Release Tour – ARC Review for The Third Best Thing by Maya Hughes


Hello lovelies and Happy Friday! Today, I’ll be sharing my review for THE THIRD BEST THING by Maya Hughes from her Fulton U Sports Romance Series. I’m utterly in love with Jules and Berk and I can’t wait for you to read their story. So, get cozy and be prepared for some sweet, sexy, fun, and heartwarming romance.


Release Tour TTBT


TTBT Cover Ebook



Series: Fulton U #3

Published: January 30, 2020

Publisher:  Some Kind of Wonderful Publishing LLC

Genre(s): Contemporary, Romance

Cover Design: Najla Qamber Designs

Format: Paperback, 404 pages, Kindle Edition, 369 pages








Dear Letter Girl, I need to see you. When can we meet?


Her response never came. My secret pen pal with a dirty mind has ghosted me. I’ve roped Jules, my sweet as pie next door neighbor, to help me track her down.

 There’s only one problem—I’m falling for her. The tortoise shell glasses, out of this world curves and delicious treats are making the search for The Letter Girl even harder.

 My notes were supposed to be a one time thing. A little too much wine and naughty thoughts on a winter’s night. I never thought Berk would write back. I wanted to tell him it was me, but the fear of rejection kept my lips sealed.

 Now he’s enlisted my help to track down The Letter Girl and our search has him hot on my, ahem, her trail.

She’s the girl next door.

 He’s my secret pen pal.

Truth is on a collision course with their hearts and it’s only a matter of time before one of them gets wrecked…



An absolute fun, engrossing, and heartwarming romance story 


There was a tightness in my chest. One that wasn’t from pain or hurt, but from how hard it was to contain all the feelings she brought out in me.


Oh my precious heart!!! Maya Hughes has done it again and I’m here just so overwhelmed with emotions and all the feels. I absolutely love Jules and Berk and they are just too adorable and perfect together. And this book… it’s so utterly amazing and addictive and simply one of the best!

I may not have read every single book Maya has written, but I’m wholeheartedly in love with the ones I did. The Third Best Thing is no exception and I savored everything about this deliciously sweet, charming and delightful novel. The writing is captivating and the characters are beautifully flawed, totally loveable, and just so real to me. I always find myself deeply engrossed with Maya’s romances and I don’t think that’s ever going to change. She’s just brilliant at creating stories that will keep you glued to the pages and surprise you in the best ways.

I have nothing but love and admiration for Berk. I liked him in the other books, but knowing what I know now definitely made me fall for him even more. Berk’s past is heartbreaking and I felt so much for him. But, seeing all his accomplishments, watching him overcome his struggles, and just knowing the kind of person he is despite what he’s been through left me in awe. He cares and loves with all his heart. He’s selfless and loyal. He’s sweet, funny, encouraging, and just an all-around great guy.

I adore Jules and related with her shy personality. I don’t think I can ever be as brave as Jules with her pole dancing and some others I don’t want to reveal. But, let me just say that Jules is fierce and so much stronger than she knows. She acknowledges her fears and insecurities and tries to overcome them. Jules is also hard-working, determined, kind, caring, and just a really lovely person to be around with. I don’t want to say too much about her mother and sister, Laura, but I sympathized with what she’s been through and just wanted to reach out and give her a hug cause I know exactly how she feels. To watch her slowly learn to love herself and finally shine the way she does made my heart so darn happy. And, even though Jules did that all by herself (cause of course she can), Berk was there cheering her on and supporting her and I loved him even more for that. He’s good for her and vice versa and they’re just so right for each other.

So, it goes without saying that I loved how everything about Jules and Berk’s relationship played out. Their chemistry is amazing and swoony and I enjoyed watching them grow closer together. They’re sweet, adorable, and very supportive of each other. They obviously go through a few setbacks and some drama which broke my heart, but in the end they both realize that their love’s real. Watching them find what they’re looking for in each other was so beautiful and heartwarming. I also really enjoyed their flirting and sexy moments. It’s steamy and swoony for sure, but I really loved that Berk and Jules are comfortable together, playfully tease each other, and have a few good laughs while experimenting. I don’t think I can ever look at a donut the same way again.

