Badass Book Review: Hidden in a Small Town by Stacy M. Wray


hidden in a small town

This post may contain affiliate links which means I may get a commission for purchases or clicks made through links in this post. However, the opinions expressed are my own. For more information click here.

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Badass Book Review: Hidden in a Small Town by Stacy M. WrayHidden in a Small Town: A Suspense by Stacy M. Wray
Published by Stacy M. Wray on June 14, 2018
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four-stars

She’s being attacked, losing her footing as she falls to the dusty ground littered with pine needles. Scurrying like a crab, she attempts to stand and then… nothing.

A cold sweat trickles down Slater Montgomery’s spine as he struggles to control his breathing. It’s been years since he’s felt them – years since he’s seen them. The visions which nearly destroyed his childhood. Back then, ignorance and getting high were his allies, providing a false sense of security. Now? He can’t get her out of his head. The girl with the wild curls and fear-riddled eyes – the girl of his dreams.

Except, Slater knows this is no dream. It’s too real, too raw. The details, her emotion… before he can convince himself not to, Slater finds himself packing a bag and leaving his picturesque Wyoming home in search of the woman haunting his every waking moment. He just needs to see her once, just to be certain she’s safe. Just to be sure he’s not losing his mind.

What Slater imagined to be impossible – actually finding the mysterious woman – proves to be just the beginning. As secrets are exposed, Slater finds himself trapped in a web darker than he ever could have imagined. One which he’s not quite sure either of them will survive.

It started as a vision. A dream-like scene flashing through his mind. The ending?

A nightmare.

Review
I have to say Hidden in a Small Town really took me by surprise. This is one of the best ARC’s I’ve had the pleasure of reading in a long time. It was my first read by author Stacy M. Wray and it did not disappoint.
The writing drew me into the lives and worlds of Slater Montgomery and Nora Greer and a steamy, rural Indiana summer. Its originality is impressive and I always love a story that can keep me guessing until the very end. Hidden in a Small Town is a page-turner sprinkled with scenes that are truly heart-pounding. It’s full of suspense with a touch of mystery, action, and romance. A welcome departure from my usual genres. 
If you’re looking for a suspenseful summer read, Hidden in a Small Town releases June 14th! Pre-order now!  

About Stacy M. Wray

Stacy M Wray loves writing and reading anything romance - Judy Blume being one of the first authors she read in middle school. After all, a world without love, heartache, and angst would prove a boring place to live.

Lover of gray and white cats, craver of all things sweet, enthusiast of hiking and camping, wife of an extremely supportive husband, and mom to two amusing adult children, she realizes life is pretty damn good.

She also appreciates that it's never too late to try something new. Never.

Badass Book Review: Butterfly Trap by T.L. Fisher

butterfly trapThis post may contain affiliate links which means I may get a commission for purchases or clicks made through links in this post. However, the opinions expressed are my own. For more information click here.

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Butterfly Trap by T.L. Fisher
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three-stars

Can two tortured souls find the beauty in each other?

Party girl, Nikki Kraemer is terrified when she wakes up tied to a dirty mattress in a basement that bleeds and breathes death. Her reality grows more terrifying as she battles her addiction at the mercy of her deadly captor.

This is no ordinary day. Issac Burns has a dangerous secret that has eaten away his moral integrity for ten years. This is the day he will confront his inner demon . . . but Nikki is no ordinary woman. She is certainly not what Isaac expected.

This romantic thriller dives into some dark subject matter and is not for the faint-of-heart. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK.

“…we can’t escape our past, but sometimes in the dark mirror reflecting our life, we can heal and trace an outline of something resembling the person we were meant to be.”
In her Forward, T.L. Fisher describes Butterfly Trap as “a new and somewhat awkward pursuit” in comparison to her usual romance novels. This is the first book I’ve read from Fisher so I have no means of comparison, however, I will say the story is not only creative but also daring and brave. 
The story of Nikki Kraemer and Isaac Burns is a journey down some of the darkest paths any person could embark upon. As Fisher states in her synopsis, “read at your own risk”. Readers will likely find it hard to relate to some of the disturbing subject matter contained in these pages. However, the reality is that these are matters that are a very real part of many people’s lives. Abuse, addiction, life choices that send us down paths we never wanted for ourselves. So keep an open mind and let this book take you down some dark, often overlooked paths of our society. In the end, Butterfly Trap is a story of redemption, finding ways to forgive ourselves for our failures, and overcoming some of the worst of what life has to offer.
Add to that a rather unexpected yet steamy, whirlwind romance between two tortured souls and Butterfly Trap is a recipe for a very intriguing romantic thriller that is dark and ultimately, beautifully tragic. 

