Monday, February 20, 2017

Weddings, Crushes, and Other Dramas by Emily McKay


Falling in love with the best man wasn’t on the program.

Willa is happy to be the maid of honor in her dad’s upcoming wedding to uber-celeb Mia McCain. Not as happy about the best man being her soon-to-be stepbrother, the infuriating—and infuriatingly gorgeous—Finn McCain. Every time their paths cross, the attraction simmering between them grows a little harder to ignore. Willa knows all about guys like Finn—they only want what they can’t have. What’s between them isn’t real.

Finn has never felt anything more real than what’s developing between him and Willa. Sure, her dad warned him to steer clear, but it’s not just about forbidden temptation. He’s determined to prove to Willa he’s not going anywhere—and that happily-ever-after will always be worth the risk.

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains a wedding so crazy it’ll make you laugh, a stepbrother so hot he’ll make you swoon, and a heroine so real she’ll make you cry.


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Book 6
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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Erica☆☆☆☆
Weddings, Crushes, and Other Dramas most definitely cannot be read as a standalone. The Creative HeArts series features four couples written separately by four different authors, all intersecting in the same universe. Willa and Finn are couple #2 in the series, with the first book of theirs being book #2 (this is their conclusion, but also the 6th in the series). Complicated? Yes. So if you're picking this book up to read as a standalone, don't do it. Go back to the beginning.

As a big fan of the series, I've been patiently waiting for more of Willa and Finn's story. Finn has been a large focal point by all the authors in all their books – he's a heartthrob, but also a strong friend to have in your corner. The reader can feel how appreciated Finn is by the creators of the series. Willa was lying just beneath the surface of the other books, seen and often times discussed, but never a scene-stealer. The couple are the perfect balance for one another.

Truthfully, this book had me wanting to reread their first novel before this book, in order to get the full impact, as they are my favorite couple of the series. May do that soon. Enemies with a push-pull romance, mixed with the taboo of the impending doom of becoming step-siblings. Their relationship is the height of forbidden romance. Angsty deliciousness.

If you're reading this review, debating if you wish to buy a copy, you either didn't heed my warning to check out book one in the series, or you're a series veteran. Either way, I'm not going to spoil the plot points. If you're reading this series, by book six, you know all the major players and their stories.

In a nutshell, Emily McKay has a fluid writing style, with characters that exhibit the emotional maturity befitting their age group, with realistic reactions/actions. Dual-POV, we hear both sides. Finn is our brooding, tortured artist, struggling with a conflict of conscience. Willa is basically in denial, closing herself off because it's easier to think Finn a player. As a grown woman, I wanted to shake Willa a few times, give her a piece of my mind, and set her straight. Then I wanted to give Finn a hug and some advice on how to deal with a teenage girl. Both had realistic reactions to the situation they were placed in, which makes for yummy reading.

As a big fan of the author and series, the reason I couldn't hand out a perfect 5-star is two-fold: I wished the story was slightly longer, and I'm well-written novella's biggest fan. A few more pages to tie up loose threads to create solid character building. Also, the adult in me appreciated that this is a young adult novel, keeping it clean for the younger readers. However, the ex-teenager that I used to be, knows that teenagers are not saints. So my only complaint on the not-so-realistic front is the lack of hormonal responses from our kids. Nothing explicit, simply true-to-life. We have a pair of step-siblings in love, living in the same house, so the reader missed out on a lot of tension buildup without any payoff. There was an opportunity for a few heart-pounding moments, which would have been comical. But that's just what I felt was 'missing' from the story.

I look forward to book seven, as well as Emily McKay's next book.

Young Adult age-range: 14+


Also Available in the Creative HeArts Series

Book 1
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For reviews & more info, check out our Ten Things Sloane Hates About Tru post.


Book 2
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For reviews & more info, check out our How Willa Got Her Groove Back post.


Book 3
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Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca

For reviews & more info, check out our Crazy, Stupid, Fauxmance post.


