Review: Witchful Thinking

Witchful Thinking was a cute witchy romcom, even if it was set in the summer. And, while it was a cute, fast read for the fall season, it definitely won’t be a story that sticks with me.

I really liked the small town, second chance romance between Lucy and Alex. I love any small town romance!

I did want to know more about the merfolk and more background to Freya Grove. The author started to give some information why there are so many supernaturals in Freya Grove, but I feel like the full reason was never fully explained. And with Alex being a merman, I wanted more information about what makes them special.

While this is a romcom, the romance is very lowborn and there wasn’t much steam on the page.

This was a fun reader spooky season, as it is set in the summer, it could absolutely be enjoyed as a summery witchy read, too.

Review: When Life Gives You Vampires

When Life Gives You Vampires had me laughing from the get go. I listened to this as an audiobook and the narrator, Meg Sylvan was absolutely perfect for this book.

I really adored Lily – she was such a spitfire, and her thoughts (when not focused on her body) were witty and sassy. Every time I hit play on this book, I felt like I was getting back together with a friend.

There were also some fantastic Buffy and Twilight references throughout the book that made me smile.

My biggest complaint, though, is how often Lily’s weight is brought up. I am all for a a plus sized main character, and even a plus sized main character that questions and worries about her weight. However, Lily mentions or thinks about her weight A LOT. It almost became a third character in the story.

Thank you to Dreamscape Media and NetGalley for the audio review copy of When Life Gives Your Vampires.

Review: Never Fall for Your Fiancee

Regency romances have always been my guilty pleasure – I am so glad to see that more authors are starting to write regencies ad this subgenere is becoming more mainstream.

Never Fall for Your Fiancee sucked me in from the beginning, and the witty banter kept me engaged. This is classic fake-dating trope with a dash the mis-communication trope. The mis-communication, or in this case, lack of communication, always drives me crazy.

I did love some of the side characters – Minerva’s sister Diana and Hugh’s friend Giles are the perfect witty comedic relief from the tension between the fake relationship.

I cannot wait for the next book in this series as Diana and Giles are the stars of the next book!

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for a digital review copy of Never Fall for Your Fiancee.

Review: Rustler’s Moon

If you’ve been following me long enough, you know that I tend to impulse buy books based on the cover. Rustler’s Moon was no exception – the cover art is gorgeous. I don’t think I even read the back cover before I headed to the registers.

I absolutely loved small town romances, and Ransom Canyon is no exception to the rule. Seriously, who doesn’t love a quaint small town?!

While the residents of Ransom Canyon were amazing, I loved Wilkes and Angie (although Uncle Vern may be the best side character). Love at first sight is a difficult trope to pull off, but Jodi Thomas definitely made me feel the attraction worked (and it did not feel like cringy insta-love).

It is very rare for me to find a book with so many different, interweaving POVs. Somehow, it worked and I was able to follow along and keep everyone straight in my head!

This was a clean romance (not even a fade to black scene). Some references to sex, but nothing on the page.

Review: Vanessa Jared’s Got a Man

LaQuette is officially becoming one of my favorite go-to romance writers. Because, damn does she know how to write one smokin’ hot smut scene – and her male main characters are the real deal (I mean, where can I find my own Sheriff Michael!?)

I absolutely enjoyed Vanessa Jared’s Got a Man as an audiobook, which was narrated by Denise Wallace. Wallace did a fabulous job with the  different voices, pacing, and putting some extra sizzle into her voice during the hotter scenes in the book.

I truly loved that this was not just a romance, but a woman who was emerging from the cocoon she had built for herself after her divorce and extorting her power – her independence – in a new relationship. While Vanessa could easily have come off as a wealthy, stuck up, snob – she didn’t.

It was also refreshing to read a romance novel where the main characters aren’t fresh-faced (Vanessa is in her 40s) and with lots of diversity! Michael and his sister are Korean and that is a big part of their background and who they are.

LaQuette’s Vanessa Jared’s Got a Man publishes September 20, 2022.

Thank you to NetGalley and OrangeSky Audio for the advanced listening copy!

Review: I Hate You More

A romcom with all the doggies – you know I was all over this one! I listened to I Hate You More as an audiobook, and it was such a fun listen!

Ruby is a former pageant queen, but is now a nurse’s aide at a retirement home. But when one of those residents asks Ruby to show dog at the local dog show, Ruby breaks out her former beauty queen tricks.

