Glass Tidings by Amy Jo Cousins Review



Eddie Rodrigues doesn’t stay in one place long enough to get attached. The only time he broke that rule, things went south fast. Now he’s on the road again, with barely enough cash in his pocket to hop a bus to Texas after his (sort-of-stolen) car breaks down in the middle of nowhere, Midwest, USA.
He’s fine. He’ll manage. Until he watches that girl get hit by a car and left to die.
Local shop owner Grayson Croft isn’t in the habit of doing people any favors. But even a recluse can’t avoid everyone in a town as small as Clear Lake. And when the cop who played Juliet to your Romeo in the high school play asks you to put up her key witness for the night, you say yes.
Now Gray’s got a grouchy glass artist stomping around his big, empty house, and it turns out that he . . . maybe . . . kind of . . . likes the company.
But Eddie Rodrigues never sticks around.
Unless a Christmas shop owner who hates the season can show an orphan what it means to have family for the holidays.







Each year, Riptide Publishing releases a holiday collection in support of an LGBTQ charity. 
Twenty percent of the proceeds of this title will be donated to The Trevor Project.
Founded in 1998 by the creators of the Academy Award®-winning short film TREVOR, The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people ages 13-24.
To learn more about this charity or to donate directly, please visit their website: thetrevorproject.org.  
This collection would not be possible without the talent and generosity of its authors, who have brought us the following holiday stories:
Pre-ordering this collection will allow you to download each story two days prior to its official release date, as well as save almost 25% off the list price of the individual books.



Amy Jo Cousins writes contemporary romance and erotica about smart people finding their own best kind of smexy. She lives in Chicago with her son, where she tweets too much, sometimes runs really far, and waits for the Cubs to win the World Series.
Connect with Amy Jo:
Review

Glass TidingsGlass Tidings by Amy Jo Cousins

This book delivers a sweet romance while also showing some real problems and issues. Everything doesn’t instantly go perfectly. The guys have to work it out. They’re flaued which makes them more enduring. All the holiday settings give that warm Christmas feel. It definitely got me looking forward to the coming season. I recommend Glass Tidings to readers who like a romance with characters who work through their baggage to reach their happily ever after.


***copy given in exchange for an honest review***

FGMAMTC 

Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents

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SideStreets Series by John Choi, Melanie Florence, Cristy Watson and Robert Rayner Review



SideStreets Series



Themes: Anger issues, death & dying, families, underage drinking

Ever since Logan found out that his uncle was involved in the accident that killed Logan’s dad, he’s been full of resentment. He cuts his uncle out of his life, and finds that being reckless is the only way to feel anything. Looking for a place to drink underaged and undisturbed, Logan and his friends break into a house they think is abandoned.


What they find there gets them into trouble with the law and causes Logan’s girlfriend to break up with him. But it also makes Logan face up to his anger and his need to forgive and be forgiven.

This novel combines themes of teen rebellion with what happens when young people are brought face-to-face with the reality of death in a realistic, unsensational story.









Themes: Mental health, cultural diversity, parental pressure, abuse

Emerson Yeung seems to have every reason to be happy– he gets good marks, has some friends, and has a part time job at his parents’ dry cleaning business. But Emerson has been hiding something. The pressure to be the perfect son put on him by his parents that sometimes escalates into abuse from his father. This has led to a depression that leaves him roaming the city in the middle of the night.


When his phone is stolen and used to post racist threats toward the vice principal and a teacher at his school, Emerson gets suspended and is investigated by the police. Not seeing any way out of his situation, he plans to commit suicide. But Emerson manages to find help and to gain the strength he needs to deal with his life.

This novel is a realistic look at how a responsible teen can feel overwhelmed by life’s pressures –and how personal and family tragedy can be averted.









Themes: LGBTQ, gender identity, Native peoples, homelessness, runaways, street youth

Raised on a reserve in northern Ontario, seventeen-year-old Joe Littlechief tries to be like the other guys. But Joe knows he’s different — he’s more interested in guys than in any of the girls he knows. One night Joe makes a drunken pass at his best friend Benjy and, by the next morning, everyone on the rez is talking about Joe. His mother, a devout Christian, is horrified, and the kids who are supposed to be his friends make it clear there’s no place for him in their circle, or even on the rez. Joe thinks about killing himself, but instead runs away to the city.


