Sunday, April 25, 2021

Promises at Pyramid Rock by Jess Mastorakos



Will this Marine risk everything for a chance to leave the friend zone?

Ethan “Mac” McCarthy is secretly in love with his best friend, Ana. It all started on the playground when she kicked him down the slide because he was too scared to take the plunge. But they haven't lived in the same town since they were kids, so it's been easy to keep their relationship platonic.

The only person Ana Vincent can count on is her long-distance best friend, Mac. He knows her better than anyone. When he suggests she finally get her own place instead of hunting for yet another roommate, that's exactly what she does. And boy is he in for a surprise when he finds out where she’s bought a house.

Mac has always told himself their physical distance was the only thing keeping him from admitting his true feelings. He doesn’t think she feels the same way. How will he keep his secret with her right under his nose again?

My Review: 4.5 Stars

Confession. Friends to lovers tropes always seem to be either a hit or a miss for me, never in between. But I'm happy to say that this one was a hit. 

Ana and Mac have been best friends since she kicked him down the slide at the age of 4 because he was too scared to go down it. These two are the epitome of polar opposites. She's Miss Adventurer who leaps before she looks and he's Mister Thinker who always looks before he leaps. But some how this works for them. They always ground and balance each other out. 

I absolutely adored Ana and Mac! Their witty banter back and forth had me crackin up throughout the book. There was no denying (unless you're Ana and Mac) that these two were wholeheartedly in love with each other. Their journey wasn't all hearts, rainbows and happiness. But that's what made it so fun. There's nothing better than watching two people finally opening their eyes to see what's been standing in front of them for years. 

I am loving this series! Ms. Mastorakos definitely has another hit on her hands. I cannot wait to get my hands on Stone's story. Y'all. I predict fireworks. Lots and lots of fireworks! It's times like these that I have to remind myself that writing takes time. 

And let's not forget my casting. I'm loving these two! What do you think?!

Monday, April 12, 2021

Let's Talk Dates!


I don't know about you, but one of my favorite parts of Facial Recognition is all the bad dates! In my review I mentioned that I've been on some doozey of dates. I can look back now and laugh but y'all! They. Were. Bad! 

While trying to decide which one to share, I realized that I always seem to go out with guys who like to order for me. It MIGHT be cute or sweet IF they actually knew me and IF they knew how much I could eat. But first dates?! Nope! Let me order my own dang food! 

So which date did I finally decide on? My Disneyland date! You know how people say "Disneyland is the happiest place on earth"? Well... not for this girl! I am not a fan! Haha. Are you ready to hear all about my date? Snuggle in, keep your drinks away from your mouths and try not to laugh too hard. And just a warning... it's going to be a LONG story! 😉

It was o'dark thirty in the morning and I crawl out of bed to get ready for what I'm thinking will be one of the best date ever. It is Disneyland after all. Once I'm ready, I hop in my car and drive 30 minutes to the guy's house. We hop into his truck and head on out to Anaheim. On the way out there, he gets a call from one of his workers (he owned his own business) saying there's a problem on a jobsite. We detour to the jobsite where I sit in the truck for about 30-40 minutes while he fixes the issue. Y'all. He didn't even leave the truck running. I was sitting in there with no AC, no music, no nothin. It sucked! He finally gets everything taken care of and we're back on the road. 

When we finally get there, he decides to get us the park hopper. I had previously told him that I am NOT a rollercoaster girl because I'm deathly afraid of heights. But he insists that we HAVE to visit both parks. We spend some time in the main one and then head on over to California Adventure. One of the things he said was a must was watch a live performance of Aladdin. I love Aladdin so I was down with that. Right in the middle of the show his cell phone rings. He looks at it trying to decide if he's going to answer it or not. Most people would silence it but he's not most people. Everyone around us is staring and giving us dirty looks. He finally decides to answer it but instead of getting up and going outside the auditorium, he answers it right then and there and proceeds to talk for 10 minutes! Seriously?! Who does that! Ugh! 

After Aladdin, he decides that it's time for some rides. The one he really wants to go on? California Screamin. Was he not listening when I told him that I didn't do rollercoasters?! I told him, I'll watch you from the safety of the ground. He proceeds to pretty much call me a baby and tell him that his 8 year-old daughter loves that ride. Well next time, take her! Since that one was a bust, he decided that we should go on Soarin Over California. He promises me that it's not a rollercoaster and that I will LOVE it. There are different lines we can get in and after he figures out which one, we head in. We're seated, all buckled in, lights go out and the first row goes up, up, up into the air. I. Am. Freaking. Out! Holding on to dear life and trying to ignore that he's sitting next to me laughing hysterically because I am petrified. Needless to say, the day was going downhill fast! 