As always, I love catching up with the other characters. They’re always so fun, entertaining, and just makes me feel so happy seeing them all be there for each other. Jules, Avery, and Max are too cute and adorable together and it was so sweet to see their friendship grow. The bromance between my favorite boys totally gave me the swoons and I just love seeing them together. Seriously, how does Maya create amazingly genuine and loveable characters that they all feel so real? Their grief, their happiness, their struggles, their relationships, and everything else in between… they seem so real to me that I can’t help but feel connected to them in one way or another.

The Third Best Thing is an absolute fun and engrossing romance story filled with all the spine-tingling, heart-bursting, and breathtakingly wonderful feels I love. Maya Hughes is truly talented and an exceptional storyteller. I can never get enough of all the drama, the playful bantering, the bromance, the friendships, the characters, and the sweet tender moments in her books. She just knows how to make my heart ache in the best ways and the swoons are always so irresistibly good and yummy that I want more. And after that ending scene, let’s just say that Marissa and LJ’s story needs to happen ASAP!!!

I received an advance reader copy of this book from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review. All thought, opinions, and swoons are my own.



And you were never the third best thing in my life, Jules. Never. I’d never play a game again, if it meant I could be here with you.







#1 The Perfect First





The adorkable math genius virgin, Persephone (“Seph”), was extremely sheltered, socially awkward, and inexperienced in many things. But, don’t let that fool you. Seph was a force to be reckoned with and surprised me in so many ways. She’s fierce, brave, spunky, and adventurous. With her list of firsts, she was determined to experience and do everything. And that’s where Reece comes in – the brooding handsome football star player who loved the game with all his heart that he wouldn’t let anything or anyone get in his way to playing pro. He was kind of a jerk at first, but let’s be real here… we all know that there’s a genuinely sweet, gentle, and caring side to him. And boy did he… I fell just as hard for him as Seph did. They meet by accident, which I thought was super funny and so darn cute, and that’s how their deliciously quirky, adorable, and fun story begins.



#2 The Second We Met



A must read heart-melting enemies to lovers story, The Second We Met is full of laughs, swoons, bromance, amazing friendships, delicious treats, fun surprises, and so many wonderful feels. Maya Hughes always makes me fall in love with her stories and characters and I really hope she never stops writing these breathtaking romances that never fail to make my heart smile. I don’t think I can say much more than I already have, so if you love romance then you need to read this book, this series, and all the other lovely stories Maya has written.


Maya Hughes can often be found sneaking in another chapter while hiding in the bathroom from her kids! 🙂 I’m a romance writer who loves taking inspiration from everyday life, namely my husband and biggest fan. Inspiration also strikes when I hear a song, meet someone new or daydream while at soccer practice.
I’m the mom of three little ones, the wife to an amazing husband and also work full time. Some of my favorite things are cinnamon rolls, white wine, laughing until I can’t breathe and traveling with my family.



Thanks for stopping by sweeties! Hope you get to meet Jules and Berk and the rest of the Fulton U Boys and their wonderful leading ladies.
Take care and have a lovely weekend!



Blog Tour Review – How to Build a Heart by Maria Padian


Hello Lovelies and Welcome to by Blog Tour Review for How to Build a Heart by Maria Padian. Free ARC copy provided by the publisher, Algonquin Young Readers.


One young woman’s journey to find her place in the world as the carefully separated strands of her life — family, money, school, and love — begin to overlap and tangle. 



Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers

Published: January 28, 2020

Genre(s): Young Adult, Contemporary

ISBN: 9781616208493

Format: Hardcover, 352 pages







All sixteen-year-old Izzy Crawford wants is to feel like she really belongs somewhere. Her father, a marine, died in Iraq six years ago, and Izzy’s moved to a new town nearly every year since, far from the help of her extended family in North Carolina and Puerto Rico. When Izzy’s hardworking mom moves their small family to Virginia, all her dreams start clicking into place. She likes her new school—even if Izzy is careful to keep her scholarship-student status hidden from her well-to-do classmates and her new athletic and popular boyfriend. And best of all: Izzy’s family has been selected by Habitat for Humanity to build and move into a brand-new house. Izzy is this close to the community and permanence she’s been searching for, until all the secret pieces of her life begin to collide.

How to Build a Heart is the story of Izzy’s journey to find her place in the world and her discovery that the choices we make and the people we love ultimately define us and bring us home.



Poignant, Riveting, and Filled with So Much Hope and Love



Poignant and riveting, How to Build a Heart by Maria Padian is a beautiful story about self-discovery, grief, family, forgiveness, friendship, and so much more. It’s emotional, it’s sweet, and it’s so real it made my heart ache, but also gave me joy.

After dealing with her father’s death and constantly moving, Izzy Crawford somewhat feels at home in Virginia. She likes her new school and classmates, she has a best friend who lives next door, she’s caught the attention of a popular boy, and her family has been chosen by Habitat for Humanity to build and live in a new house. But, Izzy doesn’t just let everyone in and she’s been keeping secrets from those close to her. What happens when her web of lies slowly begin to unravel and she can no longer avoid facing the truth?

I enjoyed Padian’s writing style, the pacing of the story is good, and the plot, while dealing with sensitive issues, is also engaging, heartfelt, sweet, and sometimes really fun. Padian explores topics about racism, bullying, addiction, abuse, violence, and mental disorder. There are a few situations that will make your heart feel quite heavy at times and I won’t lie… I cried on some parts and had to stop reading for a bit. But, what I love most about stories like this is when they surprise you and give you more than what you’re looking for. This book hurt in more ways than I could imagine, but it’s also meaningful and filled with so much beauty, hope and love.

Izzy is interesting and relatable, and I adored her. She’s not always the easiest to like, she makes mistakes, she’s incredibly stubborn at times, and she has issues and insecurities. But, Izzy is also strong-willed, smart, caring, and loves her family. I enjoyed her character development a lot and watching her discover what’s truly important in her life. The other characters are all quite lovely and I had fun getting to know them too. Sam is amazing and swoony. Aubrey and Roz has a piece of my heart and I just love Jack so much. Mark snuck up on me that I wanted more of him in the story. The parents are pretty awesome… well most of them anyway. Overall, the characters are fascinating in their own ways, complex, likeable, and realistic.

With an engrossing plot filled with hope and so much heart, characters who’ll steal pieces of your heart, and a sweet romance that’ll melt your heart, Maria Padian’s How to Build a Heart is perfect for YA contemporary lovers. It’s deep and also lighthearted. It’s fun, but also tackles serious issues. It’s inspirational, uplifting, and thought-provoking. I truly enjoyed reading this beautiful masterpiece and was captivated by Padian’s storytelling until the end. Definitely recommend you add this book on your TBR and I hope you fall in love with Izzy’s story just as much as I did.

I want to say thank you to the publisher, Algonquin Young Readers, for inviting me to be part of the blog tour and providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


My heart is so full. Not in that heavy, weightofstones way. In that full-to-bursting, spilling over, looking forward way. There is no place I’d rather be, and no one else I want to be.

(Quote taken from ARC. Final publication might be different). 




Maria Padian has a bachelor’s degree from Middlebury College and a master’s degree from the University of Virginia. She is a freelance writer, essayist, and author of young adult novels, including Brett McCarthy: Work in Progress, Jersey Tomatoes Are the Best, and Out of Nowhere. Maria lives with her family in Brunswick, Maine. Visit her online at and find her on Twitter: @mpadian.




Thanks for stopping by sweeties. I hope you enjoyed reading this review and add this beautiful book on your TBR. Until next time, lots of love and kisses!