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BLOG TOUR FOR MOTI ON THE WATER by Leylah Attar

A Greek family. An Indian family. A summer wedding on the Aegean coast…

Meet Moti Ferreira—spectacularly jinxed from the day she’s born.

Saddled with an eccentric mother, she stumbles upon the one man who holds the key to her freedom—the best man at her cousin’s upcoming wedding.

All Moti has to do is overcome her fear of water, board a yacht to the Greek Isles, seduce the dreamy Nikos Manolas, and survive two weeks at sea with her oddball family.

The only obstacle Moti doesn’t see coming is Alexandros Veronis, the onboard chef and star witness to her awkward mishaps. He transforms onions into chocolate and aroma into nostalgia. Day by day, his alchemy works its magic on Moti. But she’s not the only one falling under his spell. Everyone has a secret, growing round and ripe at Chef Alex’s table. When the masks fall off, they spill out one by one, and everything blows up in their faces.

Now Moti’s truth is exposed, and worse, she’s hooked on more than Alex’s midnight snacks. But this time, screwing up could be the best thing she’s ever done…


Title : Moti On The Water
Author : Leylah Attar
Format : eARC
Page Count :
Genre : Contemporary Romance
Publisher : Pitch 73 Publishing
Release Date : August 13, 2019

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★


Micky’s 3.5-4 star review

MOTI ON THE WATER is a departure from Leylah Attar’s normal style of the intense, emotional read with a punch, but it isn’t an unwelcome departure. This is a read that is as colourful as a rainbow with the funnest characters and dialogue to die for.

Moti (Mo-thi pronunciation) is a bit of a disaster or she perceives herself as a disaster. She and her family embarked on a Greek cruise on a private yacht prior to a family wedding. The whole set up had a bit of an ‘upstairs, downstairs’ feel which I found enchanting. I enjoyed the desi culture in the background to Moti’s world that underpinned some of her superstitions and destiny beliefs. Moti’s family was part of the colourful picture and they gave me plenty of laughs along the way.

Moti had a selection of man potential in Nikos and Alex. The contrast between these two men was stark and my loyalties were quickly spoken for as an observer. Food was part of the colour in this book and Chef Alex was a basically food conjurer, but I am seeing that to be able to write this, Leylah Attar must be a serious foodie.

The story was light and fun with couple chemistry that was absorbing to read. There was attraction, lust and longing in buckets, colourful buckets. A smattering of tragedy had my heart in my mouth but I was pulled back from the brink, keeping this rom-com in the genre safely.

MOTI ON THE WATER is an ideal weekend read, a beach read, an anytime read. You can live vicariously, feel the sun and sea through the gorgeous descriptions and laugh all the way along the storyline.

Thank you to the author and Social Butterfly PR for the early review copy.

FIRST COMES LOVE by Emily Giffin

What happens when love, marriage and children don’t come in the expected order?

Fifteen years after the tragic death of their older brother splintered Josie and Meredith’s already fragile relationship, the two sisters are following very different paths.

Hardworking, reserved Meredith thought she’d done it all the right way round – married the perfect man, had the perfect daughter – but now she’s wondering if she got the love part wrong.

Impulsive and spirited Josie has been single for years. She wants a child so much that she’s preparing to head straight for the baby carriage all on her own.

As the anniversary of their tragedy looms and secrets from the past surface, Josie and Meredith must come to terms with their own choices. Perhaps they’ll find that they need each other more than they know…


Title : First Comes Love
Author : Emily Giffin
Format : Paperback ARC
Page Count : 351
Genre : Women’s Fiction
Publisher : Hodder Books
Release Date : September 22, 2016

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★


I like Emily Giffin’s writing style and have previously enjoyed a number of her books. She writes good, reliable women’s fiction about families, relationships and the challenges that arise in life. That said, FIRST COMES LOVE was just an okay read for me.

The book starts very strong with a family tragedy and the story centres on the ripples going out from this event 20 years later. Central to this are the joint protagonists, sisters called Meredith and Josie. Imagine two 8 year old sisters biccering and this is much of how these two behave in the book but with adult themes. I think the reason I only found this an okay read was because of the juvenille relationship these two had. I much preferred the focus on their lives seperately.

