Genre: Contemporary

ARC Reviews: Sandcastle Beach and Reunited on Dragonfly Lane

Posted February 3, 2021 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Reviews: Sandcastle Beach and Reunited on Dragonfly Lane

I think Jenny Holiday was my author of the year in 2020. I read three of her books, two of which are in this Matchmaker Bay trilogy, and all of them were wonderful. 4.5-5 stars across the board. Seriously, this series is perfect. I knew I had to start 2021 with a winner and this finale did not disappoint. I’m glad I still have another series to read by Holiday but I’ll miss this setting! Matchmaker Bay (actually called Moonflower Bay) is an adorable Canadian beach town… just the kind of small town romance-filled setting I love to read about. This book follows Maya and Law (Ben). I loved them both and definitely saw this romance coming from a mile away. Let me tell you, it did not disappoint. Holiday writes low-drama romances without a stupid miscommunication or something to ruin everything, which I SO appreciate. The two were basically enemies, always bickering, even if one of them didn’t know why they were fighting so much in the first place. This turned into a months-long friendship and then later romance. I’m really sad to leave this location behind! It’s very charming and that’s a major reason I’m not ready to go, but there are at least 3 new characters that totally could get their own books! Two women move to town in this installment and Maya’s brother also returns home. I would love to learn more about any combination of these people in more books 😉 Overall, this was yet […]

Review Round Up | All the Missing Girls, Dear Justyce, and Second Chance on Cypress Lane

Posted December 28, 2020 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Round Up | All the Missing Girls, Dear Justyce, and Second Chance on Cypress Lane

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! In the shitty year that is 2020, I completely blew it with #ReadForGrace. No calendar reminder could help me keep track of what day it is, apparently. I decided on a whim to start a book a day or two after her birthday and I think she’d be fine with that 🙂 Megan Miranda (and ALL THE MISSING GIRLS specifically) were favorites of hers. I’d been wanting to read this one forever so it was the perfect opportunity. I’m going to keep this review brief because of spoilers, but wow – what a format! The first chapter or two set the scene for the story: Nicolette is managing the health of her aging father and has to return home to NC to help clean the house in order to sell it. You learn that her best friend from high school went missing a decade before. The narrative is then told in reverse, beginning with Day 15 and ending up at Day 1, the day another girl (Annaliese) goes missing. Along the journey, you find out about the complex relationships between Nicolette and her father, ex-boyfriend, brother… a bunch of people who never left town. It took some getting used to, reading a story in reverse, but it […]

Holiday Review: The Twelve Dates of Christmas

Posted December 27, 2020 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
Holiday Review: The Twelve Dates of Christmas

Story This was one of my most anticipated reads for the holiday season and it didn’t disappoint! I loved the idea of following Kate on her twelve dates, set up through the 12 Dates of Christmas program. A local agency developed a matchmaking program where the people would go on twelve predetermined dates with matched partners and see how they get along. They were all seasonal and often festive with holiday themes. Lots of the dates showed some promise and plenty more were major busts, so it was funny to see how they all shook out or what activities the couple would go with. It was pretty obvious where the story was going from the beginning, which was okay by me. I like a predictable holiday romance. It did take me a little while to warm up to the winning love interest though; he was a bit annoying and it felt like he took advantage of her a little bit in the first half of the book (her kindness or friendship, I mean). I won’t say anymore! As I’ll discuss more below, her snow-covered English village was adorable. I could relate to her feelings of wanting to be in the big city (London) for a while but happily returned home to help her father out. She debated if it was the right move but truly loved being there. It makes me want to travel to England as soon as I’m able to get out of the country haha. She had […]

Holiday Reviews: Christmas at Holiday House and Christmas at Fireside Cabins

Posted December 25, 2020 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Holiday Reviews: Christmas at Holiday House and Christmas at Fireside Cabins

