Monday, October 9, 2017

Review: Chasing Christmas Eve


It may be Thanksgiving here in Canada (Happy Thanksgiving, friends!) but I'm getting the holiday spirit going already with Chasing Christmas Eve by Jill Shalvis. This is the latest in her HeartbreakerBay series but you don’t have to read the others to enjoy Colbie and Spence’s story. Of course, if you’re like me and haven’t read them you’re probably going to want to go back and visit the stories Shalvis has already written. That’s how much fun and how sweet this novel was!

Here’s the synopsis via Goodreads:
Meet cute...Run for the hills—temporarily. That's Colbie Albright's plan when she flees New York for San Francisco. Wrangling her crazy family by day and writing a bestselling YA fantasy series by night has taken its toll. In short, Colbie's so over it that she's under it. She's also under the waters of a historic San Francisco fountain within an hour of arrival. Fortunately, the guy who fishes Colbie out has her looking forward to Christmas among strangers. But she's pretty sure Spencer Baldwin won't be a stranger for long.
Make merry...Spence's commitment to hiding from the Ghosts of Relationships Past means he doesn't have to worry about the powerful—okay, crazy hot chemistry—he's got with Colbie. Just because she can laugh at anything, especially herself... just because she's gorgeous and a great listener just because she gets Spence immediately doesn't mean he won't be able to let Colbie go. Does it?
and hope for a miracle.Now the clock's ticking for Colbie and Spence: Two weeks to cut loose. Two weeks to fall hard. Two weeks to figure out how to make this Christmas last a lifetime.

It was really easy to see why Spence would fall for Colbie. I loved her too! She was smart, funny, and down to earth. She had issues – which reared its ugly head a few times over the course of the novel – but she seemed committed to working through them. After running away, of course. I do wish she was more firm with her mom and brothers at the end because they really were taking advantage of her. I get that she’s a fixer – I kind of am myself – but she was so focused on that that she couldn’t see that maybe her life could be different and oh so much better with Spence and San Francisco.

It was also easy to see why Colbie loved San Francisco. I’ve never been but it’s on my travel bucket list. The area Spence and his friends live in sounded so great and had a nice small town vibe in the middle of a big city.

Spence had a really awesome, loyal group of friends which are his self-made family. I loved the friendship between all of them. They’re super protective of him because other people from his past have taking advantage of him. For the most part, that’s sweet. But sometimes their protectiveness became a little extreme. I get that they might assume Colbie is a reporter since they know virtually nothing about her but I also couldn’t quite see why there was so much fuss about Spence. Sure he’s crazy smart and rich and good-looking but…I don’t understand why the media was crawling all over him. I also really didn’t understand why Elle was so crazy Mama Bear protective of Spence. It was honestly annoying to read and I wish she, and some of the others, gave him the chance to fall in love instead of blocking his relationship with Colbie whenever they could. They liked her – and it was sweet that the ladies of the group immediately took Colbie under their wing – but instead of allowing her to share her background in her own time, they forced the issue.

The romance was totally believable in this story, even if it happened really quickly. Colbie and Spence had so many common personality traits and differences where it mattered that it made so much sense for them to fall for each other.

I’m finding that most Christmas romances these days aren’t really too Christmassy. So it wasn’t that weird reading a book set in the three weeks leading up to Christmas when it was October and unseasonably warm here in Ontario. But, had I been reading this in December and wanted a romance with all of the Christmas trimmings, I may have been disappointed. As long as you don’t expect Santa or tinsel at every turn, I think you’ll enjoy the hints of holiday throughout this book.

All in all, Chasing Christmas Eve was a really nice read. Jill Shalvis is so talented at creating worlds that are sweet and so much fun to read about. I read this one really quickly and my heart was full at the end for Colbie and Spence. I’d consider that a win.