We decide to head back over to the main park for lunch. He takes me to this place that has "phenomenal" fried chicken. We get up to the register and guess what? Yep! He orders my food. I kinda just roll my eyes and go with the flow. It's not like I can get in my car and drive home, right? So the food comes and I just stare at him with a look that says, "Are you freaking kidding me right now?!" Y'all there on my plate was 3 HUGE pieces of chicken, spicy green beans, mashed potatoes and gravy and a roll of some kind. I ate what I could and was going to leave the rest. Our waiter comes up and asks if I'm finished. I tell him that I am. He goes to take it away and my oh so wonderful date says, "you're just going to throw it away?! Do you know that would feed a whole family in a third world country for a week?!" He then turns to our waiter and tells him to get a box because I'm taking it with me. The waiter looks at him like he's a complete and total jerk, gives him a dirty look and then goes to get me a box. He comes back and you can tell that he feels sorry for me. I put the chicken in a box and asked him if he was going to carry it. His response?! Y'all he grabbed my tiny purse and shoved the thing in my purse. Does he not know that chicken goes bad after 4 hours if not refrigerated?! 

Anyway, I am now walking around Disneyland carrying a stupid piece of chicken in my purse. We are hardly speaking at this point and I'm wondering why we aren't just leaving because I'm making it obvious that I can no longer stand this man. But he's determined to stay ALL day so that the money he spent on tickets doesn't go to waste. 

I can't even remember what we decided to do next but we took a potty break first. Y'all. I was SO tempted to throw that stupid piece of chicken away in the bathroom garbage but I thought, with my luck, he'll check my purse the moment I walk out of the bathroom. And before you think, no! He didn't! Yes! He did! He grabs my purse, opens it up and checks to make sure it is still there. 

As the evening comes to an end, he decides that we're going to eat dinner at the Rainforest Café. I told him that I was going to buy dinner because if I decided that I do NOT want to take my food home with me, I'm not going to take it home with me. He proceeds to order something really expensive and when it comes, there's a ton of food on his plate. Is your mind going where mine went as we were eating? He hardly touched a thing. When the waitress came he just stared at me smirking. He wanted to see if I would make a scene similar to the one he made at lunch but I didn't even give him the satisfaction. I just looked at him and said, are you ready? He was kinda shocked. I handed the waitress my card and once I signed the receipt, we were out the door heading to his truck. 

I'm sure you're probably thinking, man! What a date! But it's not over yet. The entire way home he doesn't say a single word to me. He proceeds to call anyone and everyone in his phone just to talk to them. A lot of them knew that he was on a date and when they discovered he was driving home with me in the truck, they made him get off the phone. He finally called some girl and was setting up a date with her for the following weekend. He spent the rest of the drive home talking to her. 

Needless to say, by the time we got back to his house I was SO glad to get away from him. My parting words were, thanks! Have a great night! And off I went thinking, no wonder you're divorced. Your poor ex-wife! Haha. 

And you know the girl he called to set up that date with? They ended up getting engaged on New Year's Eve. How do I know? We happened to be at the same New Year's Eve church dance and he was following me around, dragging her behind him trying to get me to notice his ring on her finger. I just rolled my eyes, laughed and walked away. Was that the last time I saw him? Nope!

Fast forward years later and I'm in Manti, Utah with my family. I see this chick that looks familiar but I can't place her. I walk outside and as I'm walking around guess who I see?! Yep! You guessed it! Mr. Chicken in the Purse! (It's what my friends nicknamed him after they laughed hysterically at my story). I instantly turned around and started walking in the opposite direction. What did he do?! He freaking followed me! I was like what the crap dude! Leave me alone! I gave him a dirty look and might have said something about a stalker before I found my car and hopped in it to wait for my family. As I was sitting there it finally dawned on me who that chick was... his wife! I may or may not have been shocked that they were still married! 😂 

So, that's my story! What about you? Have you been on any bad dates that you don't mind sharing? I would love to hear one of them! I can't be the only one that went on a bad date, right?! Haha.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Just His Secretary by Donna Jeffries


She's just his secretary…until he needs someone on his arm to convince his mother that he can take over the family business. Then Callie becomes Dawson's girlfriend—but just in his text messages…but maybe she'll start to worm her way into his shriveled heart too.

