Books are food for my soul! Pull up a beach chair and stick your toes in the sand as the Jersey surf rolls in and out, now open your book and let your imagination take you away.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Jersey Girl Book Reviews: Top Ten Books Read In 2014

2014 has been an awesome year of reading, reviewing and hosting virtual book tour events for Jersey Girl Book Reviews. From NY Times Bestselling Authors to Indie Authors, I have read 215 wonderful books, and trying to narrow it down to my Top 10 favorites has not been easy. While I have enjoyed every book, here is the Top 10 Books I Read in 2014 that simply moved me the most.

1) A Cry For Hope by Beth Rinyu

2) True Blend by Joanne DeMaio  

3) Pressed Pennies by Steven Manchester                             

4) Always With You by Andrea Hurst                                  

5) Roadtrip To Redemption by Laurie Larsen 

6) In The Mirror by Kaira Rouda 

7) Come To Me Quietly by AL Jackson 

8)  Blueberry Hill by Bette Lee Crosby 

9) Blue Midnight by Tess Thompson 

10) Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn 

And there you have it, my Top 10 Books that I read in 2014! 

Stayed tuned to see what fabulous books are in store for 2015 on Jersey Girl Book Reviews! 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The 5-Year Plan by Cara Nelson (Blitz Tour / Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

In association with Goddess Fish Promotions, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book blitz tour event for The 5-Year Plan by Author Cara Nelson!

Book Review 

The 5-Year Plan by Cara Nelson
Book 1: Friends to Lovers Romance Series
Publisher: Independent Self Publishing
Publication Date: October 17, 2014
Format: eBook - 151 pages
             Kindle - 3466 KB
Genre: Contemporary Romance

BUY THE BOOK: The 5-Year Plan

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book blitz tour event hosted by Goddess Fish Promotions.

Book Description:

Victoria is sticking to her five-year plan: get married, have children, and become the youngest vice president in town. Problem is, she’s four years in with no husband or kids in sight. She’s sure her coveted promotion is right around the corner, though. All she has to do is impress her boss by catching the person responsible for leaking confidential information.

Trent may be the head of the IT department, but he leaves himself plenty of time to have fun with no strings attached. Too bad his best friend Victoria is still following the ridiculous plan she created in college—she’s beautiful, smart, but far too uptight for his lifestyle. When Victoria takes the blame as the leak at the office, he’s determined to help clear her name and expose the person getting past his security measures.

Suddenly out of a job, Victoria is desperate to get her life back on track. When her childhood friend Trent—funny, good-looking, and completely wrong for her—suggests they team up to catch the culprit, Victoria jumps at the chance.

As the pair sorts through suspects, their mutual attraction becomes undeniable, and they find themselves struggling to remember that they’re just friends.

Sometimes life has other plans…

Book Excerpt:

Victoria Ashwood wasn’t the type to sneak around, lie, or get caught in a compromising situation. That was why, when she found herself using her keycard to access her office at TerraDyn, she could feel her heart pounding. Her palms slicked with damp and she pressed a hand to her churning stomach. But she was still going to do this. Outside the corridor’s pane glass window, she could see the round, silver moon, and the stars flanking it. The street below remained silent and empty. No one else would be in the office this late. This was the perfect time.

Once she stepped into the room, Victoria stood for a moment until her eyes got accustomed to the darkness. She dared not switch on the light. Sweat trickled down her cheeks as she gathered her breath for her next move. The office around her remained eerily quiet. She moved forward, avoiding a collision with a desk chair. Behind her, she heard the metallic click of the door swinging open.

Someone hit the light switches.

Bright lights blinded her for a moment. She covered her eyes with one hand and when she could finally look at the other intruder, she burst out with one word. “You?”

Trent stared at her, his mouth hanging open and a flash of anger in his eyes. “Tori! You’re the one who has been stealing information from the company and selling it?

Can’t believe it! Straight-laced Victoria involved in such underhand and scandalous activity? I don’t have words to describe my heartbreak at this evidence of your treachery.”

“Shut up! Don’t try to pin it on me.” She pointed her finger at him. She’d forgotten she had her shoes dangling from the same hand. With a muttered oath, she put down her heels and slipped her feet into them again. “I’ve caught you red handed.”

My Book Review:

The 5-Year Plan is an enjoyable friends to lovers romance story that follows childhood friends Victoria and Trent as they discover their love for each other, a love that was always right in front of them.

