Source: Hoopla

ARC Review: Toil & Trouble Anthology

Posted October 31, 2018 / Book Reviews / 1 Comment
ARC Review: Toil & Trouble Anthology

I recently worked my way through this anthology in the week leading up to today – Halloween! – so I thought it would be perfect to post it today. I’ve had the egalley for a while and mixed in the audiobook too. As usual with anthology reviews, you can see reviews for each story below, along with the cumulative star rating in the book info area above. The cumulative rating for the stories came to about 3.25 stars, so I decided to round up to 3.5 stars. I enjoyed this anthology overall more than my ratings may imply. There were a lot of great stories and it comes as no surprise to me that my favorites were more contemporary-oriented. It was harder for me to get into the historical ones or straight-up paranormal/fantasy. However, it’s nice that this feels super well-rounded! I think there’s a story in here for readers of all genres and types. Starsong by Tehlor Kay Mejia This story was actually my first foray into bruja books. I’ve had some on my TBR but I don’t often read witchy books to begin with. I loved the main character, Luna, and her interest in (or abilities related to) astrology. The fact that her story/romance involved fighting with an astronomy enthusiast was awesome. Opposites attract, eh? Afterbirth by Andrea Cremer Interesting and odd, but not for me I guess? I know it’s hard to do a lot in a short amount of pages but this one, unfortunately, felt a […]

Blog Tour | The Witch of Willow Hall (Giveaway!)

Posted October 25, 2018 / Book Reviews / 7 Comments
Blog Tour | The Witch of Willow Hall (Giveaway!)

I always attempt to read fall-time reads (books about witches, Halloween, and other general creepiness or mysteries), so this book seemed like it’d be right up my alley. I like historical fiction books but generally prefer that they have some kind of fantasy/paranormal elements to keep me going, so again – this was a great option for me this October! I’ll be honest, it was still mostly out of my wheelhouse. I also decided to mix in the audiobook in between reading the egalley. I kind of liked the narrator’s voice because it did seem to match the time period, but it was always a little jarring when I pressed “play” and heard it again after a while. Her voice is very unique and somewhat off-putting at times, which unfortunately can affect the characters for me. I’m glad I mixed up listening and reading though, so I could picture the characters in my own way when I finished the book off via egalley. The first quarter of the book spent a lot of time setting the stage and allowing the family to settle in to their new surroundings. They were shamed out of Boston, for some mysterious and scandalous reason that takes a while to come out, and are settling in New Oldbury, MA. They start to get some visitors (the father’s business partners) who grow close to the family and don’t seem to know about their scandal. There are weird occurrences in the house that mostly affect the two […]

Review: The Kiss Quotient

Posted August 17, 2018 / Book Reviews / 6 Comments
Review: The Kiss Quotient

I won’t lie: I was planning on sleeping on this book for a LONG time until the hype died down. This story was all I saw in my feeds (Twitter, Goodreads, RSS, etc.) for quite a while. The hype kept pushing me farther and farther away from it. When I saw the audiobook on Hoopla, though, it was the only one calling my name for some reason. Well, I recommend throwing any reservations out the window and just picking this one up folks, because the hype was well worth it. The premise was… unique, to say the least. Stella has Asperger’s and (so far) hasn’t enjoyed any of her intimate experiences. She decides to hire a male escort in order to get over these fears or concerns. I absolutely loved their dynamic and haven’t read such great steamy moments in a LONG time. There were a few parts of those scenes that made me cringe because of the dirty talk (like Stella did initially haha), but they were otherwise SO good. Both Michael and Stella felt so REAL to me, which I really appreciated. The characters were fully fleshed out and their personalities went much deeper than any kind of stereotypes that could have been used. Michael’s history with his family (especially his father) was very interesting and I kept wondering when we’d learn exactly what happened there. I think Stella’s parents were okay for most of the book but was surprised they weren’t more present, since the story opened […]

Review Round Up | The Cottages on Silver Beach and Listen to Your Heart

Posted July 5, 2018 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 4 Comments
Review Round Up | The Cottages on Silver Beach and Listen to Your Heart