Dawson Houser makes sure everyone who comes into the office knows I'm "just his secretary."

Heck, I've even said it to suppliers and CEOs when they smile knowingly at the two of us during business meetings. He scowls and grumps around the office afterward, as if the two of us dating is the most ridiculous thing on the planet.

Dawson can handle them. I can handle them—and him too, once they leave. And he's no picnic, let me tell you.

Who can't we handle?

His mother.

When Lila Houser comes to town with her faux furs and fashion sunglasses, she only has one question for her spoiled rotten son: When are you going to get married, Dawson, darling?

I expect him to laugh and tell her he's never getting married. I mean, I've heard those exact words come out of his mouth.

Instead, he pulls me to his side and says, "Maybe sooner than you think, Mother."

Oh, that Lila Houser can make a woman feel two inches tall with a simple up-down look. I think I'm a pretty good matter what my last three boyfriends say.

When Lila says, "I thought Callie was just your secretary," I suddenly want to prove her dead wrong...

My Review: 4 Stars

Y'all know how much I love finding new authors to try. What you probably don't know is, while searching for said authors, I ALWAYS check Goodreads to see if any of my friends have read their books. And when they haven't I get really excited. It's like finding gold at the end of the rainbow.

From the moment I read the synopsis, I was intrigued and could not wait for this book to be released. How long have I had my eye on it? For about a month. I may or may not have let out a little squeal as I was one-clicking this baby.

Callie is a very strong, independent woman who knows what she wants in life and is not afraid to go out and get it. Her self-confidence is rather inspiring. She's definitely someone I can see myself being friends with. You can't help but want to do better and be better when she's around. Dawson is a prime example for that.

Speaking of Dawson, the man can definitely be a beast to others around him. He's jaded and stuck in his ways. That is until Callie starts working her magic without him even realizing it. Watching him transform into a better person and seeing their relationship develop was a fun journey.

While I really enjoyed the book and had a hard time putting it down, there were a couple of things that stopped me from giving it the full 5 stars I wanted to give it. The main reason is there are parts of the book that just didn't make sense to me. People were hot and cold for reasons that readers are not shown. There's miscommunication that didn't fit who the characters are. The other part is there are some grammatical and editing errors throughout the book that beta readers and/or the editor should have caught.

But, like I said, it didn't stop me from enjoying the book. I was only about 23% in before I reached out to one amazing friend and about 34% in before I reached out to another amazing friend telling them both that they have to give this book a try! I may or may not have told one... she had me at "power panties"! 🤣

I am definitely looking forward to the rest of the books in this series. I've already read the sneak peek of Tara and Alec's book and I cannot wait to discovery their story!

This is Ms. Jeffries debut novel and I can already tell she's going places. I can't wait to see where her writing journey takes her.

As for my casting... *dreamy sigh* Y'all! I'm in love! What do you think?!

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Book of the Month - April 2021


Welcome to
KJ's Book Nook
Book of the Month! 

It should come as no surprise how much I adore all of Jennifer Peel's books. That's what happens with a favorite author. Their books are my happy places. When I first started reading this book, I instantly connected with Gracie. Why you ask? Two words. Bad dates. Seriously. She and I have been on some doozies. Make sure to check out my review for a couple of mine.. 😉 This book had me feeling all the feels and I didn't want it to end! If you haven't read this book yet then you are most definitely missing out! 💗

For her, it was love at first sight. For him, love wasn't an option.

Twenty years ago, Gracie Cartwright became the first prom queen in the history of Pecan Orchard High School to be stood up. Now, she's on a mission to plan the ultimate high school reunion and get the prom night she always envisioned. All she has to do is find the perfect date. But after going on thirty-five blind dates, she's losing hope that she'll find Mr. Right--or at least Mr. Right Now. Then Brooks Hamilton, the man she knew she was meant to marry, walks into her spa for a facial massage. Too bad she's never forgiven him for standing her up at prom all those years ago. If that isn't enough, she finds out he's dating her nemesis and he's a divorce lawyer who doesn't believe in marriage. And what's worse is, he doesn't recognize her.

However, when Brooks's estranged father falls ill, the pair are thrown together and sparks fly when the old friends butt heads about almost everything. But despite the tension, it doesn't take long for Brooks to recognize that maybe he made a huge mistake letting Gracie go all those years ago. But is it enough for him to let his guard down and admit he was wrong about relationships and give Gracie the prom night she always dreamed of? Or will they miss out on the love that's been right in front of their faces the entire time?

You can check out my review here.

Happy reading my fellow Book Dragons!