Alone and penniless on the streets of Toronto, Joe comes to identify with the Aboriginal idea of having two spirits, or combining both feminine and masculine identities in one person. He also begins to understand more about how his parents have been affected by their own experiences as children in residential schools — something never discussed on the rez. And he realizes he has to come to terms with his two-spiritedness and find people who accept him for who he is.

This is a novel that reflects the complex realities faced by young LGBTQ and aboriginal youth today.









Themes: Social justice, dealing with authority, cultural diversity, conflict resolution

In the middle of the night, five teens break into a small town high school that has been closed by the regional school board. They are there to protest the decision to move them to a big city school and make their little town that much smaller. Led by Bilan, whose experience with the Arab Spring fired a passion to peacefully fight against injustice, the Gang of Five occupy their old school. The local police chief and the town quietly cheer them on. When the school board calls in a big security firm to break up their occupation using any means necessary, including force, the five have to decide how far they will go to show their outrage at having no control over decisions that affect their lives.


This is a novel which picks up on themes drawn from the world around us, and shows how these can play out in the lives of contemporary young people.










Review

Dark Side

The lead’s parents are Chinese and different from what he thinks most Canadians parents are. They expect a lot and are sort of abusive. He suffers from depression and anxiety. This book is good about showing the reader that they aren’t alone if they feel this way. 

Riot School

This book seems like it tries to fit all types of people in. A group of kids gets together to protest and they are an extremely diverse bunch. They have to try to work with the system.

Rez Runaway

The lead runs away from the reservation when everyone finds out he’s gay. Even his mother doesn’t want him around. Things just keep going from bad to worse for him. Eventually, he meets a man who grew up with his grandfather and a trans girl who are also homeless. Everything is going wrong, and they have to lean on each other. 

Dead to Me

The lead finds out a secret about his father and uncle that completely changes him. He becomes more of a troublemaker, has a chip on his shoulder. He can’t let it go. He drinks and such. It’s a good lesson about forgiveness and the dangers of drinking. 

***copy given in exchange for an honest review***

FGMAMTC 

Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents

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Muscle Memory by Stylo Fantôme Release Blitz Review

Title: Muscle Memory
Author: Stylo Fantôme
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: August 28, 2017
Blurb

Her lips, the way she feels, how she moves against me. Her voice when she laughs, her eyes when she cries. Her soul connected to mine, for better or for worse, for all eternity.

I don’t remember.

A blank face. Unrecognizable. The darkness and impenetrable fog, day after day after day. Who am I? And for that matter, who is she?

I can’t remember.

Two sides to the same coin – one wants to remember, and the other wants to stay forgotten. Which side will win? Can he trust his heart to bring him back to her? Or will she stay lost in the fog forever?

I might never remember.

Warning: features adult themes

Purchase Links
99c for a very limited time!
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Free in Kindle Unlimited
Author Bio
Crazy woman from a remote location in Alaska (where the need for a creative mind is a necessity!), I have been writing since … forever? Yeah, that sounds about right. I have been told that I remind people of Lucille Ball – I also see shades of Jennifer Saunders, and Denis Leary. So basically, I laugh a lot, I’m clumsy a lot, and I say the F-word A LOT.
I like dogs more than I like most people, and I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t drink. No, I do not live in an igloo, and no, the sun does not set for six months out of the year, there’s your Alaska lesson for the day. I have mermaid hair – both a curse and a blessing – and most of the time I talk so fast, even I can’t understand me.
Yeah. I think that about sums me up.
Author Links

Muscle MemoryMuscle Memory by Stylo Fantome
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love this story. It involves two people that aren’t necessarily the best society has to offer. They do some messed up things and seem toxic at times. This storyline and these characters are so unique and real. Readers take the journey with them through the ups and downs and consequences. The author manages to turn it into one of the sweetest love stories ever. I had all kinds of emotions while reading. I absolutely recommend Muscle Memory.