The only problem standing in Ruby’s way is Spencer – who runs the dog show and is set on keeping her dog, Wheezy out of the show.

I couldn’t help but love the dynamic between Caleb and Spencer, and Spencer and Ruby. Oh, and Mrs. Orson stole every scene she was in.

This was perfect light, summer reading – not too heavy, not too steamy (a little steam), and not too serious.

Thank you to Dreamscape Media and NetGalley for the audio review copy in exchange for my honest opinion.

Review: Risk

I absolutely LOVE everything I have ever read by Skye Jordan. She has a way to bringing her characters to life. I also appreciate that, while she writes series, her books can also be read as standalone (yay!).

Risk, which is book 8 in the Renegades series, was such a fun read. I knew I was in for a good amount of steam when the two main characters get it on in the first 50 pages.

I honestly loved Caitlyn and how independent she is. To get up and move across the country all on her own, take a lot of chutzpah. And to take a job without knowing what exactly in the job description – just wow.

I really did enjoy the growing relationship between Duke and Caitlyn – especially as the reader watches Caitlyn grow more confident in her position and on the movie set.

Thank you the author, Skye Jordan, for sending me a finished copy in exchange for my review.

Review: The Summer of Christmas

Have you ever read a book and something just didn’t jive while you were reading it? That’s what happened while I was reading The Summer of Christmas.

The storyline was super cute – a heartbroken screenwriter, Ivy Green, writes a mostly autobiographical movie script about how her long-time boyfriend breaks up with her at Christmastime.

However, when that script gets picked up to be made into a movie and is filming in her hometown, where her ex still lives, love triangles ensue.

I really live the kitschy Christmas in July vibes in the story, and the small town feel and the found family in the movie crew. But the writing was a tough to read. Once I realized the authors were screenwriters and this is their debut novel, a lot of the weirdness in the writing made sense. It was definitely written more like a script than a novel.

Not that it is a pass for the writers, because this was still really awkward to read. There were lots of chapters that flipped back and forth between Ivy and Nick with transitions like, “Back on the boat” and “back on the movie set.”

This would definitely have been a cute Hallmark Christmas movie – something the authors’ style of writing would fit better.

Thank you to Sourcebooks Casablanca and NetGalley for the advanced reader copy in exchange for my honest review.

Review: Secret Beast

I read Secret Beast with #EnchantedReadsBookClub in July – and I was so proud of myself that I actually finished a book club book in time for book club! Woohoo!

Secret Beast is a Beauty and the Beast retelling, although, in the beginning I felt a little like the story was going to lean Romeo and Juliet-esque with the feuding families.

I had a lot of issues with some of the plot points in the book. For instance, the feelings between Leo and Haley escalate super fast – and I believe the author was going to a Stockholm Syndrome idea, but it didn’t work for me as Haley had only been in Leo’s home for a few days.

I also wanted to know more about Leo’s background, because I feel like ti was left very vague. I assume it is “job” is mob related, but the reader isn’t given deeper understanding of his history or business.

And the ending! Ugh. Just – ahhh! Without spoilers, the ending was NOT what I expected. If you’ve read this and want to discuss the ending, message me!

All of that said, I couldn’t stop thinking about this book as I read it and would stay up way past my bedtime to read “just one more chapter.”

Thank you to the #EnchantedReadsBookClub and @beautyslibrary for discussing this book! This was definitely one of those books where talking about it made me enjoy it even more (even if I still have issues with some plot points).

Review: Bad Luck Bridesmaid

Bad Luck Bridesmaid was a cute read, although it did feel like the storyline was a little disjointed. 

Zoey has been a bridesmaid three times in ten years, and not once has a bride made it down the aisle. When she meets the perfect guy, Rylan, her distrust of commitment and marriage come to the surface. Even more so when Rylan proposes to her. When Zoey’s BFF, Hannah, announces she’s getting married, though, Zoey is determined to see Hannah to the alter. 

My biggest issue with the timeline of the story, was the reader was taken through each of the failed weddings and Zoey meeting and getting closer to Rylan before the story starts to really take off. If we ha started the story with Zoey meeting Rylan and the failed weddings as “flashbacks” I think it might have worked better. Especially as Zoey is participating in Hannah’s wedding weekend in Ireland.

Since the third bride to not reach the alter is the tipping point for Zoey to run from Rylan’s proposal, the ending was expected.

I did enjoy this book, but it was definitely not my favorite romcom book this year.

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the review copy in exchange for my honest opinion!