Excerpt
At the unexpected sight of Spence, Colbie startled hard. How was it that he was the one who needed glasses and yet she’d not seen him standing against the window? “No, I don’t kill a lot of people,” she said cautiously because she was wearing only a towelin front of a strange man. “But I’m happy to make an exception.”
He laughed, a rough rumble that was more than a little contagious but she controlled herself because, hello, she was once again dripping wet before the man who seemed to make her knees forget to hold her up.
“I didn’t mean to scare you,” he said and pushed off the wall to come close.
She froze, but he held up his hands like, I come in peace, and crouched at her feet to scoop up the clothes she hadn’t realized she’d dropped.
Leggings, a long forgiving tee, and the peach silk bra-and-panty set that hadn’t gotten so much as a blink from the TSA guy.
But it got one out of Spence. He also swallowed hard as she snatched them back from him.
“Hold on,” he said and caught her arm, pulling it toward him to look at her bleeding elbow.
“Sit,” he said and gently pushed her down to a weight bench. He vanished into the bathroom and came back out with a first aid kit.
It took him less than two minutes to clean and bandage the scrape. Then, easily balanced at her side on the balls of his feet, he did the same for both her knees, which she hadn’t noticed were also scraped up.
“You must’ve hit the brick coping as you fell in the fountain,” he said and let his thumb slide over the skin just above one bandaged knee.
She shivered, and not from the cold either. “Not going to kiss it better?” she heard herself ask before biting her tongue for running away with her good sense.
She’d raised her younger twin brothers. Scrappy, roughhouse wild animals, the both of them, so there’d been plenty of injuries she’d kissed over the years.
But no one had ever kissed hers. Not surprising, since most of her injuries tended to be on the inside, where they didn’t show. Still, she was horrified she’d said anything at all. “I didn’t mean—”
She broke off, frozen like a deer in the headlights as Spence slowly lowered his head, brushing his lips over the Band-Aid on her elbow, then her knees. When he lifted his head, he pushed his glasses higher on his nose, those whiskey eyes warm and amused behind his lenses. “Better?”
Shockingly better. Since she didn’t quite trust her voice at the moment, she gave a jerky nod and took her clothes back into the bathroom. She shut the door and then leaned against it, letting out a slow, deliberate breath. Holy cow, she was out of her league. He was somehow both cute and hot, and those glasses . . .

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*A copy of this novel was provided by the publisher, Avon Books/HarperCollins, in exchange for review consideration. All opinions are honest and my own.*

Monday, August 28, 2017

Review: Wild Card

Via Goodreads
I've been reading Karina Halle's books for ages now and, lucky for me, she's an author who publishes books really frequently. Due to time and funds, I've skipped buying the last few she's written but once I saw what Wild Card was about I knew I had to have it. Small town? Canadian? Second chance romance? Sign. Me. Up. And guess what? It totally delivered. I loved it!

Here's the synopsis:
What would you give up to have a second-chance at a once-in-a-lifetime love?
Wild Card is a STANDALONE SECOND-CHANCE ROMANCE from the NYT bestselling author of The Pact and Before I Ever Met You.
Rough, raw & rugged.
As the man in charge at Ravenswood Ranch, Shane Nelson has never been afraid to get his hands dirty. His sculpted physique isn't the product of a gym, but of years of hard labor under a relentless sun. His straightforward, alpha tendencies come from a man who knows what he wants and goes after it.
And what he wants is Rachel Waters.
He's never stopped wanting her.
They were childhood best friends, then teenage lovers who evolved into soulmates. But on one fateful night, Shane made a grave mistake, breaking both their hearts in the process.
Now, after six years, Rachel is back in the small, wild mountain town of North Ridge, BC.
Ready to face her past.
Ready to face Shane.
Ready to face his dark secret.
But is a second-chance at a one true love in the cards? Or will their wild hearts be broken once again?
WILD CARD is a complete standalone novel and the first book about the Nelson brothers of North Ridge.
First things first, as the synopsis says, Wild Card is the first book in (I assume) a trilogy about three brothers. It's a sort of series in that the books are connected but you don't have to read each book. Not into second chance stories? That's ok. Wait for Maverick's novel. I'm a bit of a series purist though so I'm going to read each in the order they're written.

Halle has an amazing talent of writing romances that are about so much more than the love story. Her characters are so developed and multi-layered. Their stories will grab hold of your heart and not let go. Seriously, I finished this book hours ago (yesterday, by the time this post will be published) and I've barely been able to stop thinking about it. 

