Book Review

Book Review: Swing and a Miss (Washington DC Soaring Eagles #2) by Aven Ellis- 5 Stars

Welcome back to DC, the home of the Soaring Eagles baseball team! Katie is still reeling over the night she fainted on her crush, baseball player AJ Williamson after getting the chance to meet him thanks to the fact her best friend Hayley dates his teammate, Brody.

Katie’s always loved baseball. She’s had a crush on AJ the baseball player forever, but when she gets the chance to really know the real him, she begins to fall for Andrew Joseph, who is more than a baseball star-he’s a lover of Fraiser, old movies, and amusement parks.

All of the interactions between the two of them just seemed so real and genuine. I loved how AJ stopped in to the coffee shop where Katie works after his game and they spent ours talking, and sharing coffee and pastries, and when they spent the day riding roller coasters together!

Of course, with new relationships come doubts that can threaten to tear a couple apart. Katie will be starting law school soon and knows it will take up all of her time. AJ is a celebrity, and he’s never felt settled in his life thanks to his parents moving him around constantly. Will Katie’s past celebrity crush cause AJ to have doubts that he isn’t good enough and that she just wants to be with him for the baseball part of him? Will he be okay with the fact that Katie’s schoolwork leaves little time for love and fun?

This is such a sweet romance! Even if you don’t like baseball you will still appreciate the relationship and fun moments between Katie and AJ!

I received a copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review!

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author interview, Book Review, Life

Author Interview & Giveaway! Featuring Aven Ellis

Hey yall! I’m so excited for today’s post! I thought it would be fitting to share one of my favorite authors with you today for my first ever author interview here on the blog!

If you have followed my blog for some time you know I am a huge fan of Aven Ellis. I won a giveaway in 2014 (!!!!) for her book Waiting for Prince Harry from her Dallas Demons hockey series and have been a loyal fan ever since.

She is my go-to author when I am in a reading rut. I love her stories, and I love her as a person. She is a genuine friend who is fun, witty, sweet, and quirky, and that all comes through in her characters making them super relatable. She writes romantic comedies, some about sports such as hockey and baseball, as well as a royals series! Some things you can be sure of with Aven’s books-she will make you laugh and swoon, sometimes cry, but she will ALWAYS give you a happy ending! Her characters and stories just have a way of lifting you up and giving you an escape from the real world for awhile.

So without further adieu, let’s get on to the interview!

 

Favorite book you’ve written? Oooh Tough! But since I’ve written 18, three-way-tie: The Aubrey Rules, A Royal Shade of Blue, and Squeeze Play. 

How did you get in to writing? I wrote my first short story when I was eleven. I have been writing stories ever since! 

Fave Starbucks drink? They rarely offer it, but the chocolate cherry mocha latte. 

Pick one: Aldi or Trader Joes? ALDI! I love a bargain! 

What comes first- title, or story? 
Depends. I’ve done it both ways. 

What about character name or character description?
I see the person before the name. In Connectivity, Mary-Kate was Sydney but it kept bothering me, like that wasn’t right. Then I was flipping channels one night and stumbled on the credits for  Full House and saw Mary-Kate and I knew that was my name for her. 

What is your can’t live without lipstick shade?
Right now I’m digging a pink metallic called Love me Later by Cover Girl. 

What is your writing process? Do you have a set routine every time?
Yes. I always write a two sentence summary for the book first. Then I write a blurb. Then I sketch the characters and lay out the internal conflicts. This part is very research intensive, and I dig into things like Psychology Today and other emotional conflict reading to get to the heart of the character. I also know their fashion style, their hobbies, all the little quirks that make them real. 

If you could only watch one TV show for the rest of your life, what would it be?
GAH I love TV so this is hard! I would say Victoria on PBS. OBSESSED I AM!!! 

What can readers expect next? 
Swing and a Miss, the second Soaring Eagles series book, is coming out Saturday, November 10th! The Princess Pose, Modern Royals #2, will be my first book in 2019. 

