Genre: Contemporary

Holiday Reviews: The Matchmaker’s Mistletoe Mission and 10 Blind Dates

Posted December 6, 2019 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
Holiday Reviews: The Matchmaker’s Mistletoe Mission and 10 Blind Dates

Story I was excited when I got approved for this holiday novella and first “book” in the Boots and Bouquets series. It seems like these books will center around the Bellini family’s winery (Red Moss Vineyard), where the entire family hosts weddings and – obviously – makes some wine! There are a number of siblings and parents who work there, so this novella did a good job of setting the stage for the series and introducing the characters. Aside from that, Alice meets Clay (the rancher next door) when they’re forced to sleep over the vineyard. They have some instant chemistry but she still pushes the idea of utilizing her matchmaking service on him. They end up spending more time together and boy did this get steamy for such a short little book! I love when I can FEEL the chemistry between the characters in such a short book. Very strong instalove here but it is what it is. Some things were too convenient, like how his house was EXACTLY like the house she’d always wanted?? Wintery Setting & Holiday Feels The main reason that Alice is stuck at the Bellini vineyard is because of a major unexpected snowstorm, which certainly added to the winter vibes of this one. It takes place in December because her friends’ wedding is an OUTDOOR ceremony then (yikes). Being snowed in with a potential romantic partner is one of my favorite holiday book tropes! There were some good Christmas decor moments and the snowiness […]

ARC Reviews: Mooncakes and The Bromance Book Club

Posted November 11, 2019 / Book Reviews / 1 Comment
ARC Reviews: Mooncakes and The Bromance Book Club

I had really high hopes going into MOONCAKES – it looked like a very cute, inclusive love story with a good amount of witchy magic and Halloween feels. I planned to read it ON Halloween but got sidetracked with finishing some other books for the end of the month, so I read it over the course of one night (the next day). I received an egalley for review but ended up purchasing the paperback after my review copy expired (whoops!). This graphic novel is about Nova, a hearing-impaired witch, who lives with her two grandmothers. Her parents passed away but do appear in the story. When a wolf is discovered in the nearby woods, Nova goes to investigate. It turns out to be her childhood friend, Tam, a non-binary werewolf. The two, along with the Nanas, work to remove a demon from their town. Lots of family feels and little touches of side-stories that I’d love to read more about. An old flame reignites between Nova and Tam and it’s THE CUTEST. I love childhood-BFFs-to-more storylines. I have to say, a higher rating could very well have happened here but I seriously struggle with rating graphic novels. I know that they’re just as good as reading a novel, obviously, but I personally rush through them. It’s like I have a timer in my head saying I NEED to finish a comic in one sitting, just because I know I can. I blaze through them and it results in lessened enjoyment. […]

Blog Tour | Excerpt and Q&A – Meant to Be Yours

Posted November 4, 2019 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
Blog Tour | Excerpt and Q&A – Meant to Be Yours

Friends, I’m excited to highlight the latest release in the Happily, Inc series by Susan Mallery! This is exactly my kind of book. It’s a companion series focused around a “destination wedding town founded on a fairytale.” Like, if that doesn’t sound like a Lauren-book, I don’t know what does. It’s no secret I love small town companion series, especially when there’s a fun theme of the town and series. The Happily Inc website states that it all started when the owner of the local bank made up a tall-tale about the town helping people fall in love. It caught people’s attention nationally and thus became a hot wedding destination. The seven daughters of the original banker got married, had a lot of kids, and now this book series focuses on each of them finding their forever loves. Y’all, this website is ADORABLE. It has photos of what the townspeople look like, maps of the town, and more. Because I’m a completest about series, I plan to read the whole Happily Inc series in order. Today, I’m highlighting book number five: Meant to Be Yours. Check out the Q&A with Susan Mallery and an excerpt below! Meant to be Yours – Happily Inc Purchase links: Harlequin | Indiebound | Amazon | Barnes & Noble Books-A-Million | Target | Walmart | Google | iBooks | Kobo About the Author SUSAN MALLERY is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of novels about the relationships that define women’s lives—family, friendship, romance. Library Journal says, “Mallery is the master of blending emotionally […]

ARC Reviews: Deadly Little Scandals and Twice in a Blue Moon

Posted October 28, 2019 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Reviews: Deadly Little Scandals and Twice in a Blue Moon

I have loved every Jennifer Lynn Barnes book I’ve read, even including the ones that were not necessarily up my alley synopsis-wise. I still have to read THE NATURALS series and I can’t wait to be blown away by those too! In any case, I was sure to read this one relatively quickly to continue the story I loved so much. I didn’t remember that much from the first book but Barnes did a good job of recapping without overdoing it or feeling like an actual recap. I think the biggest issue with these books, which became even more of a problem in this one compared to the first, is that there are SO many characters. I could never keep anyone straight! The book, like the first one, also has chapters in the present and small flash-forward chapters that you’re working up to timeline-wise. This book additionally had some chapters set 25 years in the past, with the parents of all of the main characters. I was constantly trying to remember who was who. On top of the amount of characters, there are so many secrets around everyone’s parentage and family lineage too. Just when you think you’ve figured out who gave birth to someone or is related to someone else, everything changes again. I can’t say much more without being spoilery so I’ll just try to leave it at that. Overall though, this made it challenging to follow the story. There were a lot of big reveals though. I […]

ARC Reviews: She’s the Worst and Love on Lexington Avenue

Posted October 4, 2019 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Reviews: She’s the Worst and Love on Lexington Avenue