Story I’ve enjoyed RaeAnne Thayne’s novels over the past few years. She tends to write great small town romances that verge on too cheesy and wholesome. Well, this one definitely got further into that territory and I was a little put off by it. There were a lot of repetitive thoughts or conversations that made me roll my eyes. Backing up a bit, this one centers around Abigail and her son Christopher. They move to Silver Bells for a few weeks to help out her friend’s grandma before they plan to move from Arizona to Texas for a fresh start. She’s hoping to move on from her husband’s tragic death with a new city and life for her son. While in Silver Bells, she finds a growing attraction to her friend Lucy’s brother, Ethan, who manages the family’s fancy hotel chain. The story also kind of weirdly and randomly has Lucy’s point of view a few times where she wrestles with her feelings for her brother’s best friend. While I appreciated their story, it was kind of weird because the book had three points of view that weren’t split evenly. It was very much Abigail’s story with some pops of Ethan and even less pops of Lucy. It didn’t make a ton of sense to me. Wintery Setting & Holiday Feels Silver Bells was a super cute town and the Holiday House setting was even better. She ends up helping to decorate the mansion with a dozen Christmas trees and […]

Holiday Reviews: In a Holidaze and Season of Joy

Posted December 18, 2020 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 1 Comment
Holiday Reviews: In a Holidaze and Season of Joy

Story I’ve been lucky that there have been a few books this year where I was like “yup this is exactly what I needed.” I’m one of those people who didn’t hop on the Christina Lauren bandwagon until they started writing more rom-com style books, and I’ve enjoyed most of them. Somewhat mixed, but always quick and easy reads. This is easily one of my favorites! This featured a Groundhog Day-style story where Mae keeps returning to the beginning of the trip to try to find out what will make her happy. Can she save the cabin? Will she take a shot at Andrew, her childhood friend and longtime crush? I’ll admit that I usually prefer more “restarts” when I read these books. I won’t say how many times she looped back to the start for spoiler reasons. The big group of people who come to this cabin on a yearly basis were lovely – Mae’s parents (now divorced) and her parents’ college friends, plus all of their kids. There’s somewhat of a SUMMER I TURNED PRETTY vibe with a brother-based “love triangle” (not really, IMO) that I also loved. Benny, their parents fun single friend, was a great confidante for Mae and I loved him. I could have read a lot more about this chosen family! I think that’s one of the main areas where the book was lacking – I wanted MORE of the holiday feels, as discussed below, and more moments with everyone together. I just loved […]

Holiday Reviews: One Way or Another and A Princess for Christmas

Posted December 9, 2020 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Holiday Reviews: One Way or Another and A Princess for Christmas

Story I’m a sucker for a parallel life/universe kind of story. Should she go to NYC or her crush’s cabin for the Christmas holiday? I love seeing both timelines and how they end – will she end up in the same place? The main character, Paige, struggles with anxiety and decision-making; when she hits her head on the grocery store floor, the story and her life split into two universes so we can see how it plays out. I enjoyed the best-friends-to-more situation that was possibly brewing too – Paige had had a crush on her best guy friend for years and is trying to figure out how to move on and get over it. I liked reading both stories/settings. I think the wintery cabin with Fitz and his family was more interesting because they were actually spending time together. The NYC timeline was cool for her to travel and spend time with her mom’s friend’s son, Harrison, but she spent a ton of time still thinking about Fitz. Wintery Setting & Holiday Feels NYC during the holidays is always a dream setting. I’ve been near Christmas and it was a chaotic time that I don’t want to relive ever again. I’m not a city girl. I can definitely see the magic in it and love reading Christmas books set there! It’s the closest I’ll get haha. The Christmas feels were medium because those elements weren’t the point of the story. It was just the time of year where the […]

Holiday Novella Reviews: Booked for Christmas and The Christmas Wish

Posted November 19, 2020 / Book Reviews / 1 Comment
Holiday Novella Reviews: Booked for Christmas and The Christmas Wish

This novella is an adult romance by Sandhya Menon, using her pen name Lily Menon. The main character is an author of romance novels and has some friends over for a holiday party. A reviewer who trashes her books, Wolfe, shows up as a plus-one and she tries not to let it ruin her night. When a snowstorm rolls in and all the guests but Wolfe are able to leave, the two of them end up with a cozy and snowy holiday romance. I’m a sucker for hate-to-love so that was warmly welcomed by me! I always have issues with novellas where the pacing is off and things move too quickly, but this one actually felt just right – both in the overall story and with the romance. I wish there were more actual Christmas feels but the snow-covered remote cabin was a wonderful setting for this romance. It can be hard to capture THAT much Christmas in a small novella too. Overall though, this was a solid start to my holiday reading with a favorite author writing in a new age target. Another cozy and atmospheric small town romance companion series to start! My favorite. I love that this holiday novella is the first book in the Sunshine Valley series, set in the fictional town in Colorado. This story centers around the new town manager, Everett, who is struggling to get the city budget in place by the end of the year. He’s made some changes and fixed things […]

