Category: Book Reviews

ARC Review: How Sweet It Is

Posted July 30, 2021 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Review: How Sweet It Is

It’s no secret that my reading has been weird, terrible, inconsistent – you name it – this year. When I saw Forever post about the pub date arriving for HOW SWEET IT IS, I was immediately motivated to get reading. How could it already be mid-August?! Honestly, I was taken with this book right away. I immediately loved the characters and read a lot of it in one sitting. Then… it sat around while I tried to finish up other reading obligations. But the minute I dove back in, I was ready to finish it up! The story had a unique premise based heavily around the jobs of the two main characters. Kate is an event planner who specializes in romance and weddings. Drake is a horror writer, who happens to be the client of Kate’s best friend, and her services are needed for his book launch. Could this finally be the event that wins the coveted EVPLEX award? She signs on, hoping it’ll work in her favor, and spends time in Drake’s cute town planning the event. The two had a lot of chemistry right from the start but don’t really act on much of anything until 50-60% through the book. I appreciated that they had to keep it PG and appropriate while working together; it made it all the more sweet and exciting when they finally moved forward. I loved Drake’s family and how prevalent they were in the novel. His mom was so sweet. It was like everyone […]

Review Round Up | A Vow So Bold and Deadly and All the Tides of Fate

Posted July 23, 2021 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 1 Comment
Review Round Up | A Vow So Bold and Deadly and All the Tides of Fate

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 enjoyed the first two books in this series but my mind was a blank when starting this final book in the trilogy. Even worse? All of my book recap websites didn’t have a summary for book two! I was able to piece everything together pretty well from spoilery reviews at least. Usually I get very sidetracked and unmotivated to read fantasy books, especially this year. I’m so behind on my challenge that I’ve been focusing on quick contemporary books or mysteries. However, VOW really kept my attention. I was always interested in reading it and didn’t feel like putting it down every two seconds to check my phone. Reviews for third or final books can be challenging because I don’t want to give everything away from the first two, but I’m going to hope most people reading this review read the first two books. I won’t say anything major though. The character in the last book who was very terrible is on the path to redemption, in a way, in this book. I didn’t remember the gory details from book two but remember thinking “since when is he like this?!” All in all, a very interesting character arc there. I liked getting all four character’s POVs […]

ARC Review: Coming Home to Seashell Harbor

Posted July 10, 2021 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Review: Coming Home to Seashell Harbor

I read the first book and the last book in the Angel Falls series last year around the holidays and never managed to get the second book read. I hope to get to it in the second half of this year because I actually have a review draft for the whole series that has been SITTING THERE since December of 2019. Regardless, I was excited for a new book by Liasson – this one is set in Seashell Harbor, which appears to be on the Jersey shore. The setup for this one was extremely fun. It’s a second chance romance between two high school sweethearts that return home for the summer. Cam (or Tony) made it big in the NFL as a tight end and had his career come screeching to a halt when he had too many knee injuries to play through. Hadley went out to LA to be a publicist for celebrities and endured a very public breakup when her actor boyfriend left her for a costar. I loved that this was not only a second chance at love for a high school couple, but they both went on to be pretty famous! Coming back to a small, beachside hometown is always something that will appeal to me in books too. There was a lot of tension between the exes because Hadley’s grandmother, after suffering a fall and needing to take time off from Pooch Palace (a dog boarding company), is contemplating retirement. Hadley wants to keep the […]

ARC Reviews: To Sir, with Love and Rosaline Palmer Takes the Cake

Posted June 17, 2021 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Reviews: To Sir, with Love and Rosaline Palmer Takes the Cake

