The Confessions by Tiffany Reisz
This is a must read for all Original Sinners fans, particularly if you’ve completely all 8 books in the main series. It’s pretty much an ending to it all, although the first half takes place somewhere around the timeline of The Saint.
Part one is Soren’s confession to Father Ballard, immediately when he meets Eleanor the first time and realizes the temptation before him. Part two is Nora’s confession years later, when she finds a photograph in Soren’s Bible that brings up all kinds of conflicting feelings. And then there’s a fun interview with the author at the end.
Readers Advisory: I mean, obviously if you haven’t read the rest of the Original Sinners series you should start from there with The Siren.
The Bourbon Thief by Tiffany Reisz
I love a good crazy-pants plot, and this one was totally bananas. But in the best way. Combine VC Andrews with a bourbon distillery and this is what you get. It’s Southern Gothic, and has lots going on. CW for incest and attempted rape. But trust me, if you can handle those, this book is totally a ride you should take, because it wraps up completely wonderfully in the end.
Readers Advisory: Criminal podcast did an episode on Pappy Van Winkle recently and it is paired perfectly with this book.
Rookie Move by Sarina Bowen
I love hockey romance, and I knew I would love this series. I’d actually heard a lot about book two, and decided to start from the first one, just because I was that confident that I’d love it, and usually I find that reading in published order makes for a better reading experience. I did, in fact, very much enjoy this book!
The heroine is the publicist for the Brooklyn Bruisers, a fictional hockey team set in–you guessed it!–Brooklyn, NY. The hero is a new trade from a college team, and the heroine and hero have some unfinished business from the past. The romance was great and I loved it!
Readers Advisory: Rachel Gibson’s See Jane Score wasn’t a hockey romance that I loved, but the heroine is a reporter, so it’s kind of similar.
Hard Hitter by Sarina Bowen
The second Brooklyn Bruisers book was by far my favorite (although once no. 4 comes out I may change my mind!) Here we have an aging player who is having some physical issues and a yoga instructor/massage therapist who needs to help him, although he has experienced trauma and doesn’t like to be touched. It’s incredible, and also the heroine has a lot of baggage from an abusive relationship that she needs to overcome.
The romance was sizzling hot and I loved seeing the hero come out of his shell and embrace some vulnerability.
Readers Advisory: Hard Knocks by Ruby Lang also has a hockey player with physical challenges and a health care professional, although this one is a neurologist and he has concussions.
Pipe Dreams by Sarina Bowen
This as-of-yet latest book in the series was maybe my least favorite of the three, but that’s like having to rate your three favorite candy bars. Someone’s gotta be in last place, but that definitely doesn’t mean you would toss it!
This one is another second chance romance where the hero and heroine were once together but the hero ends up going back to his estranged wife after she is diagnosed with cancer. You’ve got a single dad and a heroine who decides she’s done waiting for love and going to have a baby on her own. Can the hero win her back or is it too late?
Readers Advisory: For another hockey player romancing a woman who is planning to have a baby without a man, check out Maybe This Love by Jennifer Snow. Isn’t it funny when you can find books that have such similar plot threads but are so different?
Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
This was our book club pick for August. It took a really long time for me to get into the story, but once it picked up, it was really good. I liked all the little threads and how it all came together, but it is quite long. I’ve only watched a little bit of the mini series from HBO and wasn’t hooked enough to continue. This book has all the content warnings though. Domestic abuse, murder, a teenager attempting to auction off her virginity on the internet, etc.
Readers Advisory: This is going to be a out-of-nowhere recommendation, but I just finished the podcast In The Dark, and if you like drawn out mysteries revolving a crime and larger societal issues that are at stake, you will definitely enjoy it. (CW: for child rape and murder.)
I just finished a batch of reviews from advanced copies, so check those out. I’ve been reading a lot more than I’ve been reviewing, so I still have lots of books lined up for quick reviews. I should have a few more full reviews before the end of the year, so keep an eye out!