Rachel has a past that is far from sunshine and roses. She's suffered and that pain really came through the pages. So much so that I found myself close to tears in some points. Heart-wrenching in the best way. (That sounds weird to anyone who isn't a reader but readers will understand!) There were a few flashback sections and I was so glad Rachel had Shane when she was younger. There was so much awareness in that little boy and he made it his mission to protect Rachel and make sure she had the best possible life. Until, of course, his secret causes them both unimaginable pain. 

Their love story, though? Swoon. It's hot, it's heavy, it's romantic, it's heartbreaking, it's the stuff of fairy tales. And, best of all, it felt real

It's rare that these types of stories are placed in Canada so I loved that Halle, Canadian herself, placed the story in BC. 

I cannot wait for the next books to be released. I need to know how Rachel and Shane are doing and I'm really looking forward to seeing how Fox and Maverick's love stories end up. If you are looking for a great read that really pulls you in and you will not want to put down, you need to read Wild Card. If you're a fan of Colleen Hoover and KA Tucker, Karina Halle should definitely be on your TBR list. 

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Review: The Second Chance Café in Carlton Square


A few months ago, HarperCollins started a campaign asking #WhoIsLilly. Lilly Bartlett was a debut author but she was the pseudonym for another, more established author. I took part in the campaign, tweeting out clues over the course of week or so, until the big reveal was made. Lilly Bartlett, author of the new book, The Big Little Wedding in Carlton Square, is actually Michele Gorman! I've been reading Gorman's books on and off throughout the years so it was so much fun to take part in the campaign. I never did manage to read the first Lilly book but did dive into The Second Chance Cafe in Carlton Square.

Here's the synopsis via Goodreads:
One chance isn't always Enough
Everyone expects great things from Emma Billings, but when her future gets derailed by an unexpected turn of events, she realizes that getting back on track means traveling in a different direction.
She finds it in the closed-down pub on Carlton Square. Summoning every ounce of ingenuity, and with the help of her friends and family, she opens the Second Chance Café. The charity training business is meant to keep vulnerable kids off the streets and (hopefully) away from the Metropolitan Police, and her new employees are full of ideas, enthusiasm ... and trouble. They'll need as much TLC as the customers they’re serving.
This ragtag group of chancers have to make a go of a business they know nothing about, and they do get some expert help from an Italian who's in love with the espresso machine and a professional sandwich whisperer who reads auras, but not everyone is happy to see the café open. Their milk keeps disappearing and someone is canceling the cake orders, but it's when someone commits bloomicide on all their window boxes that Emma realizes things are serious. Can the café survive when NIMBY neighbors and the rival café owner join forces to close them down? Or will Emma’s dreams fall as flat as the cakes they’re serving?
While you don't necessarily have to read the first book about Emma, I would suggest it. I wasn't really confused about her life or anything like that but I wish I had been able to read how she and her now-husband Daniel, met and got married. I also suspect that would have given me even more insight into Emma's character instead of meeting her as she was a mother and trying to fit in opening a business around raising twins.

This novel is definitely a rom-com with more lighthearted laughs and silly scenarios than actual depth, but there is so much heart in this book that the seemingly superficial nature of the story doesn't really matter.

I'm not totally sure why Bartlett chose to start the story in the present, go back in the past, and then work her way forwards to explain the story. It worked just fine but I don't know if I necessarily needed to know (other than from the synopsis) that someone was sabotaging her business before I learned how and why she was opening the cafe.

I did love that Emma was so committed to her trainees. She had two - one teenage boy and one teenage girl. They had had a rough upbringing and at least the girl, Lou, has a record (she'd been caught stealing). Emma's a bit hesitant about the teens but her heart is so big that she really wants to help them succeed. It's equal parts sweet, funny, and frustrating to watch as she trains these kids and tries to give them the tools they'll need to succeed in their future.

The Second Chance Cafe in Carlton Square is a quick and sweet read that's for anyone looking for a fun and lovely story. It'll make you smile and cringe, and probably start hunting for a cafe in your neighbourhood that's just like Emma's. I'm definitely going to be on the lookout for that cafe - and for Lilly Bartlett's next book!

