Hate Notes by Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward
Released: November 6, 2018
After walking in on her fiance getting a blow job from his secretary, Charlotte cancels her wedding and quits her job. Needing money, she decides to sell her wedding dress and head to a consignment shop. While there she comes across a beautiful wedding dress and can’t stop herself from trying it on. A custom made dress, it was exactly just the right amount of over the top with the lightly feathered neckline and full fall of feathers toward the bottom. In another life Charlotte could see this as “the dress”. But it was one size too small and as she removed it she noticed something blue and realized that a note had been sewn into the seam. She could just make out the words, “…from the desk of Reed Eastwood…”
This is a wonderful take on the mistaken identity theme mixed with the being in the right place at the right time. Charlotte can’t stop herself from wanting to learn everything she can about the man who wrote the beautiful note she finds in the wedding dress. So much so, that she sets herself up for what she thinks will appear as a chance meeting with none other than Reed Eastwood. Of course, it doesn’t go as she imagined, but at the height of her embarrassment she happens to meet an older woman who offers Charlotte a job.
The rest, as they say is history!
Keeland and Ward have not failed me yet. They come up with the most unique set up situations for their couples. Charlotte is a quirky girl, full of personality and though she’s been through the ringer, she is tough and proud and stands up for herself. She is witty and there are some pretty humorous moments which will have you laughing. Reed is a bit of a stuffed shirt, super annoying, and very arrogant and full of himself. But Reed has his reasons and the story does take a slight dip into some emotional areas as we get Reed’s backstory.
Fantastic secondary characters have me hoping this writing duo may expand this and give us their stories!
Riven by Roan Parrish (Riven #1)
Released: May 29, 2018
Favorite Quote: Everything about him worked its way under my skin, like a bullet slowly making its way to my heart.
I saw this book on my Goodreads feed last week and one-clicked it immediately. I loved the cover and once I read the blurb, well it had me at “rockstar”.
Theo Decker is the lead singer and face of the band Riven. While he loves everything about the music–the writing and performing, Theo hates being a rockstar. He misses his anonymity. He also feels like a total outsider with his own bandmates. When Theo meets Caleb, his outlook on life changes a little and knowing he has Caleb to come home to makes the rockstar life a bit easier to deal with. Caleb is very familiar with the life of a musician. He’s toured himself-had a pretty good career. But drugs were his downfall. He’s determined to stay clean this time, and getting involved with Theo is something he feels he just shouldn’t be doing. But he can’t stay away.
Longing like that isn’t born of lust, it’s born of loneliness. It’s born of lack. It’s born of knowing the depths inside yourself that can gape wide enough to lose yourself in forever. And it’s about the hope that maybe, somehow, something has come along that makes you want to turn away from the abyss and face the light.
I loved this couple. Theo grows and changes so much after he meets Caleb. Caleb struggles with both himself and the situation that he finds himself in. He wants Theo with everything he has but feels he is not worthy and he worries that Theo may just be a replacement addiction.
Caleb’s addiction is mentioned quite a bit, though I didn’t feel that is made the story dark. There are not a lot of details with the what and whys of what Caleb went through, but when it is mentioned I believe it was done in a respectful way.
Theo’s bandmates were whinny and jealous of their own lead singer and they annoyed me. They were really cold and distant with Theo. I’m not sure why the authors chose to portray them that way. They resented Theo when he was the one that literally made the band. They were struggling until Theo brought his writing and music to the band. They treated him like an outsider and didn’t include him at all. It was an odd dynamic and I disliked them very much.
I’m very much looking forward to book #2, Rend out November 27, especially after reading the first chapter at the end of this book.