Author Archives for Isabel Jolie

Book Review

Fix Her Up by Tessa Bailey

September 15, 2019 8:07 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Friends to lovers, best friends little sister romance that warms both your heart and girlie parts. The illustrated cover threw me at first. I was halfway expecting another "clean" romance, a category some love for reasons that escape me. But, a good friend told me that Tessa Bailey does the sexy scenes better than any other, so I had to give it a try.  My conclusion? Indeed, she does them well. In Fix It Up, Georgie is the youngest of three. She's been the annoying kid sister, the forgotten child, the one who grew up having to act out and resorted to comedy to get any attention. Travis spent loads of time in Georgie's home with his best friend, her big brother. He goes on to baseball stardom in the majors, but then an injury ends his career prematurely. He returns home depressed and lost. Enter Georgie, the girl who has harbored a secret crush almost her whole, to kick his ass back into the land of the living. It's not really clear why Georgie didn't break out of her clown shell in college. It seems a vibrant, attractive girl would thrive in a college setting and that she'd definitely... View Article

Book Review

Fighting Absolution by Kate McCarthy

September 11, 2019 8:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

A gripping and heartwarming romance from the beaches of Australia and war torn Afghanistan. This is the first book I've read by Kate McCarthy, but I will be reading more. Military romance isn't normally a genre I gravitate to but I absolutely loved this book. A friends to lover romance at heart, the story starts with a friendship between a fifteen year old girl and a seventeen year old boy. A fence divides their back yards, and she uses this fence for protection as she ever so slowly opens herself up. Each are dealing with the heartbreak of losing their only parent and facing the world alone. He chooses the Australian army. Years later, she does too. He ends up being SAS, military elite. She's a medic. One of my favorite quotes from the book: "You're barely held together with duct tape. We all are. Isn't that why any of us join the army in the first place? You're hoping it's going to perform some kind of miracle and piece us back together again. But newsflash, Brooks, it doesn't. It only makes the cracks inside us bigger." At one point, I had to jump ahead to the end. I need... View Article

Book Review

Broken Knight by LJ Shen

September 8, 2019 8:08 am Published by Leave your thoughts

A beautiful story with many layers. It's rare that the love stories of secondary characters take a central role in a book. In Broken Knight, the love story that had my eyes welling up with tears was not of the hero and heroine, the football player and wallflower, but Knight's adoptive mother and father. Rosie, Knight's adoptive mother, battles cystic fibrosis. Knight struggles, along with his family, as she bravely fights and eventually succumbs to the disease. Some of the most heartfelt and poignant chapters in the book are written from Rosie and Dean's perspective. Dean is Rosie's husband, and Knight's adoptive father. Knight and his childhood best friend Luna share a motto for life - Ride or Die. Dean and Rosie impart heartfelt meaning to the motto inscribed on the treehouse trunk. If I ever need to plan a funeral, I'm hunting LJ Shen down because girlfriend does it right. One of my favorite lines from the book: "She wanted you to remember that she had a good life and that she expects nothing less from you." Knight and Luna Both Knight and Luna suffer emotional pain from their birth mothers not wanting them. Luna remembers her mother walking... View Article

Book Review

On Dublin Street by Samantha Young

September 4, 2019 10:49 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Touching, emotional, heartfelt journey with all the feels. Don't let the cartoon cover fool you - this is an erotic romance that won't leave you disappointed. Joss loses her family at a young age, and then her BFF one year later. The sudden loss of those that matter most leave her putting up walls. Samantha Young paints a realistic portrait of a young woman crippled by tremendous, sudden loss. Braden, her Scottish hero, might be too perfect for words, but he's exactly what Joss deserves and needs. The secondary characters in this book are well developed and lead you into the next books in this series. I read through all of them quickly, and when I finished the series, I was sad. It had that feel of saying goodbye to friends you've grown to love. There's actually a novella that follows up with On Dublin Street. It shows Braden and Joss years later, and I love it. Joss is a writer, and in this novella, she dreams up what life would have been like had she never met Braden. It's a little version of sliding doors, but it also shows these two eons later into their marriage. Once you read... View Article