*I received a copy of this novel from the author in exchange for review consideration. All opinions are honest and my own.*

Monday, July 24, 2017

Review: The Big Life


I just turned 30 this year and sometimes think I'm having the longest quarter-life crisis ever. I still don't know what I want to be when I "grow up" so when I had the opportunity to review The Big Life: Embrace the Mess, Work Your Side Hustle, Find a Monumental Relationship, and Become the Badass Babe You Were Meant to Be, I thought, hey, maybe this can help me get my act together. Ann Shoket's book obviously isn't magical so I didn't finish it and immediately know what I need to do to have my Big Life but it certainly gave me a few things to think about to help me get on that path to being a Badass Babe.

Here's the (very long) description of the book, courtesy of Goodreads:
Millennial women are changing what it means to be powerful and successful in the world―for everyone. Forever. You want The Big Life―that delicious cocktail of passion, career, work, ambition, respect, money, and a monumental relationship. And you want it on your own terms. Forget climbing some corporate ladder, you want a career with twists and turns and adventure. For you, success only matters if it’s meaningful. Ann Shoket knows the evolving values of young women more than anyone. She’s the voice behind the popular Badass Babes community, a sisterhood of young, hungry, ambitious women who are helping each other through the most complex issues around becoming who you’re meant to be. As the trailblazing editor-in-chief of Seventeen for the better part of a decade, Shoket led provocative conversations that helped young women navigate the tricky terrain of adolescence and become smart, confident, self-assured young women. Now that they are adding muscle to the frame work of their lives, she’s continuing the conversation with The Big Life.
The Big Life is packed with actionable guidance combined with personal advice from high-profile millennial women who have already achieved tremendous success, plus intimate conversations with a cast of compelling characters and Shoket’s own stories on her quest for The Big Life. You’ll learn to tackle all of the issues on heavy rotation in your mind such as:
  • How to craft a career that’s also a passion.
  • How to get respect from a boss who thinks you’re a lazy, entitled, and self-obsessed millennial
  • Why you need a “squad” of people who support you as you build your Big Life
  • How a side hustle will make you smarter, hotter, and more in control of your destiny.
  • Why work/life balance is a sham and you need to embrace the mess.
  • How to find a partner whose eyes light up when you talk about your ambition.
Written in Shoket’s friendly and authoritative style, The Big Life will help you recognize your power, tap into your ambition, and create your own version of The Big Life.
While there's no real age limit on this book, or searching for and having The Big Life, I think it's ever so slightly geared towards younger Millennials. Nowhere was that more obvious than on the very first page of the introduction as Shoket explained where The Big Life starts - in your bedroom at 16 years old. Shoket's version of this teen dreamed of being a digital influencer and imagined an Instagram-worthy first apartment. I had hardly mastered the Internet at 16 and Facebook wasn't even a thing yet (to be fair, it would be founded a year after I turned 16), let alone Instagram. But all that is ok. I'm still a Millennial and the stereotypes this generation fights against are ones I have to fight against too. 

Shoket is a huge believer that women can do bigger and better things if we help each other. I love that. It makes so much more sense than trying to take down another woman on social media or not assisting a co-worker when she has the opportunity to totally kick ass. Building up the females around you isn't going to hurt you. It can only help. Of course, that's easier said than done but it's definitely a thought to keep firmly in mind.

Something I found pretty interesting was when Shoket explained that Carrie Bradshaw's life and version of "having it all" has completely changed for today's young women. How we get ahead in life and in our careers is totally different than it was for the women in Sex and the City and everyone else in that generation. 

When you read this book you'll most likely find sections that really resonate and others that don't reflect your life at all. For me, I wanted to focus more on the career and side hustle sections of this book than the relationship and family side of things. I have an amazing boyfriend and we don't plan to have kids so there's no concern about pausing my career to pop out babies. But I don't really have a career to pause anyway, which is my problem. Sure, I have a job that keeps the bills paid but I'm still looking to be able to use my passions for the majority of my time instead of trying to fit them in around a 40-hour work week. 