About T.L. Fisher

TL Fisher is an author of cruel love stories, so she uses the term romance novelist loosely.

She is an avid believer in the philosophy; life isn’t about finding yourself as much as it is about creating who you want to be. We are the architect of our own destiny.

When she tells a story, her main goal is to make you feel. If you haven’t laughed out loud, breathed a gooey sigh and wiped snot from your nose, she feels she hasn’t done her job.

Her motto in life is—when nothing goes right—go left.

Her best advice—never make eye contact while eating a banana.

Badass Book Review: The Idea of You by Robinne Lee

This post may contain affiliate links which means I may get a commission for purchases or clicks made through links in this post. However, the opinions expressed are my own. For more information click here.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
The Idea of You by Robinne Lee
Published by St. Martin's Griffin on June 13, 2017
Pages: 372
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five-stars

When Solène Marchand, the thirty-nine-year-old owner of a prestigious art gallery in Los Angeles, takes her daughter, Isabelle, to meet her favorite boy band, she does so reluctantly and at her ex-husband’s request. The last thing she expects is to make a connection with one of the members of the world-famous August Moon. But Hayes Campbell is clever, winning, confident, and posh, and the attraction is immediate. That he is all of twenty years old further complicates things.

What begins as a series of clandestine trysts quickly evolves into a passionate relationship. It is a journey that spans continents as Solène and Hayes navigate each other’s disparate worlds: from stadium tours to international art fairs to secluded hideaways. And for Solène, it is as much a reclaiming of self, as it is a rediscovery of happiness and love. When their romance becomes a viral sensation, and both she and her daughter become the target of rabid fans and an insatiable media, Solène must face how her new status has impacted not only her life, but the lives of those closest to her.

“Love, she said, was not always perfect, and not exactly how you expected it to be. But when it descended upon you, there was no controlling it.”
I feel like it’s going to be nearly impossible to write a spoiler-free review for this book – but I’ll to do my best. And I know I’m late to the game on this one. Someone should kick me for waiting so long! 
Author Tarryn Fisher recommended The Idea of You early this year which automatically made it mandatory reading. I jotted it on my TBR and started the first few pages a couple of different times and I just wasn’t quite sure. Then Tarryn announced that Robinne Lee would be a guest at the PLN Retreat I’d be attending this summer so I REALLY had to read it. It was obviously that damn good, but…I kept putting it off…
As I’ve been reading this year, I’ve noticed that the YA just isn’t doing it for me anymore. I’m craving something a little more in my age range, something that more accurately reflects where I’m at in my life. So when I read the blurb one more time, it just clicked. It was definitely time…
I was maybe a quarter of the way in when there was mention in one of my Facebook groups about The Idea of You and ugly crying. This sent me into a state of panic. I hadn’t emotionally prepared myself for ugly crying. I logically knew how the story would likely end so I wasn’t convinced I’d be reduced to tears. But I was still scared.
And so there I was, texting my book buddy at 10:30 at night through snot and tears, to tell her I was never going to be okay again. I was destroyed. Robinne Lee had ripped me apart and she did not put me back together again.
It’s now been over a week since I finished The Idea of You and I still haven’t recovered. There aren’t words for how much I loved this book. I haven’t gotten these kinds of reading feels in a very long time. I’ve spent the last week nursing a book hangover from hell while trying to force everyone I know to read it – even my friends who don’t read. “Here, read this, suffer with me. Please?” 
Needless to say, I’m irritated I waited as long as I did to finally dive in. This book is already in the running for the top spot on my Favorite Reads of 2018. And it’s only May.
The Idea of You is beautifully written. Robinne Lee’s words ooze class and sophistication while still maintaining a sexy edge as you get sucked into Solène and Hayes’ steamy, taboo romance. Their passion and chemistry are unrivaled. 
I’m a 39-year-old divorced, single mom with a 13-year-old child. I’ve also dated much younger men. To say this book hit home would be an understatement. It touches on the very agonizing reality of being a strong, successful, middle-aged, divorced single mom, and having those struggles magnified tenfold when you’re dating a younger man.  All the insecurities you feel on the inside; all the judgments forced upon you from the outside. Robinne Lee touched on every aspect in eloquent detail. She made a seemingly impossible, fairytale scenario seem completely plausible while detailing a very honest look at being a middle-aged woman in our society.
I implore you to read this book. Even if it seems as though you won’t relate – I assure you, you will find some part of yourself in these pages and the rest simply makes for a much-needed escape from reality! I would give The Idea of you 6 out of 5 stars if I could! These are the books I live for!

