I received an e-ARC of this book from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
I really hate writing negative reviews. I like squeeing over books and it bums me out when I don’t like something. But I really did not like this book. All of the characters were stupid and mean. That sounds really harsh, but it’s true! The main characters meet when the heroine mistakes the plumber (hero) for her new psychologist, and he realizes her mistake and pretends to be the doctor. She feels like he’s probably full of shit but agrees to another session (I guess because she’s self-hating and curious??) and then continues seeing him for coffee and other activities while still pretending she thinks she’s getting therapy. At first, I thought she mistook him for a prostitute she had hired and that would have been less ridiculous, or at least less offensive. But then she starts spilling her guts to him and I realize she thinks it’s therapy. Maybe it’s my extensive history with mental health care services, but I couldn’t believe someone would pretend to be a therapist. And it’s not a funny meet-cute to me.
The heroine has this cousin/best friend who’s a total monster and makes the heroine feel like shit all the time. Both MCs screw around with other people over the course of the book. The hero’s girlfriend is another mega-bitch crazy woman. It just felt really woman hating. Although the heroine was plus size and mostly happy about it, there was fat-shamey language throughout the book from other characters. Including the hero. The mega-bitches get their comeuppance in the end, but the heroine sinks to their level too much for my liking by publicly humiliating them.
I didn’t get the feeling that this author truly likes romance novels. It felt more like she was trying to subvert tropes and mocking them instead. There were some funny lines though. And the cover is adorable.
28 Dates by Stacey Lynn was cute and sweet. Caitlin and Jonas are friends with benefits but Jonas wants more. Caitlin is afraid of commitment and breaks it off. They remain friends, sort of. Caitlin’s boss asks her to test his dating app and Jonas joins without her knowing. They get matched and Jonas tries to win her heart via text, while watching her go on 28 dates with random dudes. Eventually Caitlin finds out the dude she likes from the app is Jonas. She’s not pissed that he sort of lied. She’s very wooed. Then HEA, baby. (Actually babies. Nice epilogue. I know a lot of people think baby epilogues are unnecessary. And they are. But I still like them.)
I felt like the book kind of glossed over Caitlin’s issues. She has parental problems and she just kind of magically gets over it after one conversation with her friend. And Jonas dates another girl after Caitlin rejects him at the beginning. He breaks up with the other woman before he starts going after the Heroine again, but I just don’t like any other woman drama.
I give this book 4 Stars. I enjoyed the writing style and the side characters. I will probably track down the other books in this series.
Oh, and I have to say, I freaking hated the cover on the ARC. I don’t know if it will end up being the final cover, but I’m guessing it will because it has the same look as another book in the series. It made me expect a very different book. I was happily surprised that the book didn’t deliver on the promise of the cover.
I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
I received an e-ARC of Teach Me by Olivia Dade from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Teach Me is a fantastic m/f that falls under “seasoned romance” because the hero and heroine are in their 40’s.
Rose is a teacher with a twenty years of experience at her school, and Martin is a new teacher who is brought in and assigned to her favorite class to teach. Martin is immediately drawn to Rose, but he grows on her slowly. She makes the first move and he turns her down due to insecurities, not lack of interest. Then he realizes what a dumb move that was and goes about trying to thaw her out. They both work on their insecurities. They let each other in. They find happily ever after.
What I loved about this book was the ease and gentleness of it. There was no dramatic gestures or big romantic overtures or aggressive pursuit, just a grown ass man respecting and listening to a grown ass woman. Blurbs bill it as an ice queen and a cinnamon roll and that’s accurate. But he’s not a sickly sweet cinnamon roll covered in too much icing. He’s iced just right. I loved the writing from his perspective when he realized he loved her. I would quote it but I don’t want to spoil it.
I give this book 4.5 stars and I highly recommend it. They both accepted each other and appreciated each other for being exactly themselves. I think that’s my biggest romance catnip — respect and acceptance and seeing someone for who they really are.
From Heiress to Mom by Therese Beharrie is a really sweet, emotional romance. It’s not super sexy, which was a little disappointing, but as I got more drawn into the characters’ journey, I didn’t mind so much. There’s a secret baby, but *twist* it’s not the heroine’s! The baby belongs to the one night stand of her ex-boyfriend, who asks her to help care for the baby while the mom is finishing school. At first I was like, Hell no…how selfish can you be, and I wanted to throw my Kindle across the room. But I stuck with it and I’m glad I did.
The book really digs into the pair’s insecurities and feelings. We don’t get much of a sense of what their previous relationship was like, but we get a lot of their feelings and why they broke up. Seeing them work through all of their issues, with a front row seat to their inner monologues, was worth reading. But fair warning – this book is very much in their heads. They both have a lot of crap to work through. I cared about both of these characters by the time I was halfway through the book so I was very invested in their HEA. I also got curious about the first book in the series, her sister’s story, which I’ll have to track down at some point.