***copy given in exchange for an honest review***

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Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents

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BEARD IN MIND by Penny Reid Blog Tour Review

BEARD IN MIND BT BANNER.jpg

Beard in Mind, an all new standalone in the bestselling, romantic comedy Winston Brothers Series by Penny Reid, is available NOW!


BIM-cover (2)
All is fair in love and auto maintenance.
Beau Winston is the nicest, most accommodating guy in the world. Usually.
Handsome as the devil and twice as charismatic, Beau lives a charmed life as everyone’s favorite Winston Brother. But since his twin decided to leave town, and his other brother hired a stunning human-porcupine hybrid as a replacement mechanic for their auto shop, Beau Winston’s charmed life has gone to hell in a handbasket.
Shelly Sullivan is not nice and is never accommodating. Ever.
She mumbles to herself, but won’t respond when asked a question. She glares at everyone, especially babies. She won’t shake hands with or touch another person, but has no problems cuddling with a dog. And her damn parrot speaks only in curse words.
Beau wants her gone. He wants her out of his auto shop, out of Tennessee, and out of his life.
The only problem is, learning why this porcupine wears her coat of spikes opens a Pandora’s box of complexity—exquisite, tempting, heartbreaking complexity—and Beau Winston soon discovers being nice and accommodating might mean losing what matters most.


Excerpt:

She’d taken the sofa, in her own house, and given me the bed. That didn’t make a lick of sense.
I crouched next to her, threading my fingers into the silky hair at her temples. “Honey.”
“Mmm.”
I bent to whisper, “Shelly.”
“Hmm?”
“I’m going to carry you to your bed. I’ll take the sofa.”
“Mmm.”
I grinned at her soft noises, at the untroubled expression on her face, and how her brow—even in sleep—still looked regal and stern.
Sliding my arms under her legs and shoulder, I picked her up. And, unfortunately, that woke her up.
She jerked in my arms. “What are you doing?”
“I’m taking you to the bed.”
“Don’t do that.”
“I don’t mind, I’ll take the sofa.” Our mouths were just inches apart, and hers was distracting.
She squirmed. “Put me down.”
Sighing unhappily, I did. I set her on her feet next to the couch. The blanket pooled at her feet and I stepped back to give her some space. It was dark, but I could see her just fine, and that meant I had to force my eyes to remain above her neck. The woman was wearing two pathetic scraps of fabric as pajamas. A thin little tank top and shorts. That’s it.
I set my jaw and turned to the side, waiting for her to walk past.
“Where are you?”
I glanced at her and realized she couldn’t see at all. She didn’t have a hand out, but the way her eyes were moving about the room gave away her blindness.
“I’m here.” I didn’t touch her, because if I did, I wouldn’t want to stop.
Shelly turned her head in my direction and took a deep breath. Still she didn’t reach for me. I didn’t know the specifics of what to expect after her Friday session, but I recalled Dr. West saying something about Shelly doing self-guided ERP exercises over this week.
“Can you see?” She licked her lips, her voice sandpapery. “Because I can’t see at all. It’s so dark.”
“I can see.” Unbidden, my eyes dropped to her body, to the swell of her breasts, the panel of bare stomach, the curve of her hips. Pinpricks of heat raised over my skin and I curled my hands into fists.
She shuffled forward and I caught her before she bumped into me, setting my hands gently at her waist.
“Let me take you to your room.” My voice was rough, for obvious reasons.
Saying nothing, she brought her hand to my forearm, her body gently colliding with mine. And then her hand on my arm slid up my bicep to my shoulder.
“Shelly.” I was running out of breath.
“I like this.”
“What?”
“Touching you.”
Oh fuck.
I held still and endured her hands moving over my body, down the front of my shirt, stopping at the hem, then pushing it up.
“Take this off.”
I did. I pulled the T-shirt over my head and let it drop to the floor.
We stood there, facing each other in the dark, not touching. Despite the session on Friday and the progress that had been made, I realized she wasn’t quite there yet. Dr. West was right, Friday was just a step, the first step. Shelly wasn’t able to initiate contact. Not yet.
Her hands balled into fists and she swayed forward, her breath struggling little puffs.
If anything was going to happen tonight, I had to initiate it. I had to be the one to touch first.
God, how I wanted her. How I wanted her above me, beneath me, surrounding me. But how could I?
“I know why I hesitate,” her voice was breathless, “but why do you hesitate?”
“Lots of reasons.”
“Give me one.”
“I don’t want to you use you.”
“I wish you would.”
That pulled a laugh from me, just a small relief from the mounting tension. My eyes moved over her body, an undeniable impulse to devour the sight of her, her legs, stomach, chest, then up her neck to her lips.
“You asked me on Saturday if sex was a big deal for me, or if it was you. The answer is both.”
She held very still, and I got the sense she was holding her breath, straining to listen.
“You are a big deal to me. I don’t want a fling. I don’t want a flirtation. I want promises.”
“What can I promise you?”
That you’ll love me. That I’ll be your priority.
She shifted her weight from foot to foot. A spike of anxiety that she might leave me like this had me acting without forethought. I lifted my hands to her waist again and immediately, her fingertips skimmed over skin of my lower stomach in response, making my muscles tense in hot anticipation. She grew more assertive as she caressed my sides, abdomen, ribs, chest, shoulders, and then back down.
Shelly stepped closer, a hint of thrilling contact between her breasts and my torso, and all the words and worries melted from my mind, died on my tongue, suffocated by the feel of her body, and the possibility of this moment.
Her finger hooked in the waistband of my jeans. “Take these off.” Her hand turned, her fingers and palm cupping me over my zipper.
Instinctively, I pressed myself into her touch even as I grabbed her wrist.
“Beau, I promise—”
She didn’t get to speak, because I kissed her, hard and wild, unbuttoning and unzipping my fly with one hand and bringing her palm inside my boxers with the other.