I have to say, I was super excited about this one but a bit nervous too. I didn’t like Spieller’s debut that much and was nervous that I’d be disappointed here. Honestly, it was so cute and fun! I read it in one sitting on a Saturday morning when I was desperate to read a little more on the final day of the month; it was the perfect book to just read at once. April and Jenn were definitely “opposites” in most ways, with Jenn being the perfect sister that always helped their parents and got good grades. April was a bit younger and reckless, playing soccer instead of working at the family’s store. It was hard to read about how easily they grew apart, and the fact that it was honestly mostly their parents’ fault. I don’t want to dive too much into them because I HATED THEM SO MUCH but they were incredibly unreasonable. I have to say, they were some of my least favorite parents I’ve read about. April decides to give Jenn a tour of their memories around LA, where they live, and I won’t disclose Jenn’s secret, but it was a good idea for their sister day. They had a lot of issues to resolve within their relationship, as well as how they were impacted by their parents’ choice to open – and fight about – an antique store for years. There were other things touched upon, like Jenn’s feelings about college, her boyfriend, and […]

Review Round Up | A Curse So Dark and Lonely, Well Met, and We Came Here to Forget

Posted August 26, 2019 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Round Up | A Curse So Dark and Lonely, Well Met, and We Came Here to Forget

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! ARC August Edition As always with fantasy books, I kind of waited forever to read my review copy of this book. I was hoping to mix in the audiobook but I couldn’t track it down in my usual places, so I just broke up my reading and charged through. I also made sure it was both my August book club selection AND a pick for my Disney-a-thon TBR, so I would be guaranteed to have read it. I’m not 100% sure if this book is classified as a true portal fantasy, but I loved that it featured both “our world” and another fantasy world – Emberfall. It was fun to learn about that world and those who inhabit it (Rhen, Grey, etc.). The curse and Beauty and the Beast elements were really well done and more unique than the traditional Stockholm Syndrome-esque story or other retellings. I appreciated that a lot. Harper was kind of a badass main character and it was cool to read about a fantasy heroine with cerebral palsy. Like the author’s note said, she wasn’t defined by it throughout the story but there were clear mentions about how it affected her daily life. I do wish I read this all in […]

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 Life Lucy Knew, The Devouring Gray, and The Last Book Party

Posted August 2, 2019 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Round Up | The Life Lucy Knew, The Devouring Gray, and The Last Book Party

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 was destroyed by the first Karma Brown book I read years ago and she’s one of those authors where I can’t believe I’ve only read ONE book by. All of her stories sound so intriguing! When I started up yet another book club with a couple of friends, they were looking for TJR-esque books/authors. I knew Karma Brown would be perfect, so I shared a few options. We settled on this title for our first meeting! I was completely addicted to this. I read the vast majority of the book in one sitting and was so enthralled by the characters. I do feel like the overall premise is a bit simplistic; sometimes the “memory loss” trope can be a little boring or not overly inventive. I’m drawn to these books usually, so I knew there’d be some level of interest for me. I think Lucy and Matt made this book because I was SO invested in them, wanting them to make it work despite the memory loss erasing their relationship from her mind. So I definitely enjoyed this one overall, but the ending was incredibly bizarre and out of nowhere. I don’t mean what happened was out of nowhere, but the book literally ended so abruptly. I […]

ARC Reviews: Stealing Home and The Wedding Party

Posted July 22, 2019 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Reviews: Stealing Home and The Wedding Party

I love a good sports romance. Football is always my favorite but baseball is usually my next best bet. There’s something about it that just grabs me (at least from a fictional perspective – watching baseball on TV isn’t my favorite but going to games in real life is so fun!). I’m happy to say that the baseball-related elements were large and in charge here. The main character, Ryan, was super into helping her dad run their minor league team (and wanted to take it over someday); she knew everything about the baseball business. When a top recruit heads to their team, sparks fly between the two. Ryan is a rule-follower though, especially when it comes to her beloved team, so she refuses to allow them to act on their feelings. I’ll be honest: I didn’t feel quite as much chemistry as I was hoping. For a super-slow-burn romance, I need to FEEL the tension dripping from the page in order for the eventual payoff to be worth it. That was very much not the case here. Sure, I was rooting for them to get together and they were good for each other, but I didn’t feel that magnetic pull toward each other like I want in this kind of romance. The ending, for this element of the story, was incredibly rushed and stilted. Aside from the romance, the other major plot point is that half of the team might get sold, and Ryan is determined to stop that from happening. This […]

ARC Review: How to Hack a Heartbreak

Posted July 18, 2019 / Book Reviews / 1 Comment
ARC Review: How to Hack a Heartbreak

When this book was pitched to me, I jumped on the opportunity to read it. I already had it on my TBR and was eager to check it out. I’m always intrigued about books where women are working in male-dominated fields, because I experience it as a recruiter who works with primarily manufacturing companies. I knew it would make me rage at times and hopefully cheer for the main character by the end. The premise of the story is that Mel, a help desk technician at a tech incubator, gets tired of bad dates from online dating apps. She invents JerkAlert, where women can share their bad experiences and sort of “review” guys that stand them up, are secretly married, lie a lot, etc. in order to warn others when online dating. She starts dating someone from her office and ends up keeping the website (and what she finds on it!) a secret from him. I’ll be honest: this book was a bit of a rollercoaster for me! I was incredibly intrigued at the beginning and engaged in the story, then lost a bit of steam toward the middle (when I got frustrated with Mel), and then picked up again at the end. Mel was an interesting main character. She was kind of a wet blanket, in my opinion, and some of her actions were SO frustrating. I could see why she wanted to keep some things a secret from Alex but she made very immature decisions for someone in […]