Review: In a Holidaze

This was 100% a Bookstagram made me do it, purchase. In a Holidaze was such a fun book to end 2020 on.

Mae and her family, spend Christmas in Utah with their extended chosen family. On the way to the airport, Mae makes a wish to the universe to “show her what makes her happy.” Then her family’s car is t-boned by an oncoming truck on the way to the airport, and Mae wakes up back on the plane heading to Utah, at the beginning of their Christmas celebrations and stuck in a time loop.

This was such a cute story about family – the one we are born into and the one we choose – and finding and being yourself. I definitely got Groundhog Day vibes from this story.

I will say, I wanted to know more about how and why the time looping started and ended, it almost felt forgotten. Or, I maybe I wanted another loop thrown in in the 2nd half of the book?

I really liked Mae, I thought she was an easy character to root for and relate to – someone who is a pleaser and is learning how to be who she really is through the time-looping.

I also thought the relationship came together a little too quickly and smoothly, but in a sweet romcom, I also didn’t want too much drama, either.

I also like the chosen family dynamic. Mae’s mom and dad are divorced, but still spent every Christmas together with their friends from college at this cabin in Utah. It’s their tradition to come together every year and the group’s traditions made that crazy time between Christmas and New Year’s feel extra cozy for me as I read.

Cover Reveal: Like Cats and Dogs

I’m so excited to take part in the cover reveal for Kat McMurray’s new book, Like Cats and Dogs!⁠⠀

Whitman Street Cat Café owner Lauren has a few things to teach the new vet on the block, and rescuing kittens is only the start.⁠⠀

This cover is adorable, but cat cafe and kittens?! I’m sold!⁠⠀

Like Cats and Dogs is hitting bookstores near you April 2021.⁠

BLURB

Can you fight like cats and dogs, and still be perfect for each other?

Things are getting ruff in this Brooklyn neighborhood when new veterinarian Caleb Fitch moves in next door to the Whitman Street Cat Cafe and gets on the wrong side of cafe owner Lauren Harlow. Lauren has a few things to teach the new vet on the block, and rescuing kittens is only the start…

Lauren can’t ignore the fact that she is instantly attracted to Caleb, but he gets her even more riled up when he argues with her about how best to treat the cats in her care. Determined to smooth things over, Caleb comes to the rescue when a new litter of abandoned kittens is left on Lauren’s doorstep, and they confront the fiery attraction that’s been building between them from the start. But saving the baby kittens is only the first challenge Lauren and Caleb have to face, and when a real estate developer comes sniffing around their block, they’ll have to work together, or risk losing everything…

Review: The Switch

Oh my goodness, The Switch was such a super cute listen!

Leena is in her 20s, her grandmother Eileen is 79. Both of them are tired of being stuck in their rut. When Leena learns she’s being forced to take a 2 month sabbatical from work, she escapes to her grandmother’s to unwind.

That’s when they match a plan – a two-month swap. Leena will live in her grandmother’s home and take care of her projects in rural Yorkshire; and Eileen will move into Leena’s flat in London.

I loved Eileen – every meddling moment and romantic encounter of Eileen’s time in London. While Leena is much closer to my age and personality, I connected more with Eileen.

The narrators, Alison Steadman and Daisy Edgar-Jones really brought this book to life! This was the perfect audiobook to listen to while commuting – some love and romance, definitely times when I found myself laughing out loud. 

Thank you to Macmillan Audio and NetGalley for the review copy in exchange for my honest review.

Review: Hot Pickle

I couldn’t put this down – Hot Pickle was such a fun read! I found myself laughing out loud on more than one occasion from the snakiness of the characters, and from some of the terrible (yet hysterical) pickle innuendoes. 

Max Pickle is a deli owner in LA, and a newbie on the LA bodybuilding circuit. At his first competition, Max has a run in with a terrible tan – which could ruin everything he’s trained for. That’s when his best friend and training partner, Franklin introduces him to Camryn, his sister and the best professional tanning expert in the business.

I loved Camryn’s sass, and Max’s humor. Every scene they were together had me laughing, but also cheering for them. Not to mention, the romantic attraction in every room those two were in was palpable. 

Franklin, on the other hand, I found to be something else. Ugh, I disliked him from the beginning. He was very self-centered and a little egotistical. And by the end of the book, well, I have nothing nice to say about him at all

Thank you to Give Me Books PR and author JJ Knight for the advanced copy in exchange for my honest review.

Giveaway
There is a giveaway for a Pickle Box + a $50 Amazon gift card (1 winner, open internationally)

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GOODREADS LINK: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/54180021-hot-pickle
 
 
PURCHASE LINKS 
 
US: https://amzn.to/2EDGw20
UK: https://amzn.to/3aVre4P
CA: https://amzn.to/3hnQW4x
AU: https://amzn.to/31s857N
 
Free in Kindle Unlimited

AUTHOR BIO 
 
JJ Knight is the USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance and romantic comedy. She’s never met a pickle she didn’t want to eat.
 