There's a lot of Real Talk in this book and, for an introvert like me who hates criticism, it's hard to take a look at your own life and pick out what you could be doing better. There's nothing I'm doing wrong, per se, and Shoket definitely isn't saying anyone's current life is wrong, but I could be hustling more to help get me closer to that Big Life. On the flip side, Shoket also warns against comparing your life to those around you. You know you do it when you scroll through social media...I definitely do, especially when I've had a rough day or week. You also know that what's posted online is the shiniest version. You should be happy for your friends and jealousy shouldn't enter the picture. Instead, focus on how that woman has got to where she is. You probably didn't notice the hustle going on behind the scenes before she got to this point. I'm not saying I'm great at this but I'm definitely going to make a point of thinking about how those women - who seem to have it all together - got to where they are and how I can use their experiences for my own hustle.

Some people might find it odd that Shoket, who is in her 40s, is writing a book on how to kick ass at being a Millennial woman. But think about this. She was the editor-in-chief for Seventeen during the time many younger Millennials were reading it (I was already in university by the time she took the helm). She successfully ran the magazine and that shows, to me, that she really understands what makes us tick. Plus, she's made it her mission to help young women succeed in and out of the workplace. And she's the boss to many Millennials and there were a few instances in the book where that Gen X insight was really helpful to change my frame of thinking. 

Overall, The Big Life is worth a read if you're really struggling with at least one aspect of your Millennial life. You'll definitely find tidbits in Ann Shoket's book that you'll flag and return to time and time again until your Big Life finally clicks. 

*A copy of this book was provided by the distributor, Raincoast Books, in exchange for review consideration. All opinions are honest and my own.*

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Review: Kim vs The Mean Girl


I don't read a ton of YA these days. There are so many adult titles out there that I only make time for important stories (think The Hate U Give) or my favourites (I will always read Sarah Dessen). But when Meredith Schorr, one of my favourite authors, writes a YA prequel to one of my all time favourite romcoms? Yeah, I'm gonna read it. Kim vs. the Mean Girl gives the origin story, if you will, of Kim Long from Blogger Girl (which I adored and reviewed here). I actually beta read this one for Meredith but I read the book again after it was officially published and I loved it each time.

Here's the synopsis:
High school sophomore, Kim Long, is no stranger to the “mean girl” antics of Queen Bee Hannah Marshak. When Hannah steals Kim’s diary and in front of the entire class reads personal (not to mention humiliating) entries Kim wrote about her crush, Jonathan, Kim vows to enact revenge.
Kim and her loyal best friend, Bridget, come up with the perfect plan to put the evil Hannah in her place once and for all. But will their scheming have the desired effect of getting even, or will Hannah emerge more celebrated by her peers than ever?
Kim vs. The Mean Girl can be read as a young adult standalone novel, but it is also a prequel to the popular Blogger Girl adult romantic comedy series and is set in 2000. Told in the duo perspectives of teenage Kim and Hannah, fans of the series will get an inside look into Kim’s early passion for reading, writing (and Jonathan) and find out why Hannah is so darn mean.
Like many authors, Meredith has dedicated beta readers she uses for every book. While I'm a huge fan of hers, she normally doesn't ask me to read the work in progress so I can have the full, finished, polished book to read and review. Kim vs. the Mean Girl was different. Why? Because it's about a teenager in 2000. I was just becoming a teenager myself at that time so I helped Meredith get into the mindset of a teen from that era. So much fun! I actually dug out my own diaries from that time *shudder* But, it helped remind me what my life was like. I also did a lot of online research and I'm so glad the fashion trends from those years haven't made any comebacks. If you read this one (and you totally should), a teeny part of the storyline was inspired by yours truly (hint: it involves Dawson's Creek). One final pat on the back: I was, well, kind of blown away by being mentioned three times in the acknowledgements. Thanks, Meredith! :) xo

I really thought Meredith did a great job of writing a YA story. Not only that, but it can stand alone while also giving Blogger Girl fans a really great story about Kim (and Hannah's) past. Her adult novels (the aforementioned Blogger Girl and Novelista Girl - which I read and reviewed here) allude to the girls' history but it was so cool to actually read about it. You get to see what Kim and Bridget's friendship was like back in high school, you meet Jonathan, and, yes, find out why Hannah is so mean.

