Format: ARC

Late ARC Reviews: When the Light Went Out and The Last Resort

Posted August 14, 2019 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
Late ARC Reviews: When the Light Went Out and The Last Resort

I hadn’t seen much about WHEN THE LIGHT WENT OUT, both before I requested it and after the pub date. I went in with no preconceived notions or expectations. I think I did expect it to have more of a mystery/thriller vibe than contemporary, but not enough to have that ruin the book. I love books about scavenger hunts or to-do lists, especially when left behind by someone who has passed away. In this story, a group of neighborhood kids were forever affected when Marley was accidentally shot by Nick five years ago. Olivia, the main character, was the only one of the group who witnessed it. Bigs, Teeny, Ruby, Harrison, and Olivia’s sister Aidy, join in with Olivia and a returning Nick to follow on Marley’s final “Adventure” scavenger hunt for them. To be honest, there’s not much to say about these characters. They were all fine and moderately developed but there’s not much more. Marley was essentially a manic pixie dream girl character throughout most of the book, which was unsurprising – a lot of books like this memorialize and glamorize the lost person. I can’t even say too much about the plot without spoiling how everything ends. I will say that I really didn’t enjoy how it ended. I ended up starting this one on a complete whim one Sunday and finished it before the day was over. I didn’t want to stop reading; the writing style and setup were so intriguing. I’d read more from this […]

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 […]

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, […]

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, […]