sneak peek, To Be Read

[TBR + Giveaway] The Non-Disclosure Agreement


One of my favorite romance tropes is fake relationship. To be honest, I try not to look too much into, like the psychology behind it, and try to consume books of this trope solely for pleasure. (Of course, it doesn’t always happen. I mean, you’ve read my reviews. I always get into attack mode. Anyway.)

I am so excited to read Kelsey McKnight’s The Non-Disclosure Agreement! It’s been a while since I’ve got my hands on a good fake relationship book. You might want to order this book too after reading the blurb and excerpt! (And so fancy, there is also a book trailer for it!)

The Non-Disclosure Agreement
Kelsey McKnight
Published by: Limitless Publishing
Publication date: May 9th 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
I left my old life, and my broken heart, back in Michigan. When I moved to New York City for a fresh start, I didn’t know I would be made a sinful offer I couldn’t refuse…

My billionaire businessman boss decided that being the most powerful man on the East Coast wasn’t enough. He needed political power, too. But who would vote for a womanizing playboy with a different model on his arm every week? If he wanted to win, he needed a respectable wife…he needed me.

I had the looks, the small town charm—I was even already his employee, but I was willing to pretend to be so much more. And I’ve already signed a non-disclosure agreement, making me the perfect choice.

But will there come a point where pretend just isn’t enough?

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

She stepped over to the security desk and dropped her license and proof of employment in front of the guard. Her hands were sweaty and she kept glancing nervously around the busy lobby. Everyone seemed to be in such a hurry. “Excuse me, sir, but I believe you have a badge for me? My name is Holly McIntyre and I just moved here from Michigan to work for Mr. Cantrell. I’ve never been to New York City and—”

“Here’s your card, sweetheart,” the guard said in a thick Brooklyn accent, slapping a piece of plastic down on the desk. “And a word of advice? Don’t talk so much. You need to be tough to make it in this building.”

Holly nodded and meekly slid the ID off the counter before turning toward the elevators. She felt her cheeks burn with embarrassment and internally abashed herself for rambling to a perfect stranger. She was used to chatting with everyone back in Michigan and now she’d just made herself look like a fool to the first person she met in the building. What a great way to start to her first day.

The elevators were packed, going up, and Holly had to squeeze herself between two very large men carrying briefcases to make her way up to the top floor. As people left the lift to exit to their levels, Holly gave herself a short, meaningful pep talk to fill the time during the long ride up.

Okay, Holly, you can do this. You can make it through this. This is just a building in a city, not one of the most major companies on the East Coast for marketing and international sales. So what if it controls eighty percent of the sales to China? All you’ll be doing it fetching coffee and picking up dry-cleaning. No big deal! Maybe you’ll address envelopes sometimes or water plants. Totally doable! Fake it until you make it. Or crash and burn…oh, God.

When she stepped onto the top floor, she was the last person aboard the elevator and entirely sure she should never be a motivational speaker.

The seventieth floor was as white and bright as the lobby below, but primarily empty. A receptionist tapped away on a keyboard. Across from her desk was a bright red couch for visitors, and three heavy oak doors against the far wall. Holly quietly walked up to the receptionist, her ID card clutched in her hand. The woman was a statuesque brunette wearing a chic sweater dress and a pair of fifties-inspired glasses. She stopped typing and looked up at Holly from behind her vintage eyewear.

“H-hi, I’m Holly McIntyre, the new assistant.“ She cleared her throat and held up her ID for proof, hoping the receptionist wouldn’t notice the wild shaking of her hand.

“Lovely.” The receptionist purred in a way that made Holly think of a cat that’d just spotted a defenseless mouse. “Go on in to Mr. Cantrell’s office. Begin filing the papers on top of the filing cabinet in alphabetical order. He’ll be in shortly to give you further instruction.”

Holly waited to be dismissed, but took the woman’s return to typing as her release. She walked back to the far wall to the three doors. One was labeled Meeting Room 1, the second Meeting Room 2, and the third read Cantrell in bold golden letters next to the door. Slowly, she grasped the handle and pushed the door open to let herself inside.

The room was large and richly furnished with a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows behind a stately desk. It was almost sterile-looking with no personal items to be seen between the imposing grandfather clock and leather armchairs. Holly looked around for a picture of her future boss, but the only art on the wall was a modern painting a man might’ve chosen—bright squares of red, blue, and black thrown onto a canvas. She thought a child could’ve put it together. It was nothing like the fine Italian frescos she’d seen online, nor like the famous reproductions of Monet paintings her parents had hanging in their restaurant back home. But what did she know about modern art? Holly had no doubt, however, that the simple piece had cost him thousands.

She placed her secondhand purse on one of the two guest chairs facing the desk and made her way to a very tall, large filing cabinet tucked into the corner of the room. Her hands began to sweat as she saw how monumental the cabinet was. While she was around five feet tall, the cabinet must have been seven feet high. Wondering if she could actually do her duties with this monstrous piece of office furniture, she tried reaching the stack of papers and manila envelopes, but her hands barely grazed the top of the cabinet. She glanced around for a stepladder, or a stool, but only saw the expensive chairs meant for guests. Not finding any other option, she pulled the empty chair toward the cabinet and hopped on, balancing on the plush cushion.

