Showing posts with label Amy Matayo. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Amy Matayo. Show all posts

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Review: The Waves by Amy Matayo


https://amzn.to/2GGAr2o

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it

http://www.amazon.comhttp://www.amazon.comhttp://www.goodreads.com

Synopsis

Dillon Hayes is twenty-eight and single, an unfortunate status her overbearing family is determined to fix. So when she’s stuck on a cruise ship for a seven-day reunion with the lot of them, she's desperate for any escape she can find, even if it means partnering with a sketchy stranger for an off-the-beaten-path snorkeling excursion. After her mother's last matchmaking attempt, Dillon is more than willing to trade all her good sense for a few hours of solace.

Liam Gamble is stuck in the middle of family vacation hell. The worst part: it's not even his family. This will be the last time he ever accepts a free-vacation invitation from his best friend. At this point, he'd be willing to hand over his life savings to get off this crazy ship. So when he catches one of his friend's cousins sneaking off board, he decides to join her, hijacking her private excursion and nearly blowing her cover. If she gets to leave, so does he.

But what starts off as a secret escape turns into a very real nightmare when their shady tour guide leaves them stranded on an uninhabited island with nothing but the clothes on their backs and no idea how to keep themselves alive.

As hours turn into days, and the weather proves as threatening as their need for food and water, Dillon and Liam must join forces and rely on each other if they have any hope of seeing their families again. Funny thing: sometimes in life, the end of the rope is when you discover everything you value has been in front of you all along.


My Review

Entertaining nightmare! I can't imagine being stranded on an island- it seems like it would be an adventure, but the author did a great job of portraying the realities of such a dangerous situation. The complex dynamics of Dillon and Liam's tenuous relationship are explored as they fight for survival... and often with each other. The narrative of their thoughts was a bit edgy at times, but realistic for the lifestyle and values of the characters. They have a great give and take as they learn to communicate and deal with the frustrations they experience. I enjoyed reading about the transformation they undergo through their shared experience and the aftermath of their connection. I don't want to give anything away, but it was an entertaining read and unlike anything I've read lately! I think fans of contemporary romance will love it.

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)


Thursday, September 20, 2018

Review & Giveaway: Lies We Tell Ourselves by Amy Matayo #LWTO


Heidi Reads... Lies We Tell Ourselves by Amy Matayo

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing

http://www.amazon.comhttp://www.amazon.comhttp://www.goodreads.com

Synopsis

Presley Waterman is a rescuer: of animals, of businesses, of people. Like the stray cat she's allergic to, but continues to care for. Like her small-town newspaper, a business that’s been dying a slow death for the better part of a decade. And like Micah. Her best friend and the man she has loved since they were kids, back when no one else cared.  

As for him…

Micah Leven loves Presley. She’s the girl who’s always been there to help, the one who knows all the ugly things about him and makes him believe he can be a better man, the one who will never leave because she’s promised over and over. 
But he also loves Mara. 

Mara is his ideal. She’s the dream he conjured up as a boy and never wavered from. She’s beautiful, ambitious, driven, a fellow newscaster at his Atlanta station, and the perfect asset for the life he’s always wanted. Together, they could conquer the world and their respective careers. Even better, with Mara he could prove that he did—in fact—finally amount to something. Maybe then his father would be proud.  

There are just a few things Presley and Micah have both forgotten. One, just because you rescue someone doesn’t mean they’ll love you for it. Two, some dreams disappear when reality wakes you up. Three, the only way to silence lies is to face the truth head-on.

This is the story of the man torn between two existences, the woman who finally took the choice away from him, and what happens when you stop listening to lies once and for all.

Even if the biggest liar is you.