 
AUTHOR LINKS
 
Website: http://www.jjknight.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jjknightauthor
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/JJ-Knight/e/B00IDSRBFS
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/jj-knight
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7827726.J_J_Knight
Newsletter: http://bit.ly/JJKnews

✨ Cover Reveal! ✨ Rated XXX by Mya Oh

Title: Rated-XXX
Author: Mya Oh
Genre: New Adult Romantic Comedy
Release Date: September 1, 2020
Blurb
So, this whole thing started with a dick cake. Literally, a
cake shaped like a dick. Phallic confectionary. I spill a cup of coffee on the
patron. We become friends. We fall in love.

Wait, let’s back-track a bit.

I’m Bailey Finch: twenty-four, living in LA, and working as the lowly Calendar
Editor for a trendy Sex & Relationships magazine – think Cosmo on
methamphetamines. I mostly take coffee orders.

I’m also woefully body-conscious, clinically anxious, and still a virgin. Not
the cute, quirky sort, either. I’m a borderline train-wreck on my best days,
and a dumpster fire on my worst.

But here’s the real kicker: the Dick Cake Guy? He also ends up being the best
career opportunity to possibly fall into my lap. His name is Elijah Mattox:
BDSM Porn Star prodigy, wanna-be mainstream actor, and the subject of my very
first magazine interview.

Or at least, that’s how it started. There was something much bigger yet to come
– no pun intended.

Rated XXX: A virgin. A porn star. A comedy.

Excerpt
CHAPTER 1
The Dick Cake Guy

Cue: Darude – Sandstorm.

Wait. 99 Luftballons. That’s a much better intro song.

No. That’s not how I want to start this shit show. Or is this supposed to be a romantic comedy? You know, happy ending, lots of tissues, laugh-out-loud dialogue. Brilliant and sweet, with well fleshed-out, dynamic characters. Because that’s usually a thing, isn’t it?

And I’m already rambling.

So how on Earth do I start this? I’m twenty-four. Name’s Bailey Finch. Yeah, that’s a good name – it’s not just my actual name, but it also looks damn good in print. A good, solid protagonist name.

And the guy? There’s always a guy. I know you’re waiting for the guy.

Well, what to say: Tall? Check. Muscles? Sorta-check. Tattoos? Check. Wry grin and one of those devious smiles akin to Ian Somerhalder? Check and check. One-thousand checks.

His name is Elijah Mattox. He’s twenty-nine-years old. Favorite things that I’ve scrounged up so far include Asian-fusion cuisine, Single Malt Scotch, and perfecting his purposely-tousled hairstyle. He’s an actor, trying to break into main-stream, silver screen. Accolades and Oscars.

As for now, well – he’s only the most renowned Porn Star in the country. Over three-thousand scenes to-date. Yeah, no kidding.

And here I am, sitting at my desk, pen in-hand, trying to conjure up some questions to ask him that don’t consist of how many tits he’s seen and what his thoughts are on the real-to-saline ratio. How many times could he climax in one session? Was his relationship with sex boring now? What is sex like once you’ve made a career out of using your cock?

Was he worried that working in porn might affect his career as a mainstream actor? This isn’t some one-time Kardashian sex tape. Even though I’m sure he’s got one of those floating around somewhere. The guy has history.

Then again, I’ve never actually seen his stuff. Never been much into porn. Even the soft-core variety. I mean, I’ve done a few Google searches in my time. I technically know what a penis looks like. One time in fourth grade, me and my old best friend, Ginny Weirkowitz, looked up Two Girls One Cup, and refused to eat for the rest of the day. Whatever you do, don’t do it. Don’t Google it. My eyes went to hell.

But IRL, I’ve never seen the real thing. I’m a virgin. And I don’t say that to sound interesting, either: I’ve wanted to get laid more times than I could count. I have a vibrator, thank you very much. Have you ever used a Hitachi Magic Wand? Let me tell you…

I’ve just, you know, never had a real dick. I’ve never made love, had intercourse, fucked. Real hands, rough, desperate, passionate. Body-crushing. Mouth-on-mouth action. My only real kiss was Sophomore year of high school, on a dare, and that same guy ended up pouring an open container of spaghetti into my backpack after I reminded our Geometry teacher that he had forgotten to collect our homework.

I tapped my pen against the edge of my desk, glancing around the office: large windows, exposed brick walls, and blown-up copies of magazine covers from over the years, largely featuring notable men and women of the celebrity variety.

This was Come’s first porn star. Clever magazine name, I know. Come as in: welcome, enter. Come as in…orgasm.

We were known for our sex tips and relationship advice. That said, it’s been agreed upon that fucking in the shower just doesn’t really work. I’ve never fucked a guy before, and even I can tell you that I know for a fact, unless maybe you’ve got one of those shower-bath combos or a seat in your shower, it’s freaking impossible. I’d like to put out a request: if you’re a woman who has had mind-blowing shower-sex while standing up, please write to me.

I grinned unabashedly, outwardly, probably looking ridiculous. I hadn’t accomplished a lick of work in the past two hours. I couldn’t concentrate. I was hungry: one of those gripping, all-consuming, carb-salt-sugar craving hungers. I wanted a pretzel, doughnut, and Diet Coke, stat.

What do you ask a porn, star, though? What are the questions?

