Sidelined by Suzanne Baltzar

3.5 Stars

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Release Date: August 27, 2019

Publisher: Gallery

Synopsis: When Connor McGuire loses out on his dream job of being the head coach of the local high school football team, he thinks life can’t get any worse. Then he discovers just who got the coveted position—it was a handout to the kid of a well-known, successful college coach. Connor’s sure this is just a publicity stunt, but the kid turns out to be not only a sharp strategist, but a driven and sexy young woman, too. Frustrated in more ways than one, Connor realizes that he might have to step up his game or risk losing altogether.

Coach Charlotte “Charlie” Gibb calls a flag on the play when she finds out that her very male, very attractive, but definitely-rooting-for-her-to-lose assistant coach resents her for taking what he considers to be his rightful position. But never one to back down from a little healthy competition, Charlie is determined to prove her worth—both on and off the field.

Review: What I love most about this book is Charlie. The position of power, all the work she did to get there, and how she persists through all the crap thrown at her. She’s strong, but still expresses her emotions. She pretty much defies being categorized, and I absolutely love that too! She’s just a very real character. I was even annoyed with her at times, but her realness is what makes the story. Connor is slightly redeemable, but I could take him or leave him. I do like the friend group Connor has though. The story also has some relevant social justice issues that I appreciated. Overall, it was a cute romance read.

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Smitten by the Brit by Melonie Johnson

5 STARS!!

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Release Date: May 28, 2019

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Synopsis:

Bonnie Blythe has modeled her life after her favorite books. If only her fiancé would get on the same page and agree to a wedding date.

She’s not at all bitter that her best friend is getting married to a man she’s known for less than a year, and Bonnie most definitely isn’t thinking about the best man to be, Theo Wharton. It’s just whenever she talks with the blue-eyed Brit, sparks fly.

When a shocking reveal ends Bonnie’s engagement, she accepts a summer teaching job at Cambridge—only an hour away from Theo. Bonnie isn’t ready for a new relationship, but the chemistry between her and Theo is impossible to ignore. But Theo’s been hiding the truth about his identity; will Bonnie be able to weather the plot twist and grab the happily ever after of her dreams?

Review:

Heavy-handed there much, Lady Catherine? Bonnie had often wished to be in the middle of an Austen novel. Only now that she was, she couldn’t wait to escape.”

Okay, the moment when Bonnie meets Theo in Getting Hot with the Scot, I just knew I needed their story. Smitten by the Brit did NOT disappoint. Bonnie is always spouting off Shakespeare and Austen, which makes me love her even more. She’s been with the same guy since she was just a little girl, and she cast him, her best friend, and herself in the roles of Anne of Green Gables. She’s a total book nerd, which I’m sure many of us can relate to. She is just so sweet, yet strong, and I really enjoy that in a female character.

Don’t even get me started on the dashing and chivalrous Theo. Just kidding, I definitely want to talk about one of my new book boyfriends. We got a peek at the amazingness that is Theo when he helped Cassie in Getting Hot with the Scot, but man you really get to see it in this story. He is just always trying to do what’s right. But he does get to experience the saying, “the road to hell is paved with good intentions.” Will he completely screw everything up, that question is exactly what kept me sucked in to the very end.

And did I mention Theo’s sister helps Bonnie plan a hen party, which ends up being Harry Potter themed?! YES, this book is THAT AWESOME. I already preordered my physical copy, because I need to hold this piece of heaven in my hands.

Special thank you to St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for the free ARC in exchange for an honest review!

Add it on Goodreads here.

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You’d be Mine by Erin Hahn

ALL THE STARS!!!

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Release Date: April 2, 2019

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, Wednesday Books

Synopsis:

Annie Mathers is America’s sweetheart and heir to a country music legacy full of all the things her Gran warned her about. Superstar Clay Coolidge is most definitely going to end up one of those things.

But unfortunately for Clay, if he can’t convince Annie to join his summer tour, his music label is going to drop him. That’s what happens when your bad boy image turns into bad boy reality. Annie has been avoiding the spotlight after her parents’ tragic death, except on her skyrocketing YouTube channel. Clay’s label wants to land Annie, and Clay has to make it happen.

Swayed by Clay’s undeniable charm and good looks, Annie and her band agree to join the tour. From the start fans want them to be more than just tour mates, and Annie and Clay can’t help but wonder if the fans are right. But if there’s one part of fame Annie wants nothing to do with, it’s a high-profile relationship. She had a front row seat to her parents’ volatile marriage and isn’t interested in repeating history. If only she could convince her heart that Clay, with his painful past and head over heels inducing tenor, isn’t worth the risk.

Review:

I LOVED THIS BOOK. I am so in love with characters that are realistically flawed. Both Annie and Clay have been through trauma that impacts how they function in the world. They mess up, they get emotional, and they handle things pretty poorly at times. With all that, the message of this book still comes though loud and clear; you are capable of overcoming your traumatic experiences, even though it can be hard as hell.