Review Round Up | Love Your Life, Forever With You, and Well Played

Posted November 4, 2020 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Round Up | Love Your Life, Forever With You, and Well Played

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’ve had both good and bad luck with Kinsella books in recent years – she can be super hit or miss. Sometimes the characters are just quirky enough, sometimes they’re over-the-top and annoying with it. This book was an interesting reading experience because it REALLY toed the line. I was tempted to DNF because good lord was Ava annoying… but I’m glad I kept going! My biggest issue with the story is that Ava and Matt were basically in love right away on their retreat, without knowing anything about their “real lives” outside. Kinsella didn’t do a good job of building up my investment in the relationship while they were in Italy so that I would CARE about them when they were home. If I didn’t see all the good things up front that made them want to keep trying, why should I care if they’re together? Their relationship was truly frustrating at times and her blindness to it all was even worse. Ava was frustrating and Matt was just okay for me. It seriously took a while but I was thoroughly enjoying myself around the 70% mark lol whoops. They had so much stuff to work through – I truly didn’t think this book would have […]

Review Round Up | Summer at Lake Haven, Today Tonight Tomorrow, and Then She Was Gone

Posted October 14, 2020 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Round Up | Summer at Lake Haven, Today Tonight Tomorrow, and Then She Was Gone

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’m always thrilled to return to Haven Point! I started this one and then realized there was a prequel novella about the leading man’s sister that should be read first, so I paused and finished that up quickly. Ian is in town for his sister Gemma’s wedding. He rents a house next to Samantha and she’s immediately smitten with his two cute kids. The kids, in turn, are smitten with the puppies she’s temporarily taking care of! Ian and Samantha get off on the wrong foot but they grow to be friends (and then more) throughout the story, of course. I’ll be honest – they were super dry and boring. Their conversations were repetitive and offered too much information about Ian’s research on salmon (yup). I was always a bit tired of them talking, which isn’t what you need from main characters you’re supposed to be rooting for in a romance! As always, the charming Haven Point setting won major points for me. The two of them were on Lake Haven and went hiking to see some waterfalls, which led to some nice scenery descriptions. The rest of the town and the Helping Hands group were always excellent too. I won’t spoil the ending, but it was […]

ARC Reviews: Sunshine on Silver Lake and 10 Things I Hate About Pinky

Posted August 24, 2020 / Book Reviews / 1 Comment
ARC Reviews: Sunshine on Silver Lake and 10 Things I Hate About Pinky

I’m always so thrilled to come home to Sweetwater Springs! This series has catapulted its way into my favorites list and continues to cement that spot with each new book. This is one of the best ones too, IMO! I loved that this was both fake dating AND (kinda) second chance romance AND childhood-friends-to-more. All of my tropes rolled into one in a way that made sense! Emma and Jack were close friends (almost more) in their younger years, until Jack blew her off for her senior prom. They did reconcile and remained friends throughout their adult lives living in Sweetwater Springs, but neither one of them would take the plunge into something more. When Jack suddenly has his nephew in his care for the summer, it’s easy for him to pretend (for his sister’s sake) that Emma is his girlfriend. Naturally, things progress into more. Emma is currently struggling with turning 30 and the bad feelings it provides about her mother’s untimely passing and battle with cancer. I REALLY enjoyed both of these characters and thought their friends-to-more relationship developed incredibly naturally. As always, there wasn’t any minor drama to split the couple up and I was never frustrated by miscommunication. Rains generally does a great job of giving the characters actual problems that need to be worked through to cause the “breakup” moment in the book. This one was short-lived too. Sweetwater Springs continues to be a fun, cute setting, and I love that we keep getting introduced […]