Weekly Rec: gods in Alabama

The Rec:

This week’s rec is gods in Alabama by Joshilyn Jackson

What it’s about:

For 10 years Arlene has kept her promises, and God has kept His end of the bargain. Until now.

When an old schoolmate from Possett turns up at Arlene’s door in Chicago asking questions about Jim Beverly, former quarterback and god of Possett High, Arlene’s break with her former hometown is forced to an end. At the same time, Burr, her long-time boyfriend, has raised an ultimatum: introduce him to her family or consider him gone. Arlene loves him dearly but knows her lily white (not to mention deeply racist) Southern Baptist family will not understand her relationship with an African American boyfriend. Reluctantly, Arlene bows to the pressure, and she and Burr embark on the long-avoided road trip back home.

As Arlene digs through guilt and deception, her patched-together alibi begins to unravel, and she discovers how far she will go for love and a chance at redemption.

(Note: This is the book description from Amazon)

What I love about it:

So much, honestly. This is one of my favorite books of all time for a reason. It packs so much heart and emotion along the main character’s journey. Really, that’s what the book comes down to: her journey and her realization and understanding of what family really looks like and what the bonds of love will lead you to do for someone else. I feel that in almost every book Joshilyn Jackson writes. There’s always a mystery/thriller element, but that is purely the vessel by which she tells a deeper, more meaningful story, typically about the bonds of family and friendship, what love is, and the personal journeys her characters go on. The same is true of this story. It’s impossible to explain exactly why I love this book so much without giving everything away, because it’s truly the tiny moments laced throughout the bigger story that make this book as special as it is.

My favorite quote:

This quote is so good. I remember needing to write a random book for some improv thing in an acting class once and using this. The guy who delivered it reminded me of Josh Gad and just said it was so much drama and mystery in his voice. So good. That said, I still remembering reading this line for the first time and thinking that I wanted to know everything. There aren’t that many lines from books that I remember reading for the first time, and even though it’s been 15 years, I still remember how this line made me feel when I read it.

You’ll love it if you love:

  • Family drama
  • Complicated families
  • Stories set in the south
  • Complex heroines
  • Family secrets
  • Sexy and extremely supportive men
  • Suspense/Mystery

I hope you’ll check this book out and give it a read, it’s truly one of my favorite books ever. If you’ve read it, hit the comments and let me know if you like it. It’s currently available on amazon in a variety of formats. The kindle edition is 10.99 to buy.

Check back next week for another book rec and follow me on Instagram @bethanymonacosmith for daily updates and shenanigans from me.

Weekly Rec: The Love Interest

The Rec:

This week’s rec is The Love Interest by Kayley Loring. It’s a fun rom-com set in New York City featuring a mid-twenties wannabe author and a jaded mid-thirties bestselling author. Also, there’s a cock.

What it’s about:

Jaded NYC author Emmett is struggling to write the next book in his action-thriller series. Fiona is just starting grad school with hopes of becoming a regency romance author. Both seeking inspiration, they meet randomly at a diner in the middle of the night and spend the rest of the wee hours of the morning together before watching the sunrise and making out for a while. 

But things are over before they start when Emmett unknowingly takes a job as her professor, meaning he can’t date her. In no uncertain terms, things. Are. Over. There’s just a tiny hitch: things can’t be over because they’re both totally into each other. They decide to write letters to each other in lieu of a traditional romance, but nothing is ever so simple when love is involved. Also, there’s a cock and plenty of very aroused nipples.

What I love about it:

This book is laugh-out-loud funny. The female lead is quirky and funny but strong and sure of herself. The male lead has a scar on his heart and has become a jaded, asshole New Yorker. But he’s just the right amount of asshole to make you love him, not hate him.

I loved a lot about this book. I loved the chemistry between the leads. I loved the way the love letters allowed you to get to know the characters without it feeling like too much exposition and the way they took the place of a typical date.

I loved that these characters were allowed to be mature and really fall for each other with natural challenges preventing them from being together rather than forced drama. It made their happiness feel earned and more enjoyable.

And, of course, I loved that ridiculous cock.

My favorite quote:

There are so many hilarious quotes in this book, but this one is my absolute favorite. I may not be from California but I relate to this so hard. 

You’ll love it if you love:

  • Rom-coms
  • Relatable characters
  • Swoony moments
  • Awesome meet-cutes
  • Romantic letters
  • Love stories set in NYC
  • Hard nipples
  • Cock 😉

I hope you’ll check this book out and give it a read. If you already have, tell me in the comments if you liked it. It’s currently available to read for free in Kindle Unlimited or to buy for 2.99.

Check back next week for another book rec and follow me on Instagram @bethanymonacosmith for daily updates and shenanigans from me.

Series Rec: The Keatyn Chronicles

Every week I’m going to be shouting out a book I love and telling you a little bit more about it. But the first Sunday of every month, I’m going to recommend an entire series. First up is one of my absolute favorite series ever: The Keatyn Chronicles by Jillian Dodd.

What it is:

Keatyn is a 12(!) book series about Keatyn Douglas. The first seven books are set over the course of a few months in the the time leading up to and after her 17th birthday. The last five books are set 10 years in the future and are a bit more mature, but feature all the characters you will come to love in the first seven books. The last five books are multiple POV where the first seven are primarily Keatyn’s POV. There’s also a short bonus book from the lead male, the swoon-worthy Aiden Arrington’s perspective.