Seriously, this book is a damn emotional rollercoaster in the best way. Annie Mathers is messy and kind and caring. Clay is a complete mess, but just trying to find his way. I may have hated him a couple times, but it never stuck. They both have a strong support system, but the way they utilize them is another story.  The characters pull at your heart strings, that’s for sure. I don’t want to give to much away, but if you’re looking for a book that makes you feel all the emotions, this is the one for you.

Pre-order it here.

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Special thank you to St. Martin’s Press, Wednesday Books, and NetGalley for the free ARC in exchange for an honest review!

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Counselor Considerations contain SPOILERS.

Do not read further if you don’t want PLOT SPOILERS!

Counselor Considerations:

Main Characters’ Ages: 18-19

Social/Emotional: Family: Death of Parents (Suicide, Overdose, Cancer), Death of Sibling (Military), Friends as family, Supportive Family  Social: Social expectations, Mending Friendships, Empathy, Change, Judgement, Underaged Drinking, Alcohol Abuse, Attention Seeking Behavior, Unhealthy Relationships, Sex, Virginity, People Pleasing, Childhood Trauma, Building your own Support System

College/Career: Navigating Career with Fame, Personal Life Impacts Career, Responsibility, High School Dropout, Back to College

Academic: N/A

Happy Ever After (HEA)

Rock Rebel by Tara Leigh

5 STARS!!!

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Release Date: December 11, 2018

Publisher: Forever Yours

Synopsis:

He’s a rock star with a secret; she’s a pop princess with a painful past, can their forbidden romance survive, or will their lies destroy them both?

I’ve earned my bad reputation.

A few years ago, I was New York City’s hottest classical music prodigy. But I wanted something else, something more. So I chased my real dream, and now… I’m rock royalty. Dax Hughes, lead guitarist of Nothing but Trouble. But to my family and former Juilliard classmates, I’m an outcast. A misfit. A rebel.

They’re not entirely wrong. I don’t give a damn what other people think, and I’m all for breaking the rules… except when it comes to our new opening act, Verity Moore.

Rock gods don’t tour with pop princesses.

It’s not personal. Actually, under that fallen diva reputation, Verity’s incredibly talented. And her fiery redheaded personality is… intriguing. But I’m convinced the skeletons in Verity’s closet are as scandalous as my own, and when we’re not sparring, she has a way of drawing out all those secrets I’m determined to keep hidden.

Yeah. Verity Moore is definitely off-limits . . .
But since when do I give a damn about the rules?

Review:

I’m just really loving the Nothing but Trouble series! Hot and flawed rock stars, strong and messy women, and just a lot of awesome friendships. Verity was such a powerful character, and I just loved her strength and growth. It can be really hard to accept your past, and move onto a better future, and her character did exactly that. I also appreciate Tara Leigh addressing the #metoo movements impact, and how grey the incidents can be. It’s confusing and troubling, but women are resilient and so very strong. Verity is a wonderful representation of that strength with her own unique situation full of highs and lows. The characters were just so human, and I LOVED that. I’d definitely recommend this series, and I can’t wait for Jett’s story next!

 

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***Thank you so much to Forever Yours and NetGalley for the chance to read this early by giving me an advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review!***

Pretty in Punxsutawney by Laurie Boyle Crompton

3.5 Stars!

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Publisher: Blink YA Books

Release Date: January 22, 2019

 

Synopsis:

Groundhog Day meets Pretty in Pink mashup from author Laurie Boyle Crompton, Pretty in Punxsutawney tells the tale of a girl willing to look beneath the surface to see people for who they really are.

Andie is the type of girl who always comes up with the perfect thing to say…after it’s too late to say it. She’s addicted to romance movies—okay, all movies—but has yet to experience her first kiss. After a move to Punxsutawney, PA, for her senior year, she gets caught in an endless loop of her first day at her new school, reliving those 24 hours again and again.

Convinced the curse will be broken when she meets her true love, Andie embarks on a mission: infiltrating the various cliques to find the one boy who can break the spell. What she discovers along the way is that people who seem completely different can often share the very same hopes, dreams, and hang-ups. And that even a day that has been lived over and over can be filled with unexpected connections and plenty of happy endings.

Review:

When I heard the pitch for this book, I knew I had to read it. I mean Ground Hog Day meets Pretty in Pink! Yes, the story is cute and funny. This is a quirky teen read. And when I say teen, I mean teen. The main character is a classic teenager that you want to shake as she makes choice after questionable choice.. That fact actually made it really hard for me to get through the first half of the book, but the second half was worth pushing through. It was just such a cute storyline, with some important themes tied in. I think the moral of the story is worth the read!

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***Thank you so much to Blink YA Books and NetGalley for the chance to read this early by giving me an advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review!***