Author Cara Nelson weaves a lighthearted tale that easily draws the reader into Victoria and Trent's story with a wonderful mixture of drama, humor, and romance.

When Victoria's 5-year plan goes awry after she loses her job, she turns to Trent for help in finding the person who leaked confidential company information that cost her job. Working closely to search for the culprit leads Victoria and Trent to discover a mutual attraction for each other, one that proves to be undeniable. Can their longtime friendship turn into a romantic relationship?

This was such a fun story to read, I really enjoyed following Victoria and Trent's discovering their love for each other. The story will keep you in stitches with the witty dialogue and humorous interactions, while the drama of the investigation and the growing realization of their romantic feelings will keep the reader turning the pages to see how it will turn out for Victoria and Trent. You can't help but cheer them on as they finally give their love a chance to grow.

The 5-Year Plan is a delightful romance story that will make you believe in friends to lovers relationships, and will leave a smile on your face.


About The Author

Cara Nelson is the author of the bestselling Men of the Capital series. Her books hit the Amazon store in the summer of 2014 and have since been enjoyed by over 50,000 readers! She is known for her bold characters, hilariously witty dialogue and touching romances.

Born and raised in South Africa, Cara now resides in Denver with her loving husband, 3 boisterous sons and 2 huge Dalmatians. She loves chocolate oranges, her family and, of course, books!

Interested in a fun, light and breezy read? Her readers recommend you start with The Billionaire's Hotline.

To find out more about Cara, head over to her website:


Contest Giveaway

Win A $10 Amazon or B&N Gift Card

Author Cara Nelson will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning.

The tour dates can be found here: 

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Virtual Book Blitz Tour

Tour Schedule:

December 29: Laurie's Thoughts and Reviews
December 30: Jersey Girl Book Reviews - review
December 31: Nancy Adams
January 1: Room With Books
January 2: Romance Novel Giveaways
January 5: Bunny's Review
January 6: 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, and Sissy, Too!
January 6: Long and Short Reviews
January 7: Kaisy Daisy's Corner
January 8: Booklover Sue
January 9: A Book Addict's Delight

Monday, December 29, 2014

Rough Around The Edges Meets Refined by Rachael Anderson (Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

In association with I Am A Reader Blog Tours, Jersey Girl Book reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for Rough Around The Edges Meets Refined by Author Rachael Anderson!

Rough Around the Edges

Book Review

Rough Around the Edges

Rough Around The Edges Meets Refined by Rachael Anderson
Book 2: Meet Your Match Series
Publisher: HEA Publishing
Publication Date: December 15, 2014
Format: Paperback - 245 pages
             Kindle - 3782 KB
ISBN: 978-1941363096
Genre: Contemporary Romance

BUY THE BOOK: Rough Around The Edges Meets Refined

BUY THE SERIES: Meet Your Match Series
Book 1: Prejudice Meets Pride
Book 2: Rough Around The Edges Meets Refined
Book 3: Stick In The Mud Meets Spontaneity - Publication Date: 2015

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by I Am A Read Blog Tours.

Book Description:

For Noah Mackie, life is finally back on track. He has a great support system, a promised promotion is on its way, and he's finally getting the hang of this single father thing. But when the job falls through and his neighbor's matchmaking efforts become more aggressive, Noah is in for yet another unwanted detour. With his career and two spirited daughters to worry about, he doesn't have time for dating—especially not someone like Cassie Ellis, his girls' beautiful and sophisticated dance instructor, who is about as open and approachable as a brick wall.

Rough Around The Edges Meets Refined is about two people who think they know exactly what they want but who have no idea what they really need. It's about learning that people aren't always what they seem and that sometimes life’s detours take you exactly where you need to go.  

Book Excerpt:

“So . . .” Becky hedged. “Did you get a chance to meet Cassie when you picked them up?” To most people, the question would have sounded so innocent. But after all of her hints about how Cassie was single, and pretty, and talented, and a wonderful person, and single, Noah knew better.

“I did,” he said, and left it at that. He wasn’t about to tell Becky that her friend was the most standoffish person he’d ever met. Cassie’s expression had been too serene, her posture too perfect, and her sense of humor too nonexistent. She wouldn’t even shake his hand. There was no denying she was beautiful, but if Noah was actually looking—which he wasn’t—it would be for more than a pretty face. He’d want someone who knew how to have fun; someone who could be a wonderful mom to his girls. Cassie didn’t seem to fit that description.