Meredith’s life centred on her husband and child but there really was a ‘finding yourself’ theme to her story which I quite enjoyed. Josie’s story was more about reaching her goals and she had a couple of friendships that were fun reading. I did find Josie’s obsession with previous failed relationships a bit irritating. The story isn’t heavy on romance but had a relationships focus, mostly family and platonic relationships.

This book did have a reasonably good culmination. Although this wasn’t my favourite Emily Giffin, I still enjoyed her writing style and I’ll be back to read more from her.

Thank you to Hodder books and amazon vine for the review copy.

NEW RELEASE – MOTI ON THE WATER by Leylah Attar

Moti on the Water is an absolute gem of a romance–thoroughly entertaining and uniquely charming..”- Frolic

Moti on the Water, an all-new sensational summer must read from New York Times bestselling author Leylah Attar is available now!

Meet Moti Ferreira—spectacularly jinxed from the day she’s born.

Saddled with an eccentric mother, she stumbles upon the one man who holds the key to her freedom—the best man at her cousin’s upcoming wedding.

All Moti has to do is overcome her fear of water, board a yacht to the Greek Isles, seduce the dreamy Nikos Manolas, and survive two weeks at sea with her oddball family.

The only obstacle Moti doesn’t see coming is Alexandros Veronis, the onboard chef and star witness to her awkward mishaps. He transforms onions into chocolate and aroma into nostalgia. Day by day, his alchemy works its magic on Moti. But she’s not the only one falling under his spell. Everyone has a secret, growing round and ripe at Chef Alex’s table. When the masks fall off, they spill out one by one, and everything blows up in their faces.

Now Moti’s truth is exposed, and worse, she’s hooked on more than Alex’s midnight snacks. But this time, screwing up could be the best thing she’s ever done…


Download your copy today!

Amazon: https://amzn.to/33qvipI
AppleBooks: https://apple.co/2xLI17F
Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/MotiontheWater
Nook: http://bit.ly/2JATMor
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2JyLnSo
Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2NXaRx4


About Leylah

Leylah Attar is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Best Selling author of contemporary romance and women’s fiction. She is the recipient of the 2017 Indie Reader Discovery Award for fiction. Her books, which include Mists of The Serengeti, The Paper Swan, 53 Letters for My Lover (#1) and From His Lips (a 53 Letters novella #1.5), have been published in nine languages.

Connect with Leylah

Facebook: http://bit.ly/32rDHIZ
Instagram: http://bit.ly/2JxKuJQ
Twitter: http://bit.ly/2xOGmP2
Pinterest: http://bit.ly/2NRLkV
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2JOv56W


Stay up to date with Leylah by joining her mailing list: http://bit.ly/32rVPCD

https://www.leylahattar.com

NEW RELEASE TUESDAY – AUGUST 13, 2019

Happy “where’d all my money go?” new release Tuesday, everyone!
As you know, the most exciting day of the week in this community is the day that follows the one we all dread (Mondays for the nope) and today we’re going to highlight some of the new books chipping away at our bank accounts — but each one is so worth it.


THE WALLFLOWER WAGER by Tessa Dare is out today! This is book three in the Girl Meets Duke series. The premise for this one is, as usual, delightful. A Duke has to find homes for his neighbour’s pets, such as a three legged dog and a foul-mouthed parrot. Cue all the lols! Can’t wait.

MOTI ON THE WATER by Leylah Attar features two families, one Greek and the other Indian, and a summer wedding on the Aegean coast where, it sounds like, secrets come pouring out with the magic of cooking? Maybe? I don’t know. The cover looks great, though! Look for Micky’s review this week.

Lastly, though it came out on Friday, we’re going to celebrate Mariana Zapata’s newest release anyway. THE BEST THING is now out in the world and though neither of us have read it yet (we burn, we pine, we perish), we’re excitttttedddd.


Are there any titles out today you’re excited for? Let us know in the comments below!