 

Thank you so much Aven for allowing me the pleasure of interviewing you on my blog! If you would like to win an ebook copy of any of Aven’s novels, leave me a comment telling me YOUR go-to author! Make sure you’re following my blog also! I have reviews for all of her novels here on the blog so browse around and give some of her stories a shot-I know you’ll love them!

*Winner will be picked randomly. The giveaway will end Wednesday, November 14th.*

 

Pre-Order Aven’s upcoming new release, Swing and a Miss on Amazon

Blurb:

Law School? Starting in the fall.
Romance? Who has time for that, see law school.
Fainting in the arms of your secret celebrity crush? Mortifying.
When your celebrity crush asks you out? HA HA HA yeah right that’s so not happening.
Until it does …

For Katie McKenna, passing out and landing in the arms of Washington DC Soaring Eagles baseball player AJ Williamson is one of those moments she’d rather forget. Embarrassed beyond belief, she tries to pretend the incident never happened. She puts the escapade behind her, choosing to spend the summer preparing for law school–and admiring AJ safely from afar.

AJ, however, can’t forget the brunette with the green eyes who he caught that night on the concourse. She was funny. Quick. Not afraid to be herself. Intrigued, AJ wants to know more–and makes his move.

When Katie and AJ meet a second time, she finds herself no longer seeing him as AJ, the baseball player, but as Andrew Joseph, the man she is falling for. As her feelings grow, so do her doubts. AJ is known for his wanderlust, and his contract is up this year–will he even be in DC next season?

Katie has her own worries. Law school is going to consume her and is notoriously hard on relationships. The last thing she wants is for AJ to be a casualty of that. With the start of school looming closer, and her heart falling faster, Katie worries if she will be able to give AJ everything he deserves.

Can these two people find a way to realize they are worth the risk for the other to take? Or will their chance at love result in a swing and a miss?

 

Other Places to Find Aven:

Blog

Instagram

Facebook

Goodreads

Amazon Author Page

Book Review

Book Review: Breakout by Aven Ellis- 5 Stars

breakout

While Texas is known for loving football, Lexi Stewart has always been drawn to the ice. Hockey is her passion, and she wants nothing more than to pursue a career in video editing for the home network of the Dallas Demons hockey team.
Lexi has an editing job for a corporate account, but it’s not fulfilling. Nor is her dating life, despite having the so-called help of The One Online Dating Service. Lexi knows there has to be more for her—on both fronts. She’s ready to take the next step, but it doesn’t seem like it’s going to happen anytime soon.
Until a flying puck changes everything.
Niko Xenakis is the new Dallas Demons TV producer, and he’s looking to make his mark in his new role and hopefully work his way back to his hometown of Baltimore. But once he meets Lexi, he might just change his mind on what he wants for his future . . .
But the road to love is never easy, complicated by the fact that they both carry emotional baggage from the past in their hearts. Can these two “breakout”of the past to find love in the present?

 

The third book in the Dallas Demons series is just as romantic and funny as the previous two! Lexi is trying to achieve her dream of editing hockey for Total Access Total Sports when one day, the answer to her dreams literally crushes her against the bleachers to save her from a runaway hockey puck! From the start I was in love with Lexi and Niko. Lexi is such a headstrong woman who, like I always say about Aven’s female main characters, is someone I want to be friends with. She grew up in Dallas with her adoptive parents, who are well off, but Lexi has paved her own way and never relied on their money, and by whom she is loved and adored by.  Lexi is surrounded by loving, encouraging people, like her best friend Kenley, and second mother, CiCi, but deals with feelings of being abandoned and left unloved since her birth parents gave her up. She is a wonderful friend, has beautiful red hair, an eclectic collection of pj pants, is passionate about hockey, and pursuing her dream job. Niko is Greek, with Mediterranean sea blue eyes, and a Greek tattoo that peeks out from his dress shirts. Niko comes from a completely different background than Lexi. He grew up working in his parents bakery in Baltimore without any encouragement from them to pursue his dream of producing. They expect him to work in the bakery and marry a “nice Greek girl.” He has always felt like he is not good enough and a disappointment to his family.

So the two each bring some baggage to the table. Like all of Aven’s novels, as in real life, this isn’t a perfect-nothing-goes-wrong romance. Lexi and Niko have fights, there are mis-communications, but they always work things out. Lexi has to deal with a “reality show reject” at work who has eyes for Niko. Niko  needs to stop thinking of himself as the son who lets his parents down and realize he is worth love, from the right woman. As I’ve said before, I don’t think any couple can top William and Mary-Kate (Connectivity) but Niko and Lexi are coming in at a close second! This book will make you laugh, cry, and wish with all your heart that things start to fall into place for Lexi and Niko soon! The little gifts that Niko brings Lexi, like finger-less gloves for working in the office, and her favorite Gingerbread Latte, are so sweet and thoughtful.

The supporting characters are awesome as well- I really loved CiCi in this book. She is still nosy, but loves Lexi like a daughter and will do anything to help her and Niko stay together! And Kenley is such a great best friend. She’s always there with some yummy chocolate and to offer advice, especially when Lexi doubts herself.

The setting, besides the romance, is one of my favorite aspects of this book as it’s set around the holidays, Thanksgiving and Christmas. I love looking at Christmas lights and just being surrounded by the magic of the holiday season, and it’s always great when Starbucks brings back their red cups! 🙂 Another fun and memorable aspect of Aven’s books are the attention to detail. For example, how Lexi wears Jo Malone Wood Sage and Sea Salt perfume (I need to smell this!!) and applies her Bite Rhubarb lip crayon before her date. I LOVE little details like that, it helps me to really envision the character.

I love this book with the intensity of a thousand suns. There’s only one thing I disliked about Breakout- the fact that it had to end! I’m thankful for the epilogue-the fact that there wasn’t a cliffhanger and it was just so beautiful and romantic. Now I can’t wait for On Thin Ice and Trivial Pursuits, some upcoming releases by the author! As always, a huge thank you to Aven for gifting me this novel. Breakout releases November 4th on Amazon!!

Book Review

Book Review: Surviving the Rachel by Aven Ellis-5 Stars!

 

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Thank you to the wonderful Aven Ellis for the gift of this incredible novel!! ❤

Summary from Goodreads

Aven Ellis is one of my favorite authors. You know the ones where, no matter what they write, you just have to have it because you just know it will be amazing?  I was so excited to get to read her latest, which tells the story of Bree, who we meet in Chronicles of a Lincoln Park Fashionista. I absolutely loved Bree’s story. I related so well with her. For a while after graduation, I was so down because I didn’t have a career, after going through school for 4 years and working so hard, only to work a part time, minimum wage job. But like Bree, with the help of an encouraging handsome man, more hard work, believing in myself, and dedication, I now have a career! 🙂 She has moved back home with her parents because she can’t find a professional job, and her meddling mother is trying to set her up with their neighbor’s grandson, Eric. Bree is bummed about having to work as  a cocktail waitress, without a real job in her field lined up, so she decides to get a drastic hair cut for a fresh start. Turns out her “fresh start” is actually “The Rachel”- yup, the look worn by Rachel on Friends in the 90’s! When Bree meets Jack, Eric’s brother, she’s immediately head over heels. He’s got navy eyes, reddish-brown hair, and freckles….how handsome!! Jack is a German translator. He is a good guy, and sometimes doesn’t have a lot of faith or confidence in himself.

I didn’t think I could love an Aven Ellis character more than I did William from Connectivity, but like Bree, I was falling for Jack hard!! (William is still in the top spot because he’s British ;)!) I really enjoy how Aven’s romances are real. True life isn’t all sunshine and daisies. People get hurt, people mess up, but when it comes down to it, love is all that matters! In one moment of the story Bree realized she loved Jack so much that she envisioned themselves scraping by in a tiny apartment, but happy and in love! Bree and Jack both have past loves that they’ve struggled with healing their hearts over, and that brings conflict to Jack and Bree’s relationship. I could honestly feel myself hurting for each of them during these hard times! I love the sweet, dreamy, romantic way Jack speaks to and treats Bree. He’s so loving, playful, and encouraging. I always laughed at their “deal-breakers!” Their relationship reminds me of me and my husband, between the joking and sarcasm and the true love they have for each other. Their first kiss among the fireflies was magical! Bree calls Jack her “firefly who has lit up the darkness” that she felt after Alex dumped her. This review can’t be written without mentioning Diva, Bree’s mom’s Pomeranian. She totally fit her name!! I love that little pup! I thought it was hilarious how Jack took her to Doga (yes, dog yoga)! Without Diva running into Jack’s house and peeing on the floor, Jack and Bree would never have connected! I was engaged in this story from the very start, and didn’t want to put it down! I was constantly wanting to read more of Bree and Jack’s story, but it was so good, I didn’t want it to end!

“You have to get through crises to get to where you need to be.” 

“I just wanted to give you fireflies, but this is as close as I could get in the month of December.”

Fireflies

Thank you Aven, for another wonderful, heart warming, enjoyable read! 

Now I need a book that features Emma!! And I’m requesting Tom Hardy to be male inspiration! 😉

Book Review

Book Review: Chronicles of a Lincoln Park Fashionista by Aven Ellis: 4.5 Stars

fashionista

Aven Ellis gave me the opportunity to read “Chronicles of a Lincoln Park Fashionista” (from here on just “Fashionista”) before it launches on September 10 and I couldn’t be more excited.  You can preorder it here.  Also check out her blog which lists her other books, as well as bonus scenes (which I LOVE!)

Fashionista follows the life of Avery, currently employed by Premier Airlines even though she hates to fly, but, it’s not like she really cares because she isn’t a career driven woman. She just wants a paycheck to afford her shopping habits! She’s blonde, well-dressed, and has a Starbucks card balance I’m jealous of.

When Deacon Ryan has to follow her around shooting her for a travel documentary called Arrivals & Departures, she has to put on a front of being a driven professional woman. Avery is perceived as a husband hunting fashionista, but she is really more than that. She does have dreams and goals, and she is kind and smart. I loved how her mind was always reeling with a million different questions and scenarios because I do that too. Deke wears grungy vintage t-shirts, doesn’t wear cologne, and always hides behind his videocamera. While I enjoyed going on the journey with Avery as she began to understand what she wanted in life, I didn’t really connect with her like I wanted to. Don’t get me wrong, I have a shopping addiction to rival hers, and the scene of her eating Cool Whip straight from the tub was eerily familiar…but I just didn’t have a strong connection with her. As for Deke,  with his golden brown hair and Caribbean sea-colored eyes…no wonder Avery calls him DDG-(drop dead gorgeous) I’m still trying to rack my brain for a man that I feel is perfect as Deke!  Maybe Cam Gigandet?

cam_gigandet_1233028461????

Anyway, Deke and Avery begin to grow closer as he is filming her, and he encourages her to pursue her idea for the Spa Service on the airline, even if everyone shot it down at the beginning. Avery begins to realize she actually does like her job, and it might not be so wrong to have a career! My favorite line from the book comes from when Avery realizes everything: “Life isn’t about supposed…life is about following your heart…your dreams and desires and not what you are ‘supposed’ to do, but rather what you want to do…what you need to do. It’s about doing what is going to make you a better person on the inside.” The only other reason for giving this 4.5 of 5 stars other than being unable to connect with the main character was I really wanted more from Deke and Avery’s relationship. They only realized how much they loved each other at the very end and I wanted more about them growing together as a couple because they were so freaking sweet and cute!! Aven I need bonus scenes on these two!! 😉