“Without Merit” – Colleen Hoover

Buy from Amazon here: http://amzn.to/2owSH68
Without Merit is a book about family dynamics from a teenager’s perspective. Young adult is not my favourite genre, but Colleen Hoover always writes well, displaying a knack of describing real people and the situations they find themselves in either by default or design. The fleshing out of the family members (blood & found) was delightful. I find there are never caricatures or perfect people in Ms Hoover’s books. Everyone is the right amount of messed up. The best part of this story was mental health plot line. The realization that all was not as it should be was perfectly paced for both the person it affected and those around them. I hope that anyone who needs the message that depression comes in many forms finds it.

“Trust” – Kylie Scott

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This is only the second book of Ms Scott’s that I’ve read. Young Adult is not my preference of genre, but a book challenge is encouraging me to step outside my comfort zone. The circumstances under which we meet our hero and heroine are pretty traumatic; an armed holdup at a gas station. The repercussions of this cause both our hero and heroine to reevaluate who they are and what they want. Not in some grandiose “what am I doing with my life” but “is this who I am?” that late teens encounter. It was interesting to see the knock on effects on friends and family as they try to find a new kind of normal.

“Truth Be Told” – Kendra Elliot

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Excellent novella following on from Twisted Truth by Melinda Leigh. Features a married couple who are both in law enforcement. I have a sweet spot for stories that show married couples in love; showing us how you can remain in love and not just co-habiting with sexy times thrown in. Small town shenanigans with murders and “who done it” thrown in!

“We Own Tonight” – Corinne Michaels

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What would you do if you not only met your favourite teen years boy band member, but also had the chance to date him. This fun romance pairs up musician now actor Eli and police officer Heather. Heather has some fairly heavy stuff going on in her life and struggles to accept that Eli is genuinely interested in her & that she has the ability to allow something nice to happen to her. If you know me, you know I love a story where the hero wants the relationship more than the heroine. I enjoy watching the pursuit for sure. We get that here with a couple in their late 30’s early 40’s.

“The Ghostwriter” – Alessandra Torre

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You know a book is good when you don’t move for 2.5 hours while you read it. This is not a romance. This is classic Alessandra mystery/thriller. She makes the unlovable, unapproachable Helena relatable and empathetic with this story of love and loss. It was an interesting technique to have one character told in first person and others in third person. I’ve seen it done before and when it’s done well it adds a really unique element to the story. My heart broke at the end and several tears were shed. Wonderful.

“The Pretender” – HelenKay Dimon

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HelenKay Dimon does Romantic Thrillers/suspense so well. A “retired” thief for our hero and an answer seeking, suspected murderer for our heroine. Family drama, both blood and found was all around. The layers of this mystery were slowly peeled back to reveal the true perpetrator & their motive. I did guess correctly who, but not the why. I hope we get Damon’s story too.

“Now That You Mention It” – Kristan Higgins

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New England based coming home story. Wonderfully drawn, quirky characters. Reading Nora navigate her strange, fractured family whilst trying to figure out her own life was truly enjoyable. Scupper Island was its own character and truly felt like somewhere you’d find on the Maine coastline.

“The Hookup” – Kristen Ashley

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Izzy and Johnny, sitting in a tree, Kristen Ashley giving me everything I need. I chose this book specifically for my 2018 first read. I wanted to head into the year with a quality book that I was certain would deliver, and it 100% did. Classic Kristen Ashley with her Alpha Heroes with complicated but relate-able heroines, who leave you a little inspired and a whole lot hopeful. A delightful cast of secondary characters makes you want to visit their small town, hang out at their houses and bask in their friendships. Perfection. Can’t wait for book two in this duet.