ASK AGAIN, YES by Mary Beth Keane

How much can a family forgive?

A profoundly moving novel about two neighboring families in a suburban town, the bond between their children, a tragedy that reverberates over four decades, the daily intimacies of marriage, and the power of forgiveness.

Francis Gleeson and Brian Stanhope, two rookie cops in the NYPD, live next door to each other outside the city. What happens behind closed doors in both houses—the loneliness of Francis’s wife, Lena, and the instability of Brian’s wife, Anne—sets the stage for the explosive events to come.

Ask Again, Yes is a deeply affecting exploration of the lifelong friendship and love that blossoms between Francis and Lena’s daughter, Kate, and Brian and Anne’s son, Peter. Luminous, heartbreaking, and redemptive, Ask Again, Yes reveals the way childhood memories change when viewed from the distance of adulthood—villains lose their menace and those who appeared innocent seem less so. Kate and Peter’s love story, while tested by echoes from the past, is marked by tenderness, generosity, and grace.


Title : Ask Again, Yes
Author : Mary Beth Keane
Format : eARC
Page Count : 390
Genre : Contemporary Fiction
Publisher : Penguin Michael Joseph
Release Date : August 8, 2019

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★


3.5 – 4 stars

ASK AGAIN, YES is something of a heavy read with challenging topics; I felt like I had completed a marathon when I’d finished but I mean that in a good way. The book had wrung me out emotionally and I needed time to rest my mind and think afterwards.

This is a complex story of two families across two generations. Their lives were so interwoven and yet they were not close to one another. Through proximity, circumstance, tragedy and then attraction, they were repeatedly brought together and pushed one another away.

The storyline starts with the parents of these two families but over the whole of the book, it felt like the story centred on Peter and Kate. I held my breath over these two and I didn’t feel a completion at the end; I don’t think the reader is supposed to. Anne was incredibly difficult to like as a character and I admire the author for where she went with mental illness and this character. We rarely see books that will go to the extent of exposing the psychology and behaviours of someone with this level of illness. I liked Francis, I found him solid, reliable and real. George was the unsung hero of this book.

Most readers will feel the heaviness of the topics expored in this book, which include acute psychosis, addiction, cheating, first love, the effect of trauma on the psyche, grief and loss and abandonment. It’s a lot but it didn’t feel unrealistic for the timescale, the range of characters and the narrative gently and sometimes bluntly led you into these issues with skill.

This was an impressive, memorable and epic story. I felt a lack of completion overall and needed a bit more in terms of closure. Mary Beth Keane wrote the complexity with simplicity and I would read her work again.

Thank you to Michael Joseph for the early review copy.

NEVERNIGHT by Jay Kristoff – double review!

**Reviews edited April 2021. Micky & Hollis have left their original ratings and reviews but we would like to state that we hadn’t realised the harmful elements of the books in this series until now. For that, we are really sorry – we are referring to Asian stereotyping, antisemitic and albinism elements that have hurt readers. If our original reviews were conveyed as an endorsement of these issues, we want to apologise for that. We are learning and will continue to do so.**

In a land where three suns almost never set, a fledgling killer joins a school of assassins, seeking vengeance against the powers who destroyed her family.

Daughter of an executed traitor, Mia Corvere is barely able to escape her father’s failed rebellion with her life. Alone and friendless, she hides in a city built from the bones of a dead god, hunted by the Senate and her father’s former comrades. But her gift for speaking with the shadows leads her to the door of a retired killer, and a future she never imagined.

Now, Mia is apprenticed to the deadliest flock of assassins in the entire Republic—the Red Church. If she bests her fellow students in contests of steel, poison and the subtle arts, she’ll be inducted among the Blades of the Lady of Blessed Murder, and one step closer to the vengeance she desires. But a killer is loose within the Church’s halls, the bloody secrets of Mia’s past return to haunt her, and a plot to bring down the entire congregation is unfolding in the shadows she so loves.

Will she even survive to initiation, let alone have her revenge?