I was pretty lucky in high school and didn't have any mean girls that really picked on me for no reason. But, I was still a teenage girl once and I know how they operate. Even if you're safe from the mean girls, they're still out there. Reading Hannah's portion of the stories was hard sometimes. Seriously, she didn't have to be so horrible and it hurt my heart every time she said something hurtful or snarky to anyone, especially her so-called friends. Meredith wrote those scenes so exceptionally well. (OK, she wrote every scene well, let's be real.) But, reading from Hannah's perspective gives so much insight into her world and why she was the way she was. There are no excuses for being cruel but it's a reminder that you don't really know what's going on it other people's lives.

Finally, I loved the little Easter Egg Meredith dropped in near the end of the story! Nope, I'm not giving you any more details. Read the books.

I don't think you have to have read Meredith Schorr's Blogger Girl series before reading Kim vs. the Mean Girl but I definitely encourage you to read all of them (well, all of Schorr's novels period as they're all fantastic). You also don't have to be a YA fan though they'll love this story that has a really contemporary feel (even though it's technically not contemporary since it's set in the past...). This is a great series to pick up this summer!

*A copy of the novel was provided by the author in exchange for review consideration. All opinions are honest and my own.*

Friday, June 30, 2017

Cover Reveal: Things to Do When It's Raining


I read Marissa Stapley's debut novel, Mating for Life, almost exactly three (!!!) years ago. I absolutely loved it - you can read my review here. Since then, I've been (im)patiently waiting for her next novel. She's been busy writing book reviews for The Globe and Mail (I'm seriously envious of her for being able to do this...maybe someday that'll be me...) and, happily, working on her second book, Things to Do When It's Raining. The novel is being published in February 2018 and I cannot wait! I've been fortunate enough to see Marissa at several book events over the past couple of years (I actually just saw her on Wednesday night at K.A. Tucker's launch!) and she is just oh so lovely. So, since I love her work and her as a person, I'm thrilled to share her cover with you today!

But first...here's what this upcoming novel is all about:
When secrets tear love apart, can the truth mend it?Mae Summers and Gabe Broadbent grew up together in the idyllic Summers’ Inn, perched at the edge the St. Lawrence River. Mae was orphaned at the age of six and Gabe needed protection from his alcoholic father, so both were raised under one roof by Mae’s grandparents, Lily and George. A childhood friendship quickly developed into a first love—a love that was suddenly broken by Gabe’s unexpected departure. Mae grew up and got over her heartbreak, and started a life for herself in New York City.
After more than a decade, Mae and Gabe find themselves pulled back to Alexandria Bay by separate forces. Hoping to find solace within the Summers’ Inn, Mae instead finds her grandparents in the midst of decline and their past unravelling around her. A lifetime of secrets that implicate Gabe and Mae’s family reveal a version of the past that will forever change Mae’s future.
From the bestselling author of Mating for Life comes a poignant generational story about family and secrets. With honesty and heart, Marissa Stapley reminds us of the redemptive power of love and forgiveness, and that, ultimately, family is a choice.
How good does that sound? I can't wait to curl up with it and a hot chocolate when it's released next year! (Though it's odd to think of drinking a cozy hot beverage when July is tomorrow...)

So...are you ready to see the cover? Of course you are!


I adore the blue and the red together (though...may I ask why the sky is blue when I think it should be raining?). I'm also a big fan of the simple font. I love me some handwritten titles (think Until It Fades, Tucker's book that I just reviewed this week) but the block letters just looks so crisp and lovely.

Go ahead and add Things to Do When It's Raining to your Goodreads shelf and mark your calendars for February 2018. Hopefully you're just as excited for Marissa Stapley's upcoming novel as I am!

Monday, June 26, 2017

Blog Tour: Until It Fades


Until It Fades was my first five star, holy-crap-everyone-and-their-sister-needs-to-read-it book of 2017. I shouldn't have been surprised because K.A. Tucker is one of my favourite authors and I'd probably enjoy anything she writes. Until It Fades, though? Hands down my favourite of her novels. It had everything I love in a story and that, paired with Tucker's excellent writing skills, meant I could barely put the book down. Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada and Atria Books for allowing to be part of the blog tour!

