Format: ARC

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: Only Ever Her

Posted May 31, 2019 / Book Reviews / 1 Comment
Blog Tour | Review: Only Ever Her

Review I was intrigued from the start with this book! I have been really trying to read more mystery/thrillers (especially the kind of domestic suspense genre like this one). ONLY EVER HER centers around the perfect small-town girl Annie, who goes missing days before her wedding. Did she leave on her own with a case of cold feet? Is her high school (guy) best friend, who clearly loves her, to blame somehow? Is this tied in to her mother’s murder and the previously-jailed suspect now walking free? The story alternated between a few points of view: Annie (at first), Kenny (the high school friend who loved her), Clary (her cousin), Faye (her guardian and aunt, who she lived with after her mom was killed), and Laurel (the reporter in the town who knew Annie from high school). Other relevant characters, who didn’t have specific points of view chapters, included Scott (her fiancee), the pastor who was set to marry them, Tracy (her best friend and bridesmaid), Hal (the sheriff)… and countless others. The small town had a lot of people who knew each other and loved Annie, which made it so interesting to see them rally around her. As you can guess, there were a lot of interconnected people and factors at play throughout the story, which made it fascinating to try to “solve.” I kept thinking that some ideas I had were too obvious and genuinely couldn’t figure out what had happened to Annie. It was refreshing, to be […]

ARC Reviews: Her Royal Highness and Don’t Date Rosa Santos

Posted April 22, 2019 / Book Reviews / 2 Comments
ARC Reviews: Her Royal Highness and Don’t Date Rosa Santos

I enjoyed the first book in this series. I think it’s because, despite my overall grumpiness about all things royal, the main character matched those sentiments. I was able to relate to Daisy and get accustomed to this kind of royal-meets-normie tale. I became excited for the f/f companion novel, even though this one directly involves an actual princess, and hopped to it right away. This ended up being super shippy and mostly wonderful. Flora and Millie were an excellent pair. I loved the kind of hate-to-love situation that developed, with Flora being Flora aka not the nicest person on earth? Millie was cute with her love for her dad, love for geology, and general love for Scotland without ever going there. As usual, I would have loved even more family feels, but she had a really nice backstory. This ship sailed its way into my heart for sure. My main issue is how abrupt the ending was. In general, the whole second half-ish of the book was a bit rushed? I could have done with like 50 more pages interspersed in the second half of the book, both around building the ship and chemistry and toward the end. I would venture to say that the pacing here was relatively terrible, with the inevitable fight/breakup/tension (and the usual things that follow) WAY too close to the end of the book. Overall though, a worthy companion to the first book! Give me a book about Seb now PLEASE. I was really […]

ARC Reviews: The Bride Test and Meet Cute

Posted April 18, 2019 / Book Reviews / 4 Comments
ARC Reviews: The Bride Test and Meet Cute

HOW DOES HELEN HOANG DO IT? This was perfection. Hoang writes such unique romances in just about every way, but especially the circumstances in which the characters get together (an “arranged marriage” here and the whole “male escort” thing KISS QUOTIENT). When Khai’s mom heads to Vietnam to essentially hand-pick a woman for her son to marry, she finds that Esme, who is working in the restroom, would be the perfect match. She is hesitant at first because she has a young daughter, mother, and grandmother to support. Her mother insists that she comes to California for the summer to try to make things work with him. She can also try to find her father, an American on business who never knew he got her mother pregnant. She eventually agrees for those reasons – why not give it a shot? Khai, on the other hand, just decides to appease his mom, live with Esme, and see what happens. He was obviously in for a surprise when he found himself instantly fascinated by her. I was completely charmed by both Esme and Khai; they were totally lovable in their different ways. Esme talked a lot while Khai would just take it all in. They were opposites but complementary. Watching them open up to each other was so entertaining and heartwarming. They didn’t just grow as a pair, but absolutely grew as individuals too. Esme learned about her own interests and goals while Khai opened up to the fact that he DOES have […]

ARC Review: Serious Moonlight

Posted April 3, 2019 / Book Reviews / 6 Comments
ARC Review: Serious Moonlight

Initial Excitement & Summary I’m a huge fan of Jenn Bennett. Seriously, huge. All of her books have been major successes in my eyes. She always creates somewhat unique situations for romance and develops her characters in wonderful ways. Her three releases before SERIOUS MOONLIGHT each earned 4.5 stars from me… so clearly I’m a fan. From an overall plot perspective, with the mystery solving and quirky settings across Seattle, this had the right setup to be another favorite by Bennett. Birdie and Daniel meet under interesting circumstances and find soonafter that they’ll be working together during the night shift at a famous Seattle hotel. They move past the awkwardness of their first meeting to solve a mystery together – an author, who remains anonymous and uses a pseudonym, is staying at their hotel each week, and they want to confirm his identity. Birdie is big into mystery novels and hopes to be a detective of some kind someday. Daniel loves magic and has a talent for woodworking. Both of them also have secrets they’re hiding from each other… Storytelling & End Feels I’ve never been to Seattle but I can say with certainty that I want to visit even more now! I know the hotel was made-up but the rest of the city felt real to me. I’d love to take a ferry to the island and explore the market on the other side. There were so many cool shops, like the bookstore (mysteries!) and magic shop, that made […]

Review Round Up | Field Notes on Love, Girls with Sharp Sticks, and Springtime at Hope Cottage

Posted March 7, 2019 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 4 Comments
Review Round Up | Field Notes on Love, Girls with Sharp Sticks, and Springtime at Hope Cottage