About Robinne Lee

Robinne Lee is a Los Angeles-based actor, writer and producer. A graduate of Yale University and Columbia Law School, Robinne was born and raised in Westchester County, New York. As the daughter of Jamaican parents of African, Chinese, British and Arawak Indian descent, Robinne has long had an affinity for travel and the arts. Her past endeavors include working as an Editorial Assistant for ELLE Magazine, both in New York and Paris, writing celebrity profiles for the now defunct youth culture magazine, TELL, and running a music management company.

Robinne has numerous acting credits in both television and film, most notably opposite Will Smith in both Hitch and Seven Pounds, Don Cheadle in Hotel for Dogs, and Jennifer Garner in 13 Going on 30. She recently completed shooting Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed, playing Christian Grey’s trusted COO, Ros Bailey.

An inactive member of the New York Bar, Robinne has served as a producer on various independent films and regularly speaks on panels regarding the roles of women and actors of color in the industry. She is an avid runner, a mediocre ballet dancer, and a huge fan of cheese.

Robinne currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two children.

The Idea of You is her first novel.

Badass Book Review: All the Little Lights by Jamie McGuire

All the Little Lights by Jamie McGuire

This post may contain affiliate links which means I may get a commission for purchases or clicks made through links in this post. However, the opinions expressed are my own. For more information click here.

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Badass Book Review: All the Little Lights by Jamie McGuireAll the Little Lights by Jamie McGuire
on May 29, 2018
Pages: 444
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four-stars

The first time Elliott Youngblood spots Catherine Calhoun, he’s just a boy with a camera, and he’s never seen a sadder and more beautiful sight. Both Elliott and Catherine feel like outcasts, yet they find an easy friendship with each other. But when Catherine needs him most, Elliott is forced to leave town.

Elliott finally returns, but he and Catherine are now different people. He’s a star high school athlete, and she spends all her free time working at her mother’s mysterious bed-and-breakfast. Catherine hasn’t forgiven Elliott for abandoning her, but he’s determined to win back her friendship…and her heart.

Just when Catherine is ready to fully trust Elliott, he becomes the prime suspect in a local tragedy. Despite the town’s growing suspicions, Catherine clings to her love for Elliott. But a devastating secret that Catherine has buried could destroy whatever chance of happiness they have left.

“That’s the beauty of a secret. Trust.”
I have to start by saying that I’ve loved everything I’ve read by Jamie McGuire. Her books are so diverse; leading me to read outside my typical go-to genres.
So not only was I excited to learn that she’d be releasing two entirely new books this year, but I was honored to receive the first release, All the Little Lights, as an ARC. (If you haven’t read anything by Jamie McGuire, go grab yourself a copy of Beautiful Disaster ASAP!)
All the Little Lights is a stand-alone releasing May 29th, 2018 as an Amazon exclusive and From Here to You: A Novel will release August 21, 2018, as the first book of the Crash and Burn series.
Jamie’s website describes All the Little Lights as a “dark Young Adult novel about Catherine Calhoun and the frightening secrets living inside the walls of her home”. I was immediately drawn into the dusty little town of Oak Creek, Oklahoma and the lives of Catherine Calhoun and Elliot Youngblood.
McGuire once again showcases her ability to create a complete departure from her previous works in this suspenseful and mysterious YA romance.
Not only is it dark, twisty, and full of intrigue, but WOW! The events that unfolded throughout the story had me completely blindsided. The high school romance between Elliot and Catherine is heartwarming and sweet but ultimately takes a back seat to Catherine’s secrets. This book will leave you feeling like you need to go back for a re-read once you understand the truth!  
If you’re looking for something that will keep you turning the pages and might even keep you up at night, you should definitely check out All the Little Lights by Jamie McGuire. It’s a page-turner that was a much-needed change of pace in my TBR list!
Go Pre-Order All the Little Lights and let me know what you think come May 29th!  

About Jamie McGuire

jamie mcguire

Award-winning author Jamie McGuire was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She attended Northern Oklahoma College, the University of Central Oklahoma, and Autry Technology Center where she graduated with a degree in Radiography.

