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: 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 […]

Review Round Up | Girls’ Night Out, Maybe This Time, and Past Perfect Life

Posted October 9, 2019 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Round Up | Girls’ Night Out, Maybe This Time, and Past Perfect Life

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! Backlist Review I’m glad that my adult fiction book club is making me read backlist Kindle books I’ve purchased! I’ve been really trying to get more into actually *reading* the adult mystery/thrillers I put on my TBR. The premises always excite me and then they sit and stew, never getting read. Anyways, GIRLS NIGHT OUT features Natalie, Ashley, and Lauren, as they “enjoy” a friendship-saving (hopefully) trip to Mexico. The book alternates between their points of view in the present and Ashley’s in the past, because she goes missing at the start of the book. Overall, this book was broadly fine? I was usually in the mood to read it, once I got going, but it it wasn’t necessarily unputdownable. I couldn’t keep ANY of the characters straight for the life of me. I also feel like the book specifically leads you to believe something happened so obviously that’s not what ACTUALLY happened. I also thought the “secrets” they were hiding from each other were pretty transparent. I couldn’t suspend my disbelief at times either – these ladies are 40 years old and one of them blindly trusts a stranger she meets in Mexico after two minutes? This trip was organized for them to reconnect but instead […]

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 […]

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 […]

Blog Tour Cover Colors: Notes from a Former Virgin – Chloe Snow’s Diary

Posted July 26, 2019 / Book Reviews, Cover Colors, Features / 1 Comment
Blog Tour Cover Colors: Notes from a Former Virgin – Chloe Snow’s Diary

I’m not usually one to enjoy covers with real human faces on them (I like illustrated people most of the time though!) but these covers are so playful and in tune with the books themselves. All of the covers for the first three books really reflect Chloe’s kind-of goofy personality quite well. I love the color scheme for this one too! Some of my favorites. I’m kind of obsessed with this collection that I pulled together! I have the focal point of the cover as one of the main pieces of the collage: big blue heart-shaped sunglasses. I included a planner/diary that matches the cover’s color scheme because obviously this book is written as diary entries. There’s a pretty close replica of Chloe’s pink sweater and some denim shorts with blue sandals to go with it. I include some pinky/purple makeup items, like the blush, lipstick, and eyeshadow palette. I also added a contour kit for bronzed skin and a backpack for her to take during junior year of high school. Amazon: 2019 Stay Focused Planner // Jansport Superbreak Backpack // Meyison Heart Sunglasses // Floopi Sandals // HOCAIES Jean Shorts // Winjoy Casual Knit Pullover Sweater ||||| Ulta: NARS Orgasm Blush // Anastasia Beverly Hills Norvina Palette // Tarte Tarteist Glow to Go // Urban Decay  Vice Lipstick in Backtalk About the Author Website || Twitter || Goodreads Emma Chastain is a graduate of Barnard College and the creative writing MFA program at Boston University. She lives in Brooklyn with her […]

Blog Tour Review: Truly Madly Royally

Posted July 25, 2019 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
Blog Tour Review: Truly Madly Royally

More purchase links: iTunes | Book Depository | Google Books | Kobo Review I’m new to royal-related fiction. This is primarily because I don’t love the real-life royals, compared to other people, but I HAVE turned a corner on fictional royal romance. I’ve loooooved a few books/series on the topic and have been opening myself up to them a lot more lately. I thought this blog tour would be the perfect way to keep my momentum and feels going. This royal romance featured an interracial couple, which was a breath of fresh air. Zora was an extremely passionate and dedicated character, who spent all of her time thinking of ways to improve and showcase her community of Appleton, NJ. When she meets the Prince of Landerel, Owen, she can’t deny their chemistry, despite all of their differences. While Zora was fully developed and vibrant, Owen fell a bit flat for me. He wasn’t anything special IMO and it was harder for me, as the reader, to feel their chemistry as a result. The plot moved very quickly and touched on a lot of events in a short amount of time. Therefore, much of the book felt rushed and underdeveloped. That includes her relationship with her father (something that was essentially dropped by the end), the budding romance between her friend and brother, and more. It was a light and breezy read with little drama, which I certainly appreciated. The synopsis implies that the royal wedding invitation is a major part of […]

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 […]

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 […]