Book 4
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N

For reviews & more info, check out our The Secret Life of a Dream Girl post.


Book 5
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

For reviews & more info, check out our Falling for the Girl Next Door post.



Emily McKay is a life-long fan of books, pop-culture and anything geeky. She has a black belt in Tae Kwon Do baking cookies. She lives in central Texas with her husband, kids, two mildly-psychotic dogs, a three-legged cat and eleven chickens.

Connect with Emily

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http://www.entangledpublishing.com/


Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Weddings, Crushes, and Other Dramas (Creative HeArts #6) by Emily McKay to read and review.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Any Boy but You by Julie Hammerle


Elena Chestnut has been chatting with an anonymous boy late into the night. It’s a very You’ve Got Mail situation, and she has no idea who he is. He can’t be Oliver Prince, hot-and-bashful son of the family running the rival sporting goods store. Their fancy sales strategies are driving Elena’s family out of business. Elena’s mystery boy has teamed up with her in their latest sales strategy, an augmented reality game, to help her win the grand-prize plane tickets. Money’s so tight Elena’s going to miss senior year spring break with her friends if she can’t win this game.

The girl Oliver's fallen head-over-heels for online had better not be Elena Chestnut. She's his angry, vindictive Latin tutor, the daughter of his dad’s business rival, and the one girl he’d never even think of kissing. She’s definitely not his online crush, because that girl is funny, sweet, and perfect.

When Oliver asks to reveal their names at the Valentine’s Day dance, their IRL relationship will either ruin what they have online, or they’ll discover just how thin the line between love and hate really is.

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains swearing, snowball fights, and sexual tension that could melt the North Pole. Read at your own risk.

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Book 1
Buy Links

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B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo



Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Erica☆☆☆
As an adult reader, I'm giving this title three stars, but I do believe younger readers will appreciate it more. Teens will no doubt find the Pokemon Go angle addictive, as well as the enemies-turned-crush angsty sweet.

Julie Hammerle's writing style flows fluidly, the pacing quick, without over-description, written in a way to engage both younger and older readers without confusion or being 'dumbed' down.

Elena and Oliver's families own rival sporting goods stores. Enemies come head-to-head when Elena has to tutor Oliver. I felt both Elena and Oliver were written authentically for their age-group, realistic in their ‘voice,’ and were a good fit for one another.

The kids were told to be enemies by their families, and this tainted their interactions and thoughts of the other. They begin chatting with each other via a game app and don't realize it's their mortal enemy. The kids connect, find they truly like each other, but it all gets muddled up with the family feud. This is a perfect recipe for angsty dramatic yumminess. Some great interplay back and forth between Elena & Oliver – banterific.

As I stated above, younger readers will eat this book up, but as an older reader, it was hard to swallow the 'reason' as to why there was a rivalry – a bit too over-dramatic, unrealistic, and irrational. Immature on their families' parts, which is a no-no for me (adults not behaving maturely). Just let it go, not infect your children.

Recommended to young adult readers looking for a book where enemies turn into each other's crush.

Young Adult age-range: 14+



Julie Hammerle is the author of The Sound of Us (Entangled Teen, 2016) and the North Pole, Minnesota romance series (Entangled Crush, 2017). She writes about TV and pop culture for the ChicagoNow blog, Hammervision, and lives in Chicago with her family. She enjoys reading, cooking, and watching all the television.

Connect with Julie

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Blog  ~  Goodreads


http://www.entangledpublishing.com/


Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Any Boy but You (North Pole, Minnesota #1) by Julie Hammerle to read and review.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Alpha Unleashed by Aileen Erin


Tessa McCaide has had it up to here with supernaturals. As the only half witch/half alpha werewolf around, she’s the obvious choice for ambassador to the humans when the magical communities seek to escape the shadows for good.