Title : Nevernight
Author : Jay Kristoff
Series : The Nevernight Chronicle
Format : eBook/Audiobook
Page Count : 448
Genre : Fantasy
Publisher : Thomas Dunne Books/Hodderscape
Release Date : August 9, 2016

Reviewer : Hollis / Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ / ★ ★ ★ ★.5 


Hollis’ 3 star review

There was a lot of build-up, hype, expectation — pick a word any word — for me before starting NEVERNIGHT. I knew that it was dark and violent with a wicked assassin and a cat that wasn’t a cat but I didn’t know much more than that. And it did live up to the pitch.

Nothing is where you start. Own nothing, Know nothing. Be nothing.”
Why would I want to do that?
Because then you can do anything.”

This is a revenge story, a coming of age in a time of blood story, a violent one, a twisty one, and a funny one. Yes, it was actually quite funny. What I didn’t expect, I guess, was it to read so.. I hesitate to say YA, because it’s not, but it was smart and clever and brutal and I don’t want to say YA books aren’t all those things. Because we know they are. But I guess I thought this was going to be more adult-sounding or adult-feeling than it was, than it’s supposed to be? It’s really hard to describe my disconnect over this. But that didn’t really take away any enjoyment.

Are you honestly telling me you’ve come to train among the most feared assassins in the Republic and you’re afraid of the bloody dark?

Did I love it? No. But I did like it. And there were characters that I did love (Mercurio! Mr Kindly!). I enjoyed the time with the school of assassins because I liked the competition and training aspect of it. I enjoyed the flashbacks and learning what drove Mia to this particular path. I enjoyed the banter, though felt a bit lukewarm about the relationship, and the hilarity in the back and forth riffing Mia does with Mr Kindly. I am definitely here for more twists and more reveals for book two because we’re definitely owed at least one big one and I can’t wait.

You’ll be a rumour. A whisper. The thought that wakes the bastards of this world sweating in the never night. The last thing you will ever be in this world, girl, is someone’s hero. But you will be a girl heroes fear.”

So, if you are one of the last people to get around to reading this book, like me, would I recommend? I think I would. By now you should know what you’re getting into. Yes, it’s long af. But it’s also easily and compulsively readable. NEVERNIGHT is a mix of blood, sweat, sex, violence, and magic. All I want from the sequel is more of the same. 


Micky’s 4.5 star review

4.5 stars of crazy town

This was a reading experience I’m not sure I’ve had before. It’s a book where you are lulled into a familiarity with death, hideous creatures, beings and situations and you get to like them. Who am I and what did Jay Kristoff do to me? Anyone who knows me, knows I’m a sensitive reader when it comes to scary stuff, I stay away from it, I recoil from it, but I didn’t with Nevernight.

Mia Corvere takes the whole book to work out and then on the end pages it says something like, ‘don’t think you know the pale daughter, because you don’t’. I really liked Mia, I came to appreciate why she was the way she was and that she repeatedly showed humanity where other acolytes didn’t.

The twists in this book were always unexpected as I didn’t see a lot of foreshadowing…shadowing, see what I did there (if you’ve read it). I did have a gut feeling about one of the main characters that came to fruition but not in the way I expected. I still don’t know how I feel about some of the happenings, they were right for the story, but I was sad about it all the same. The school of the Red Church was everything fascinating and once Mia was there, this was my favourite portion of the book. I loved everything about it, the good, the bad, the freaking ugly.

The writing was superb. I am a footnote appreciater and I can say this this worked supremely well on the ebook. However, whilst I did swap between formats, this was mostly an audiobook listen for me. The narrator, Holter Graham carried this cast of characters with an epic collection of accents. Mia was initally a little unexpectedly peppy but I adjusted and reminded myself how old she actually was. I loved the audio so much, that I intend to listen to books 2&3 rather than read.

I cannot wait to get stuck into the rest. All hail the twisted mind of the Kristoff.

DISCRETION by Karina Halle

From New York Times bestselling author Karina Halle comes a delicious saga of wealth, luxury, and scandal—and the wicked secrets of success behind an envied family dynasty.