Here's the synopsis (via Goodreads):
Twenty-four-year-old truck stop waitress and single mother Catherine Wright has simple goals: to give her five-year-old daughter a happy life and to never again be the talk of the town in Balsam, Pennsylvania: population two thousand outside of tourist season.
And then one foggy night, on a lonely road back from another failed attempt at a relationship, Catherine saves a man’s life. It isn’t until after the police have arrived that Catherine realizes exactly who it is she has saved: Brett Madden, hockey icon and media darling.
Catherine has already had her fifteen minutes of fame and the last thing she wants is to have her past dragged back into the spotlight, only this time on a national stage. So she hides her identity. It works.
For a time.
But when she finds the man she saved standing on her doorstep, desperate to thank her, all that changes. What begins as an immediate friendship quickly turns into something neither of them expected. Something that Catherine isn’t sure she can handle; something that Catherine is afraid to trust.
Because how long can an extraordinary man like Brett be interested in an ordinary woman like Catherine…before the spark fades?
I was really looking forward to Until It Fades because Tucker hasn't really written a novel that's so suspense-free. I adore those twisty books, don't get me wrong, but going into a book knowing there aren't any murderers to track down or mysteries to work out was kind of nice. I may read a bit out of my comfort zone every once and awhile but I am a slave to Happily Ever Afters. Of course, Tucker put her own stamp on the story. This book might be lighter than her others but that doesn't mean it's without drama or surprises (if you're like me, you won't have everything figured out, which was a nice change for me, actually), which added so much more to the story. 

I can't resist a good story that involves athletes. It's no surprise that Tucker, a Canadian, would write about an NHL player. (Also, minor spoiler alert if you read between the lines, if I was writing a story about hockey players I would probably give a certain team a fairy tale ending too.) If you're not into the sportsing, don't worry. Madden's identity may be incredibly entwined with his profession - which means a lot of hockey talk from him - but the games and the lingo won't get in the way of your enjoyment of the novel if you don't like hockey. After all, Catherine barely understands the game and she gets along just fine with Brett.

I think I've mentioned before that I read when I'm doing cardio at the gym. Because of a bit of a messed up back, I do most of my cardio workout on the recumbent bike. Bonus: it's a great machine for reading. The day I started this book I went to the gym after work for a 30 minute session and I honestly did not even notice the time passing. I was so incredibly engrossed in this book that I just pushed myself on the bike when the intervals required it and kept reading. I couldn't figure out why I felt so tired after my workout until I realized that I was working myself so hard because I was so into the story and I just didn't even realize it. 

Catherine was a fantastic character to read. She's tough and resilient because of the scandal she was involved in seven years earlier. (The book opens in 2010 and has flashbacks so you really get a sense of what happened and how Catherine was feeling at the time.) All she cares about is making sure her daughter, Brenna, is looked after. It's almost impossible to put yourself in her shoes but somehow Tucker made me feel every single thing Catherine was feeling. 

Speaking of characters...there are so many amazing secondary characters in this novel. Lou and Leroy were lifesavers for Catherine right after she left home (Gilmore Girls fans - think of how Mia stepped up for Lorelai and Rory), as was Keith. An aside: I really want Keith to get his own HEA. And Jack. And Misty. Point is...I loved reading about all of the people in Catherine's life.

And that cover? It's so ridiculously simple and doesn't tell you much of anything but I love it. 

I often find that some of the hardest reviews to write are for the books I love the most. Until It Fades is one of those books. I don't feel I can do it justice so I'm going to end this sort of rambling review quite simply: read K.A. Tucker's latest book (out tomorrow). It really doesn't matter what genre you're into. If you want a good, interesting, well written story, you've got it. And then can we please talk about it because I need to gush about it some more!

Find KA Tucker online:
Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram

Want a copy? You can buy one at all these locations:
Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Books-a-Million * IndieBound * Walmart * Apple * Google * Kobo
Already have a copy and want a little something extra? You're in luck - the publishers are giving away FIVE signed copies of Until It Fades. And great news for my fellow Canadians, you are eligible! Good luck :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*An ARC of this novel was provided by the publisher, Simon & Schuster Canada, in exchange for a review as part of a blog tour. All opinions are honest and my own.*