She had just grabbed the heavy stack when the office door burst open, causing her arms to fly up in surprise and the papers to scatter all over the floor, mimicking the worst kind of snowstorm. Holly immediately jumped off the chair with her hand covering her mouth to stifle a small shriek of surprise that escaped as a pained squeak. She had not been in the office more than five minutes and she’d already made a mess. What made it worse was that the only person to witness her shame was her boss, Jackson Cantrell.

***

Jackson raised a brow as he inspected his new assistant. She seemed as flighty as a bird, and almost as delicate.

“Oh, goodness! I’m so sorry, Mr. Cantrell…sir…I can’t believe I…” Holly dropped back to the floor and began sweeping the papers into a pile with her quivering hands. “I’m sorry…I didn’t…I couldn’t reach…”

Jackson bent down to her level and began sorting the papers into small piles, slightly uncomfortable with the anxious woman fidgeting on his office floor. “I take it you must be my new assistant?”

“Y-yes. I’m Holly McIntyre.” She looked up at him, green eyes glassy with fear. “I promise, I’m not always so clumsy.”

He was taken aback upon seeing her fully. She was a pleasant-looking woman with a heart shaped face and full lips. As she lifted her emerald eyes to his, peeking at him from beneath her thick lashes, Jackson had to clear his throat. “Good to meet you, Holly.”

“I’m really not like this. I’m very well organized and—”

Jackson held up a hand. “Please, it’s really not a big deal. Why don’t you just go get settled at your desk for now, and I’ll fix this.”

“My desk?” Her face was still pink from embarrassment; a feature Jackson found oddly endearing.

“Yes. Your office connects with mine so that I’ll be able to reach you easily during business hours.” He scooped the rest of the files up and stood, holding a hand out to her.

Holly smiled uneasily, showing off a row of perfectly white teeth. Her hand was delicate in his, and when she rose to standing, he was surprised to see she had rather shapely legs beneath the unflattering sack she wore. “Of course, Mr. Cantrell. Is there anything I can get for you? Latte? Coffee? Tea?”

He shot her a small smile, amused by her nervousness. “No, thank you. Go get settled.”

Holly snatched her purse and tucked it under her arm, disappearing into her adjacent office. Jackson watched her leave, noting how that dowdy suit, and ugly shoes, did little to show her apparent charms. His other assistants were always well-groomed and expertly dressed, looking at ease in their designer clothes. Holly McIntyre almost seemed like a little girl playing dress-up in her mother’s closet. He thought she would do better if she embraced her girl-next-door beauty instead of hiding it.

As he arranged the last of the files on his desk, he wondered if Holly had what it took to survive life in the big city.

Author Bio

Kelsey McKnight is a university-educated historian from southern New Jersey. She has married her great loves of romance, history, and literature to create her newly finished works. Her first books, “The Scottish Stone Series”, are coming in April of 2017 by Limitless Publishing. Book one is titled “Queen of Emeralds”, and is available now. “The Scottish Stone Series” take readers on a journey through the bustling streets of Victorian London and into the lush hills of the Scottish Highlands. Her second book, a contemporary romance titled “The Non-Disclosure Agreement”, will also be available in May of 2017 and feature a bad boy politician and the small town girl that could change his ways. When she’s not writing, Kelsey can be found reading, drinking too much coffee, spending time with her family, and working on two nonprofits.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

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Cover Reveal, Favorite, Recommendations

[Cover Reveal] Better at Weddings Than You by Mina V. Esguerra

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Look at this gorgeous cover!

I’m not sure if you guys are following me on my twitter account (@adgiecakes), but lately, I’ve been trying this thing called “livetweeting.” (That makes me sound like an old lady heh.) Basically, I just update the world the things that pop into my brain as I read. This weekend, I plowed through 3 (THREE!!) ARCs of upcoming #romanceclass books, which is just… *sigh* is the LAYF.

Better at Weddings Than You is the ninth book in Mina V. Esguerra’s Chic Manila series. (But it can be read as a standalone!) I was introduced to Mina through a class requiring us to read one of her books in this series. It’s almost like I’ve reached full circle!

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God, right after reading a preview of this book in Wattpad a few months back made me just want to get my hands on it! The first few chapters posted were enough to hook me right into the intriguing and dramatic story of Daphne and Aaron! (And it was super dramatic! Like, I’d say teleserye-level dramatic. It was so fun!)

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Better at Weddings Than You comes out on April 15 on Amazon. If you live in the Philippines, I highly suggest you take advantage of your geographical benefit and get the paperback version of this out April/May. I mean, look at that spread! I’m just loving the purple and the on-point photograph. This cover really nailed it. Pre-order links down below!