The Riviera means indulgence—if you’ve got money. For Sadie Reynolds, a down-on-her-luck student, the Riviera means dingy hostels and back streets. When a wrong turn puts her in jeopardy, the last thing she expects is to be saved by the most handsome stranger she’s ever locked eyes with. When she later wakes up in a luxury suite with a Mediterranean view, she’s in the tender care of her rescuer: Olivier Dumont, France’s most eligible bachelor, billionaire hotelier, and heir to the Dumont fashion fortune.

Olivier also owns his reputation for scandal. But Sadie is unlike any woman he’s ever met. Her humble persona and wild innocence promise real passion. He’s promising Sadie something too: anything she wants. From Bordeaux to Cannes to Paris, Sadie’s past in America is swept away and replaced with a fantasy too good to be true.

Pulled into Olivier’s orbit of wealth, glamour, and excess, Sadie discovers that the Dumont dynasty comes with a legacy of wicked secrets. And Olivier’s secrets may be the most damning of all…


Title : Discretion
Author : Karina Halle
Series : The Dumonts #1
Format : eARC
Page Count : 288
Genre : Contemporary Romance
Publisher : Montlake Romance
Release Date : August 6, 2019

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★


2.5 -3 stars

I have to admit, requesting this arc was somewhat influenced by the cover, that guy just had some appeal and when I read the blurb it was definitely interesting. I mostly enjoy Karina Halle’s books but this one was a bit of a miss for me and I will try and explain why.

The Dumont family were alluring French designers and hoteliers. They were a rich and entitled set of two sides, one side of inscrupulous types and another side with some integrity. Olivier was a rescuer with a great accent when Sadie needed a knight. Their meeting had all the potential and promise. I really liked how they were from opposite sides of the track.

I could buy into their insta-attraction for a time but I didn’t buy into the emotional attachment that ensued rather quickly. Unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy or feel their connection when reading their physical relationship. I felt outside of the situation and not drawn in. I struggled to connect with either Olivier or Sadie on an individual level and so I felt separate from them as characters, with neither love nor hate.

What I did appreciate was the suspenseful element to the storyline although I do feel even that went a little far sometimes with the evil side of the family.

I think this will appeal to those seeking a quick, hot romantic suspense but unfortunately this wasn’t to my taste. Nevertheless, I know that Karina Halle is likely to write another book or series that will be.

Thank you to Montlake Romance and netgalley for the early review copy.

THE RIGHT SWIPE by Alisha Rai

Rhiannon Hunter may have revolutionized romance in the digital world, but in real life she only swipes right on her career—and the occasional hookup.

The cynical dating app creator controls her love life with a few key rules:
– Nude pics are by invitation only
– If someone stands you up, block them with extreme prejudice
– Protect your heart

Only there aren’t any rules to govern her attraction to her newest match, former pro-football player Samson Lima. The sexy and seemingly sweet hunk woos her one magical night… and disappears.

Rhi thought she’d buried her hurt over Samson ghosting her, until he suddenly surfaces months later, still big, still beautiful—and in league with a business rival. He says he won’t fumble their second chance, but she’s wary. A temporary physical partnership is one thing, but a merger of hearts? Surely that’s too high a risk…


Title : The Right Swipe
Author : Alisha Rai
Series : Modern Love (book one)
Format : ARC
Page Count : 400
Genre : contemporary romance
Publisher : HarperCollins/Avon
Release Date : August 6, 2019

Reviewer : Hollis / Micky
Rating : ★ .5 /


Hollis’ 1.5 star review

So I didn’t love this, which is obvious, and there’s a bunch of reasons for that but it’s mostly because I didn’t like the characters. Specifically, Rhiannon.

The plot opens up with our heroine fixated on the fact that she wants to buy up this eHarmony-esque dating site, one of the OG sites of its type, to expand her own app-based dating service. We see her drive, we see her reminisce about the one that got away, and who happens to be the new face of her competition’s marketing campaign? The one who got away. The one she almost threw her rules out the window for. And boy does she have a lot of rules.

