The Lies: The Lies We Tell About Love, Life, and Everything In Between. Christina C. Jones. 2017. Amazon Digital Services. [Source: Kindle Unlimited.] After months of teasers through her “Sample Sundays” feature, Christina C. Jones released her latest, The Lies:The Lies We Tell About Love, Life, and Everything in Between, on March 30. I’ve been a fan since discovering Jones last year, and her newest boasts the same drama spliced with hot sex and humor as her other books. The characters in The Lies aren’t new; they were actually introduced in The Truth: His Side, Her Side, and The Truth About Falling in Love. Brandi is a single mom who’s raising a teenager while still struggling to love again after rejection from her son’s father. Ex-ball player Kyle has an back-and-forth cycle with his son’s mother that he just can’t seem to shake. The two have always had a flirtatious rapport, but never acted on it … until now.
The Queen of the Frogs. David Cali & Marco Soma, ill. 2017. 38 pages. Eerdmans Books for Young Readers. [Source: ARC provided courtesy of NetGalley.] Today is release day for The Queen of the Frogs, a hilarious story with a moral that everyone can relate to. The story is set at a pond with a community of frogs, flies, and dragonflies. One day, a shiny gold object drops into the pond – the frogs aren’t quite sure what it is, but it looks a lot like a crown. The frog community decided that the frog who found the “crown” should be their new queen, and then the fun ensues.
Getting Inside. Serena Bell. 2017. 198 pages. Loveswept. [Source: ARC provided courtesy of NetGalley.] The book has to be compelling if me, a complete non-sports fan, can’t put it down. From the start, I was pulled in by Iona and Ty and was so intrigued at how they’d ever manage to fight their attraction while balancing their messy coach-player relationship. Serena Bell wove their story together well. Too often, romance stories with a focus on sports are either too heavy on the sport or don’t include enough detail, making it an afterthought. With Getting Inside, she shows that she’s done her homework on the sport but isn’t beating the reader of over the head with her knowledge. I was clued in enough to understand that football was the heart of the book, but still enjoyed the actual story.
Winner Takes All. Erin Kern. 2016. 384 pages. Forever. [Source: ARC provided courtesy of NetGalley.] As the first installment in a new “Championship Valley”series, Winner Takes All does not disappoint. Blake is disgraced, begrudingly retired football star who’s return to his hometown with one season to turn around a high-school football team’s losing record. Annabelle is a control-freak physical therapist who refuses to quit on the team, even if it means she’s constantly under Blake’s skin. The two make for an interesting pairing – they both want the best for the team, but are constantly fighting (not well) their own attraction for each other. I am pleased with Kern’s newest release. Books from her “Trouble” series did not disappoint, so I came in with high expectations. She continues to create well-developed main characters who are relateable and realistic. Their motivations aren’t always spelled out in an elementary way, but there’s enough detail for readers to understand the various choices they make. Both Blake and Annabelle are flawed, but their story is interesting and actually entertaining to watch. Their playful banter coupled with frustrating work interactions makes for a story that’s simply fun to read. At times it’s emotionally draining, but…