutes ago, when she decided she must have a baby.
Devon Whitehall is 6’2” of premium DNA, financial security, and British royal titles. Best of all, he fears the one thing she dreads the most: getting hitched.
Emmabelle figures it’s a no-brainer when Devon offers his services—sperm and involvement in her future child’s life.
What begins as an innocent, modern-family arrangement, quickly erodes into a web of lies, dark pasts, and unfurled secrets.
Inside this chaos, Emmabelle and Devon are forced to face the awful truth—they are capable of love.
Even worse, they might feel it toward each other.

Fall in love with Emmabelle and Devon FREE in Kindle Unlimited today!
Amazon: https://amzn.to/3G5rgoY
Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/TheRake

Add The Rake to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3Dp9J9H

About LJ Shen
L.J. Shen is a USA Today, Washington Post and Amazon #1 best-selling author of contemporary, New Adult and YA romance. Her books have been sold to nineteen different countries.

She lives in California with her husband, son, cat and eccentric fashion choices, and enjoys good wine, bad reality TV shows and catching sun rays with her lazy cat.

Connect with L.J. Shen
Facebook: http://bit.ly/2OhSvp1
Twitter: http://bit.ly/36ELHZc
Pinterest: http://bit.ly/2oMbFsu
Instagram: http://bit.ly/2AIOiTo
TikTok: https://bit.ly/3wDlGa7
Stay up to date with L.J. Shen by signing up for her mailing list:
http://bit.ly/36MnmAQ
Website: http://www.authorljshen.com/

Book Review: The Rake by L.J Shen

The Rake (Boston Belles, #4)

The Rake by L.J. Shen

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I have been obsessed with Devon and Belle for as long as I can remember and was so thrilled to have received an e-ARC of this story.
Belle gets some bad news regarding her fertility and decides to start a family ASAP.
Devon comes upon her while she is mourning (he has received some bad news of his own) and offers to help her start the family she so desperately wants.
Bonus points- he’ll even support the child.
Naturally the two of them start to fall in love.
But this is a L.J Shen story so of course there’s Dark secrets and traumatic pasts.
I was already excited to see Belle’s story but this story totally blew my mind.
I think this is one of L.J Shens best work yet.
Belle and Devon have a clear chemistry (that we have seen in previous books). They just work.
This was my Valentines Day read and I do not regret it a single bit.

Cover Reveal: The Rake by L.J Shen

The Rake, an all new emotional and angsty romance from Wall Street Journal bestselling author L.J. Shen is coming February 16th and we have the first look at the stunning cover!

Boston’s most infamous femme fatale meets her match in a dangerously mild Englishman who has vowed to never marry.
Emmabelle Penrose has cruised through life never needing a man, a plan that has worked stunningly well until about five minutes ago, when she decided she must have a baby.
Devon Whitehall is 6’2” of premium DNA, financial security, and British royal titles. Best of all, he fears the one thing she dreads the most: getting hitched.
Emmabelle figures it’s a no-brainer when Devon offers his services—sperm and involvement in her future child’s life.
What begins as an innocent, modern-family arrangement, quickly erodes into a web of lies, dark pasts, and unfurled secrets.
Inside this chaos, Emmabelle and Devon are forced to face the awful truth—they are capable of love.
Even worse, they might feel it toward each other.

Add The Rake to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3Dp9J9H

Cover designer: Letitia Hasser, RBA Designs
Photographer: Wong Sim
Model: Gilberto Fritsch

About LJ Shen
L.J. Shen is a USA Today, Washington Post and Amazon #1 best-selling author of contemporary, New Adult and YA romance. Her books have been sold to nineteen different countries.

She lives in California with her husband, son, cat and eccentric fashion choices, and enjoys good wine, bad reality TV shows and catching sun rays with her lazy cat.

