Source: Hoopla

Holiday Reviews: The Christmas Appeal and Tide and Punishment

Posted December 8, 2023 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Holiday Reviews: The Christmas Appeal and Tide and Punishment

Story I really enjoyed THE APPEAL when I randomly picked it up last year on a vacation. I couldn’t put it down and found it super addicting due to the mixed media format. (I still haven’t read anything else by Hallett but I have multiple books ready to go on my Kindle!) This was a Christmas novella featuring the same Fairway Players from the initial book. They decided to put on a holiday play of Jack and the Beanstalk using a gross old beanstalk from years and years ago. The mystery unfolded in a really neat way, much like THE APPEAL. I didn’t figure it out right away but there were definitely a few elements later in the book that I saw coming. It was a pretty fun mystery in general given its length. Wintery Setting & Holiday Feels There were somewhat limited holiday feels in this one, partially because of the mixed media format and partially because the content itself wasn’t overly holiday-oriented. I liked the “holiday round robin” emails sent out to set the stage and time of year at the beginning, which also reacquainted us with the characters. The play of Jack and the Beanstalk is not really Christmassy… I think it was necessary for the plot and mystery that comes in later, but A Christmas Carol or literally any other holiday play would have upped the seasonal feels for me. Overall I really enjoyed this one, and think the audiobook was done well! I’d recommend readers […]

Review Roundup | Practice Makes Perfect, The Risk, and No Good Tea Goes Unpunished

Posted August 4, 2023 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Roundup | Practice Makes Perfect, The Risk, and No Good Tea Goes Unpunished

PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT had a lot to live up to. I fell head over heels for WHEN IN ROME and was pretty certain its companion sequel wouldn’t match up. My sister marked this one as her favorite of the two but she predicted that I’d love WIR more. Surprisingly, both ended up being five-star reads for me! (But yes, if I had to pick, Amelia/Noah are my peeps and edge out Will/Annie just a bit.) I thought Annie would annoy me a bit based on her characterization in WHEN IN ROME – she’s treated like a little angel who doesn’t swear and keeps track of her siblings cursing. Let me just say: she has so much more under the surface, and all of those little things I thought would annoy me weren’t really accurate. Will definitely had me from the beginning – I loved learning more about him and his childhood. I think I would have liked a LITTLE more there but it was good overall… There was a lot of telling instead of showing in regards to his background (and some things later in the book I won’t spoil). The two of them embark on a “fake dating” journey but more like “practice dating” – Annie wants to be less boring so she can land a husband and start the rest of her life. Will is simply just bored hanging out as a bodyguard in Rome, Kentucky… can’t fault him for that! I really loved watching their relationship develop […]

Review Roundup | The Wishing Game, Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers, and Live and Let Chai

Posted July 17, 2023 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Roundup | The Wishing Game, Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers, and Live and Let Chai

I was soooo looking forward to THE WISHING GAME. The book sounded so magical (while being realistic and not actually featuring any magic or fantastical elements) and the cover? Absolutely one of my favorites I’ve ever seen… which is why it’s such a bummer that I feel so incredibly mixed on this book. I had to really think about a rating for it. At its core, this book is a whimsical ode to children’s books and the lifelong impact they have on us. I loved that aspect! It was so cute in a lot of ways. If I sit here and think about the story as a whole and ignore a lot of the details that really bugged me, this could have easily been very highly rated. I appreciate the granting of wishes and foster care/adoption plotline in a general sense but I was really uncomfortable with how Lucy went about it all with Christopher. It’s one thing to want to adopt a child that needs it but I personally found it to be inappropriate that she was kissing his forehead and having him sit on her lap (and discussing her desire to adopt him before she was permitted to – I have to think, if it didn’t happen or come true, wouldn’t the kid be in a worse mental space? She even tried to argue that sleeping on the floor of her bedroom in a house she shared with drunk college students would be a better situation for him […]

Review Roundup | Daisy Darker and Wrong Place Wrong Time

Posted April 26, 2023 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Roundup | Daisy Darker and Wrong Place Wrong Time

This was such an interesting reading experience – I can now see why this is such a polarizing book haha. This is my first Alice Feeney and I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not. I have really weird expectations for what her other books may be like?? DAISY DARKER follows Daisy and the Darker family as they head out to her grandmother’s island house for her 80th birthday. They all assume they’ll be learning what they’ll be getting for inheritances because her grandmother always expected to die at age 80. It follows the traditional AND THEN THEY WERE GONE plotline where people start being killed one by one. There’s a big ol’ twist that plenty of people predicted but I felt like an absolute idiot because I didn’t see it coming at all. The book itself was really sad, seeing how they treated Daisy throughout her life. It was super depressing. Because I managed to not really predict anything correctly, I can’t help but give this a pretty high rating. BUT the twist itself is kind of cheesy at this point. Even if I’m not sure I liked it in many ways, it’s definitely going to stick with me. I read this book in one day – I listened to the audiobook when tooling around the house and read the physical copy whenever I had the chance. I’m never mad about an unputdownable book, so I won’t complain too much! I’d been told by some friends I really […]