If you’re looking for a sweet love story that is high on feels and really creates a mood, then you will enjoy this book. I give it 4 stars.
This is the first time I’ve received an ARC directly from the author so I was really excited to get it!
This is a m/f that features an interracial, age-gap couple with friends to lovers and a fake relationship. There was excellent representation of mental health and demisexuality, and there’s a giant, sweet dog.
Zach and Rae are friends and Rae is nervous to go to a writers’ conference because her ex will be there with his new wife and their baby. Zach decides she needs a fake boyfriend and he volunteers. They get to the hotel and *gasp* there’s only one bed! They both have lots of feelings. There’s a misunderstanding. They talk about it like adults. They live happily ever after. (Given the title of this blog, I don’t think that’s a spoiler.)
The relationship between Zach and Rae grows from friends to lovers slowly and organically, and it’s very believable. Zach admires Rae and she appreciates him for who he is. When they hurt each other, they apologize. And there were some awesome cameos of previous Ravenswood characters.
I give this book 5 Big Heart-Eye-Emoji Stars. I absolutely loved this book and it will probably go along with A Girl Like Her as one of my go-to comfort reads. I received an e-ARC of this book from the author. I am a major Talia Hibbert fangirl so I was really excited to get the chance to read this early. You need to go buy this book right now.
I received an e-ARC of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Getting Hot with the Scot is about an American named Cassie who is vacationing in Europe with her best friends. She wants a hot vacation one night stand, and she meets Logan, a sexy red-headed Scottish dude. Full disclosure: I have a major thing for gingers. My first crush was a little red-headed boy in kindergarten, and I managed to fall in love with and marry a ginger. All that to say, I am predisposed to love a book with a ginger hero.
Back to the book, Cassie and Logan meet when he plays a prank on her for his web series. She refuses to sign the release but they end up banging anyway. Logan kinda creeps on her for the rest of her vacation and they have more sexytimes. He never mentions the release but she finds out anyway and is pissed. Cassie goes home without saying goodbye and she signs the release and goes home to Chicago. Logan ends up in Chicago for work and he tracks her down. They make up and there’s another misunderstanding or two and then they live happily ever after.
I enjoyed this book. Logan was funny and sexy, but a bit of a creeper. I felt like he should have been more honest with Cassie upfront. Another less-than-cool aspect was Cassie’s best friend gives Logan Cassie’s number without her consent. It helped the story move along but it was a violation of privacy. On the other hand, I liked Cassie and how she grew from “I’m not a relationship person” to “I think this could really be something,” in a real, honest way. And here’s a tiny spoiler — I really liked how she turned the drama over the prank and her romance novel reading into a story about strong women who read romance. I think there are more of us out there than the world would expect.
I give this book 3.5 stars, rounded up to 4 for Goodreads. If you’re looking for a very light, no-angst, funny read, pick this one up for sure. Also, the book very obviously set up the rest of the series, pointing a big neon sign at the next couple and giving clues to another friend’s story as well. It was almost distracting from the main story, but I enjoyed the side characters, and I am excited to read the next book in the series.
I received an e-ARC of American Witch by Thea Harrison from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This is the first book in a new trilogy and it’s set in the Elder Races universe. I loved Dragon Bound so much so I was glad to be in that world again. However, this was in an entirely different part of the country and I didn’t see any characters I recognized from the three Elder Races books I’ve read, but I think there were mentions of some characters from her other books.
Molly Sullivan is in an unhappy marriage to an asshole lawyer. She discovers he’s cheating on her and she leaves him in spectacular fashion. She also discovers she has awakening Powers. She meets Josiah, a very old witch, and he gives her some training. Molly is extremely powerful and learns quickly. There is a mystery involving some shady business dealings of her ex-husband’s and a centuries-old feud between Josiah and an ancient witch. Molly and Josiah don’t hit it off right away but there’s an attraction and they develop a relationship. Magical and mundane stuff happens. It’s all very enjoyable and drove me to devour the book in one day.
I enjoyed Molly’s journey of self-discovery. She is a strong woman who had let herself be beaten down by a bad relationship and getting free from her husband opens her up to explore a positive future for herself. Josiah is controlling and overbearing, but somehow still likable to me. I think what I appreciated the most was that Molly stood up to him and he respected her for it. He acknowledged when he was being a jerk, and he really grew to care for her. When he drops the first “I love you,” I believed it. And I liked that he was willing to (mostly) abandon his quest for revenge to be the guy that Molly deserved.
I give this book Five Big Magical Stars, and I can’t wait for the next one in the trilogy. This book reminded me how much I enjoy Thea Harrison’s world building and characterization and just her writing in general. I wonder which of the secondary characters will be featured. This book introduced lots of people but didn’t give a strong hint to any other relationships. Which I appreciated. I hate it when there’s a big neon sign pointing to the next book. It feels like an advertisement.