My Review

I was not sure what to expect with this book since the other books I've read from the author have ranged from humorous to raw and gritty, always with a bit of an edge. I'm happy to say that I was sucked in from page one, and a lovely balance was struck between subtle humor, flawed characters with loveable quirks, and a raw vulnerability that brought emotion to the surface, with that trademark edge, of course ;) The manner in which the story is told is creative and unique- the way viewpoints switch, the choice of childhood flashbacks, how the plot twists are revealed, and the longest and best epilogue ever. Seriously, all epilogues may just be ruined for me. (I almost had a heart attack when I swiped to the next page on my Kindle Paperwhite and it said EPILOGUE. Then I glanced down and saw that I was 86% of the way through so there was time for lots more good stuff... unless I was being tricked because there was a crapload of promo stuff at the end... All those thoughts ran through my head in a split second, but I just dove right in and prayed for things to work out! And it was executed excellently; I was filled with anticipation and suspense).

Even though I didn't like the way Micah often treated Presley, it was hard to be mad at him because the author skillfully allows the reader to witness the emotional abuse from his childhood and teenage years, which makes it easier to understand his fears about his relationship with her and why his priorities are so screwed up. Woven in is the foundation of their friendship and the admirable qualities about him that made me not question why Presley loves him or puts up with him. It was also hard to want Presley to do what she needed to do for her own emotional health and sanity, because you don't want anyone to ever leave him again- you know what that would do to him. The dynamics of their friendship were slowly revealed by showing the spectrum of conflict, loyalty, desperation, humor, attraction, angst, and hope. (As a side note, I have to say it was gratifying for therapy and counseling to be portrayed in such a positive and helpful light. Eliminating the stigma will go a long way in more people reaching out for the help that they need and is available). This book is unforgettable with its deep and profound thoughts as Presley and Micah sort through their past, present, and futures to discover what the lies are and how to empower themselves to take hold of the truth. As I finished the book and experienced a satisfying book hangover, thinking about what I just read prompted self-reflection of some of the lies I tell myself and by recognizing them as such, I felt encouraged to take action and not let them hold me back from accomplishing my goals anymore. It actually felt therapeutic and pretty great to have that mental breakthrough with something I've been struggling with.

Highly recommend!!!

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)






GIVEAWAY

I loved this book so much I want *everyone* to read it! I'm going to personally buy and give away a Kindle e-book of Lies We Tell Ourselves, just enter in the widget below.




Check out some more amazing books from author Amy Matayo . . . the ones below I have read but she has several more that I'm itching to get to! #mustreadallthebooks


Heidi Reads... The Thirteenth Chance by Amy Matayo


http://www.amazon.comhttp://www.amazon.comhttp://www.barnesandnoble.comhttp://www.goodreads.com

Synopsis

Baseball star Will Vandergriff knows any number of women who would happily pretend to be his girlfriend. In a last-ditch effort to restore his good standing with his team’s higher-ups, he enlists the help of his neurotic, goody-goody neighbor. Schoolteacher Olivia Pratt might be a bit quirky and a bit of a loner, but she’s a lot more inviting than she knows. Will hopes that bringing her to his next game might revamp his reckless reputation and help get his career back on track. The only problem? The plan works a little too well. Not only do the higher-ups love Olivia, but Will plays his best game yet. Suddenly his losing streak is a thing of the past, and Olivia is his new good-luck charm. Will feels anything but lucky.

After years of keeping the world at bay, Olivia Pratt is pulling off the ultimate performance—not only reluctantly posing as Will’s girlfriend but also insisting that she’s oblivious to his major-league appeal. But she can only lie to herself for so long. Being by Will’s side feels good. Really good. Maybe it’s finally time to make a pitch for everything she really wants—and to find out just how exhilarating love can be.

Heidi Reads... In Tune With Love by Amy Matayo


http://www.amazon.comhttp://www.amazon.comhttp://www.barnesandnoble.comhttp://www.goodreads.com

Synopsis

April is willing to do anything for her sister’s wedding—until she comes face to face with a guy from her past.

April Quinn is thrilled to be her sister’s maid of honor, until the wedding coordinator quits and the responsibilities get dumped on her. It’s April’s worst nightmare—especially since her sister has more objections and opinions than a lawyer presenting a high-profile court case. When the wedding singer walks out at the last-minute, her sister hires a replacement. When April finds out who the replacement is, she’s ready to call it quits as well.
Because there’s only one person in April’s past that she never wanted to see again, and her sister just handed him a front row seat to the wedding.