Jamie paved the way for the New Adult genre with the international bestseller Beautiful Disaster. Her follow-up novel, Walking Disaster, debuted at #1 on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists. Beautiful Oblivion, book one of the Maddox Brothers series, also topped the New York Times bestseller list. In 2015 and 2016, the following three Maddox Brothers books, Beautiful Redemption, Beautiful Sacrifice, and Beautiful Burn also topped the New York Times, as well as Beautiful series novellas, A Beautiful Wedding and Something Beautiful. The fifth Maddox Brothers Series novel, A Beautiful Funeral, debuted at #4 on the New York Times, also making appearances on the USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists.

Novels also written by Jamie McGuire include: apocalyptic thriller, Red Hill; the Providence series, a young adult paranormal romance trilogy; Apolonia, a dark sci-fi romance; and several novellas, including Red Hill companion novella Among Monsters, Happenstance: A Novella Series, and Providence trilogy novella Sins of the Innocent.

Jamie is the first indie author in history to strike a print deal with retail giant Wal-Mart. Her self-published novel, Beautiful Redemption hit Wal-Mart shelves in September, 2015. Her awards include 2014 UtopYA Best Dystopian Book of the Year for Red Hill, and iBooks’ 2016 Romance Novel of the Year for Beautiful Burn.

Jamie lives in Steamboat Springs, Colorado with her husband, Jeff, and their three children.

Badass Book Review: All of You by Fabiola Francisco

all of you

This post may contain affiliate links which means I may get a commission for purchases or clicks made through links in this post. However, the opinions expressed are my own. For more information click here.

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Badass Book Review: All of You by Fabiola FranciscoAll of You (A Rebel Desire Novel Book 3) by Fabiola Francisco, Robin Bateman
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three-half-stars

From the bestselling author in Country Music, comes a new novel in the Rebel Desire Series...  She's a single mom with a messy life. He's Rebel Desire's bass player.

I want what all my friends have.

He doesn't need my baggage.

I can't stop thinking about her.

Romance isn't my priority, my daughter is.

I want to show her she can have it all.

He thinks we can be a family.

Her and Rae are my family now, and no one will take them away from me.

He stays even when it's easier to leave.

I'm going to give her her southern fairytale.

“Nothing is black and white when it comes to the heart.”
Even though I hadn’t yet read anything by Fabiola Francisco when I ventured into the ARC of All of You, I was immediately hooked by the blurb. I’m a single mom and a fan of country music, so I was excited to see where this story would lead. While All of You is the third book in the Rebel Desire Series, it was easily read as a standalone.  
Set in Nashville, it was fun to recognize a few of Jason and Cassidy Rae’s date spots from the many times I’ve visited Music City myself. I’m a sucker for Nashville’s big city vibe full of southern charm!  
The story of Jason and Cassidy Rae is a fairytale romance to be sure. Cassidy Rae struggles fiercely and leads a life of near solitude in order to provide for her daughter Rae. She foregoes her own hopes and dreams for the chance to give her daughter a brighter future. With everything Cassidy Rae sacrifices of herself, you yearn for her to accept the chance at a happily ever after.
I enjoyed the fact that All of You delivers an air of hope. You never know what life has in store and at any moment everything can completely turn around. Being whisked away by a rich, handsome, country music superstar is probably a bit of a stretch. But it’s nice to get a little dose of rags to riches romance every once in a while, right? 😉
Have you read All of You or any of the other books in the Rebel Desire series? Drop me a line and let me know what you think!

 

About Fabiola Francisco

fabiola francisco

#1 Best Seller in Country Music
Amazon Top 100 Bestselling in New Adult & College Romance.

Fabiola Francisco loves the simplicity—and kick—of scotch on the rocks. She follows Hemingway’s philosophy—write drunk, edit sober. She writes women’s fiction and contemporary romance, dipping her pen into new adult and young adult. Her moods guide her writing, taking her anywhere from sassy and sexy romances to dark and emotion-filled love stories.

Writing has always been a part of her life, penning her own life struggles as a form of therapy through poetry. She still stays true to her first love, poems, while weaving longer stories with strong heroines and honest heroes. She aims to get readers thinking about life and love while experiencing her characters’ journeys.

She is continuously creating stories as she daydreams. Her other loves are country music, exploring the outdoors, and reading.