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! The Haven Point series is one of my favorites, set in the adorable town with the same name. My favorite thing about companion series in these small towns is that you meet up again with old characters, visit the same local spots, and really get to know everything there is to know. The latest installment of this series follows Megan, the owner of the Inn that we actually met at the VERY beginning of book one, when it had just burned down and Eliza moved to town. The love interest is Elliot Bailey, another member of the Bailey clan that we’ve encountered in recent stories as well. I loved the parts of the book involving the Inn, Haven Point, and the Helping Hands… but there wasn’t enough of that for me in this book. I missed the setting and characters too much because a fair amount was spent on the road and in Hope’s Crossing (another companion series setting that I’m currently working through). I generally liked Megan and Elliot but the back-and-forth and arguing annoyed me more than usual. Like many of the books in the series, the couple realizes that they love each other very quickly and then proceed to ignore it for most of […]

Review Round Up | Kissing Max Holden and Follow Me

Posted December 4, 2017 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 3 Comments
Review Round Up | Kissing Max Holden and Follow Me

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! My sister lent me her copy and has been bugging me for MONTHS about reading it. I can’t say that I blame her now that I’ve finished it. What a wonderful contemporary I didn’t know I needed! I had just went through a binge of mysteries and other non-contemporaries when I decided I should give this one a try. It ended up being so perfect that I read it in one sitting and stayed up until 3 AM to finish. I would call this fluff, but it’s a liiiittle more serious that fluff often implies. There is a LOT going on, family-wise, in this book. I absolutely hated her dad the entire time I was reading and was hoping she would tell him off at some point. The familial relationships were incredibly complex, both for Max and Jill. Max’s dad was recovering from a stroke that changed their relationship and, as I mentioned, Jill’s dad was basically a dickhead. I loved seeing her relationship with her stepmom grow throughout the book too. The romance was solid. I love childhood friends/neighbors-to-more SO much, because you can just feel the history bubbling into something new. They had a solid base to build a real (romantic) relationship and it showed […]

Review Round Up | The Lucky Dog Matchmaking Service and Ten

Posted September 14, 2017 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Round Up | The Lucky Dog Matchmaking Service and Ten

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 absolutely loved the last series I read from Beth Kendrick, and was a pretty big fan of one of her standalones as well. It took me a while to figure out what book to read that had an animal name in it for the Reading Quest, but I was happy to remember THE LUCKY DOG MATCHMAKING SERVICE as a light summery contemporary. I found the audio on Hoopla for the few days I was commuting into work recently and finished up with the physical copy afterwards. Anyways, this book was pretty good. It’s perfect for a dog-lover. And by dog-lover, I mean someone dog-obsessed. That person is not really me. I like them enough, but (don’t judge me) animals aren’t my thing as much as other people. I was frequently frustrated with Lara’s attitude about the dogs, their behavior, and her ex. I don’t know how I always come across adult contemps where the parents are basically like toddlers and the main character gives into their every whim, or falls for their traps. Her mom was so irritating and clearly didn’t care about bonding with her daughter. Her dad was the type of person who would fly into her life and then fly out whenever he wanted, […]

Series Review: Blue Heron

Posted July 18, 2017 / Book Reviews / 5 Comments
Series Review: Blue Heron

I’m clearly a sucker for companion series set in small towns with unique characters and charm. I adored the Black Dog Bay series and listened to all of them, one after another. This series I took my time with a little more (just because my podcast addiction is still going strong), but it was a worthy series binge! This time, the books are set in Manningsport, New York. The main characters are all generally surrounding the family that owns the Blue Heron Vineyard. Many of the stories also star those family members and their love stories. This was also another audio binge with the narrator Amy Rubinate. Quick summary: When Faith is ditched at the alter because her fiancee is gay, she moves to San Francisco to break away and start over. She returns home to find that the “best man,” Levi, is now the town sheriff and just as difficult as he was when they were teens. Heroine: Faith was a really good character! She got herself into some funny situations and tried really hard to please everyone. She dealt with a lot of guilt over her mother’s death and struggled to move on years later. I liked watching her realize she needed to be home and get over her ex. Romance: This was truly the slowest burn romance I’ve ever read. I looooved the banter and major hate-to-love feels. Levi was so grouchy because Faith was always chipper and positive. They balanced each other out and really felt strongly for each […]