Jack Vaughn finally has the career he’s always wanted. After playing in bars and singing in weddings as a struggling musician for half a decade, he’s just released his second album and sales are skyrocketing. But while visiting his parent’s Nashville home the weekend before his first headline tour, he runs into an old friend. When she asks him for a last-minute favor, he can’t bring himself to say no. Even though saying yes means he has to come face to face with April Quinn—the girl who hasn’t spoken to him in years.

And rightly so, since he stole something from her that he’ll never be able to repay.
 

Heidi Reads... The Whys Have It by Amy Matayo


http://www.amazon.comhttp://www.amazon.comhttp://www.goodreads.com

Synopsis

His music holds the heart of America... but his soul holds a terrible secret.

Chart topping pop musician Cory Minor has it all—fame, money, more women at his disposal than time to spend on them. He’s living the life most American men only dream of. Until an ordinary concert in Springfield threatens to destroy everything he’s worked for. 

As he and his band leave the arena for his next show, Cory’s tour bus crashes into two teenage girls, killing one girl instantly and leaving the other barely clinging to life. Lawsuits are threatened, tabloids are talking, and Cory’s idyllic world falls apart. But what no one knows is that this scene is all too familiar. Because this isn’t the first accident Cory has caused. This isn’t the first time he’s destroyed someone else’s life to save his own. 

It’s just the first time he’s had to face it head on. 

Small town girl Samantha Dalton has no one—no mother, no father, and now no sister. She’s lost everything in a world that celebrates excess. So when Cory Minor shows up at her doorstep offering money and apologies, she turns him away too. You can’t lose what you don’t have, and she can’t take another letdown, especially not from someone who has managed to rip away all she had left. Samantha has been fine on her own for years, she’ll be fine now too. 

At least that’s what she tells herself. 

But Cory won’t leave. He’s persistent in the worst possible way. 

Will Cory’s determination to make things right pay off in the end, or will Sam keep pushing him away until there’s nothing left to fight for? How can two people learn to rely on each other when life keeps hurting them both?




#TackleYourTBR Update: Day Three



Day Three: September 19th

Books Read: Lies We Tell Ourselves by Amy Matayo
Pages Read: 313
Total Pages Read: 1314
Finished Books: 2

Participated in the Two-Color Challenge at Tressa's Wishful Endings with a post on Instagram

Wrote the review for Lies We Tell Ourselves and posted for its release day today!!! Woo-hoo! I loved it so much I'm hosting a GIVEAWAY for a Kindle e-book, ENTER HERE!


After some major essential oil therapy, ibuprofen, and soothing lotion Kleenex, my sinus headache went away and turned into the sniffles, which means I got way more reading done today! Hooray! 



Wednesday, September 19, 2018

#TackleYourTBR Update: Day Two



Day Two: September 18th

Books Read: Lies We Tell Ourselves by Amy Matayo
Pages Read: 20
Total Pages Read: 1001
Finished Books: 1

Participated in the "Cover Love" challenge over at Katie's Clean Book Collection

Today was the first day of a wicked sinus headache- I caught the cold from my 5 year old daughter. The side effects of back to school have officially begun...






Monday, September 17, 2018

Tackle Your TBR Read-a-thon: Kick-off!




https://www.wishfulendings.com/2018/08/2018-tackle-your-tbr-read-thon-sign-up.html


I always look forward to the Tackle Your TBR Read-a-thon! My goals are to get caught up with my book reviews (four are waiting for me to get on it!) and then read the four books below- all are review books and two are due to be posted during the read-a-thon.


https://amzn.to/2x1mirPhttps://amzn.to/2N3ygf8


https://amzn.to/2wZpRyNhttps://amzn.to/2CPgvMf














Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Merry Matayo Giveaway!




 




Saturday, November 4, 2017

Books I'm Grateful I Read Giveaway Hop!



