Publisher: Penguin

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 […]

Review Round Up | Always Never Yours, The Woman in the Window, and What If It’s Us

Posted June 13, 2019 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 2 Comments
Review Round Up | Always Never Yours, The Woman in the Window, and What If It’s Us

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 is one of those books that I was super eager to read and still took forever to do so. I saw it referred to as a Shakespeare retelling in some places but didn’t fully believe that it was. I don’t think it fully tells any one Shakespeare story and it’s not a typical Shakespeare “retelling” but there are a lot of parts that line up to Shakespeare plot points or tropes? There are romantic entanglements, love triangles, miscommunications between characters, and countless references to Shakespeare’s plays (especially because the book centers around a Romeo and Juliet school play). The main character, Megan, is constantly compared to Rosalie from the play too. Anyways, I loved this. Megan was a fascinating character; she’s totally comfortable doing whatever she wants, pursuing guys, and flirting shamelessly. There are some pieces of her personality that could be considered ~unlikeable~ by some standards but I loved her for all of those reasons. Owen was ADORABLE and I loved the messy romance of this one, tbh. I think haters of love triangles and cheating (to an extent?) won’t like this one, but this felt super high school to me in a great way. It was real, in my opinion. The family dynamics worked […]

Blog Tour | Cover Colors: Screen Queens

Posted June 5, 2019 / Book Reviews, Cover Colors, Features / 0 Comments
Blog Tour | Cover Colors: Screen Queens

Mini Review This book just looked so girl-power-ish and I am here for it. I loved that they’d be taking on the tech world and Silicon Valley, especially because I read this right before heading off on a trip to San Francisco for this week! It centers around the three girls featured on the cover and their experience at ValleyStart, a prestigious tech incubator/summer internship. Lucy has tech running in her family, growing up local to Palo Alto. Maddie is from the Boston area and is hoping to beef up her graphic design portfolio, while missing her brother on the East Coast. And finally, Delia: she taught herself how to code and now she has to see if she can match up to everyone else at ValleyStart. I didn’t love Lucy at the beginning because she was a little irritating, with her constant chatter and semi-rude comments to Maddie when they first met. She grew on me the more I got to know her and understand why she struggled (under her mom’s big name and general pressure to succeed). To be completely honest, each of these girls had their own flaws that made them different from each other, as well as their own individual strengths. I loved that they were imperfect and trying their best in the “Dave-dominated” tech world. They came out of their shells (well, Lucy was already very much out of her shell already!) and grew together as a team. I loved the idea for their app, […]

Review Round Up | Fumbled, The Manic Pixie Dream Boy Improvement Project, and There’s Something About Sweetie

Posted May 6, 2019 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Round Up | Fumbled, The Manic Pixie Dream Boy Improvement Project, and There’s Something About Sweetie

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 really enjoyed INTERCEPTED, despite the incessant internal hashtagging that the main character did. There were some parts I didn’t love about that book though, so I was slightly concerned but optimistic about FUMBLED. I really had nothing to worry about though, because this book was even better than the first! I loved TK when he made appearances in the first book so I was super excited to see that this starred him, in a second chance romance. Poppy and TK were together in high school… and TK has no idea that her nine-year old son is his. When they cross paths again at a club where Poppy works, sparks fly and she knows the truth will have to come out. I appreciated that this piece of drama was not dragged out; the honest moment happened early on instead of way-too-late like it would in most books. TK and Poppy had reasonable arguments, discussions, and conversations about everything. I loved their openness. There were actually quite a few moments where I expected there to be friction between them (about money, parenting style, etc.) that were handled perfect well and logically. It was genuinely refreshing to read in a romance novel where one person is a celebrity/athlete and […]

ARC Reviews: Her Royal Highness and Don’t Date Rosa Santos

Posted April 22, 2019 / Book Reviews / 2 Comments
ARC Reviews: Her Royal Highness and Don’t Date Rosa Santos

I enjoyed the first book in this series. I think it’s because, despite my overall grumpiness about all things royal, the main character matched those sentiments. I was able to relate to Daisy and get accustomed to this kind of royal-meets-normie tale. I became excited for the f/f companion novel, even though this one directly involves an actual princess, and hopped to it right away. This ended up being super shippy and mostly wonderful. Flora and Millie were an excellent pair. I loved the kind of hate-to-love situation that developed, with Flora being Flora aka not the nicest person on earth? Millie was cute with her love for her dad, love for geology, and general love for Scotland without ever going there. As usual, I would have loved even more family feels, but she had a really nice backstory. This ship sailed its way into my heart for sure. My main issue is how abrupt the ending was. In general, the whole second half-ish of the book was a bit rushed? I could have done with like 50 more pages interspersed in the second half of the book, both around building the ship and chemistry and toward the end. I would venture to say that the pacing here was relatively terrible, with the inevitable fight/breakup/tension (and the usual things that follow) WAY too close to the end of the book. Overall though, a worthy companion to the first book! Give me a book about Seb now PLEASE. I was really […]