Becky wasn’t about to let it drop. “And . . . ?” she prompted.

“And what?”

She rolled her eyes. “What did you think?”

“Uh . . . she seems nice.” Sort of.

“Nice?” Becky said. “That’s it? Really?”

“We talked for a total of five minutes. And yeah, she was nice.” Sort of.

“Did you think she was pretty?”



Noah was ready to end the conversation and eat the soup. “Like I said, five minutes.”

Becky frowned. “I can’t believe you only talked to her for five minutes. You should have given it at least fifteen.”

“And let the girls smell up my cab even more? I don’t think so.”

Becky leveled him a hard stare. “Just promise me the next time you’re able to pick them up, you’ll give her a chance.”

He sighed. Becky had done so much for him and the girls, and he would bend over backwards to return all the favors. But this? This made him incredibly uncomfortable. If he was going to meet a girl, he wanted to do it on his own terms and in his own way—not be pushed into something that wouldn’t have a chance of going anywhere but down.

“I don’t know,” he finally said. “She doesn’t really seem like my type.”

“Wow, that’s pretty amazing you could know that after only five minutes,” Becky said.

“Hey, sometimes that’s all it takes.”

“And most of the time, it takes a lot longer.”

My Book Review:

In Rough Around The Edges Meets Refined, the second book in the Meet Your Match Series, author Rachael Anderson weaves another wonderful lighthearted romantic tale of opposites attracting and finding love.

Two wounded people meet ... but can they let go of their past, learn to trust, and open up their hearts in order to get a second chance at love?

Noah Mackie is a widower raising two little girls. His rough around the edges appearance can be deceiving ... and he doesn't have time for his neighbor's matchmaking attempts ... that is until he meets his daughters' dance instructor, Cassie Ellis.

Cassie Ellis is a widow, who is relieved to be out of an abusive marriage. With a dance studio to run and a chance to rediscover who she really is, Cassie isn't ready to test the dating and relationship waters ... that is until she meets Noah Mackie, the father of two of her dance students.

Can two broken people learn to reach out towards each other, find a way to heal, and let love back into their lives?

Rough Around The Edges Meets Refined is a clean romantic tale that has a great mixture of romance, humor, drama, family dynamics, and life lessons. The author easily draws the reader into Noah and Cassie's and story, you can't help but embrace them and enjoy the development of their relationship: from their awkward meeting, to gradually forming a friendship and overcoming their differences, to discovering that there is something more growing between them. It was fun to watch how they learned to overcome their fears, rough edges (Noah) and refine nature (Cassie), and discover that opposites really do attract, and that their differences actually make them perfect together. This story has a nice mixture of humor and sweetness that will simply make you smile. I look forward to reading Stick In The Mud Meets Spontaneity, the third book in the series.

If you are looking for a fun, flirty, and lighthearted romantic feel good story, then look no further, Rough Around The Edges Meets Refined is the book for you.

Rough Around The Edges Meets Refined is the second book in the Meet Your Match Series.


About The Author


USA Today bestselling author, Rachael Anderson is the mother of four and is pretty good at breaking up fights, or at least sending guilty parties to their rooms. She can't sing, doesn't dance, and despises tragedies. But she recently figured out how yeast works and can now make homemade bread, which she is really good at eating.

Contest Giveaway

Win A $25 Amazon GC or Paypal Cash


$25 Blog Tour Giveaway:

Enter to win an Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 1/19/15

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Virtual Book Tour

Tour Schedule:

December 15th 
I Am A Reader – Spotlight 
Getting Your Read On – Review 
Love. Pray. Read. – Review 
Julie Coulter Bellon – Review 
Literary Time Out – Review 
Good & Clean Reads – Review 
Bunny’s Review – Review 
Babs Book Bistro – Review 
Cuzinlogic – Spotlight 
Gustosa Giveaways – Spotlight 
Manga Maniac Cafe – Spotlight 
Mythical Books – Spotlight 
LeahSay’s Views – Spotlight 