But coming out isn’t as easy as sending a press release. Vampire attacks are all over the news as the power-hungry witches play with dangerously dark magic and Tessa can’t promise any human safety when she and her friends are so busy battling for their lives.

Luciana leads the corrupt witches, and even though she failed to steal Tessa’s magic, she’s just getting started on her crusade for magical domination. Countless covens are turning dark, and if their demonic summoning isn’t stopped, it could mean the end of everything.

Tessa’s allies, including her mate Dastien, are ready to fight, but they’re no match for Luciana’s power. A little help (and ancient Inca mojo) from Tessa’s cousin, Claudia, may give the side of good a chance if she can make it home in time, but stopping the war is no longer an option.

When witches and wolves fight, no one wins. Only time will tell who will still be standing after the last spell is cast.

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Book 5
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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Jordan☆☆☆
I have read all the previous books in the Alpha Girl series by Aileen Erin. I have easily grown to appreciate this series and all the characters in this series! Book #5, Alpha Unleashed, switches back to Tessa from book #4, Bruja, which focuses on Claudia and her journey in Peru. Personally, I think if you wanted to you could just skip book #4, unless you're really invested in Claudia's character and want to know more about her. I will say that this last one kind of felt a little anti-climactic compared to what I was expecting. I just felt like everything was finally coming to a head with Luciana and then it was over. However, I did enjoy seeing how Tessa and Dastien's relationship has grown over these past few books, but I wish it didn't feel like they were moving at such a snail’s pace. I guess I had high expectations and unfortunately, this one didn't quite live up to them.

Even after failing to successfully steal Tessa's magic, Luciana has not given up and she's just getting started. Luciana's demonic summoning must be stopped or it could be the end for everyone. Tessa and her friends are ready to fight back, and with a little help from Claudia, Tessa's cousin, they may just be able to win if she can make it home in time.

All in all, I enjoyed Alpha Unleashed, but I definitely didn't like it as much as I liked Becoming Alpha, book #1, which has been my favorite so far. The past two books just really haven't wowed me much. However, I am slightly curious about the next book, which will feature Meredith and her mate, Donovan. Overall, I'd give Alpha Unleashed 3.5 stars.



Aileen Erin is half-Irish, half-Mexican, and 100% nerd—from Star Wars (prequels don’t count) to Star Trek (TNG FTW), she reads Quenya and some Sindarin, and has a severe fascination with the supernatural. Aileen has a BS in Radio-TV-Film from the University of Texas at Austin, and an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. She lives with her husband in Los Angeles, and spends her days doing her favorite things: reading books, creating worlds, and kicking ass.

Connect with Aileen

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Jordan reviewed her personal copy of Alpha Unleashed (Alpha Girl #5) by Aileen Erin for this post.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Playing the Player by Lisa Brown Roberts


Trina Clemons needed the money. Why else would she - the most organized, prepared student in school - spend the summer as a nanny and partner with the biggest slacker ever? Now she's ready to tackle nannyhood with her big binder of research and schedules. Just don't ask her about the secret job of "fixing" the bad habits of a certain high school player...

Slade Edmunds prefers easy hook-ups, and Trina is definitely not his type. She's all structure and rules, while Slade wants to just have fun. Fortunately, Trina has no idea about the bet Slade made with his best friend that he can totally get her to unwind by the end of summer...

Then the weirdest thing happens. There's chemistry. A lot of it. But nothing gets between a boy and a girl like a big, fat secret...

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains a straight/gay BFF bromance, an irresistibly kissable bad boy, a good girl who wants to be kissed, some epic babysitting fails, and the occasional f-bomb.

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B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo



Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Erica☆☆☆☆☆
5 Angsty Stars

Lisa Brown Roberts is a favorite of mine in the young adult genre, finding her teen characters to be realistic role models, and the narrators of Playing the Player are no different. As an adult reading this genre, I believe teens will devour this book, as well as a more mature audience.

Trina is a hard-working, serious girl, who's as equally flawed as she is good. A well-rounded, human character with pain and hopes and dreams.