ARC Reviews: The Bride Test and Meet Cute

Posted April 18, 2019 / Book Reviews / 4 Comments
ARC Reviews: The Bride Test and Meet Cute

HOW DOES HELEN HOANG DO IT? This was perfection. Hoang writes such unique romances in just about every way, but especially the circumstances in which the characters get together (an “arranged marriage” here and the whole “male escort” thing KISS QUOTIENT). When Khai’s mom heads to Vietnam to essentially hand-pick a woman for her son to marry, she finds that Esme, who is working in the restroom, would be the perfect match. She is hesitant at first because she has a young daughter, mother, and grandmother to support. Her mother insists that she comes to California for the summer to try to make things work with him. She can also try to find her father, an American on business who never knew he got her mother pregnant. She eventually agrees for those reasons – why not give it a shot? Khai, on the other hand, just decides to appease his mom, live with Esme, and see what happens. He was obviously in for a surprise when he found himself instantly fascinated by her. I was completely charmed by both Esme and Khai; they were totally lovable in their different ways. Esme talked a lot while Khai would just take it all in. They were opposites but complementary. Watching them open up to each other was so entertaining and heartwarming. They didn’t just grow as a pair, but absolutely grew as individuals too. Esme learned about her own interests and goals while Khai opened up to the fact that he DOES have […]

Blog Tour Review & Cover Colors: Night Music

Posted March 18, 2019 / Book Reviews / 0 Comments
Blog Tour Review & Cover Colors: Night Music

Review I’ve gone on record to say, controversially probably, that I am not one of those people who actively seeks out books about music. I LIKE music as much as the next guy but you’re more likely to find me listening to a podcast or audiobook at this point. I don’t find new music; my music selections are probably 80% from before I was born and 20% from the 90s and early 2000s (some outliers from my HS/college years too of course). So, you could say that a book surrounding classical music would not be up my alley. That is the exact reason I decided to join this blog tour. I’ve been itching to expand my reading horizons, even within my favorite genre of YA contemporary. I wanted to learn about the classical music world I knew virtually nothing about. On top of that, I ADORED the other book by Jenn Marie Thorne that I read – The Wrong Side of Right – and was due for another of her stories. This book is about Ruby, one member of a very famous family in the classical music world, right after she decides that this world is not necessarily for her. She doesn’t feel talented enough, or that she fits in it. Oscar is the latest prodigy to stay in her house (!!) and learn from her famous father. The two fall together pretty quickly, swept away into a summer of music and attraction. The description in the synopsis of “breezy […]

ARC Reviews: The Au Pair and I Owe You One

Posted February 14, 2019 / Book Reviews / 4 Comments
ARC Reviews: The Au Pair and I Owe You One

I’ve been requesting and reading an absurd about of books from Berkley / Berkley Romance lately. I can’t stop myself. EVERYTHING they put out has an adorable or intriguing premise, a cute cover, and/or a lot of buzz. I was initially interested in THE AU PAIR but held off on requesting it (somehow)… then I saw Cristina’s review. I don’t have a lot of success with mystery/thrillers in the sense that I don’t always rate them highly. I love reading them, but my expectations are always higher than reality. I’m going to include a snapshot of her review because it perfectly describes how I feel about this genre and my struggles/wishes: In today’s over saturated world of mediocre thrillers, it can be hard to find one that simultaneously manages to surprise me and that’s well written. So many thriller novels I actually find work better for me in a movie format, so I’m always on a hunt for a solidly written mystery/thriller that manages to create an unsettling, atmospheric world on the page. That’s exactly what I experienced with The Au Pair to my delight, and found myself completely immersed in a mystery that not only enveloped me in its setting, but actually had an ending that I didn’t foresee in advance. – The Au Pair review at Girl in the Pages I actually enjoyed a somewhat mysterious (more contemporary-ish, but you get the point) book earlier this year that was also set in England AND involved some kind of castle/huge house… so this […]

Review Round Up | Last Seen, The Proposal, and This Lie Will Kill You

Posted January 18, 2019 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 1 Comment
Review Round Up | Last Seen, The Proposal, and This Lie Will Kill You

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 can’t believe this series is over… hopefully! The ending wasn’t exactly ambiguous but I suppose there’s always a chance Shepard continues the series multiple times a la Pretty Little Liars. Jokes aside, this was a REALLY strong end to this trilogy! The main issue I had throughout all of the books was that I was disconnected from the characters. I never warmed up to them or felt anything for them – didn’t care about the ships, was uninterested in any of their personal lives, etc. I’m not sure if, again, it’s because it was a mystery and I was on edge or not trusting anyone? But I just could never get on board with them. I think it’s an interesting twist when you know who the murderer/culprit is AND get to read from their point of view. Sometimes it can take a little bit of the fun out, but that was certainly not the case here. There were SO MANY twists and connections that were built throughout the whole trilogy that I never would have picked up on. Just because you knew the killer and what he was doing, definitely did not mean that you knew why he was doing it or how he picked his victims. […]