I don’t know, Bailey. Maybe treat him like a normal human male. Like a person. Like you.

I flushed at the thought. Like me, a virgin. A big-mouthed mope of a virgin, with brown hair that was frizzy on good days and unhinged on bad days. Shoulder-length. I wore loafers and slacks to work, button-downs with quirky designs. Today was yellow ducks. But Bailey Finch, as a whole, was painfully unquirky. I was a poser. Inauthentic. Maybe a little too self-deprecating. I was most authentic at home, in bed with my laptop, wearing a hooded sweatshirt, leggings, and cabin socks. The fluffier the socks, the better.

I wondered briefly what Elijah would think of me in comparison to the girls he’d been with on-screen. Did that even matter? No, of course not.

Still, I wondered. Maybe I should flat-iron my hair, or wear shoes with wedges. Lip-gloss vs. lip balm.

Procrastination: I typed out on the keyboard. Failure to concentrate. Here are some random facts: Scotland has 421 words for ‘snow’. Elephants are the only mammals that can’t jump. The first oranges weren’t actually orange. The most common name is Mohammed. Cats can hear ultrasound.  Children grow faster in the springtime. Karaoke means ’empty orchestra’ in Japanese.

Delete. Roll eyes. Sigh heavily.

As I sat there, staring at a blank Word document, my boss, Deborah – a tall, all-limbs woman, popped her head into my cubicle.

“How are the interview questions going?”

Her expression was vaguely fatigued despite remaining without a single crease or line; her face was elongated, elegant. She had the most delicate bird-face. Long, a pointed nose, elven cheek-bones. Her eyes, two silver buttons, were wide, perpetually surprised. Her foundation was light enough that I could still see the subtle, natural gloss of oil on her forehead. She was, all said, pretty in a pained sort of way. Her ash-blond hair was always styled as if she were ready to step out onto a runway. She wore Louis Vuitton stilettos and a tailored houndstooth-print suit.

“Excellent,” I lied. “I’m wrapping them up now, actually. I’ll email them to you in a minute.”

I’ll email them to you in a minute. Panic. My heart jumped. Why did I always do this? I was a people-pleaser to my core, and it always, always ended up biting me in the ass. I lived in constant pause-or-panic.

“Awesome,” she said, pleased. Her smile showed a bit of rose-pink lipstick on her front tooth. “Don’t feel the need to get too detailed with them. Let him lead the interview, if you can. He seems talkative enough in past interviews. He did a very informative interview with Cosmopolitan last fall – we want to go deeper than that. Deeper than male skincare, workout regimens and how to maintain an erection, at least.”

“Do you want me to confirm how many inches he is, exactly?” I inquired.

Deborah laughed.

“These are the imperative questions,” she said. “Yeah. If you can get his favorite lay, too, there’s a good one. Best orgasm story.”

“I doubt his best orgasm has been on-film,” I quipped. “I mean, three-thousand scenes. I’d be surprised if he wasn’t constantly sore. I wonder if dick-fatigue is a thing.”

“Then in a relationship! I don’t really care. I just want the details and we can Jane Doe or John Smith the rest.”

“Gotcha,” I nodded. “I’ll keep it professional. I’ll keep it sexy.”

While, of course, still focusing on the fact that he was now looking to step away from the Adult Industry. Maybe he wouldn’t want to talk about anything sexual. He possibly wouldn’t. Maybe he’d find it offensive – like a stain on his shirt that he was hoping nobody would notice, or an unruly cowlick.

Deborah scurried off in the direction of her next to-do, and I shook my head, a common mind-reset practice of mine. Like one of those Etch-A-Sketches.

Elijah Mattox, who are you, sir?

Author Bio
Mya Oh is an author, mother, and amateur
baker. Rated-XXX is her debut novel.
When not writing, she enjoys spending time exploring the
woods of her rural town. She currently resides on the East Coast with her
husband, two sons, and ginger tabby cat.
Author Links

REVIEW: The Friend Zone

“You marry your best friend, and at family gatherings you deal with your shitty relatives together. You laugh about it and have each other’s backs. Share looks and text each other from across the room when everyone else is being an asshole. And nobody else really matters because you have your own universe.”

He held my eyes for a moment. “That’s what I want. I want someone to be my universe.”

— Josh, “The Friend Zone”


I absolutely loved The Friend Zone! And I love, love, love Josh. I mean, seriously, new book boyfriend.

The natural chemistry between Josh and Kristen is enjoyable and fun, and author Abby Jimenez brings readers right along for their friends-to-lovers relationship.

The writing is so honest and real that you easily become friends with the characters and fall in sync with their routines and their world. I found myself wanting to be part of Kristen and Sloan’s tight friendship. Unfortunately, that also meant reluctantly finishing the book and being torn away from them.

Also, can we take a moment to talk about Stuntman Mike?! He stole every scene he was in – and I absolutely loved all of the sayings on the little shirts he wore throughout the book. I’m usually more of a cat person, but I would absolutely snuggle up with Stuntman.

This really was the perfect romcom to read right now. And I can’t wait to pick up Happily Ever After Playlist, which is Sloan’s story.