Friday, January 24, 2020

Almost Just Friends by Jill Shalvis: Is it Too Soon to Call 2020 Favourites? + Giveaway!

Almost Just Friends (Wildstone #4) by Jill Shalvis
Published: January 21st, 2020
Publisher: William Morrow Books
Genre: Contemporary romance
Tropes: Fling to forever
Heat level: Steamy 
# of pages: 364
My rating: 5 stars
Acquired this book: From the publisher in exchange for honest consideration
Add to Goodreads
Buy now: Amazon Canada || Amazon US || Indigo 

Piper Manning’s about as tough as they come, she’s had to be. She raised her siblings and they’ve thankfully flown the coop. All she has to do is finish fixing up the lake house her grandparents left her, sell it, and then she’s free.

When a massive storm hits, she runs into a tall, dark and brooding stranger, Camden Reid. There’s a spark there, one that shocks her. Surprising her further, her sister and brother return, each of them holding their own secrets. The smart move would be for Piper to ignore them all but Cam unleashes emotions deep inside of her that she can’t deny, making her yearn for something she doesn’t understand. And her siblings…well, they need each other.

Only when the secrets come out, it changes everything Piper thinks she knows about her family, herself…and Cam. Can she find a way to outrun the demons? The answer is closer than she thinks—just as the new life she craves may have already begun.

I keep saying this is my first Jill Shalvis book, but that’s technically not true. My first was actually Her Sexiest Mistake, which I read about fourteen years ago (!!) when I was still new to romance. I remember loving it, but then I became obsessed with YA and never picked up any of her other books until now. And wow...not only was Almost Just Friends a fantastic way to kick off 2020, it also made me want to read Shalvis’s entire backlist. I know it’s pretty bold to say this so early in the year, but I already know this book is going to make it onto my list of 2020 favourites.

Piper is the list-making, journaling, planner-obsessed, “fixer” of the Manning family. She raised her younger brother and sister after their parents’ deaths, and with her siblings finally off living their own lives, she had just started to live life for herself. The sudden, unexpected reappearance of both of her siblings throws a major wrench in her does the appearance of her gorgeous new neighbour, Camden Hayes.

I absolutely loved these characters and all the different dynamics. I also loved that while the main focus of the story was on Piper and Cam, we got to see things from a variety of perspectives, including Piper’s brother, Gavin, who is gay. The stories wove together seamlessly, showcasing emotional, heartfelt journeys that touched on life and death, guilt and grief, second chances, and the duties we have to the people we love. It was a love story in every way - the love between siblings, between parents and children, and romantic love.

And speaking of romantic love...I adored Gavin and CJ’s second-chance romance storyline, and I loved watching Piper and Cam fall in love. It’s been awhile since I loved a hero enough to call him a book boyfriend, but I fell hard for Cam. I loved the way he treated Piper and how good he was to her siblings and his dad. He was trying to make up for lost time with his dad, and be around for the Manning siblings the way he couldn’t be for his brother. Piper and Cam had such great chemistry, and I loved that their interactions ranged from sweet to hilarious to steamy.

Expect to see me raving about and recommending this beautiful, heartfelt, relatable book a lot in the coming months. I may be new to Jill Shalvis’ books, but luckily she has a massive backlist and I’m looking forward to delving into it.

The publisher has generously allowed me to offer a print copy of Almost Just Friends to one lucky Canadian or US reader. Good luck! 

New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras full of quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental. Look for Jill’s bestselling, award-winning books wherever romances are sold and visit her website,, for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures. Follow Jill on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Have you read Almost Just Friends? Have you read any of Jill's other books? Do you have any recommendations for which of her books I should read next? Are you a planner, list-maker, or journaler like Piper?

*Please note I'm an Amazon affiliate, and some of the links in this review are affiliate links. All income made through affiliate sales goes directly back into maintaining Ramblings of a Daydreamer. Thank you for your support!  

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Tweet Cute by Emma Lord: Grab a Grilled Cheese and Prepare to LOL

Tweet Cute by Emma Lord
Published: January 21st, 2020
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Genre: Contemporary Young Adult
Tropes: Enemies to lovers, anonymous relationship
Heat level: As sweet as Monster Cake and Kitchen Sink Macaroons
# of pages: 368
My rating: 5 stars
Acquired this book: From the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for honest consideration
Add to Goodreads
Buy now: Amazon CA || Amazon US || Indigo 

Meet Pepper, swim team captain, chronic overachiever, and all-around perfectionist. Her family may be falling apart, but their massive fast-food chain is booming ― mainly thanks to Pepper, who is barely managing to juggle real life while secretly running Big League Burger’s massive Twitter account.

