Category: Book Reviews

ARC Reviews: Stealing Home and The Wedding Party

Posted July 22, 2019 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Reviews: Stealing Home and The Wedding Party

I love a good sports romance. Football is always my favorite but baseball is usually my next best bet. There’s something about it that just grabs me (at least from a fictional perspective – watching baseball on TV isn’t my favorite but going to games in real life is so fun!). I’m happy to say that the baseball-related elements were large and in charge here. The main character, Ryan, was super into helping her dad run their minor league team (and wanted to take it over someday); she knew everything about the baseball business. When a top recruit heads to their team, sparks fly between the two. Ryan is a rule-follower though, especially when it comes to her beloved team, so she refuses to allow them to act on their feelings. I’ll be honest: I didn’t feel quite as much chemistry as I was hoping. For a super-slow-burn romance, I need to FEEL the tension dripping from the page in order for the eventual payoff to be worth it. That was very much not the case here. Sure, I was rooting for them to get together and they were good for each other, but I didn’t feel that magnetic pull toward each other like I want in this kind of romance. The ending, for this element of the story, was incredibly rushed and stilted. Aside from the romance, the other major plot point is that half of the team might get sold, and Ryan is determined to stop that from happening. This […]

ARC Review: How to Hack a Heartbreak

Posted July 18, 2019 / Book Reviews / 1 Comment
ARC Review: How to Hack a Heartbreak

When this book was pitched to me, I jumped on the opportunity to read it. I already had it on my TBR and was eager to check it out. I’m always intrigued about books where women are working in male-dominated fields, because I experience it as a recruiter who works with primarily manufacturing companies. I knew it would make me rage at times and hopefully cheer for the main character by the end. The premise of the story is that Mel, a help desk technician at a tech incubator, gets tired of bad dates from online dating apps. She invents JerkAlert, where women can share their bad experiences and sort of “review” guys that stand them up, are secretly married, lie a lot, etc. in order to warn others when online dating. She starts dating someone from her office and ends up keeping the website (and what she finds on it!) a secret from him. I’ll be honest: this book was a bit of a rollercoaster for me! I was incredibly intrigued at the beginning and engaged in the story, then lost a bit of steam toward the middle (when I got frustrated with Mel), and then picked up again at the end. Mel was an interesting main character. She was kind of a wet blanket, in my opinion, and some of her actions were SO frustrating. I could see why she wanted to keep some things a secret from Alex but she made very immature decisions for someone in […]

Late ARC Reviews: One Night at the Lake and The Flatshare

Posted July 15, 2019 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
Late ARC Reviews: One Night at the Lake and The Flatshare

I’m genuinely shocked I waited this long to read ONE NIGHT AT THE LAKE. I’ve absolutely adored Chase’s other books – they’re some of my all-time favorites. One of my book clubs decided months ago that they wanted to read this one but they needed to wait until it was released… unlike me. I just have the worst memory so I kept putting it off and now here I am in July. I DIGRESS – on to the book! This book was very much not quite like her other books. I can’t say that it’s a bad thing, by any means, but it was my least favorite from her so far. I like that she had a bit more mystery in this one (not majorly – I would still classify this broadly as contemporary fiction but not necessarily romance). I definitely wanted more development in some spots. I hate to say this too but I didn’t really like Leah… or June that much either. It made a lot of chapters either frustrating or kind of boring as a result. June was a very bland character for me and Leah was too much on the opposite end of the spectrum… she was annoying. I liked how well the chapters alternated, going back and forth across time. June’s took place in present day, when she first returns to Seneca Lake with her now-fiancee (ex-boyfriend of her friend Leah, who died that summer 7 years prior). I thought that Chase masterfully wove the […]

Review Round Up | The Lovely and the Lost, Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck & Fortune, and Passion on Park Avenue

Posted July 10, 2019 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Round Up | The Lovely and the Lost, Natalie Tan’s Book of Luck & Fortune, and Passion on Park Avenue