The girl is.. rigid. Uncompromising. Unforgiving. Hard to forking love and, as a reader, hard to endure. I don’t want to be dismissive of the heroine’s very real trauma and trust issues but holy forking shit did she also make this a brutal read. She’s something of a shark when it comes to business, she’s successful, all that, all of which are positive things that loads of women get flak for, so it’s unfortunate I found this kind of character so frustrating, but she’s also problematic. She skirts very very close (and sometimes crosses the line) into outright manipulation of the hero — as well as relying on an emotional debt she feels she’s owed (and maybe sorta is but not in this particular context) — and it felt gross. She constantly doubted him, (falsely) accused him of this that or the other thing, was totally hypocritical.. and it was just hard. I am exhausted from it.

She’s not the only drawback THE RIGHT SWIPE, though. The hero, for all his goodness, didn’t do much for me. There’s a whole secondary plot line surrounding brain injuries and concussions (which makes for the second or third time I’m reading of this particular issue in sports-ish romances — not a complaint, just an observation) and a whole lot of baggage that Samson is carrying around but, back to my point, it didn’t do much for me. Which is rather how I feel about the story itself.

What didn’t frustrate or exhaust me just.. did nothing.

There were a few side characters that lightened some of the load of the plodding, and that helped a bit, but not enough. Infact, a certain eccentric aunt did the opposite of what I think she was supposed to do — which was charm the reader. Even she annoyed me. Or, maybe more to the point, I didn’t care and so, again, I was unmoved.

The writing made for an easy read but the plot, the people, the point? Nope. I have yet to determine if I’ll read on in this series. I think it hugely depends on which side character will get the spotlight and I’ll definitely have to pay closer attention to the plot. It’ll have to really draw me in for me to push on in this spinoff. I’ve loved Rai’s books in the past, in particular her Forbidden Hearts series had so much greatness, but this one just totally missed the mark for me.

** I received an ARC from the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **


Micky’s 3 star review

THE RIGHT SWIPE has a synopsis that bites, a cover that entices and an inside that lacked something in execution for me. A dating app mogul is how I would describe Rhi (Rhiannon). She’s all hard lines, walls up to the sky and even a little harsh with those that she loves, her family and friend. Her life’s ambition was work, work over family, work over her friend and work over down time. I found her so very hard to like and that was my biggest struggle with this book.

Samson Lima, ex-NFL player and minor shareholder in his Aunt’s rival app to Rhi’s Crush app was everything opposite. He was kind, patient and a large gentle soul. I really liked Samson’s character and in particular, his background family story which was rich and detailed. I get that these two were opposites but I remained forever uncertain that Rhi deserved Samson’s affection and more.

This isn’t about not tolerating a women in the mogul position, a reversal on that trope found in so many romance books, it is about how Rhi was written right to the end, she was so harsh. For me, it was also about Rhi and Samson’s lack of ‘more’ until the final pages. I felt all we got was friends with benefits and I was ready to move beyond that from halfway through the book.

What I did enjoy was the general storyline focus of the battle for the matchmaker app and also the background story of concussion in football players. There was some weak resolution for both, however. The harrassment in the workplace storyline was the strongest and it gave me all the feels. All that said, it was a relatable and contemporary storyline for the age group of the main characters.

THE RIGHT SWIPE was an okay read but it didn’t grab me in the way that previous Alisha Rai books have. I am interested to see character beyond Rhiannon in this series, particularly her friend Kirsten.

Thank you to the publisher and Edelweiss for the review copy.

LET’S CALL IT A DOOMSDAY by Katie Henry

There are so many ways the world could end. There could be a fire. A catastrophic flood. A super eruption that spews lakes of lava. Ellis Kimball has made note of all possible scenarios, and she is prepared for each one. What she doesn’t expect is meeting Hannah Marks in her therapist’s waiting room. Hannah calls their meeting fate. After all, Ellis is scared about the end of the world; Hannah knows when it’s going to happen.