Happy fall! It's time for another awesome giveaway hop! A book I'm grateful I read this year that I'll be giving away a print copy of is The Whys Have It by Amy Matayo. Check out my review here and enter to win below!


http://www.amazon.comhttp://www.amazon.comhttp://www.bookdepository.comhttp://www.goodreads.com

Synopsis

His music holds the heart of America... but his soul holds a terrible secret.

Chart topping pop musician Cory Minor has it all—fame, money, more women at his disposal than time to spend on them. He’s living the life most American men only dream of. Until an ordinary concert in Springfield threatens to destroy everything he’s worked for. 


As he and his band leave the arena for his next show, Cory’s tour bus crashes into two teenage girls, killing one girl instantly and leaving the other barely clinging to life. Lawsuits are threatened, tabloids are talking, and Cory’s idyllic world falls apart. But what no one knows is that this scene is all too familiar. Because this isn’t the first accident Cory has caused. This isn’t the first time he’s destroyed someone else’s life to save his own. 


It’s just the first time he’s had to face it head on. 


Small town girl Samantha Dalton has no one—no mother, no father, and now no sister. She’s lost everything in a world that celebrates excess. So when Cory Minor shows up at her doorstep offering money and apologies, she turns him away too. You can’t lose what you don’t have, and she can’t take another letdown, especially not from someone who has managed to rip away all she had left. Samantha has been fine on her own for years, she’ll be fine now too. 


At least that’s what she tells herself. 


But Cory won’t leave. He’s persistent in the worst possible way. 


Will Cory’s determination to make things right pay off in the end, or will Sam keep pushing him away until there’s nothing left to fight for? How can two people learn to rely on each other when life keeps hurting them both?


Friday, October 13, 2017

Review: Christmas at Gate 18 by Amy Matayo


Heidi Reads... Christmas at Gate 18 by Amy Matayo

My rating: 3 stars / I liked it

http://www.amazon.comhttp://www.amazon.comhttp://www.goodreads.com

Synopsis

Supermodel Rory Gray just wants to go home. After wrapping up a three-day high-fashion photo shoot overseas, she’s exhausted and ready for the holiday. A holiday that involves Hollywood parties, air-kissing the industry elite, and a whole lot of fakeness… but whatever. Once she gets through that torture, she’ll head to her beloved Seattle and the life of anonymity she misses so much. In less than twenty-four hours, she’ll be there.

Colt Ross has spent the past six months detaching himself from the Hollywood world he grew up in, and home is the last place he wants to be. But he’s been called back by his overbearing father for reasons he can only imagine. Likely reasons that involve taking over the family corporation or fund raising among Hollywood elite—something Colt has no interest in being part of. Not that he has a choice; when you’re the son of an industry executive, rubbing elbows comes with the territory. In less than twenty-four hours he’ll be home. After all this time away, home no longer appeals to him. Especially not at Christmas. Leave it to his father to ruin a holiday.

But when a late-season hurricane grounds both of their flights in the Dominican Republic, Rory and Colt find themselves stuck at the airport far longer than anticipated. As weather conditions worsen, they both begin to realize that this Christmas will be spent with strangers packed inside a single airport terminal—specifically at gate 18.

Rory and Colt are faced with a choice: band together in their misery or make this Christmas one they will never forget. For two people who aren’t real fond of the holiday, this Christmas might turn out to be the best they’ve ever had.


My Review

I love reading Christmas-themed novellas, and this one had a great twist! I can't imagine being stranded over Christmas away from my family, but for these two lonely characters they found something better than what awaited them at home. Rory is a survivor, making it on her own with only memories of a happier time. While at the airport we see the misconceptions people have of her as a supermodel of explicit photos, lobbing inappropriate remarks and suggestive offers at her. Colt is one of the perpetrators, which made me confused as to why Rory befriended him. Maybe because he's handsome it made it less offensive than the middle-aged man or the cranky honeymooners. In any case, Rory is in need of a friend, and Colt happily takes on the role of protector and entertainer. They share funny banter and sweet moments through the hurricane-level storm that's keeping their travel stalled. Since the point of view alternated between Rory and Colt, there is plenty of innuendo and borderline content in Colt's thoughts as a sexually active adult male. While I'm sure that is realistic to many men, it made me not respect him or like him very much. Charm only goes so far. Their relationship deepens as Rory shares bits of her past with him and he connects with her on a level he never has before with any other woman. (Probably because he treats them as objects). Can you tell I'm not a fan of the bad-boy persona? ;) He helps her to not feel shame about her career and be proud of the way she's taken care of herself without any supporting family. A surprise comes to light at the end of their "adventure" and it was nice to see that they were able to have a future together. While there is a bit of an inspirational thread, I wouldn't classify this as Christian fiction.