Pre-Order Here

Buy on Amazon: bit.ly/chicmanila9
$1.99 pre-order price until April 30
$2.99 starting May 1
Free on Kindle Unlimited
Book Design by Tania Arpa
Photography by Alexandra Urrea
Book Review, Hauled!

HAULED!: Angelfall by Susan Ee

To be honest, I have zero knowledge about Angels and all these biblical things, aside from what I’ve gleamed from The Mortal Instruments, which although quite a bit, still lay on the trivial/bonus facts side of things rather than the basics. Of course, I’m not as innocent as to believe that angels are of the pure and kind line, (or maybe this is what I’ve picked up from TMI. idk.)

angelfall

but Angelfall surely pounded that idea into my head even more.

It’s not bad, per se. The idea of angels being a dark and almost malicious is not an original idea, but I like the spin that they brought apocalypse, but humankind did not just watch it happen. I think this is the aspect that Angelfall comes as a novelty among Dystopian literature: in that it happens right at the crevice where two societies cleave. Like, apocalypse happened two months prior to the beginning of the story. The resistance is on its infancy. Not when the new form of government has been established. Not when the resistance has amassed power and ammunition and plans to overtake the world were polished.

We’re landed smacked dab into the chaotic part where every side has so many issues to be resolved before humankind is further obliterated.

I can’t wait for the sequel, though!:D

Book Review, Favorite, Hauled!

HAULED!: One & Only by Viv Daniels

one&only

Smart, sexy, and the first book that have played the other family trope perfectly!

God, what did I love about this? Well, first of all, Tess is your usual heroine – in terms of her personality. Idk. It just feels that NA/YA females speak with the same voice, and have the same brand of humor, sarcasm and wit, and it gets really old after reading the 50868th NA/YA book.

What sets Tess apart was her angst, because she wears her angst like its her skin – naturally. The readers are given a background of who Tess is, what made her the way she is. But what I loved about this book is it explored so much of Tess’s thought process.

We began with a young Tess, wondering about her father’s rules, to her acceptance of their predicament. And step by step, we are privy to how she views herself, the people around her, her thoughts about her dreams and her feelings towards the only boy she had ever loved.

This book utilized the first-person POV very well. I don’t think I’ve read another book which used it and came out with these kinds of results.

I also loved how Dylan was this completely dorky, completely principled person, that these principles he holds dear are his flaws, too. Eventually, the weight of how their worlds have fallen would be reflected by how much Dylan have “sunk”. What I don’t like about Dylan is that he lacks story! Like, what made him him. There was no back story about him. If he didn’t know Tess halfway through the story, I would like to say the same to him. It feels like I’ve loved Dylan, but I still don’t know him. Which is a shame, ‘coz he’s so adorable. And because one has gotta love geeks.

This book is kinda hard for me to read, because bioengineering is close to my heart. It is where my dreams and my could-have-been’s lay, and now I just vicariously through these books. 🙂

Book Review, Favorite, Hauled!

HAULED!: The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

There are books that will always remind us of the magic that is our reason for reading books. The Sea of Tranquility is one of them.

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I’ve always heard so many good reviews about this book. How it will make me cry (and it did!!!), and how the ending was explosive (and it was a pleasant I-KNEW-IT! moment). To be honest, I only read this book because it was mentioned in More Than This.

BEST. DECISION. EVER.

It’s such a pleasant feeling, quite magical, actually, to stumble upon a good contemporary book, one that has the right words that evokes all these emotions inside of you. At the beginning of the book, I was thinking to myself how this book could make so many people cry, and how it has this supposedly amazing ending. I just can’t picture it. But as I’ve read through the book, the words captured me. And I kept thinking to myself, this is why I read books. This is magic right here.

But, wow. There is a reason why this is a long book. (Which is also one thing I loved about this book!) And that reason is build up.

I want to go on and on about the character development and the twists that had me on the edge of my seat, but it’s 4AM and I’m not coherent enough for a term-paper level of review. But if there would be one reason why you should all read this book, it’s the character development.

What I also like about this book is the ending, how it all ended and all the statements and arguements Katja Millay had pointed out at the end.

Book Review, Hauled!

HAULED! Hydraulic Level Five by Sarah Latchaw

hydraulic

I really really liked this book, I swear. But, here are the points:

  • There isn’t really much to build up on. To be honest, the entire length of the book felt more dragging than necessary for me…
  • which leads us, I really really feel there shouldn’t be a second book. It could have been done in one go. It. Could. Have.

And if the second book doesn’t have anything exploding, I will torch something down. Basically, I’m just giving the series a benefit of the doubt. Maybe, the second book have something essential that the first book doesn’t.

(But I also think that ugh the book is done after the first. If you’re really planning on a second book, idk you should have put a tinge of mystery deeper than wanting to know what would happen to Kaye and Sam.)

The idea is good, intriguing and very enticing, even. Go ahead and read it. I will still read the sequel, duh. But. Hmmm. I’m just upset that books keep doing this to themselves: Dragging them out for more serializations when it could have been done in one book.