Review Roundup | The Heart Principle, Mirror Lake, and Remarkably Bright Creatures

Posted March 20, 2023 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Roundup | The Heart Principle, Mirror Lake, and Remarkably Bright Creatures

THE HEART PRINCIPLE was one of my most-anticipated releases of 2021. I was thrilled when it was a BOTM selection and I could read it right away! And then… it sat on my shelf until March of 2023. I don’t know why I never got around to picking it up. I think I wasn’t expecting to love this as much as the other two in this companion series? It had a lot to live up to. I rated the first book 4.5 stars and the second book 5 stars, so where would this one land? I didn’t remember the two previous books that well but it’s a companion series, so that wasn’t an issue. We’re introduced to Anna, a professional violinist who is stuck in a major rut with her music. Her longtime boyfriend suggests they have an open relationship for a bit before taking the next step and she’s too angry to argue. She hops on a dating app and decides that if he can have a one-night stand or two, so can she. She’s introduced to our boy Quan (love) and they fail at hooking up a few times but can’t seem to leave it at that. I really loved the relationship that Quan and Anna built – it was so sweet and wholesome! Both of them had some major issues they were dealing with and slowly began to open up to each other. When Anna’s father becomes very ill, she’s tasked with helping him and the family, […]

Holiday Reviews: Christmas at Holiday House and Christmas at Fireside Cabins

Posted December 25, 2020 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Holiday Reviews: Christmas at Holiday House and Christmas at Fireside Cabins

Story I’ve enjoyed RaeAnne Thayne’s novels over the past few years. She tends to write great small town romances that verge on too cheesy and wholesome. Well, this one definitely got further into that territory and I was a little put off by it. There were a lot of repetitive thoughts or conversations that made me roll my eyes. Backing up a bit, this one centers around Abigail and her son Christopher. They move to Silver Bells for a few weeks to help out her friend’s grandma before they plan to move from Arizona to Texas for a fresh start. She’s hoping to move on from her husband’s tragic death with a new city and life for her son. While in Silver Bells, she finds a growing attraction to her friend Lucy’s brother, Ethan, who manages the family’s fancy hotel chain. The story also kind of weirdly and randomly has Lucy’s point of view a few times where she wrestles with her feelings for her brother’s best friend. While I appreciated their story, it was kind of weird because the book had three points of view that weren’t split evenly. It was very much Abigail’s story with some pops of Ethan and even less pops of Lucy. It didn’t make a ton of sense to me. Wintery Setting & Holiday Feels Silver Bells was a super cute town and the Holiday House setting was even better. She ends up helping to decorate the mansion with a dozen Christmas trees and […]

Review Round Up | The Deck of Omens, You Should See Me in a Crown, and A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder

Posted July 22, 2020 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 2 Comments
Review Round Up | The Deck of Omens, You Should See Me in a Crown, and A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder

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 honest – I don’t have a lot to say with this one because I am the WORST and missed a lot of the book. I was rushing to finish in time for book club and listened to the audio during a work day while multitasking. I definitely understood the story and what was happening overall, but it was less impactful for me. I didn’t feel any kind of connection to the characters during this go-around. I think this was a satisfying and logical conclusion though! I enjoyed seeing where everyone ended up and how they ~fixed things~ in Four Paths. I think the main villain was a bit too obvious (not the actual motivation or anything but it was clear about a sketchy situation going on). I really loved the first book and honestly wish I took more dedicated time to sit down and physically read this conclusion. I think I would have fallen back into the world a bit better and focused on it more. I had super high hopes and expectations for this one because everyone around me online looooved it. It was super duper cute and I’m so glad we read it for book club in June! Liz decides to pursue the […]

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 […]

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 […]

Review Round Up | Before the Devil Breaks You, The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, and The Good Widow

Posted October 30, 2019 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Round Up | Before the Devil Breaks You, The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, and The Good Widow

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! Because of a REALLY FUN SPOILER IN THE *FIRST SENTENCE* OF THE KING OF CROWS SUMMARY, I knew something major was going to happen in this book… and I wasn’t going to like it. I was on high alert the entire time, so nervous for my sweet baby Diviners. My ships were sailing and thriving, so it was only a matter of time before something went terribly wrong. There’s a whole other book for Libba Bray to fuck us up with after this one!!! I digress – this is obviously the third installment in this series, and is quite easily my favorite. I loved the first two but this book just hit even harder. There were a lot of things going on and plates spinning that left me wondering how things would turn out or connect. We’re slowly learning more about more about Project Buffalo and everything related to it – the King of Crows, the visions that people see/dream about, and some more history for our characters and their families. Straight up though, Libba Bray is masterful. A paranormal story set in the 1920s is somehow a perfect parallel to what’s currently happening in our country in 2019. It’s insane how she pulls this off. I’d […]