I shouldn’t say things like “this was a pleasant surprise!” when I read a Lauren Layne book at this point, but that was my immediate reaction. I adored the Central Park Pact series and have a feeling I’ll go on to enjoy many of her other romances. I don’t think I was expecting to love this one quite as much as I did though. The premise is essentially You’ve Got Mail, so you can’t go wrong! Gracie is a romantic, obsessed with fairy tales and finding her soulmate. She’s got a pen pal she’s falling for on a dating app who she’s never met, but she can tell they’re perfect for each other. She took over the family business, a sparkling wine store in NYC, after her father passed away. Her siblings bowed out a long time ago and she never wanted to disappoint her father, even after his death. Her brother moved to New Hampshire and her sister still lives in NYC with her high school sweetheart husband; they’re not as close as they used to be. Enter: Sebastian. His company owns the shop Gracie leases and they want to buy her out of their lease. As you can imagine, Gracie does NOT want to give up the family business and the two fight constantly whenever they see each other. Enemies-to-lovers, baby. It’s very obvious to the reader who Sir (the pen pal) is – she already knows him IRL. It was wild to watch them fall in love in person […]

ARC Reviews: The Box in the Woods and The Next Wife

Posted June 10, 2021 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Reviews: The Box in the Woods and The Next Wife

I was obsessed with the TRULY DEVIOUS series and was completely over the moon when I saw a fourth book announced. The first three involved Stevie at Ellingham Academy trying to solve the school’s murder from many, many years ago, so I expected the series to end after that. This is a “standalone” installment where she spends the summer at a camp where infamous murders happened in the 1970s, in an attempt to solve it too. I could easily read a hundred books, Nancy Drew-style, where Stevie just goes around and solves mysteries everywhere. I liked that this crime happened in the 1970s so there were actually people in the town who were alive and/or involved with what happened back then. (I’ll also say that the 70s-based mystery involved a lot of Led Zeppelin references, which is always welcome for me.) The Ellingham mysteries were so long ago that she couldn’t rely on any actual witnesses or people from that time period. I love that this took place in a small Berkshires town in MA because I could completely picture it. It was nice to have her friends at the summer camp too because this felt like a continuation of the Ellingham series while also managing to be a standalone story. Good references to the past but not a ton (thank god because my memory for the rest of the series is terrible). This one was so twisty – I truly don’t think anyone could figure out the mystery in […]

ARC Reviews: The Soulmate Equation and Satisfaction Guaranteed

Posted June 7, 2021 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Reviews: The Soulmate Equation and Satisfaction Guaranteed

I won’t bore you to death with my usual story about Christina Lauren books, but just know that I’ve really enjoyed all of the ones I’ve read (and yes they all fall into the “recently published rom-com” category instead of their previous series). I tend to not love books involving kids as much so I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about this one, but I ended up really enjoying that aspect. Jess is a single mother and freelance statistician with excellent grandparents who help her out whenever needed. When she and her friend Fizzy are recruited to join an up-and-coming dating app based on DNA matches, she is shocked to find that she is a top-level match with the owner and founder of the company, River. She also hasn’t had the best experiences with him so far, so she’s really unsure of how this would ever work. They offer to pay her a lot of money to just spend time with River and see how things go. You can guess what happens from here, I’m sure! I thoroughly enjoyed this one. Many are comparing it to Christina Lauren’s older books, which I haven’t read, but I think this is on par with all of their books that I’ve read. I tend to just love the characters’ chemistry and their easy, addicting writing style. I was able to mostly read this via audiobook while doing stuff around the house and it really kept my attention. That’s genuinely hard to do with […]

ARC Review: The Summer Cottage

Posted May 26, 2021 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Review: The Summer Cottage

I adored the Sweetwater Springs series and it was definitely bittersweet to see it come to an end. However, the setup for the new Somerset Lake “spinoff” series was too perfect. I loved meeting the new MC for book one in Somerset Lake during REUNITED ON DRAGONFLY LANE. Trisha, the ex-sister-in-law of Chase from REUNITED, decides to move her son to “nearby” Somerset Lake. She gets a job as a property manager that includes free rent of one of the cabins onsite. The cabins need a lot of work if they’re going to be rentable again, so she is off to the races while trying to make a new home for her family. She is constantly running from the mistakes of her ex, Peter – you learn in previous books that he was a financial advisor arrested for taking money from his clients. This is something she doesn’t stop thinking about and dwelling on as she goes through life, and it doesn’t help that she and Petey are not going to tell anyone about it in their new town.  Somerset Lake is a cute setting so far. Honestly, it doesn’t quite compare to Sweetwater Springs, but I know there will be more glimpses into the town through new characters we meet in this first installment. I can see at least three ladies who will likely be MCs for future stories in this series and I’m HERE for it. One of them even owns a bookstore! I love that Trisha joins […]