Series Review: Black Dog Bay

Posted April 13, 2017 / Book Reviews / 3 Comments
Series Review: Black Dog Bay

I really enjoyed the first and only Beth Kendrick novel that I previously read – Second Time Around. I’m always interested in charming bed and breakfasts, seaside towns, friends reuniting, etc. That book and this series hit on most of those elements. I was randomly looking for a new audiobook before going skiing and came across this whole series on Hoopla. I decided it’d be the perfect light audio series to binge. The books in the series are companions to each other and set in the same coastal Delaware town of “Black Dog Bay.” It’s known as a destination for people dealing with heartbreak; there are places called the Whinery, Better Off Bed-and-Breakfast, and Eat Your Heart Out Bakery.   Quick summary: After dealing with a personal plane-related tragedy and a little bit of heartbreak, Summer heads to Black Dog Bay. It’s a town known for being perfect for people who just got out of relationships. She enters into arrangements with the hot mayor of the town as well as the crotchety old lady who essentially owns half of the town. Heroine: Summer was immediately an intriguing character. She had this past she kept alluding to that made her unwilling to find love again, so I was concerned this would annoy me later on. I liked that she was spunky and did whatever she wanted. Once she set her mind to something, she refused to give up. Romance: So, along those same lines, this definitely included her attraction to the off-limits town mayor, […]

Review Round Up | Dark Star, A Little Something Different, Wires & Nerve, and Bounce

Posted March 20, 2017 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 0 Comments
Review Round Up | Dark Star, A Little Something Different, Wires & Nerve, and Bounce

In an effort to cut down on posts and burnout, my Review Roundups will feature 2-4 backlist books I’ve read or listened to recently. My ARC reviews usually get the solo treatment. Enjoy the mini reviews! I needed an Urban Fantasy for my Bookish Bingo card and Morgan recommended DARK STAR. I wasn’t sure how the book would work for me because the last demon-y book I read was very meh and I never continued with the series. I was pleasantly surprised by DARK STAR and enjoyed it more (despite the same rating lol)! I liked Audrey and pretty much all of the rest of the characters in this one. It was fun to see secrets be revealed from start to finish. Her mom, her friends, the other people with ~powers~ … they were all really interesting characters that I hope to learn more about going forward. There even was a BIT of romance near the end. It sucks because I honestly can’t think of much more to talk about? The book flew by, as I combined some audio hours with reading the ebook for the ending. I liked it enough but there’s not much to discuss. I can tell that there’s still SO much more left to cover in the upcoming books, without feeling like they’re stretching the story too much. The ending was closed enough to not feel like a cliffhanger but open enough to get that feeling of more coming soon. This is absolutely one of those books where the concept […]

Review Roundup | PS I Like You, The Forgetting, Kiss Cam, and Reunion

Posted March 8, 2017 / Book Reviews, Review Roundup / 6 Comments
Review Roundup | PS I Like You, The Forgetting, Kiss Cam, and Reunion

Before the regularly scheduled programming… Happy International Women’s Day! In an effort to cut down on posts and burnout, my Review Roundups will feature 2-4 backlist books I’ve read or listened to recently. My ARC reviews usually get the solo treatment. Enjoy the mini reviews! I think you’re aware of the fact that I tend to hoard my favorite authors’ books so I always have at least one to read when I REALLY need it. Kasie West is one of those authors. Sometimes I just need to read her words because I know she won’t let me down. For PS I LIKE YOU, my sister had been hounding me to read it and lent me her copy. I went ahead and got the audiobook from Hoopla to crank it out and MAN do I love Kasie West still. I read it just as BY YOUR SIDE was coming out and I was borrowing LUCKY IN LOVE from a friend. So, it was safe to read this one finally ? The story was cute, albeit incredibly predictable. I don’t mind the formulaic nature of many YA books because it’s comforting to get that HEA at the end. I knew who the secret pen pal was literally within the first chapter or two of the book and the rest of the story was equally predictable from there. I know my romance tolerance is lower than usual, so I tried to not let it sway my opinion of this fluffy book by a favorite author. There was […]