Connect with L.J. Shen
Facebook: http://bit.ly/2OhSvp1
Twitter: http://bit.ly/36ELHZc
Pinterest: http://bit.ly/2oMbFsu
Instagram: http://bit.ly/2AIOiTo
TikTok: https://bit.ly/3wDlGa7
Stay up to date with L.J. Shen by signing up for her mailing list:
http://bit.ly/36MnmAQ
Website: http://www.authorljshen.com/

Fiction Friday: Book Review- A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow by Laura Taylor Namey

A Cuban Girl's Guide to Tea and Tomorrow

A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow by Laura Taylor Namey

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I received an unsolicited copy of this book for review and it was such a pleasant surprise. Look at that cover!
Lila Reyes loses her grandmother, her best friend and her boyfriend in a short period of time. When it is clear that Lila is unable to cope with her grief, her parents send her away to England for 3 months.
I remember hearing someone on BookTube mention once that kids who are forced to go on vacation and hate it, are plot devices that make no sense. In this case however, I really did feel for Lila.
It is clear that she has suffered tremendously and she is genuinely hurt.
Like Lila, from the get-go, I wanted her back home with her family.
Orion took a painfully long time to appear. Orion has some family issues of his own but when he meets Lila he offers to be her tour guide.
It isn’t long between something starts to build between them (and I mean it really isn’t long. From their first few meetings, these two have an instant connection. IT’S ADORABLE!)
In terms of plot I feel like this was a story that we have seen before. But I loved it nonetheless. I enjoyed every second of this book and even took it with me to work so that I didn’t miss out on any reading time.

Fiction Friday: Book Review- Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

Norse Mythology

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


A co-worker lent me this book and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it (actually I am still surprised since it has been a while since I enjoyed a book that wasn’t a romance).
“Norse Mythology is a collection of stories about the Norse Gods and their lives. I went in just for Thor and Loki however this isn’t the story that I knew (i.e Marvel).
In fact the first few pages were tough on me because my mind kept disagreeing with Gaiman’s series of events and I desperately wanted to follow along the way I would have if this was following the characters we knew from Marvel.
Once I managed to shut my brain off however, I enjoyed this book immensely. It moves quickly and you finish a story without even realizing it.
I devoured this book in one sitting and it was such an amazing experience. If you are a fan of fantasy or mythology, GIVE THIS A GO!



View all my reviews

5 Things to Check Before Starting Your Job Hunt

It’s the most awful time of the year (Sorry, not a fan of January. It is the Monday of the year) and for those who are unemployed or actively looking for a job, January could be the start of a year that brings with it a brand-new career.

But are you really ready? Before you start sending out applications, here are a few things to check.

1. How are your Google results looking?

Before applying for a job, Google your full name and see what comes up. It is also a good idea to Google your full name and your title. You never know what you might find and it helps if you are aware of exactly what pops up when you’re Google’d. For me, I have never found anything besides my social media profiles but I do have an issue where family and friends keep finding me and my blog on Google. Yes I want readers but not people who know me. That just feels weird. Google yourself on your browser and even a friend or family member’s just to ensure that there are no nasty surprises if prospective employers decide to do the same (Trust me, this is a thing).

 2. Are your social media profiles okay?

Similar to Google, your social media profiles can tell A LOT about you. Be sure to go through all of your accounts and make sure there is nothing inappropriate such as pictures of you getting drunk/high or wearing something unprofessional. Yes, animal onesies are adorable but is that picture something you want your future employer and co-workers to see? This would also be a good time to set your profiles on private.

 3. Are all your documents updated?

This one…is pretty obvious. But do check to ensure that you have the latest copy of your resume. Back when our company was hiring for a Marketing Intern, I was horrified when my former manager told me that one of the staff didn’t update their resume with their latest role (i.e the current role that they were occupying in the company at that time) and Recruitment emailed them back to decline their application. This is a tiny error and it upset me that something so minor cost her.

 4. Do you have a cover letter?

Yes, cover letters are not mandatory for all applications. But it feels so good when you can explain to the company more about you and why they should hire you. Try to have a cover letter tailored to each of the jobs you apply for. Hack- have a cover letter template for each industry you are applying in and then simply edit your cover letter for each application.

 5. How is your elevator pitch?

“Tell me about yourself” is the ABSOLUTE worse interview question ever. And yet every time it feels like you do not know who you are. Prepare yourself for this by coming up with an elevator pitch- a one or two minute speech about who you are, what your background is (again this is to show why you are the best candidate so make sure you focus on skills you have that will be an asset in your prospective new role) and what you are looking for in a job.

Working on an elevator pitch for yourself is also great for when you start a new job and need to introduce yourself to others.

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