Enter Jack, class clown and constant thorn in Pepper’s side. When he isn’t trying to duck out of his obscenely popular twin’s shadow, he’s busy working in his family’s deli. His relationship with the business that holds his future might be love/hate, but when Big League Burger steals his grandma’s iconic grilled cheese recipe, he’ll do whatever it takes to take them down, one tweet at a time.

All’s fair in love and cheese ― that is, until Pepper and Jack’s spat turns into a viral Twitter war. Little do they know, while they’re publicly duking it out with snarky memes and retweet battles, they’re also falling for each other in real life ― on an anonymous chat app Jack built.

As their relationship deepens and their online shenanigans escalate ― people on the internet are shipping them?? ― their battle gets more and more personal, until even these two rivals can’t ignore they were destined for the most unexpected, awkward, all-the-feels romance that neither of them expected. 

Tweet Cute was an absolute delight. Emma Lord managed to create the perfect balance of adorable, funny, and emotional. The story was lighthearted and heartfelt at the same time, and it hit me in the feels as often as it made me laugh out loud.

Pepper and Jack were fantastic characters. They were realistic and relatable, and I loved how layered they were. On the surface, they seemed so different, but they were dealing with many of the same issues: complicated family dynamics, pressure and expectations from others (and themselves), trying to figure out who they truly were and what they wanted in life. I really felt for both of them as they learned some difficult, painful life lessons. They were easy to root for separately and together. Their inner dialogue was witty and real, and their banter was hilarious. Jack and Pepper weren’t the only great characters; there was an entire cast of friends and family members, and all of them had something to add to the story.

2020 is starting strong for me reading-wise, and books like this one continue to set the bar extremely high. I rediscovered my love of YA last summer, and Tweet Cute is the exact type of book that continues to fuel that love. This book will make you laugh out loud, feel all the feels, and crave grilled cheese and baked goods.

Have you read Tweet Cute? Do you have a favourite book that deals with an anonymous relationship or one that started online? This book is being called a modern-day take on the movie You've Got Mail - am I the only one who hasn't seen it? *hangs head in shame*

*Please note I'm an Amazon affiliate, and some of the links in this review are affiliate links. All income made through affiliate sales goes directly back into maintaining Ramblings of a Daydreamer. Thank you for your support!  

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Hung Up on You Release Day!

Hung Up on You is now officially out in the world!

I can't believe this day is finally here. I started writing this book three years ago, finished two years ago, and then set it aside to work on other projects. Late last summer, I knew it was time to finally pull it out again and see if it was worth publishing, and I immediately fell back in love with Julia, Zack, and the other characters. With help from two amazing author friends, I came up with a title and synopsis, and my wonderful team of beta readers helped me make the story itself much better. Writing is such a solitary thing, but all the rest of it involves so many moving pieces and people behind the scenes.

Now on to the book! Hung Up on You is a sweet and sexy slow-burn, friends-to-lovers, fake-dating romance. It's set in Canada and features Canadian characters. Friendship is an important aspect of the story, and you can expect plenty of giggles and swoons. Sound like your kind of thing? The ebook will be 99 cents for a day or two longer and then the price will go up to $2.99 so be sure to snag a copy soon!

Julia and Zack aren’t really dating. Their ‘relationship’ is fake. Julia’s heart did not get the memo. 

Julia is single and happy, thank you very much. Try telling that to her happily-coupled bestie, though. She’s so determined to pair Julia off, she brings an extra guy friend along on a weekend getaway, in what’s clearly a set-up attempt. Julia’s interest is immediately piqued by sweet, sexy, nerdy Zack. There’s just one problem: he’s still hung up on his ex. Big time.

Despite knowing that - and despite her attraction to him - it doesn’t stop her friends from throwing them together every other second, insisting they’d make the perfect couple. But Julia is determined to friend zone least until he suggests they pretend to date to get their respective friends off their backs.

At first, their fake “dating” is more friendship than fireworks. But as they get closer, the lines begin to blur between them, and Julia realizes she has to either shut down her developing feelings for Zack or let him in. The question is: can she fully trust him with her heart? Or does his heart still belong to his ex?


Hung Up on You is making the rounds of the blogosphere as well as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter this week thanks to Xpresso Book Tours, so be sure to keep an eye out for posts featuring reviews, excerpts, teasers, and more! There's also a tour-wide giveaway, which you can enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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