December 16th 
The Bookmark Blog – Review 
Books Are Sanity!!! – Review 
Canda’s InkBlast – Review 
Walking on Bookshelves – Review 
StoreyBook Reviews – Review 
The NerdHerd Reads – Review 
Cherry Mischievous – Spotlight 
Claudia Burgoa Author – Spotlight 
Romantic Chanteuse – Spotlight 
Susan Heim on Writing – Spotlight 
Cassandra M’s Place – Spotlight 
Tianna Holley – Spotlight 

December 17th 
LDS and Lovin’ it – Review 
A Casual Reader’s Blog – Review 
Rebecca Talley – Review 
A Writer’s Dream – Review 
Clean Romance Reviews – Spotlight 
Kelly’s Lucky You – Spotlight 
Oh My Books! – Spotlight 

December 18th 
little light design collective – Review 
Bookish – Review 
Every Free Chance Books – Review 
Katie’s Clean Book Collection – Review 
Ranee the wRiter – Review 
Enter Here Canada – Spotlight 
Kelly P’s Blog – Spotlight 
Sarah Aisling – Spotlight 

December 19th 
My Book A Day – Review 
Christy’s Cozy Corners – Review 
Lisa’s Research & Reviews – Spotlight 
readalot – Review 
My Creatively Random Life – Review 
FLY HIGH! – Spotlight 

December 20th 
Paulette’s Papers – Spotlight 
Books, Books, The Magical Fruit – Spotlight 

December 22nd 
Wordpaintings Unlimited – Review 
Mel’s Shelves – Review 
Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers – Review 
Tifferz & Her Sisterz Book Reviewz – Review 
Curling Up With A Good Book – Review 
LOVE. WITHOUT YOU – Spotlight 

December 26th 
Her Book Thoughts – Review 
Kindle and Me – Review 
3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – Spotlight 

December 29th 
Just Thinking – Review 
Jersey Girl Book Reviews – Review 

January 2nd 
CBY Book Club – Spotlight 
Rockin’ Book Reviews – Spotlight 
Lori’s Reading Corner – Spotlight 
Aubrey Wynne: Historical Romance – Spotlight 

January 6th 
Shelf Full of Books – Review 
Home Is Where the Wine Is Book Blog – Spotlight 

January 7th 
Min Reads and Reviews – Review 
Bookworm Lisa – Review 
Bookish Events – Spotlight 

January 9th 
I Love to Read and Review Books – Review 
What’s Beyond Forks? – Review 
Beck Valley Books – Spotlight 

January 13th 
booknerd – Review 
A Touch of Book Madness – Review 
Wishful Endings – Review 

January 14th A Book Lover’s Retreat – Review 
Once Upon a Twilight – Review 
Bound 2 Escape – Spotlight 

January 15th 
Taking Time for Mommy Books and Movies – Review 
Bonnie Gets A Say – Review 
Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – Spotlight 
Coffee Books & Art – Spotlight 

January 16th 
Wall-to-wall books – Review 
Stacy Claflin, Author – Review

Rough Around the Edges

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas ~ 2014

Merry Christmas Everyone! May the blessings of the 

season bring you and yours love, happiness, peace and 

joy! Happy Birthday Jesus!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Petit Four - Chick Lit Anthology by Lucie Simone, Cindy Arora, Sue Watson & Joel Zlotnik (Virtual Book Review Blitz Tour: Book Review)

In association with Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book review blitz tour event for Petit Four - Chick Lit Anthology by Authors Lucy Simone, Cindy Arora, Sue Watson & Joel Zlotnik!

Book Review

Petit Four by Cindy Arora, Lucie Simone, Sue Watson & Joel Zlotnik
A Chick Lit Anthology
Publisher: Simon & Fig
Publication Date: November 5, 2014
Format: Paperback - 278 pages
             Kindle - 474 KB
             Nook - 583 KB
ISBN: 978-0990984801
ASIN: B00PB636D6
BNID: 2940150528055
Genre: Chick Lit / Romance 


Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the authors / publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book review tour event hosted by Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours.

Book Description:

Cake is often a major part of life’s celebrations, both big and small. From birthdays to wedding days, cake, in all its delectable concoctions, marks joyous occasions with a sweetness that can’t be beat. But even better is the love that is shared when two people connect over a sweet confection. Maybe it’s a cute new guy wreaking havoc on a broken heart, or a beautiful woman testing the limits of love, or an old beau stirring up long lost desires. Whatever the circumstances, cake can always be relied upon to save the day when it comes to affairs of the heart. In this collection of short stories, cake is the delicious center around which each tale unfolds and romance blooms.

