Genre: Adult

Holiday Reviews: The Christmas Pact and The Twelve Dogs of Christmas

Posted December 27, 2021 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Holiday Reviews: The Christmas Pact and The Twelve Dogs of Christmas

Story I decided to listen to this on a whim when I ran out of podcasts on December 22nd – I had a lot of Christmas errands to run and knew the 2 hour runtime would be something quick and easy to bolster my holiday reading AND Goodreads challenge. I ended up enjoying it quite a bit! Riley Kennedy and Kennedy Riley work at the same publishing house and constantly receive each other’s emails. When they finally meet at the company Christmas party, they end up making a Christmas pact: Kennedy will go to Riley’s Christmas Eve to show her mom she DOES have something exciting in her life, and in exchange, Riley will go to Kennedy’s brother’s wedding after New Years. I thought the chemistry was actually well-done (very THE HATING GAME!) in a novella. I usually struggle with plot development due to the length and find there to be too much instalove, but this felt just right for me. I loved the characters and their families: they slotted into each other’s lives nicely. Wintery Setting & Holiday Feels Yes, there’s a smattering of Christmas and a mention of New Years but in a novella, not a ton of time to develop holiday feels. It has a company holiday party, Christmas Eve and morning (briefly) celebrated… and that’s about it. The setting is upstate NY so there’s some snow too! Overall The ending was a bit silly but I enjoyed it – it kind of made sense! There were […]

Holiday ARC Reviews: The Christmas Village and Duke, Actually

Posted December 22, 2021 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
Holiday ARC Reviews: The Christmas Village and Duke, Actually

Story I love Annie Rains’ books – that’s no secret around here. I’ve read them all so far under the Forever Romance umbrella, and can’t wait to dive into the novella that occurs right after this book! I can always count on her to deliver an enjoyable Christmas story each year and THE CHRISTMAS VILLAGE was no exception. This is the second book in the Somerset Lake companion series, a setting we’ve only seen so far during summertime. Lucy and Miles were high school sweethearts who were once engaged before Miles unceremoniously called it off. Neither of them truly moved on from it though. Now they’re back under “one roof” (more like “one yard” as Miles is renting Lucy’s garage apartment temporarily) and sparks are flying again. I do love a second chance romance and this couple was totally worth rooting for! I don’t love reading books about cops but the “Christmas Crankster” mystery that Miles worked on throughout the book was entertaining and he’s really a great guy. Wintery Setting & Holiday Feels Somerset Lake’s residents love Christmas and that was clear in this book! They spoke about the holiday season in its debut novel so I was really looking forward to seeing how they celebrated. There were a lot of decor references and holiday events that made me feel Christmassy, especially decorating Lucy’s big pink house for the neighborhood competition. Overall This series continues to impress! I was sad that Sweetwater Springs was no longer the setting for […]

Blog Tour Review: Sleigh Bells Ring

Posted December 13, 2021 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
Blog Tour Review: Sleigh Bells Ring

Buy Links: BookShop.org // Harlequin // Barnes & Noble // Amazon // Books-A-Million // Powell’s Review I’ve been reading RaeAnne Thayne’s books for years now and was excited to sign up for this tour! She always writes fun and cheery holiday stories with adorable small town settings. This book was no exception for the most part – instead of a small town with an adorable main street, this takes place on a sprawling ranch in Wyoming. It was very festive with lots of decorating and Christmas cheer, especially through the eyes of a couple of children. SLEIGH BELLS RING centers around Annie, the caretaker of the ranch, and her brother’s children. The owners of the ranch, including her childhood crush Tate, come in for Christmas and she is working as the de facto chef and host to all of them for one final Christmas before they sell it. I was expecting to only read their two POVs but Tate’s sister, Brie, ends up as a main character after the first 20% of the book or so. I immediately knew where her perspective was heading and I was intrigued to see what would happen for her. She wasn’t spoken about very favorably in the beginning of the story so I was curious to see what her reasons would be, or where her head was at during the story. I enjoyed the setting and the family feels in this one. However, I think the writing was a bit repetitive. The characters had the same […]