Review Round Up | Finlay Donovan is Killing It, The Girls Are All So Nice Here, and The Ex-Talk

Posted May 21, 2021 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Round Up | Finlay Donovan is Killing It, The Girls Are All So Nice Here, and The Ex-Talk

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 was so fun and refreshing – exactly what I needed! I’ve been intrigued by the cozy mystery genre, or at least “lighter” mysteries that focus heavily on the amateur sleuth and her personal life, but none have fully hit the mark. They’ve either been not-good in a compulsively readable way, or just straight-up not great in general. This one hit the mark for me in so many ways. Finlay is a struggling romantic suspense author and she finds herself caught up in a murder mystery, along with her babysitter-turned-roommate, Vero. They have a fun relationship – I loved how quickly Vero worked with Finlay to figure out what was happening, even getting involved with some extremely elicit activities. Like many mysteries like this, the crime/murder is a main point of the book, but you learn even more about the main character and their personal life as they try to figure out what’s going on. Finlay is dealing with her shitty ex-husband and his new perfect fiance while trying to be a single working mom of two cute kids. I enjoyed seeing how she attempted to balance it all and how Vero stepped in to help her… in more ways than one. I won’t spoil too much […]

ARC Review: Malibu Rising

Posted May 10, 2021 / Book Reviews / 2 Comments
ARC Review: Malibu Rising

Since TJR has switched up her stories away from portraits of contemporary love or marriage, and into more character studies via historical fiction, I was wondering if they would hit me the same. I adored her first foray into it with EVELYN HUGO. I loved reading about her life and figuring out how the heck she’d manage to get married seven times. I was super excited for DAISY JONES because I’m a big fan of classic rock. However, I found it to be so-so and a bit cliche. Just a classic, somewhat typical portrait of a rock band. I needed this to be more EVELYN HUGO than DAISY JONES. This story is a picture of a family across generations set around Malibu and Hollywood in the early 1980s. Mick Riva, the soon-to-be-famous rockstar, met his wife June, who worked at her family’s restaurant, and they fell in love. They got married, had some kids, broke up, got back together, had another kid, and broke up again. The story switches between past (the parents’ relationship) and present (the day of the big Riva family end-of-summer party) for most of the book. It was neat to have a full picture of the Riva family intertwined with the “present day” of summer 1983. Nina, the eldest daughter, has become a famous surfing model. Her ~twin~ brothers Jay and Hudson make their living off Jay’s surfing and Hudson’s photography of said surfing. The youngest, Kit, is kind of finding her way in the world. From […]

ARC Reviews: People We Meet on Vacation and 10 Truths and a Dare

Posted May 5, 2021 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Reviews: People We Meet on Vacation and 10 Truths and a Dare

I read and loved BEACH READ, like many others, but I know that was somewhat polarizing. Lots of readers didn’t think it was really a rom-com, since it centered around some heavier family or career-related elements, and the cover doesn’t totally match the vibe. However, I adored it for what it was and that whole thing didn’t affect my enjoyment whatsoever. I had really high hopes and expectations for PEOPLE WE MEET ON VACATION as a result. Oh MAN, did this book deliver. Complete banter-y perfection. I saw a few people call Emily Henry’s writing “witty” and that’s such a great way to describe it. The characters in this book especially were so hilarious. I adored getting to know Poppy, Alex, and all of their inside jokes. The story follows the two of them after a two-year friendship hiatus. It goes back and forth between ten summer trips they’ve taken across ten years, and the present day vacation in Palm Springs. It recounts their many years of friendship, where their annual summer trips are the key grounding point in their relationship. There are always tiny hints of what-if-we-were-more, but the two of them also have a few relationships with other people to navigate as well. You also spend most of the book what happened during the dreaded Croatia trip that made them stop speaking for two years. Poppy is so unique and her family life fascinated me. Her parents and brothers sounded wonderful and quirky. She had a fun sense […]