What it’s about:

The first seven books follow Keatyn as a stalker takes over her life, leading her away from her perfect beach home and her gorgeous surfer best friend (turned boyfriend?). Away at boarding school and lying about who she really is, Keatyn meets the God of all Hotties, new pals Riley and Dallas, and Riley’s sexy older brother, Dawson. And then there’s the most popular girl who already hates her. Torn between wanting to get her old life back or follow her new one, Keatyn learns it’s time to stop scripting her life and start living it. All while she tries to keep her stalker from finding her or hurting anyone she loves. No problem, right?

The last five books pick up ten years later and explore the lives of Keatyn, Dallas, Riley, and Dawson and those closest to them as they run a production company together and face multiple challenges in their personal and professional lives.

You can read more about the series and each book individually here.

Why I fell in love with it:

Why didn’t I? I mean swoon-worthy boys? An emotionally fulfilling story? A flawed but relatable main character? It’s got all of those things, but I fell in love with it because of all the little moments.

Despite being 32 when I first read it, I connected with the teenage version of Keatyn who was trying to find her path and her way through her life. I was going through my own period of growth and part of the reason I fell so deeply in love with these books is because I connected with her emotional journey.

I also fell in love with the incredible love story (ies) that rolls throughout the series. It was a gorgeous fantasy to escape into.

In general, I always love worlds full of awesome characters, deep friendships, boys to fall for, loves to swoon over, and emotional journeys to go on. This series nails those things over and over again.

Favorite book in the series:

This is a tough one and it depends on my mood but either Love Me (book 4) or Hate Me (book 6). Those are the ones I’m most likely to return to on bad days when I need comfort.

Favorite character:

Gahhh! How do I choose? I love and relate to Keatyn but I always lean toward the boys for favorite characters. From the very beginning, Damian and Dallas were two of my absolute favorites.

Favorite quote:

I have so many quotes from this series saved in my screenshots. But this is the one I go back to. It makes my heart flutter every single time I read it. When I’ve had a bad day, I’ve been known to flip to the end of the third book to read it.

You’ll love these books if you love:

  • Swoon-worthy boys
  • Rich, emotional stories
  • Flawed but relatable main characters
  • YA stories with a bit of heat
  • Prep/boarding school or Hollywood stories
  • Epic love stories
  • Lots of fun side characters
  • Anything else Jillian has written

If you’ve never read this series, I highly encourage you to go check it out, because it is awesome and so much more than I could ever explain in one blog post. I’m even including a little note here for anyone who has started it and not been as interested in the first book: the first book sets up Keatyn’s story, but the magic happens the most in the following books, so keep going, it’s worth the ride and then some.

Have you read it? Did you love it? If you haven’t read it yet, go now! Because from July 3rd-9th 2021 they are all on sale for 99 cents in the Kindle store (except for Aiden’s story which is free until the 7th).

I hope you read these and love them as much as I do!

The fictional boys I’ve fallen for…

We’ve established that I love love. And romance. Which means I’ve been crushing on fictional characters for as long as I can remember. Here are five that stand out in my memory…

Randy Taylor- Home Improvement

If you’ve read my about me page, you know that I was in love with Jonathan Taylor Thomas as a kid. He was my favorite ’90’s heartthrob, and because of this, I fell in love with Home Improvement and Randy Taylor, played by JTT was the first fictional character I ever remember crushing on. Now, I can’t lie, I had to go back and look up the name of this character, but at the time I was obsessed and most definitely found myself swooning over him plenty of times.

Nathan Scott- One Tree Hill

I could sing my love for One Tree Hill forever. I love this show so much. I grew up with those characters and I was a little bit in love with James Lafferty. But really I loved, loved, loved me some Nathan Scott. He was a little bit of an asshole/bad boy but had such a big heart and would do anything for the people he loved (like get caught up with a loan shark– okay I did not love every plot that happened in this show). He was sexy and sweet, he learned and grew with everything that happened to him, he was a loving husband and great dad. Needless to say, I stan Nathan Scott as the best Scott brother and I always will.

Logan Huntzberger- Gilmore Girls

Yes, I am proudly #teamLogan! I mean, don’t get me wrong I could see Rory ending up with Jess (not Dean, never Dean), but I always felt like, while Jess got her, Logan knew parts of her that no one else did. Plus as we’ve established, I have an affinity for the asshole with a good heart types and Logan definitely fits the bill. But also, he was protective of Rory, saw her brilliance but didn’t worship her, and could fit into both of her worlds easily. Plus he had that sexy, charming grin nailed.

Cooper Cartwright- Meg Cabot’s Heather Wells series

I think Cooper Cartwright may have been the first book boy I ever fell in love with (though he would not be the last). Tall, sexy body. Protective and charming. The good guy but also tough. He’s the perfect combination of sweet and caring and manly. He was the first book boy to make me swoon and his love story with the main character was the first to make me plow through a book, desperate to know when they would finally get together.

Danny fucking Diamond! – Jillian Dodd’s That Boy series

Danny is my favorite, favorite, favorite. I love him so damn much. If you aren’t familiar with Jillian Dodd’s That Boy series, go read it, please. While I love the other (very) swoonworthy boy in those books, Phillip, it’s Danny who wins my heart every single time. He checks all of my boxes. A little cocky and a touch of an asshole but with a big, big heart. He loves his friends and family and would do anything for them. Plus he’s a hot quarterback and an awesome dad. If I had to pick anyone off this list to date it would be Danny Diamond every time.