Holiday ARC Reviews: The Holiday Swap and No Ordinary Christmas

Posted December 3, 2021 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
Holiday ARC Reviews: The Holiday Swap and No Ordinary Christmas

Story I love a good swap story! Identical twins Charlie and Cass switch lives for a week during an incredibly busy time in their lives. Charlie manages the family’s bakery in their adorable hometown, where she’s under the gun to finish their famous holiday bread by Christmas Eve while her parents are on vacation. Cass lives in LA, a few hours away, and is a famous celebrity baker. She’s filming a limited-run holiday-themed baking show with a shitty coworker and needs everything to go well so she can “win” her own TV show. When Cass gets a concussion and loses her sense of smell and taste, she and Charlie switch places – Cass doesn’t need those to bake her well-known family recipes and Charlie is a great baker that can step in for the show. Naturally, the two ladies fall for some cute guys where they are, under the guise of their sisters. These kinds of stories usually come with a ton of drama and predictable results in the end, but honestly this one was tame! There were a lot of side plots for both of the MCs and annoying characters, but I think everything got a decent amount of page time to feel necessary. Wintery Setting & Holiday Feels I enjoyed the holiday feels throughout this one. They had a lot of tasty-sounding holiday-themed baked goods. I will admit that Cass’s chapters in their cute, snowy hometown had more holiday feels for me than the scenes in LA (with good […]

Honeymoon Reads // ARC Reviews: The Road Trip and The Royals Next Door

Posted November 8, 2021 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
Honeymoon Reads // ARC Reviews: The Road Trip and The Royals Next Door

I finished THE ROAD TRIP during my honeymoon, late one night when I couldn’t sleep. I then started and blazed through THE ROYALS NEXT DOOR while hanging out in the hot tub, almost all in one sitting. I knew I’d manage to finish a book or two while I was out there enjoying the scenery! Here are the two reviews for this books – both were review copies that had already published. I’ve really enjoyed the first two books I read by Beth O’Leary – they’re unique and charming stories with fun characters. I even got past the horrible internal monologue/writing style in THE FLATSHARE because of how much I loved everyone. This book was generally pretty cute and mostly enjoyable, but not at the same level as the previous two books. I didn’t root for the main couple very much. They met and quickly fell for each other over one summer, have a weird and mostly shitty relationship for a couple of years, and break up. When they see each other again a couple of years later and end up having to road trip to a mutual friend’s wedding, sparks fly again. There were so many weird and complex elements to their love story and I didn’t feel like the chemistry was even there from the beginning, so why bother rooting for them to overcome their issues at all? Sure, they grew up a little bit by the “present day” chapters, but I still didn’t exactly care. There weren’t […]

ARC Reviews: Wait for It and The Dating Playbook

Posted August 16, 2021 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Reviews: Wait for It and The Dating Playbook

The cover of this book completely sucked me in right off the bat. Super obsessed, but who’s surprised? I decided to, very randomly, read this book ASAP when I was approved on Netgalley. I read it in just a few sittings because honestly it was pretty addicting and enjoyable! The setup here is that Annabelle’s friends invite her out to Arizona to work at their up-and-coming graphic design studio. They’ve hooked her up with a rental on the property of a mysterious retired man named Nick. She doesn’t lay eyes on him for a long time and incorrectly assumes (because he’s retired and he writes her curmudgeonly letters) he’s an old guy. Wrong – he’s her age and super hot. I enjoyed that there were a lot of things happening in this book – each character had a ton going on in their life and all of the side characters did too. Lots of history and current drama with work or family/friends. At times it felt like a bit much, but for the most part it made everyone feel very fleshed out. I always appreciate that. I also liked that the POVs went back and forth between Anna and Nick – it was important to actually get in his head to understand why he was acting a certain way. On the surface he just seemed super terrible. The writing style was a little repetitive and sometimes annoying (there were a number of things that rubbed me the wrong way). As […]

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 […]

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 […]