In an effort to cut down on posts and burnout, my Review Roundups will feature 2-4 books I’ve read or listened to recently. Sometimes they’re newer releases and sometimes they’re all backlist titles. My ARC reviews usually get the solo treatment. Enjoy the mini reviews! I’ll be 100% honest: if Jennifer Lynn Barnes didn’t write this book, I probably wouldn’t have picked it up based on the synopsis alone. The MC was found in the woods by a family who trains search-and-rescue dogs, and she quickly joins that family business with them. There’s a survival element here that doesn’t usually appeal to me, but I DID like the idea of tracking down a missing child and solving a mystery in that way. It’s purposefully hard to connect with the main character because she had such a closed-off upbringing. She’s meant to be challenging and distant, so I understood why I wasn’t able to connect with her on the level I usually might’ve when reading a book. I loved her though – she was fierce and extremely loyal to her found family. Jude, Free, and her mother Cady were all fascinating characters. I loved getting to know the people surrounding the state park they went to to find Bella. There were a LOT of twists and turns for a book I would generally consider to be more of a contemporary book than a mystery book. I’m totally counting it as mystery for my challenges 😉 There were a lot of elements at the […]

Summerathon Reviews: The Summer House, The Unhoneymooners, and The Rest of the Story

Posted July 4, 2019 / Book Reviews / 1 Comment
Summerathon Reviews: The Summer House, The Unhoneymooners, and The Rest of the Story

I participated in Summerathon recently, where we focused on reading summer-oriented and beachy reads. Here’s a super quick roundup of these summertime books I read during the readathon! I always told myself that I seriously needed to get going on reading some of Jenny Hale’s summer-oriented books. She does such an amazing job of describing winter/Christmas scenes that I just should have known how well she could paint a summery scene as well. I could perfectly picture the town of Waves and the beach houses there, including The Beachcomber (soon-to-be Bed and Breakfast). The main character, Callie, and her best friend Olivia (along with her son Wyatt), always dreamed about buying the property when they were kids and finally are able to do it now, so they move to the small town and begin remodeling. Callie meets the local rich “playboy,” Luke, and is swept off her feet. The story had a similar setup to many Jenny Hale holiday books, where the love interest is rich and fancy. These books are so easy to read and just fulfills that little “what if some rich guy falls in love with me” fantasy that everyone has thought about at some point. This story had a couple more serious elements, as alluded to in the synopsis, but it was generally a light summer read. I wish I had the chance to actually read this on the beach, because it’s the perfect read for laying out in the sun. I absolutely need to get […]

Reviews: Aurora Rising and Red, White & Royal Blue

Posted June 24, 2019 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
Reviews: Aurora Rising and Red, White & Royal Blue

When this was added on Scribd, I knew I needed to listen to the audio and read this one way earlier than I thought I actually would. I loved the Illuminae books but for some reason I wasn’t in the mood for this right away. I think I felt like it’d end up being too similar somehow? Not exactly the case as I got reading because OBVIOUSLY LAUREN not all science fiction/space-oriented books are the same. Anyways, I also got the physical copy from the library because I knew I wanted to blaze through it a little faster. LOL at that – I took over a month to read this because other ~required reading~ things popped up and delayed things. It’s a bigger book too, of course, but still. I finally made it! There were a lot of characters but I do think they were fleshed out well enough to differentiate between them. Tyler is kind of the lead character because he’s the leader of their squad. On draft day, he was busy saving Aurora and being the goldenboy they all claim he is, which meant he got the leftovers to add to his squad instead of the top people he could have drafted. Scarlett, Tyler’s twin sister, is the best and so cute and flirty and fun. Kal is the kind of alien person? Something bad happened between his people and everyone else’s, so they don’t super trust him sometimes. Cat is in love with Tyler, Finian is in […]

ARC Review: The Friend Zone

Posted June 20, 2019 / Book Reviews / 2 Comments
ARC Review: The Friend Zone

I had this book for a very long time and AS USUAL my terrible reading habits got in the way. I ended up starting this the week it published and wanted to turn my review around quickly. (I even knew that I’d need a full-length review for this one… something that hasn’t been seen on my blog in a while!) I love Forever Romance so much – please check into them if you live under a rock haven’t read my blog in a while. I had enough time to see early readers’ reviews of this one and let’s be real – the hype was huuuuge. I saw from others that it would make me laugh AND cry, so that’s my favorite kind of book. It didn’t take me that long to warm up to these characters. Josh, who just moved to California to work at the firehouse with his best friend, literally ran into Kristen on his way there. Turns out, they’re both in the wedding of Sloan and Brandon, maid of honor and best man, respectively. They didn’t get off to the best start but when Kristen needs help with her business, Josh is the only logical person to help her out. They become quick friends and Josh spends a lot of time at her house, while Kristen gears up for her deployed boyfriend to come home. Naturally they catch some feelings. I like that this was a slow-burn, where Kristen was already questioning her feelings for her boyfriend, […]