Teardrop Shot

Teardrop Shot by Tijan

September 1, 2019 8:03 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Teardrop Shot threw my emotions for a deep arch and delivered a satisfying swoosh of the net at the end. I originally picked this book as it seemed like a light-hearted friends to lovers sports rom com. Teardrop Shot is so much more than that. I'll be honest - I wasn't sure I was going to finish this book at first. Charlie has this annoying habit of asking random questions when nervous or anxious.  So, she says things like, "Why do we set the toilet paper vertical instead of horizontal?". In real life, I'm the bitch who would probably walk away making a mental note to avoid ending up at a bar with this weird chick.   And I almost closed this book. But, I didn't.  And I'm so glad. In this book, she has friends - warm, funny friends from "camp" - who help us see she has some endearing qualities. And then she meets Reese Forster, who is an NBA player she has a massive crush on. Which of course triggers all kinds of anxiety. I love the way Tijan handles the celebrity crush and his reaction to her and her evolution from seeing him as a star to... View Article

If You Dare

If You Dare by Shantel Tessier

August 28, 2019 8:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Dark, tangled, mesmerizing romantic suspense. A modern day twist on Bret Easton Ellis's "Less Than Zero", "If You Dare" gives new meaning to the phrase 'the ties that bind'. The whole tale reminds us that the evils of a big city can also run rampant in a small town, especially when rich high school kids with uninvolved parents are let loose in Rovers and Beemers. "If You Dare", the third and final book in the Dare series from Shantel Tessier, unmasks the secrets of this dark and sordid romantic suspense. The Dare Series "I Dare You," the first book in the Dare series, introduces the Great White Sharks, a wealthy version of a dangerous powerful gang.  All are swim team members. All are wealthy. All are lethal.  The herd of eight dwindles to five. The dark romance between Austin and Cole fills the first two books in the Dare series.   Dark mysteries unfold as the high school kids unleash their own brand of revenge on the evils in their town. In "If You Dare," the high school kids are now in college, in a new Texas town they don't own.  And someone from their past has decided to change the... View Article

Underneath It All by Kate Canterbary

August 25, 2019 8:17 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Underneath It All by Kate Canterbary A good friend told me the Walsh family series by Kate Canterbary is "really good".   Talk about an understatement! Matt and Lauren, the hero and heroine in Underneath It All, the first book of the series, sizzle right from the get go.  Canterbary has some of the most well-developed characters I've come across.  I now know Matt and Lauren better than I know some members of my family. Speaking of family, the Walsh siblings illuminate Boston with their distinctive personalities and rip each other apart tight knit family style.  It's easy to see how this is a series.  My friend just finished book 7 and I'm itching to start book 2. He loves numbers and logic.  She's the daughter of a Navy Seal and approaches her ambition of starting a new school with the discipline of a military strategist on a mission.  He's a great guy with a mean alcoholic Dad but a strong set of siblings backing him up.  She's on a mission, but beneath her layers she has a soft, insecure side. Instant attraction sparks when the two first meet as architect and client.  Sex plays an enormous role in how they... View Article

Book Review

This Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover

August 21, 2019 8:42 am Published by Leave your thoughts

It Ends With Us Book Review A heart-rending, thought provoking, emotional journey you won't want to end. In one sitting I devoured It Ends With Us.  I fell in love with Lily. And Riley.  Issa and Atlas.   I wanted to know who does she end up with?   What does she choose? I want to be careful to not give any spoilers.  This book deserves to not be spoiled. Colleen Hoover shares with us one perspective on an abusive relationship.   One perspective on the choices a woman in such a relationship might make. Naked Truth My biological father was an alcoholic.  Verbally abusive.  A mean drunk.  These things I know on my own, not because my mother told me.  Because I witnessed these things later in life.   My mother left him when I was an infant.  I have a new appreciation for her choices and what she went through. I discovered he was an alcoholic when I was sixteen.   I found him, on a sofa, passed out with an empty gallon of Jack.  So many pieces to my puzzle started to fit into place.  My mother never spoke badly about him.  I had to figure him out on my own. I... View Article

Book Review

Just This Once by Mira Lyn Kelly

August 18, 2019 9:46 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Just This Once Book Review Friends to lovers romance of the very best kind.   And, can we take a moment to appreciate the cover?  It's rare that a cover captures the likeness of the characters so well.  I can see the personalities of Sean and Molly.  I read this book back in 2018 and it's stayed with me, and when someone reads as many romance books as I do, that's saying something. Molly's older brother is Sean's best friend.  They've known each other for ages.  Sean comes from an affluent family with high aspirations.  He dates women based on academic pedigree, hence the reason Molly's never made it on his radar.  She's crushed on him, but she's the little kid sister who doesn't AT ALL meet the criteria he's formed for his ideal mate.  And they're best buds, so she knows all about his criteria. The chemistry between these two is off the charts.  When they end up living together, they can't help but give in 'just this once'.   Yeah, it's a light hearted romance, but I just love these two. This book is #3 in the Wedding Date Series.  I've read all of the books in this series and... View Article