Genre: Contemporary

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 Soulmate Equation and Satisfaction Guaranteed

Posted June 7, 2021 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Reviews: The Soulmate Equation and Satisfaction Guaranteed

I won’t bore you to death with my usual story about Christina Lauren books, but just know that I’ve really enjoyed all of the ones I’ve read (and yes they all fall into the “recently published rom-com” category instead of their previous series). I tend to not love books involving kids as much so I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about this one, but I ended up really enjoying that aspect. Jess is a single mother and freelance statistician with excellent grandparents who help her out whenever needed. When she and her friend Fizzy are recruited to join an up-and-coming dating app based on DNA matches, she is shocked to find that she is a top-level match with the owner and founder of the company, River. She also hasn’t had the best experiences with him so far, so she’s really unsure of how this would ever work. They offer to pay her a lot of money to just spend time with River and see how things go. You can guess what happens from here, I’m sure! I thoroughly enjoyed this one. Many are comparing it to Christina Lauren’s older books, which I haven’t read, but I think this is on par with all of their books that I’ve read. I tend to just love the characters’ chemistry and their easy, addicting writing style. I was able to mostly read this via audiobook while doing stuff around the house and it really kept my attention. That’s genuinely hard to do with […]

ARC Review: The Summer Cottage

Posted May 26, 2021 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Review: The Summer Cottage

I adored the Sweetwater Springs series and it was definitely bittersweet to see it come to an end. However, the setup for the new Somerset Lake “spinoff” series was too perfect. I loved meeting the new MC for book one in Somerset Lake during REUNITED ON DRAGONFLY LANE. Trisha, the ex-sister-in-law of Chase from REUNITED, decides to move her son to “nearby” Somerset Lake. She gets a job as a property manager that includes free rent of one of the cabins onsite. The cabins need a lot of work if they’re going to be rentable again, so she is off to the races while trying to make a new home for her family. She is constantly running from the mistakes of her ex, Peter – you learn in previous books that he was a financial advisor arrested for taking money from his clients. This is something she doesn’t stop thinking about and dwelling on as she goes through life, and it doesn’t help that she and Petey are not going to tell anyone about it in their new town.  Somerset Lake is a cute setting so far. Honestly, it doesn’t quite compare to Sweetwater Springs, but I know there will be more glimpses into the town through new characters we meet in this first installment. I can see at least three ladies who will likely be MCs for future stories in this series and I’m HERE for it. One of them even owns a bookstore! I love that Trisha joins […]

Review Round Up | Finlay Donovan is Killing It, The Girls Are All So Nice Here, and The Ex-Talk

Posted May 21, 2021 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Round Up | Finlay Donovan is Killing It, The Girls Are All So Nice Here, and The Ex-Talk

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 fun and refreshing – exactly what I needed! I’ve been intrigued by the cozy mystery genre, or at least “lighter” mysteries that focus heavily on the amateur sleuth and her personal life, but none have fully hit the mark. They’ve either been not-good in a compulsively readable way, or just straight-up not great in general. This one hit the mark for me in so many ways. Finlay is a struggling romantic suspense author and she finds herself caught up in a murder mystery, along with her babysitter-turned-roommate, Vero. They have a fun relationship – I loved how quickly Vero worked with Finlay to figure out what was happening, even getting involved with some extremely elicit activities. Like many mysteries like this, the crime/murder is a main point of the book, but you learn even more about the main character and their personal life as they try to figure out what’s going on. Finlay is dealing with her shitty ex-husband and his new perfect fiance while trying to be a single working mom of two cute kids. I enjoyed seeing how she attempted to balance it all and how Vero stepped in to help her… in more ways than one. I won’t spoil too much […]

ARC Reviews: People We Meet on Vacation and 10 Truths and a Dare

Posted May 5, 2021 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Reviews: People We Meet on Vacation and 10 Truths and a Dare

I read and loved BEACH READ, like many others, but I know that was somewhat polarizing. Lots of readers didn’t think it was really a rom-com, since it centered around some heavier family or career-related elements, and the cover doesn’t totally match the vibe. However, I adored it for what it was and that whole thing didn’t affect my enjoyment whatsoever. I had really high hopes and expectations for PEOPLE WE MEET ON VACATION as a result. Oh MAN, did this book deliver. Complete banter-y perfection. I saw a few people call Emily Henry’s writing “witty” and that’s such a great way to describe it. The characters in this book especially were so hilarious. I adored getting to know Poppy, Alex, and all of their inside jokes. The story follows the two of them after a two-year friendship hiatus. It goes back and forth between ten summer trips they’ve taken across ten years, and the present day vacation in Palm Springs. It recounts their many years of friendship, where their annual summer trips are the key grounding point in their relationship. There are always tiny hints of what-if-we-were-more, but the two of them also have a few relationships with other people to navigate as well. You also spend most of the book what happened during the dreaded Croatia trip that made them stop speaking for two years. Poppy is so unique and her family life fascinated me. Her parents and brothers sounded wonderful and quirky. She had a fun sense […]

ARC Review: Take Me Home Tonight

Posted April 26, 2021 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Review: Take Me Home Tonight