Review Round Up | Always Never Yours, The Woman in the Window, and What If It’s Us

Posted June 13, 2019 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 2 Comments
Review Round Up | Always Never Yours, The Woman in the Window, and What If It’s Us

In an effort to cut down on posts and burnout, my Review Roundups will feature 2-4 books I’ve read or listened to recently. Sometimes they’re newer releases and sometimes they’re all backlist titles. My ARC reviews usually get the solo treatment. Enjoy the mini reviews! This is one of those books that I was super eager to read and still took forever to do so. I saw it referred to as a Shakespeare retelling in some places but didn’t fully believe that it was. I don’t think it fully tells any one Shakespeare story and it’s not a typical Shakespeare “retelling” but there are a lot of parts that line up to Shakespeare plot points or tropes? There are romantic entanglements, love triangles, miscommunications between characters, and countless references to Shakespeare’s plays (especially because the book centers around a Romeo and Juliet school play). The main character, Megan, is constantly compared to Rosalie from the play too. Anyways, I loved this. Megan was a fascinating character; she’s totally comfortable doing whatever she wants, pursuing guys, and flirting shamelessly. There are some pieces of her personality that could be considered ~unlikeable~ by some standards but I loved her for all of those reasons. Owen was ADORABLE and I loved the messy romance of this one, tbh. I think haters of love triangles and cheating (to an extent?) won’t like this one, but this felt super high school to me in a great way. It was real, in my opinion. The family dynamics worked […]

Blog Tour | Cover Colors: Screen Queens

Posted June 5, 2019 / Book Reviews, Cover Colors, Features / 0 Comments
Blog Tour | Cover Colors: Screen Queens

Mini Review This book just looked so girl-power-ish and I am here for it. I loved that they’d be taking on the tech world and Silicon Valley, especially because I read this right before heading off on a trip to San Francisco for this week! It centers around the three girls featured on the cover and their experience at ValleyStart, a prestigious tech incubator/summer internship. Lucy has tech running in her family, growing up local to Palo Alto. Maddie is from the Boston area and is hoping to beef up her graphic design portfolio, while missing her brother on the East Coast. And finally, Delia: she taught herself how to code and now she has to see if she can match up to everyone else at ValleyStart. I didn’t love Lucy at the beginning because she was a little irritating, with her constant chatter and semi-rude comments to Maddie when they first met. She grew on me the more I got to know her and understand why she struggled (under her mom’s big name and general pressure to succeed). To be completely honest, each of these girls had their own flaws that made them different from each other, as well as their own individual strengths. I loved that they were imperfect and trying their best in the “Dave-dominated” tech world. They came out of their shells (well, Lucy was already very much out of her shell already!) and grew together as a team. I loved the idea for their app, […]

Blog Tour | Review: Summer on Mirror Lake

Posted June 3, 2019 / Book Reviews / 3 Comments
Blog Tour | Review: Summer on Mirror Lake

Review I was itching to return to Honeymoon Harbor – one of my favorite small-town settings! I fell right back in love with it from the first couple of chapters. I was worried that I’d forget the previous books (I seriously read too many cute small town companion series; I thought I would mix them up), but Ross did a nice job of reintroducing me to the town. It’d be easy to start in the middle of this series if you were unable to start at the beginning, that’s for sure. This story centers around Gabe and Chelsea. Gabe, one of the infamous Mannion brothers of Honeymoon Harbor, returns home to the Pacific Northwest after a health scare in NYC, where he has been working himself to the bone on Wall Street. Chelsea, a local librarian, begins caring for two foster children, and begins a wonderful summer romance with Gabe. I loved how honest they were about their attraction and nervousness on their first “date” – that’s always my favorite kind of romance. Miscommunication and lack of openness can lead to the black moment in romance too often and it’s refreshing to read something else. Chelsea was a great character – I loved that she was definitely not afraid to be herself and stand up for her opinions. The early scene where she talked about romance books with Gabe was perfection. (I may just have a soft spot for bookish /  librarian MCs!) As I alluded to before, the romance […]