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)


Sunday, July 9, 2017

Review: The Whys Have It by Amy Matayo


Heidi Reads... The Whys Have It by Amy Matayo

My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it

http://www.amazon.comhttp://www.amazon.comhttp://www.goodreads.com

Synopsis

His music holds the heart of America... but his soul holds a terrible secret.

Chart topping pop musician Cory Minor has it all—fame, money, more women at his disposal than time to spend on them. He’s living the life most American men only dream of. Until an ordinary concert in Springfield threatens to destroy everything he’s worked for. 


As he and his band leave the arena for his next show, Cory’s tour bus crashes into two teenage girls, killing one girl instantly and leaving the other barely clinging to life. Lawsuits are threatened, tabloids are talking, and Cory’s idyllic world falls apart. But what no one knows is that this scene is all too familiar. Because this isn’t the first accident Cory has caused. This isn’t the first time he’s destroyed someone else’s life to save his own. 


It’s just the first time he’s had to face it head on. 


Small town girl Samantha Dalton has no one—no mother, no father, and now no sister. She’s lost everything in a world that celebrates excess. So when Cory Minor shows up at her doorstep offering money and apologies, she turns him away too. You can’t lose what you don’t have, and she can’t take another letdown, especially not from someone who has managed to rip away all she had left. Samantha has been fine on her own for years, she’ll be fine now too. 


At least that’s what she tells herself. 


But Cory won’t leave. He’s persistent in the worst possible way. 


Will Cory’s determination to make things right pay off in the end, or will Sam keep pushing him away until there’s nothing left to fight for? How can two people learn to rely on each other when life keeps hurting them both?


My Review

There are heavy themes that this book focuses on, including death, grief, secrets, and depression. Despite the bleakness of the characters' circumstances, there is gratitude and hope that motivates them to reach out and continue on. I admired Sam's genuineness. She faces the hard things in her life and perseveres through the process of acceptance of loss. Cory's regrets are eating him up inside, and getting to know Sam is a catalyst for his memories to surface, forcing him to deal with feelings that he has been repressing for years. His struggles are shown through his first person perspective, and the internal dialogue is realistic and gritty. The contrast of his inner goodness and the selfish persona he has embraced is stark, and with Sam's influence, he sees the emptiness of his life without the peace that good choices bring. They have a great chemistry, with banter and teasing and attraction and friendship and support. I also loved Phyllis, the health care worker that takes Sam under her wing whenever she visits her father suffering from Alzheimer's. Her caring and support is given freely and without hesitation. I particularly appreciated this piece of wisdom she shares and I think it represents what the book is all about:

"You can ask why all day long if you want to. You can ask God why and your friends why and yourself why until you're buried in nothing but that single question, but you'll never get an answer. This side of heaven, time is the only thing that helps a little bit. So don't give in. Don't let the whys have it. Don't let them take advantage of you. They'll crush your heart and steal your peace and mess with your mind and wrap around you so tight you won't be able to breathe. Don't let the whys ruin your life, child. Every time they try to sneak up, push them aside and move forward. Trust me, it's the only way you can get on with living." 
I turn toward the window and think about her words. "What if I can't? Let it go, I mean?" 
I don't see her smile, but I can hear it. "You can. I know you can. Because no matter how hard life gets, there's always goodness right around the corner. All you have to do is look for it."

Even though it's not light reading, I'm glad that I read this book and contemplated the questions that Cory and Sam face as they seek to cope with the haunting and devastating things in their lives.

(I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)