Slade is a slacker who has no idea what he wants out of life. He's a down-to-earth, uninspired charmer who can wrap anyone around his finger. But no matter how big of a player he comes off to be, he has a good heart and a conscience.

Trina and Slade create the perfect balance as they get to know one another on the pages of the novel. A bit of a love-hate, push-pull chemistry and tension as they partner in their nanny duties. Both have a secret that will hurt the other's feelings, creating delicious angst that rides along the journey with the characters, both feeling guilty.

As the driving force between the couple, the kids were a hoot, the BFFs were the voices of reason, and the parents were trying their best, even if unconventionally. All around, Playing the Player was a good story, with strong characters, and the budding romance of a sweet crush.

I read the book in one sitting, a few times experiencing a gamut of emotions: heart-clenching, gut-twisting, and barks of sharp laughter at the awkward encounters.

Recommended to fans of the Young Adult genre.

Young Adult age-range: 13+



Lisa Brown Roberts still hasn’t recovered from the teenage trauma of nearly tweezing off both eyebrows and having to pencil them in for an entire school year. This and other angst-filled memories inspire her to write YA books about navigating life’s painful and funny dramas, and falling in love along the way.

Her almost forever home is Colorado, though she occasionally pines for the days when she lived within walking distance of the Pacific Ocean. Her house is full of books, boys, four-legged prima donnas, and lots of laughter.

Connect with Lisa

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Erica reviewed her personal copy of Playing the Player by Lisa Brown Roberts for this post.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Alpha Divided by Aileen Erin


Life has been crazy since Tessa McCaide moved to Texas. She’s gone from being a normal-ish girl with visions to a super-powered werewolf. She’s fought off vampires and broken a nearly unbreakable curse. And she’s got a hot mate, Dastien Laurent, to keep her busy.

Things are looking up until the full moon ceremony rolls around. Before Tessa can strengthen her bond with Dastien, the local coven crashes the gates, demanding that Tessa—their heir apparent—be returned. If the pack wants to avoid a war with the witches, handing Tessa over is the only option.

Tessa doesn’t want to cause an all-out fight, but joining a dark-magic coven isn’t on her to-do list, especially if embracing her magic side means parting with Dastien. When the coven leader tries to control Tessa with dark-magic, Tessa realizes she has to dismantle the coven or prepare the pack for war. Either choice will change her life—and her world—forever.

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Book 3
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B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo



Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Jordan☆☆☆☆
I read Aileen Erin's two previous books in the Alpha Girl series and they've all been enjoyable easy, quick reads! The story really builds upon each book, so I'd highly recommend reading the previous books in order to fully enjoy the series. So far, book #1, Alpha Girl, has been my favorite, but there's still time for that to change.

The third book, Alpha Divided, pretty much picks up where Avoiding Alpha (book #2) left off. Tessa and Dastien attempt to finally do the bonding ceremony at the full moon, but before they complete it Luciana, the local coven leader, interrupts their ceremony. Tessa must go spend time at the local coven in order to avoid a war between them and her pack. However, the last thing she feels like doing is separating from her mate, Dastien, when she doesn't trust the coven leader one bit.

I've really enjoyed Aileen Erin's Alpha Girl series so far and I look forward to seeing how Tessa and Dastien's story continues! I'd give Alpha Divided 4 stars.



Aileen Erin is half-Irish, half-Mexican, and 100% nerd—from Star Wars (prequels don’t count) to Star Trek (TNG FTW), she reads Quenya and some Sindarin, and has a severe fascination with the supernatural. Aileen has a BS in Radio-TV-Film from the University of Texas at Austin, and an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. She lives with her husband in Los Angeles, and spends her days doing her favorite things: reading books, creating worlds, and kicking ass.

Connect with Aileen

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads


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Jordan reviewed her personal copy of Alpha Divided (Alpha Girl #3) by Aileen Erin for this post.