Generally speaking, Morgan Matson can do no wrong. She always writes amazing friendships and cute romances surrounded by fun plotlines. And, best of all for me, they usually take place in Connecticut! TAKE ME HOME TONIGHT is no exception to that rule. This is a classic “one night in New York City” kind of story. Kat and Stevie are secretly off to the city to have a fancy birthday dinner for Stevie after her dad bails. They’ve been best friends forever even though they’re complete opposites. Kat was… very annoying to me in the first third of the book. She absolutely steamrolled over everyone else and didn’t seem to care (or notice) that Stevie had different opinions than her. She just went for whatever she wanted and assumed Stevie would always go along for the ride. To be fair, Stevie didn’t always stick up for herself or let Kat know when something wasn’t working for her. I think their friendship got into a comfortable routine of Kat deciding and Stevie following… until they finally had the inevitable fight about it all. As the synopsis suggests, there are a ton of shenanigans involving cute boys, dry cleaning, bad plays, and an adorable pomeranian. I enjoyed the journey both of the girls went on, especially when they weren’t together. Kat without Stevie was WAY less insufferable. I liked following along with multiple people as the night progressed because everyone was having a very different kind of evening – Kat begins a budding […]

ARC Review: Life’s Too Short

Posted April 8, 2021 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Review: Life’s Too Short

I kind of fell in love with this book within the first page or two. Something about Jimenez’s writing just clicks for me – it’s natural, hilarious, and addicting to read. I generally liked her debut but had some lingering issues with it as time passed. I LOVED the second book in this companion series and my faith was fully restored and ready for book three. I’m happy to sat that my super high expectations were exceeded with this one. I fell hard for Adrian and Vanessa right off the bat. I’m pretty sure if I started this first thing in the morning instead of late at night, I could have or would have finished this book in one sitting. Vanessa is a YouTuber with a popular channel highlighting her travels around the world. You find out from the synopsis and early in the book that she may have ALS like her mother and her sister. She wants to live it up during however long of a time she has on earth. Adrian, on the other hand, is her seemingly vanilla attorney next-door-neighbor who goes to his job with long hours and doesn’t do much else. I loved him right away – they had so much chemistry. Vanessa’s personality was luminous and hilarious – a different kind of funny from Kristen in book one, but similar in that she made me laugh out loud all the time. They balanced each other out and early “friends only” relationship made things effortless […]

Review Round Up | Influence, This is Not the Jess Show, and Girls With Rebel Souls

Posted April 7, 2021 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Round Up | Influence, This is Not the Jess Show, and Girls With Rebel Souls

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! All Sara Shepard books are the same… and I mean that as a compliment. I know what I’m getting into and her books always hit the spot. They’re so easy to read, are super addicting, and always have a surprising ending. That’s all I ask for with my mystery/thrillers, to be honest, and reading her books feels like coming home for me. I remember the good ol’ PLL days and some of her older series. So good, so classic. This one involves influencers – a topic I personally haven’t encountered much in YA books yet. Just a little bit here and there. It goes between Delilah, Jasmine, and Fiona, with flickers of Scarlet’s live streams and vlog transcripts in between as well. Delilah just moved to LA and is a budding influencer after saving a puppy from a burning shed. Jasmine and Fiona are well-established influencers hiding major secrets, both trying to break out of their shells. I liked each of the points of view here but Delilah’s felt a bit young compared to the other two. Of course, because it’s Sara Shepard, there’s a mystery involved. The book starts with a prologue where one of the girls (we assume one of the MCs) ends up dying […]

Five Star ARC Reviews: It’s Kind of a Cheesy Love Story and Float Plan

Posted March 18, 2021 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
Five Star ARC Reviews: It’s Kind of a Cheesy Love Story and Float Plan

Thanks to Morgan, I read MEANT TO BE years ago. She thought I would like it based on my questionnaire for Secret Santa (I think?) and sent it my way, and she was totally right. I have completely slept on her other books since then though and clearly that’s a damn shame. IT’S KIND OF A CHEESY LOVE STORY obviously caught my eye because I love pizza more than most things in the world. A girl is born in a pizza parlor’s bathroom and she’s given free pizza for life AND a job when she turns sixteen. Begrudgingly, she accepts both, and spends her Friday night in Hot N’ Crusty instead of with her group of ~popular~ friends that she doesn’t necessarily fit in with anymore (did she ever?). I truly adored this book – it had all of the elements I’m looking for in a YA romance. Beck is trying to figure out what to do with her life but not in the traditional ways within the genre. Sure, she’s not sure yet about college or future jobs, but she’s trying to find herself among her friends and new work group. She has a secret obsession with a sci-fi show and a few other pieces of herself that she’s hiding from her friends, which is creating a wedge between them that only grows when she finds common interests with her HNC pals. It was lovely to watch her grow closer to Julianne and the others through movie nights and […]

ARC Reviews: The Project and A Pho Love Story

Posted March 3, 2021 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
ARC Reviews: The Project and A Pho Love Story

I really loved SADIE – it was the kind of addicting read I’m always looking for when it comes to mystery/thrillers. It stuck with me for a long time after reading too. I’ve only read a few (at most) cult-related books so I was intrigued by THE PROJECT. Lo’s parents died in a car accident (she survived) and her sister joined The Unity Project, a group in New York that pretty much screams “cult” to everyone outside it, so she’s been alone for a number of years when the book begins. The story goes back and forth between her POV in present day and Bea’s (her sister) in the past as she is getting deeper in the Project. I enjoyed reading about how Lo tried to make a life for herself, as imperfect or sad as it was, and her time investigating the Project. It took me a really long time to get into this one. It was interesting for the most part but I knew exactly where it was headed. Too many reviews or summaries said the ending was “unexpected” so I kind of knew where it was probably going as a result. I kept mixing up the two characters names in my head and it went back and forth between them, which didn’t help me. While I liked the book overall, it won’t stick with me like SADIE did. I wish I didn’t see parts of the ending coming because I do think it impacted my reading. I […]