Publisher: Penguin

Review Round Up | Beach Read, A Deadly Inside Scoop, and The Summer of Impossibilities

Posted May 4, 2020 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 1 Comment
Review Round Up | Beach Read, A Deadly Inside Scoop, and The Summer of Impossibilities

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! Woo, boy. I had HIGH expectations for this book. A few bloggers/booktubers I follow closely loved this one (and Madalyn told me I’d love it) so I was really preparing to be wowed. And I totally was. This book exceeded my lofty expectations. January, a romance writer, and her college nemesis and literary fiction writer, Gus, end up neighbors in a sleepy Michigan beach town for the summer. January is getting through the death of her father and all of the secrets she’s learned in the wake of his passing, all while trying to clear his house (and second life) and write a new book. She’s not feeling very romance-y at the moment and when her and Gus meet up, they decide to swap genres for the summer and see if that breaks their writer’s block. Naturally, they get closer throughout the summer, and take each other on genre-relevant field trips so the other person really learns what they should be writing about. I LOVED that this book was very much a typical romance book (and sort of a love letter to the genre) while also managing to invent new tropes. Who knew that TWO grumpy main characters could be so perfect?! Usually you have one grumpy and […]

Review Round Up | Ghosted, With Malice, and All the Stars and Teeth

Posted April 8, 2020 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Round Up | Ghosted, With Malice, and All the Stars and Teeth

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 realized I forgot to review this one after finishing so here’s a quick review from what I remember – you know my bookish memory is garbage… Thanks Goodreads for holding my initial thoughts 😉 This book was a wild ride. It spent so much of the book thinking I had everything figured out and was really pissed that it was going to be that cliche and boring. I definitely ended up being wrong! It was almost the opposite of my prediction, without getting into spoilers. There were lots of twists and turns and suspense. The beginning of the book was just okay for me. I wasn’t overly interested in the chapters that had them getting to know each other and connecting when they first met. They were only together for about a week but fell in instalove pretty quickly. I got REALLY addicted to this one, though, while trying to figure out why he ghosted her. I was racing to finish this and see how everything wrapped up. Overall, this one took a little while for me to get into because I wasn’t overly invested in the couple in the early stages, but I absolutely couldn’t put it down once the story picked up, trying to […]

Review Round Up | Undercover Bromance, The June Boys, and Marriage on Madison Avenue

Posted March 23, 2020 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Round Up | Undercover Bromance, The June Boys, and Marriage on Madison 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! DNF: 33% While I enjoyed the first book in this series, I certainly didn’t love it like everyone else. I didn’t really like Liv, the previous MC’s sister, at all either. She was incredibly stubborn and overprotective to me. Needless to say, I wasn’t thrilled when she was the lead character for book two. She proved to be just as irritating in this one – maybe even more so since we were in her head. I enjoyed Mack as a character and thought he was way sweeter than his “smooth guy” persona implied from the previous story. I loved how quick he was to use his resources to help Liv take down the shitty restaurant owner she previously worked for. I didn’t read the synopsis of this one fully and was really just excited to see how book two would go, so I wasn’t fully aware that this had the heavier topic of sexual assault/harassment at the forefront. I didn’t realize it was central to the plot for whatever reason. I just couldn’t read it. Also, the first book had cute inserts from the romance that the book club was reading, and showed how it related to the story itself. This book didn’t have that in the […]

December ARC Reviews: The Pretenders and Blitzed

Posted February 10, 2020 / Book Reviews / 2 Comments
December ARC Reviews: The Pretenders and Blitzed

I read THE SIMILARS super early, months before it came out, so I feel like I’ve been waiting for the sequel forever. I was soooo addicted to it and I’m pretty sure read it in one sitting. I think reading the first one so quickly and being super addicted meant that I overlooked some things with my rating? The writing here in THE PRETENDERS wasn’t particularly great and I definitely noticed it this time around because I read it much slower. It was moderately addicting when I really got going and pushed myself to read it though. I mostly enjoyed it but the writing and internal dialogue of the main character, Emma, got super repetitive. There was a love triangle, which I saw coming based on the ending of the previous book. I don’t mind them if they make sense and this sort of did, but it was also super weird. She was stuck between Ollie, her best friend from childhood, and his clone, Levi. So, basically the same dude with different personalities. Again, I could SEE the reason for its existence and how the two guys were different from each other, despite the clone stuff, but it annoyed me a lot. The ending was absolutely batshit and unexpected, so that took it to a different level! I’m not sure those twists were necessary (some things seemed like twists for the sake of them and not because they made the book better). Overall, I’m glad I read this duo. I’ve […]

January Adult Contemporary | ARC Reviews: You Were There Too and Mermaid Inn

Posted January 22, 2020 / Book Reviews / 2 Comments
January Adult Contemporary | ARC Reviews: You Were There Too and Mermaid Inn

I really enjoyed Oakley’s sophomore novel but STILL have managed to skip her debut. Regardless, I knew I needed this one. It reminded me of an adult version of my YA favorite Dreamology, where the main character has recurring dreams with a man/boy and then finds that they actually exist in real life… and they’ve been dreaming about her too. Mia has been dreaming of Oliver for years and discovers he’s also been dreaming of her too. They don’t share/live out the same dreams at the same time but they do have similar ones sometimes. This was a heavy book (major trigger warning for miscarriage and infertility) – definitely heavier than I expected – but very impactful. The first line of the synopsis says “heart-wrenching” but I didn’t expect this level of it for some reason. I really enjoyed the rare pops of chapters we got from other points of view (Harrison, Whitney, etc.). It added a little something different to the story. I did enjoy reading Mia’s point of view though. I felt her struggle and knew there was really no easy solution to her problems. The book just felt so REAL and raw, following the ebbs and flows of her relationship(s) in a way I could understand and empathize with. Like I said though: it made for a pretty hard read, and not every decision she made was perfect or logical. I didn’t agree with everything she did or said along the way. I’m a huge fan of […]

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. […]

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 […]

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 / 1 Comment
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 […]