When single mom and journalist, Olivia, sets out to find romance in Cindy Arora’s Cake Therapy, she gets a little help from her friends and more than a few slices of cake to coax her off the couch and into the arms of a truly great love. Lucie Simone’s Aprez Vous finds success-driven Tara in Paris reminiscing of her long lost love, Jean Marc, and her niece bound and determined to reunite them. In The Heart-Shaped Secret of Raspberry Jam by Sue Watson, cake enthusiast, Milly, meets her match in the kitchen, and other places, when new owners take over the tea rooms where she works and her talents and her heart are put to the test. And Scott, mayor of a small seaside community, flirts with political suicide in Joel Zlotnik’s Her Charms when he falls for new-in-town Nicole, an entrepreneur with a passion for cupcakes, and whose latest venture proves a little too sexy for the sleepy beach town.

From San Francisco to Paris, from small towns to tea rooms, this anthology tempts readers with humor, style, romance, and the powerful aphrodisiac that is cake. Petit Four is four stories, frosted with love.

My Book Review:

If you have a sweet tooth, then you are in for a confectionery delight when you read Petit Four! This chick lit anthology contains four enjoyable short stories that have two intertwining themes: cake and romance!

Authors Lucie Simone, Cindy Arora, Sue Watson, and Joel Zlotnik provide the reader with a fun anthology collection that is set in a variety of locales from San Francisco to Paris, and dipped in enough humor and romance that is sure to put a satisfied smile on your face. What could be better than to be able to read about delectable cakes mixed with sweet romance? Each of these lighthearted short stories are about friendship, love, life decisions, and cake!

I loved reading each of the short stories in the anthology, and I enjoyed the authors different writing styles of weaving a sweet tale of romance that makes their readers crave the yummy goodness described in the stories, it's enough to give you a sugar high and leave you drooling and wanting more.

Petit Four is an enjoyable Chick Lit anthology collection that you can indulge and devour in an afternoon.


About The Authors

Lucie Simone has a passion for travel, romance and all things chick lit. She also has a degree in Journalism and a Master of Fine Arts in Television Production. She is the author of novels, Hollywood Ending and Picture Perfect, both offering an insider’s take on life in the City of Angels. Her love of comedy (and living under the delusion that she might one day be an actress) resulted in a stint studying improvisation, which, ironically enough, taught her to be a better writer. She lives in Los Angeles (and loves it), but considers New York City her imaginary second home and visits the Big Apple as often as her bank account will allow. For more information on Lucie, please visit her website at

Cindy Arora was a staff writer at The San Gabriel Valley Tribune, The Orange County Register and Sacramento Magazine. She’s been published in Saveur, Tasting Table, Orange Coast Magazine and Fodor’s. She’s also mama to an adorable little boy, a feminist, a whiskey enthusiast, and proud to call herself a Chick Lit author. She is the author of Heartbreak Cake, a delicious debut novel, and a contributor to the anthology, Merry & Bright, with her story, Christmas at Mulberry Inn. To learn more about Cindy, please visit

Sue Watson is a former BBC TV Producer who woke up one morning to the realisation that there was no such thing as 'having it all.' Marriage, motherhood and a full-time career were taking over her life and what she really wanted to do was stay home all day, bake and eat cake, watch reality TV and write... in that order. So she quit the day job, baked a year’s supply of cupcakes and chased the dream. What followed was a lot of cake and many hours in the company of ‘The Real Housewives of New Jersey,’ ‘The Biggest Loser,’ and ‘Keeping up with the Kardashians.’ During this, time Sue also managed to write a few books too: Fat Girls and Fairy Cakes; Younger, Thinner, Blonder; Love, Lies and Lemon Cake; and her latest cake offering, Snow Angels, Secrets and Christmas Cake. Learn more about Sue by visiting

Joel Zlotnik is a former Southern California journalist who was lucky enough to find a second career on the other side of the notepad, answering questions instead of asking them. He recently cancelled his cable so he would write more and quickly discovered online binge watching. You can find him living at the beach in South Orange County, where he listens to records, reads and watches the waves. Find some of his essays and short fiction at

Tour Schedule:

December 22 – ChickLit Plus
December 23- Jersey Girl Book Reviews
December 26 - The Little Reading Cabin
December 26 - Books Etc
December 29 - Ski-Wee’s Book Corner