Despite Ellis’s anxiety — about what others think of her, about what she’s doing wrong, about the safety of her loved ones — the two girls become fast friends. As Ellis tries to help Hannah decipher the details of her doomsday premonition, she learns there are secrets Hannah isn’t telling her. But with time ticking down, the search for answers only raises more questions. When does it happen? Who will believe them? How do you prepare for the end of the world when it feels like your life is just getting started?

Katie Henry, the author of Heretics Anonymous, delivers an engrossing and thoughtful tale about how people survive — with some faith in family, friends, and maybe a few prepper forums.


Title : Let’s Call It A Doomsday
Author : Katie Henry
Format : ARC
Page Count : 400
Genre : YA contemporary
Publisher : Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date : August 6, 2019

Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : unrated


Hollis’ unrated review

I toyed with the idea of not writing a review for this book. Which might give you some initial insight as to why it’s unrated. Hopefully the review itself will explain why but also might explain why you might still want to read it yourself.

First of all, our main character has pretty severe anxiety. It manifests in constant doubt, internal criticism, and almost-constant fatalism; and we get to read that internal narrative as she hears it. Her anxiety also manifests itself in a worry about the world ending. Not necessarily fire and brimstone, though it’s not ruled out, but.. nuclear war. Natural disaster. The list goes on. She’s a prepper, though she doesn’t love the word, and she’s actually rather open about it; even if she’s constantly bracing for judgment or disbelief from those she tells.

Survivalists have skill sets. Hunting and fishing and living off the land and I can’t do any of that. I’m a prepper. I have supplies, not skills.”

All this to say that this book is basically an anxious person’s worst nightmare. Add in a somewhat fraught family dynamic, with Ellis’ parents and sister struggling to deal with her anxieties, constantly having to accommodate her, and not always able to be calm or kind about it.. yeah, this was hard to read for me.

Em was always the Golden Girl, from the moment she was born. What choice did I have but to be the Perpetual Disappointment? Every family needs one. So I’ve fallen on my sword. It’s actually very noble of me.

There’s also a whole (unexpected) plot, or rather emphasis, on the LDS church and community. Ellis is LDS, as is her family, and there’s a lot of narrative surrounding the lifestyle, belief, values, etc. I thought it an interesting choice for someone who believes the world is going to end but there were moments when some in-dialogue discussions were fascinating.

However the main plot is Ellis’ new friendship with Hannah, a girl she meets outside her therapist’s office, and hoo boy. If the anxiety didn’t get me going, this friendship did. Hannah’s whole existence is this book is stringing Ellis along with vagueries. She’s seen the end of the world, she says, and Ellis is there with her. But she needs Ellis’ help to decode the visions. So they have to find this man, this homeless person, who calls himself Prophet Dan. Except he’s not who Hannah makes him out to be. But overwhelmingly I just hated Hannah’s role in this story. I hated the vagueness, I hated the frustrations she inspired, the agonies she would encourage in Ellis and then step back from.. I feel for Hannah, I do, I can be sympathetic — mostly in hindsight, but it was present in certain moments, too — but oh god I hate this kind of character. I found it really difficult to see how strong they were in the end, too, this friendship enduring everything it did. I would’ve preferred it to fracture or.. maybe just quietly be let go, considering everything that came to pass. I 100% do not condone the connection.

Trying to Be Cute, Accidentally Implying Cannibalism : The Ellis Kimball Story.

I did, though, enjoy Tal. He was a sorta expected (but also not) love interest and he was everything Hannah wasn’t. He had a connection, an understanding, with Ellis and also offered her something new. I liked that quite a lot. Plus, his group of friends, and their Quiz Bowl Guess-A-Book-In-Five-Words was hilarious. Easily the highlight for me.

I really want to make a sex joke right now. But you’re ruined it. You’ve ruined it with the apocalypse.”

There was a lot of therapy positive, heavy but groundbreaking, discussion — in fact all interactions with Ellis’ therapist were another highlight for me — and I found the writing to be pretty smart. I loved the word games, the guessing games, and some bits of dialogue were outrageously funny. But this was not the book for me. If this wasn’t an ARC, I probably would’ve DNF’d. And thus here we are with this unrated review. This book was a lot of things and I think many people will enjoy the journey and feel for the main character. I just felt too much of the wrong (though accurate to Ellis’ anxieties) things.