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 CUTE. I was determined to finish another book in February to keep up with 10 books per month, so I ended up scrambling to read this between the last two days. I read so much of it in one sitting on the 28th, both because I “had to” and definitely because I wanted to. Seriously, let me say again, it was ADORABLE. I’m a sucker for those weird circumstances where people meet, especially when traveling. In this case, Hugo was planning a cross-country train trip with his girlfriend (Margaret Campell), when she surprisingly broke up with him. He decided to continue on the trip with the one caveat that that whole thing was nontransferable and booked under HER name. He needed a new Margaret Campbell, put out an ad, and found Mae. The vast majority of the book takes place on the train. I love the idea of this kind of journey, so reading about it was almost as good as doing it myself. I didn’t find it boring or repetitive to read about them talking and spending time one-on-one. Even though the side characters weren’t IN the story that much, they felt fully fleshed out. Alfie’s siblings (he’s a sextuplet!) and cute parents, […]

Blog Tour Review: Pretty in Punxsutawney

Posted January 14, 2019 / Book Reviews / 4 Comments
Blog Tour Review: Pretty in Punxsutawney

I’m a huge fan of everything this book promised. I love Groundhog Day (the movie, of course, but also books with this premise) and Pretty in Pink (and allll of the similar 80s movies). My grandfather was proudly from Punxsutawney, PA, so the setting made this even more interesting for me! I’ve been wanting to plan a trip there in his honor for years. My papa used to train me on how to spell Punxsutawney when I was SO young, bringing out an actual chalkboard like a teacher and making me learn how to spell it – he loved that town. Andie had a looooot of cringe-worthy moments in the first section of the book. I got some major secondhand embarrassment and wanted to shake her out of her Colton-shaped reverie. (This is the guy she set her sights on in the beginning, when she first moved to Punxsutawney.) She was often judgmental about everyone she met in school on her first day, which made her a little hard to deal with at first. I was definitely reminded of Before I Fall in a few ways (and it’s one of my favorite books). The MC has to learn from her mistakes and become less of a mean girl in order to actually move on to the afterlife. She experiences the same “Groundhog Day” phenomenon, learning more and more about herself in the process. I had a feeling that Andie would do this too, even though she wouldn’t necessarily qualify as […]

ARC Review: Famous in a Small Town

Posted January 7, 2019 / Book Reviews / 2 Comments
ARC Review: Famous in a Small Town

Initial Excitement & Summary Oh man, where should I begin? I started 2018 with FOOLISH HEARTS because I like the idea of reading a favorite author (one who has NEVER let you down) as the first book of the year. Get the reading year off to a great start, right? It definitely worked last year and let me tell ya – it worked again this year. I borrowed FAMOUS IN A SMALL TOWN from Wendy to make sure 2019 got off on the right foot again. If I could start every year with one of her books, I would and I will. This one doesn’t give much away in the synopsis but it’s about a girl named Sophie and the new cute boy next door, August. She envelops him in her amazing friend group as they try to track down their small town’s most famous person (Megan Pleasant, a country singer) in order to raise money for the marching band. She learns more about August’s mysterious past and about herself, her friends, and her neighbors in the process. Storytelling & Characters The book really felt like another quiet, slow and steady Emma Mills book. They’re my favorites because they spend so much time developing the characters so you really don’t worry much about if there’s a plot. Don’t get me wrong, there’s always a plot, but some are quieter than others? This book definitely felt like it would be a snapshot of time within this amazing friend group and nothing […]

ARC Review: The Wicked King

Posted December 14, 2018 / Book Reviews / 4 Comments
ARC Review: The Wicked King

* No spoilers for this book, but there will be spoilers for THE CRUEL PRINCE * Initial Excitement & Summary There were so many moments since I finished THE CRUEL PRINCE that I just wished I had this book. It’s funny, because I was often in a reading slump this summer and I kept saying “if I just had THE WICKED KING aka the only book I want to read, I wouldn’t be in this predicament.” Needless to say, I was extremely excited and did not want to wait until January to read this. After the events of TCP, I was ready to see what the hell was going to happen next. Jude and Cardan had gotten a bit closer, but then she screwed him over by crowning him Prince. Everyone betrayed everyone and Jude ended up as an adviser (meaning she had a spell/charm on Cardan so she could command him to do whatever she wanted him to do) to him as the king. The events of this book start out with the status of their relationship and how Jude has fallen into her position of power. Without getting too much into it, there was a lot of focus around those relationships and Taryn’s upcoming marriage to Locke. Storytelling, Characters, and Ending I was so eager to see what was going to happen next, after the way TCP ended! Talk about a cliffhanger. I was eager to see how Jude would grow into her new role and power, because […]

ARC Reviews: Little White Lies and The Geography of Letting Go

Posted October 22, 2018 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Reviews: Little White Lies and The Geography of Letting Go

I loved THE FIXER duo so much (and it should be a trilogy — still something that makes me incredibly sad and bitter) and have been saving THE NATURALS series for when I’m desperate for more words by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. I decided not to resist this one though… and I’m glad I didn’t wait! I read it during ARC August and was definitely what I needed to break the semi-slump I was in. I was just forcing myself to read (not because I wanted to read) and this book changed me for the month. It centers around Sawyer, a young mechanic who learns that her mom’s estranged family are filthy rich and only live 45 minutes away. When her grandmother shows up and offers her half a million dollars for college/life if she moves there and participates in the debutante season, she can’t resist the opportunity to find her biological father at the same time. She quickly falls in with her cousin, Lily, and her friend, Sadie-Grace… and unfortunately also with the evil Campbell. I wasn’t sure what to expect with this story, to be honest – I was kind of expecting something similar to the REBEL BELLE series with all of the ball gowns and southern traditions (minus the paranormal stuff). I did kind of get that, but there was a great mix of contemporary-mystery that Jennifer Lynn Barnes does so well. If you like her writing, I would have to recommend this book. It’s easy and addicting […]