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Meet Penny Reid:

Penny Reid is the USA Today Bestselling Author of the Winston Brothers and Knitting in the City series. When she’s not immersed in penning smart romances, Penny works in the biotech industry as a researcher. She’s also a full time mom to three diminutive adults, wife, daughter, knitter, crocheter, sewer, general crafter, and thought ninja. 
PennyReid

Connect with Penny:

Twitter: @ReidRomance
Review

Beard in Mind (Winston Brothers, #4)Beard in Mind by Penny Reid
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Beau seeks the relationships he’s been witnessing. He craves the connection that only a romantic partner can give. Because of this, he’s tried a little too hard to find someone and is determined to remain celibate until he’s certain. Shelly is a blessed with many talents. She’s also crippled by OCD. It rules her every moment and makes it impossible for her to maintain any type of relationship. She is working with a therapist in order to gain a better control of her life. Beau being the kind person that he is, steps right up to help and challenge her. This is a sweet romance with sparks and lots of decent characters. I really love this family. The more I know about them, the more I want to know. I’m looking forward to more from the series.


***copy given in exchange for an honest review***

FGMAMTC 

Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents

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Lady Mechanika La Dama de la Muerte by Joe Benitez Review

After suffering a tragic loss, Lady Mechanika takes a trip to a small Mexican village just in time for their DIa de los Muertoscelebration. But the festivities turn truly deadly after the arrival of the Jinetes del Infierno, the mythical Hell RidersCollects the complete Lady Mechanika Day of the Dead special, La Dama de la Muerte.








Review

Lady Mechanika La Dama de la Muerte TpLady Mechanika La Dama de la Muerte Tp by Joe Benítez
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The artwork in this comic is amazing. The amount of detail on the cover is what drew my attention, and the inside is even better. Every scene could be featured as wall art. This is the first comic I’ve read featuring Lady Mechanika. I didn’t feel lost, but there was a touch of mention from a previous installment. It made me want to read the others out of interest, not because I was confused with this storyline. The female lead is a sort of vigilante hero after a group of villains torturing citizens. It has a bit of a dark vibe and less of a superhero feel than some comics. I liked it and plan to check out more of the series.


***copy given in exchange for an honest review***

FGMAMTC 

Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents

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ILLEGAL CONTACT by Santino Hassell Review




The rules of the game don’t apply off the field in this first Barons novel. 

New York Barons tight end Gavin Brawley is suspended from the team and on house arrest after a video of him brawling goes viral. Gavin already has a reputation as a jerk with a temper on and off the field—which doesn’t help him once he finds himself on the wrong side of the law. And while he’s been successful professionally, he’s never been lucky when it comes to love.

Noah Monroe is a recent college grad looking for a job—any job—to pay off his mounting student debt. Working as Gavin’s personal assistant/babysitter seems like easy money. But Noah isn’t prepared for the electrifying tension between him and the football player. He’s not sure if he’d rather argue with Gavin or tackle him to the floor. But both men know the score, and neither is sure what will happen once Gavin’s timeout is over…


Links

Penguin | Amazon | BN | kobo | iBooks | Goodreads | Google Play





Review

Illegal Contact (The Barons, #1)Illegal Contact by Santino Hassell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I absolutely fell for this story. Noah is awesome. I adore him and the way he cares so much, but I’m in love with Gavin, the grump with a heart of gold type. If you’re one of his people, he has your back. Gavin has anger issues and is on house arrest because of it. Noah is desperately scrambling for a job. He has no idea who Gavin is and doesn’t know much more about football in general. Football is all that Gavin has in his life except for a couple of close friends. Noah becomes Gavin’s PA. Both are pretty blunt so things are a bit antagonistic at first. The more they get to know each other, the more the mutual respect and attraction grow. Yes, there is definitely something between them, but there are also so many reasons why they can’t go there. I like how the characters don’t just hook up, and then everything works out perfectly. They’re mature about the facts and know their actions have consequences. The storyline feels realistic. I understood and felt all the emotions with Gavin and Noah. Illegal Contact has a great storyline and plenty of sexy. I definitely recommend.


***copy given in exchange for an honest review***

FGMAMTC 

Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents

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​ROYALLY ENDOWED by Emma Chase Review

Logan St. James is a smoldering, sexy beast. Sure, he can be a little broody at times—but Ellie Hammond’s willing to overlook that. Because, have you seen him??

Sexy. As. Hell.

And Ellie’s perky enough for both of them.

For years, she’s had a crush on the intense, protective royal security guard—but she doesn’t think he ever saw her, not really.

To Logan, Ellie was just part of the job—a relative of the royal family he’d sworn to protect. Now, at 22 years old and fresh out of college, she’s determined to put aside her X-rated dreams of pat-downs and pillow talk, and find a real life happily ever after.

The Queen of Wessco encourages Ellie to follow in her sister’s footsteps and settle down with a prince of her own. Or a duke, a marquis…a viscount would also do nicely.

But in the pursuit of a fairy tale ending, Ellie learns that the sweetest crushes can be the hardest to let go. *** Logan St. James grew up on the wrong side of the tracks, in a family on the wrong side of the law. But these days, he covers his tattoos and scars with a respectable suit. He’s handsome, loyal, brave, skilled with his hands and…other body parts.

Any woman would be proud to bring him home to her family.

But there’s only one woman he wants.

For years he’s watched over her, protected her, held her hair back when she was sick, taught her how to throw a punch, and spot a liar.

He dreams of her. Would lay down his life for her.

But beautiful Ellie Hammond’s off-limits.

Everybody knows the bodyguard rules: Never lose focus, never let them out of your sight, and never, ever fall in love.

   

EXCERPT

Prologue

Logan

Some men think with their cocks.
You know the type. Quick smooth-talkers, shifty eyes always scanning for a nice pair of legs, a set of full tits, or a tight arse they can pant after.
Other blokes think too much with their brains. You know that type too. Annoyingly careful, slow-moving, constantly parsing their words like they already know whatever they’re saying is going to come back and take a bite out of them.
I’m not either of those.
I always go with my gut. When it clenches with a warning, I act—no hesitation. When it tugs and nudges, I pause and reevaluate. When it twists and writhes, I know, guaranteed, I’ve cocked up big-time.
My gut is my best friend, my conscience, my most lethal asset.
And it has never let me down.
It’s my gut that drags me to her door. That roots me in place as I knock. That gives me the words—pleading, unfamiliar remorseful words—I’ll gladly say to make this right.
To get her back.
Because while my gut is brilliant, sometimes I can be a real fucking idiot.
Yesterday was one of those times.
“Ellie. It’s me—open up, we need to talk.”
I sense movement on the other side of the solid oak door—not in sounds or shifting shadows beneath it, but more of an awareness. I can feel her in there. Nearby and listening.  
“Go away, Logan.”
Her voice is tight, higher-pitched than usual. Upset.
“Ellie, please. I was a twat, I know . . .” I’m not keen on begging from the hallway, but if that’s what it takes . . .  “I’m sorry. Let me in.”
Ellie is difficult to anger, quick to forgive; she just doesn’t have it in her to hold a grudge. So her next words fall like an axe—cutting my legs right off from under me.
“No, you were right. The princess’s sister and the East Amboy bodyguard don’t make sense—we’ll never last.”
Did I actually say that to her? What the fuck is wrong with me? What I feel for her is the one thing in my life that makes sense. That matters.
But I never told her that.
Instead . . . instead, I said all the wrong things.
I brace my palm against the smooth wood, leaning forward, wanting to be as near to her as possible. “Elle . . .”
“I’ve changed my mind, Logan.”
If a corpse could speak, it would sound exactly like my Ellie does now. Flat, lifeless.  
“I want the fairy tale. I want what Olivia has . . . castles and carriages . . . and you’ll never be able to give me that. I would just be settling for you. You’ll never be able to make me happy.”
She doesn’t mean that. They’re my words—the insecurities I put on her—that she’s hurling back in my face.  
But God, it fucking hurts to hear. Physically hurts—stabbing deep into the pit of my stomach, crushing my chest, grinding my bones. I meant it when I said I would die for her . . . and right now, it feels like I am.
I grab the doorknob to walk inside, to see her face. To see that she doesn’t mean it.
“Ellie—”
“Don’t come in!” she screeches like I’ve never heard her before. “I don’t want to see you! Go away, Logan. We’re done—just go!”
I breathe hard—that’s what you do when pain wrecks you, breathe through it. Then I swallow bile, straighten up, turn around and walk down the hall. Away from her. Just like she wants, like she asked. Like she screamed.
My brain tells me to move faster—get the hell out of there, cut my losses and lick my wounds. And my heart—Christ—that poor bastard’s too battered and bloody to say anything at all.
But then, just over halfway down the hall, my steps slow until I stop completely.
Because my gut . . . it strains through the hurt. Rebels. It shouts that this isn’t right. This isn’t her. Something’s off.
And even more than that . . . something is very, very wrong.
I glance up and down the quiet hall—not a guard or a maid in sight. I look back at the door. Closed and silent and still.
Then I turn and march straight back to it. I don’t knock, or wait, or ask for permission. In one move, I turn the knob and step inside.
What I see there stops me cold.
Because whatever I was expecting, it sure as fuck wasn’t this.
Not at all . . .

Emma Chase is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the hot and hilarious Tangled series and The Legal Briefs series. Emma lives in New Jersey with her husband, two children and two naughty (but really cute) dogs. She has a long-standing love/hate relationship with caffeine.

Royally Endowed (Royally, #3)Royally Endowed by Emma Chase

4.5 stars

I’ve enjoyed the previous books, but for me, Royally Endowed has definitely been the best of the series. I loved both of the leads. Ellie is the little sister of the girl who married a prince. Logan is a body guard for the royal family. He has been stationed over Ellie for awhile. This storyline backs up a bit to some of the time periods during the other two books. Ellie is finishing high school, and Logan and Ellie are getting to know each other. She crushes on him and he pretends he doesn’t notice. It’s very cute. I like that Ellie isn’t the quiet little virgin and Logan isn’t the bad boy. They’re just regular humans, with very irregular connections (the royal family). Over the years, a romance becomes undeniable. It’s sweet, but it’s also realistic in the fact that they can’t just lah-di-dah off into the sunset. There are life decisions to be sorted first. It’s a mix of fairy tale and real life. Contemporary romance fans should check this out.


***copy given in exchange for an honest review***

FGMAMTC 

Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents

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