** I received an ARC from the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **

SAY YOU STILL LOVE ME by K.A. Tucker

Life is a mixed bag for Piper Calloway.

On the one hand, she’s a twenty-nine-year-old VP at her dad’s multibillion-dollar real estate development firm, and living the high single life with her two best friends in a swanky downtown penthouse. On the other hand, she’s considered a pair of sexy legs in a male-dominated world and constantly has to prove her worth. Plus, she’s stuck seeing her narcissistic ex-fiancé—a fellow VP—on the other side of her glass office wall every day.

Things get exponentially more complicated for Piper when she runs into Kyle Miller—the handsome new security guard at Calloway Group Industries, and coincidentally the first love of her life.

The guy she hasn’t seen or heard from since they were summer camp counsellors together. The guy from the wrong side of the tracks. The guy who apparently doesn’t even remember her name.

Piper may be a high-powered businesswoman now, but she soon realizes that her schoolgirl crush is not only alive but stronger than ever, and crippling her concentration. What’s more, despite Kyle’s distant attitude, she’s convinced their reunion isn’t at all coincidental, and that his feelings for her still run deep. And she’s determined to make him admit to them, no matter the consequences.


Title : Say You Still Love Me
Author : K.A. Tucker
Format : eARC
Page Count : 384
Genre : contemporary romance
Publisher : Atria Books
Release Date : August 6, 2019

Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : ★ ★ .5


Hollis’ 2.5 star review

Whereas my first, and only, experience with a book by Tucker was one that was slow to build, and my enjoyment was initially hard-won, it was worth it to get to the end and see the evolution of very distinct characters with very opposite personalities. But at least they had personalities.

My biggest problem with SAY YOU STILL LOVE ME is that it follows the course of a lot of contemporary romances where the woman is in a position of high power. She’s got a meddlesome family member and someone, a man, usually from the old guard, working against her. She’s in a constant battle of speaking up to be heard and fighting to not make waves; carefully dodging fragile male egos and placating the masses (ugh). Additionally she is exceedingly well off and is with fraught family dynamics — and usually has a dick for a father. So, we have all that at play which, personally, already feels a little tired.

Then we reintroduce a long-lost love interest who claims to not remember the heroine. Why is this a thing now? Sure, time passes, but I’m pretty sure none of us actually forget people who have had an impact on our lives, whether good or bad. So, there’s another bit that made me tired.

Unexpectedly this story is told from alternating timeframes, though a single POV, and we get to see the romance back when it first bloomed. I’ll admit that I did mostly like those chapters. Because, as per my earlier comment about personality, I really felt like I knew those kids. I could’ve been friends with them, crushed on them, had fun during the summer with them. Present day Piper was mostly just overworked and frustrated and present day Kyle was just a source of confusion and sexual chemistry for her. There wasn’t much else.. or at least nothing that I can spoil because spoilers.

So I wasn’t really into this second chance romance, or the characters, and the rest of the background noise was mostly a slow build to an inevitable conclusion regarding work drama, but then, bam, something came out of left field and I’m like.. fighting back tears? There was an emotional element introduced that I was unprepared for and I felt the story ended strong. Rushed, as far as a certain resolution goes, but overall stronger because I cared about these people in their present day forms as a result of what happened.

This does feel a little more chick-lit. It’s light on drama, light on angst, and glosses over sex. And with so much of the focus on their younger days, and their firsts, it almost reads like a YA novel. Even though we spend just as much time with their older selves. So, figure that one out (did THE SIMPLE WILD fade to black? I can’t recall) because I sure can’t.

I think I’ll be cherry picking future reads by this author. I obviously didn’t hate it but it’s certainly not the ‘oh I’m so glad I read this’ feeling I had with my last experience. It was just.. fine. Decent. No major complaints but, ultimately, nothing to get excited over, either.

** I received an ARC from the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **