My Kind of Earl by Vivienne Lorret Review | My Kind of Historical Romance That Has Tarzan in London Energy

My Kind of Earl
Author: Vivienne Lorret
Series: The Mating Habits of Scoundrels #2
Release Date: September 29, 2020
Publisher: Avon
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

USA Today bestselling author Vivienne Lorret continues her charming new trilogy with a bluestocking whose search for information on the mating habits of scoundrels has her stumbling upon the missing heir to an earldom… in the London underworld.

Jane Pickerington never intended to start a brawl in a brothel. She only wanted to research her book. Yet when her simple study of scoundrels goes awry, she finds herself coming to the rescue of a dark, enigmatic stranger… who turns out to be far more than an average rake out for a night of pleasure. He’s positively wild!

Only the most feral and cunning could have survived foundling homes and work houses. Orphaned as an infant, Raven never had another name. At least… not until he meets her. Now he’s face-to-face with the one person who recognizes the strange birthmark on his arm and can reinstate him to his blue-blooded birthright.

All at once, Raven’s life takes a turn. His knowledge of dark alleys and gaming hells never prepared him for gilded ballrooms. So Jane becomes his tutor. Yet, the more lessons in decorum she offers, the more this untamed scoundrel wants to teach her all the ways to be wicked.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

I originally was super excited for this book because 1) I really enjoyed the first book in this series where we first met Jane, who was spectacularly spunky and curious, and 2) We met the hero Raven in the author’s previous book trilogy (The Rogue to Ruin) and he was so mysterious yet loyal. I loved seeing familiar characters while learning more about Jane and Raven. The dialogue was full of wit, and the chemistry was utterly delectable. Lorret has quickly become one of my favorite historical romance writers, and her books keep getting better. If you’re looking for a quirky heroine who values research and discovery, look no further, because Jane has got you covered.

‘I knew from the moment we met that your curiosity would be my undoing.’

Continue reading “My Kind of Earl by Vivienne Lorret Review | My Kind of Historical Romance That Has Tarzan in London Energy”

Well Played by Jen Deluca Review | Well, That Was Super Soft and Sweet!

50089191

Well Played
Author: Jen DeLuca
Series: Book 2
Release Date: September 22, 2019
Publisher: Berkley
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

Another laugh-out-loud romantic comedy featuring kilted musicians, Renaissance Faire tavern wenches, and an unlikely love story.

Stacey is jolted when her friends Simon and Emily get engaged. She knew she was putting her life on hold when she stayed in Willow Creek to care for her sick mother, but it’s been years now, and even though Stacey loves spending her summers pouring drinks and flirting with patrons at the local Renaissance Faire, she wants more out of life. Stacey vows to have her life figured out by the time her friends get hitched at Faire next summer. Maybe she’ll even find The One.

When Stacey imagined “The One,” it never occurred to her that her summertime Faire fling, Dex MacLean, might fit the bill. While Dex is easy on the eyes onstage with his band The Dueling Kilts, Stacey has never felt an emotional connection with him. So when she receives a tender email from the typically monosyllabic hunk, she’s not sure what to make of it.

Faire returns to Willow Creek, and Stacey comes face-to-face with the man with whom she’s exchanged hundreds of online messages over the past nine months. To Stacey’s shock, it isn’t Dex—she’s been falling in love with a man she barely knows.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review
Book 1 | Well Met – 3.5 stars – Review Here

In WELL PLAYED, DeLuca brings readers back to Willow Creek, and the lovely Renaissance Faire that’s such a hit with its residents. It’s an insular story, in which the energy is VERY ‘small-town.’ We follow the bright and bubbly Stacey, who finds herself wanting… more, in life. At 27 years old, she can’t help but think: what if she could leave the small town of Willow Creek? All her friends from college are starting families, but her one true love is her cat. What if she can pursue her dream at something she’s good at, like fashion, rather than the receptionist job she has? What if…

DeLuca brings Stacey alive in her first-person POV, with an honest narrative. It was easy to empathize with her and understand her feelings. First, she feels responsible for her mother’s health, so she stays in Willow Creek rather than pursues a life elsewhere, despite having plans to work in New York after she graduated college. Next, she feels at odds with herself. While she is active on social media and goes out frequently, she doesn’t find solace or meaning behind those things. I also appreciated seeing her insecurities of being plus-sizes, as in our society we normalize ‘skinny/fit’ figures (which she doesn’t have). Overall, she just feels listless in her life. This ennui galvanizes her to send a text to her casual hook-up partner: Dex MacLean, who performs at the Faire. She’s embarrassed, since she did it while wine-drunk, but he responds back! And then… let the fun begin.

Continue reading “Well Played by Jen Deluca Review | Well, That Was Super Soft and Sweet!”

The Roommate by Rosie Danan Review | Let’s Topple A Porn Empire Together?!

45023611

The Roommate
Author: Rosie Danan
Release Date: September 15, 2020
Publisher: Berkley
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

House Rules:

Do your own dishes

Knock before entering the bathroom

Never look up your roommate online

The Wheatons are infamous among the east coast elite for their lack of impulse control, except for their daughter Clara. She’s the consummate socialite: over-achieving, well-mannered, predictable. But every Wheaton has their weakness. When Clara’s childhood crush invites her to move cross-country, the offer is too much to resist. Unfortunately, it’s also too good to be true.

After a bait-and-switch, Clara finds herself sharing a lease with a charming stranger. Josh might be a bit too perceptive—not to mention handsome—for comfort, but there’s a good chance he and Clara could have survived sharing a summer sublet if she hadn’t looked him up on the Internet…

Once she learns how Josh has made a name for himself, Clara realizes living with him might make her the Wheaton’s most scandalous story yet. His professional prowess inspires her to take tackling the stigma against female desire into her own hands. They may not agree on much, but Josh and Clara both believe women deserve better sex. What they decide to do about it will change both of their lives, and if they’re lucky, they’ll help everyone else get lucky too.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

When I first saw THE ROOMMATE, I was immediately amused by the cover. It drew my attention in a not-so-good way with its ultra pink title and ultra pink background, and the models on the cover reminded me a little of Barbie. BUT, reader friends were raving about this one, and I found myself curious about the hero’s occupation. So I figure I would try it out, and I fell in love.

THE ROOMMATE has a strong voice, wit, and a romance exploding with chemistry. We start with Clara moving across the country, from her life as an East-coast socialite to a more laid-back West-coast vibe, to follow her childhood crush. The moment she comes, though, the crush sets off for a band tour and – surprise! – she has a new roommate. He’s pretty charming and sweet (think, golden retriever energy), but she’s thinking of her next steps. She moved to LA expecting her crush to help her transition, and now she’s left without a plan. Clara ends up getting lunch with her black-sheep-of-the-family aunt, gets a job, and finds out that her roommate is a well-known porn star. How’s that for a spontaneous move across the country?

I loved both Clara and Josh’s characters, as well as their relationship dynamics! Clara had a pretty privileged lifestyle growing up, and she’s enjoying the anonymity that California offers. She finds herself exploring a career path she’s passionate about, and deviating beyong the plans laid out for her by her rich family. I loved seeing her character find herself in that way, and resolve to keep relations with her family as well (which is something I would’ve loved to see more of!). She’s uptight and academic (with a doctorate in art history), and a perfect foil/contrast to Josh’s more carefree personality. Josh found himself working multiple jobs in his 20’s, and decided to make a career in the adult entertainment industry – a rather successful one. However, recently he’s been in a contract dispute with a major entertainment corporation that is lowballing and trying to blackmail him. He shows Clara how to open up more, while she supports him and sees his potential, despite his internalized stigma of working as an adult performer. Through action movies, breakfast in the middle of the night, and working together on a new business endeavor, we see them falling in love.

Josh Conners and Clara Wheaton didn’t make sense on paper, but what if somehow, impossibly, two wrongs made a right? At least under the covers.

I love how easy it is to see them together, and how they complement each other. Their sexual tension was also off the charts, and I loved seeing the sex positivity going on among all the characters. What else can I say? I love soft heros who pine, and Josh’s “I’m not good enough for her” created some delicious tension with Clara’s “I’m not as experienced/knowledgable as him” thoughts.

All he knew was that he always wanted her to be happy. When she smiled or laughed, he felt powerful and good. If something hurt her, he wanted to Hulk smash.

Ahh, the way Josh thinks about Clara just makes my heart go ba-BUMP.

There were a lot of strong women in the book as well, from Josh’s ex to the DA that Clara was working for, that I loved to see. In general, THE ROOMMATE was the perfect feel-good read for me, and I really recommend it for romance readers! The romcom energy is strong in this one, and the premise takes well-loved tropes into a new dimension.

Thank you Berkley and Netgalley for the review copy!

Only When It’s Us by Chloe Liese Review | Enemies-to-Lovers Sports Romance If You Like Them Lumberjacks

51975973. sy475 Only When It’s Us
Author: Chloe Liese
Release Date: April 1, 2020
Publisher: Amazon
Get it Here: Amazon (Free on Kindle Unlimited!)

Synopsis:
Prepare for an emotional rollercoaster brimming with laughter, tears, and slow-burn sexiness in this new adult romance that tackles the vulnerability of love with humor and heart.

Ryder

Ever since she sat next to me in class and gave me death eyes, Willa Sutter’s been on my shit list. Why she hates me, I don’t know. What I do know is that Willa is the kind of chaos I don’t need in my tidy life. She’s the next generation of women’s soccer. Wild hair, wilder eyes. Bee-stung lips that should be illegal. And a temper that makes the devil seem friendly.

She’s a thorn in my side, a menacing, cantankerous, pain-in-the-ass who’s turned our Business Mathematics course into a goddamn gladiator arena. I’ll leave this war zone unscathed, coming out on top…And if I have my way with that crazy-haired, ball-busting hellion, that will be in more than one sense of the word. 

Willa

Rather than give me the lecture notes I missed like every other instructor I’ve had, my asshole professor tells me to get them from the silent, surly flannel-wearing mountain man sitting next to me in class. Well, I tried. And what did I get from Ryder Bergman? Ignored. What a complete lumbersexual neanderthal. Mangy beard and mangier hair. Frayed ball cap that hides his eyes. And a stubborn refusal to acknowledge my existence.

I’ve battled men before, but with Ryder, it’s war. I’ll get those notes and crack that Sasquatch nut if it’s the last thing I do, then I’ll have him at my mercy. Victory will have never tasted so sweet.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

I thought this book was sweet, and cute! When I first read the blurb I was like “ehh” but then Nick from The Infinite Limits of Love said she was enjoying it, so I had to get it on Kindle Unlimited. Thanks for the recommendation, Nick! Another aspect that made me curious about the story was how Ryder was deaf, which I don’t see in romance books. (Note: I chose to describe him as “deaf” because the book didn’t give indication of him being in the Deaf community.) That leads to some miscommunication in the beginning of the story which sets off his and Willa’s antagonistic yet flirtatious relationship. If you like college romances with fiery dialogue filled with snark and underlying sexual tension, I think you’ll enjoy this one!

I drive Willa nuts with my blunt delivery, my pragmatic outlook, my dry, needling teases. And Willa’s a temperamental pain in my ass. She makes fun of my flannel shirts, she provokes me almost constantly. She ribs me for my gruffness, then jabs me the moment I show her my soft side. Continue reading “Only When It’s Us by Chloe Liese Review | Enemies-to-Lovers Sports Romance If You Like Them Lumberjacks”

Here to Stay by Adriana Herrera Review | Here for This Romance Between ex-New Yorkers Finding Their Place in Life!

53179166. sy475 Here to Stay
Author: Adriana Herrera
Release Date: August 25, 2020
Publisher: Carina Press
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

Starting over is more about who you’re with than where you live…

Julia del Mar Ortiz is not having the best year.

She moved to Dallas with her boyfriend, who ended up ditching her and running back to New York after only a few weeks. Left with a massive—by NYC standards, anyway—apartment and a car lease in the scorching Texas heat, Julia is struggling…except that’s not completely true. Running the charitable foundation of one of the most iconic high fashion department stores in the world is serious #lifegoals.

It’s more than enough to make her want to stick it out down South.

The only monkey wrench in Julia’s plans is the blue-eyed, smart-mouthed consultant the store hired to take them public. Fellow New Yorker Rocco Quinn’s first order of business? Putting Julia’s job on the chopping block.

When Julia is tasked with making sure Rocco sees how valuable the programs she runs are, she’s caught between a rock and a very hard set of abs. Because Rocco Quinn is almost impossible to hate—and even harder to resist.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Herrera is a new-to-me author, but after loving HERE TO STAY, I’m excited to check out her backlist as well! I loved reading from the multiple perspectives of Julia and Rocco, who were both New Yorkers whose works took them to Dallas. For Julia, it was her dream job to work with a social program for immigrant and refugee children, creating counseling centers and support for families. For Rocco, it was as a consultant brought in to cut Julia’s social program out of the company – success means a promotion that would lead to a better lifestyle for him and his sister and niece. While work creates tension between Julia and Rocco, there’s an undeniable attraction that they can’t let go of which drives the story and their relationship. It was full of chemistry, respect, and understanding of one another. I loved it! 

Here though, in this city and in this apartment, I felt like I was right where I was supposed to be. Like I was a piece of the puzzle, and if I went missing, the picture would not be complete.

Continue reading “Here to Stay by Adriana Herrera Review | Here for This Romance Between ex-New Yorkers Finding Their Place in Life!”

You Lucky Dog by Julia London Review | Aww Talk About That Puppy Love

You Lucky Dog
Author: Julia London
Release Date: August 25, 2020
Publisher: Berkley
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

An accidental dog swap unleashes an unexpected love match in this new romantic comedy from New York Times bestselling author Julia London.

Carly Kennedy’s life is in a spiral. She is drowning in work, her divorced parents are going through their midlife crises, and somehow Carly’s sister convinces her to foster Baxter–a basset hound rescue with a bad case of the blues. When Carly comes home late from work one day to discover that the dog walker has accidentally switched out Baxter for another perkier, friendlier basset hound, she has reached the end of her leash.

When Max Sheffington finds a depressed male basset hound in place of his cheerful Hazel, he is bewildered. But when cute, fiery Carly arrives on his doorstep, he is intrigued. He was expecting the dog walker, not a pretty woman with firm ideas about dog discipline. And Carly was not expecting a handsome, bespectacled man to be feeding her dog mac and cheese. Baxter is besotted with Hazel, and Carly realizes she may have found the key to her puppy’s happiness. For his sake, she starts to spend more time with Hazel and Max, until she begins to understand the appeal of falling for your polar opposite.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Check out my review on GoodReads over here!

“Forget the chemical reaction – was this love, that thing that pushed all rational thought aside and drove men to do things they might never do? Was it love that made this feel momentous and slightly desperate and unworldly? It wasn’t just corporeal – it was more transcendent than that. It was wird, this thing called love – you didn’t see it, you didn’t hear it, but suddenly, you were there.”

YOU LUCKY DOG has an adorable premise, lovable characters, and a fun family subplot. There was something about it, though, that was lacking the magic. Maybe it was passion between the main characters? They were both level-headed, and the romance a smooth development. I don’t know why, but I just felt a disconnect between their relationship development and the eventual “I-love-you’s.” Nevertheless, the premise sets it up to be a light-hearted and sweet romantic read that’s perfect for a summer day. Continue reading “You Lucky Dog by Julia London Review | Aww Talk About That Puppy Love”

Lord Holt Takes A Bride by Vivienne Lorret Review | We Love a Spicy Romance Road Trip

45449504

Lord Holt Takes A Bride
Author: Vivienne Lorret
Series: The Mating Habits of Scoundrels #1
Release Date: March 31, 2020
Publisher: Avon
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

USA Today Bestselling Author Vivienne Lorret launches a charming new trilogy about three debutantes who get more than they bargained for when it comes to the mating habits of scoundrels…

Heiress Winnifred Humphries refuses to marry the odious man her parents have chosen. She’ll marry for love or not at all. But how does a woman know a man truly loves her? Needing answers, she sets out to discover the marriage habits of London’s aristocrats. Yet when her friends kidnap a lord for research, Winn knows they’ve gone too far. Now she’s facing a wickedly handsome scoundrel who wants revenge.

Lord Asher Holt has the perfect plan to free himself of his father’s debts. But when a trio of foolish debutantes abducts him, their scheme ruins everything! Fuming and tied to a chair, Holt overhears that one of them is an heiress. Perhaps he isn’t above a little kidnapping either.

Yet, when the heiress runs away from her own wedding and straight into his waiting carriage, Holt finds himself on an adventure he’ll never forget, falling in love with a woman worth more than any treasure. But will Winn ever believe his heart only desires her… and not her fortune?

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Check out my review on GoodReads over here!

“Perhaps it was just like Asher had once said to her – that with all the rain they’d encounter something was bound to take deep root and blossom, and for them it was love. Simple as that.
It didn’t seem possible, but she grew more content every day. In fact, especially today.”

What a sweet romance! And believe me, the story was super romantic. While I really enjoyed seeing the love bloom between Winn and Asher, I would have to say that this book is a tad on the dramatic side, especially towards the end. Personally, I soaked up the drama with glee. Lorret’s conflicts always center around the characters themselves (really helping with character development), which is why it’s so easy for me to love them, and this time was no different. LORD HOLT TAKES A BRIDE brings readers on an adventure as the two characters run towards (or away from?) their fate.

Continue reading “Lord Holt Takes A Bride by Vivienne Lorret Review | We Love a Spicy Romance Road Trip”

Say Yes To The Duke by Eloisa James Review | I Say Yes To Pure Fluff, All Fluff

44538875

Say Yes to the Duke
Author: Eloisa James
Series: The Wildes of Lindow Castle #5
Release Date: May 19, 2020
Publisher: Avon
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & NobleBook Depository

Synopsis:

A shy wallflower meets her dream man—or does she?—in the next book in New York Times bestselling author Eloisa James’ Wildes of Lindow series.

Miss Viola Astley is so painfully shy that she’s horrified by the mere idea of dancing with a stranger; her upcoming London debut feels like a nightmare.

So she’s overjoyed to meet handsome, quiet vicar with no interest in polite society — but just when she catches his attention, her reputation is compromised by a duke.

Devin Lucas Augustus Elstan, Duke of Wynter, will stop at nothing to marry Viola, including marrying a woman whom he believes to be in love with another man.

A vicar, no less.

Devin knows he’s no saint, but he’s used to conquest, and he’s determined to win Viola’s heart.

Viola has already said Yes to his proposal, but now he wants her unruly heart…and he won’t accept No for an answer.
One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Book 1: Wilde in Love | 3.5 -> 4 stars | Review here

Book 3: Born to be Wilde | 3 stars | Review here

Despite this book being #5 in the series, no prior knowledge is needed since each book is loosely connected by being about the Wilde family.

I didn’t realize it, but I’ve read every other book in this series. Maybe I’ll go back to the previous stories, but in general James’s books have been “good-not-great” for me. I picked up SAY YES TO THE DUKE because of stellar reviews, and I’m happy to say this was the strongest in the series! The main characters are absolutely adorable – separate and together – and their vulnerable moments are very real in this story. The banter is perfection (featuring snark without malice), and the supporting characters were all super fun and interesting additions. All in all, I would say romance readers looking for a warm-hearted read and are okay with a lack of plot will want to pick this one up.

Continue reading “Say Yes To The Duke by Eloisa James Review | I Say Yes To Pure Fluff, All Fluff”

The Legal Affair by Nisha Sharma Review | Corporate, Heat-Filled Romance at its Finest

38899779

The Legal Affair
Author: Nisha Sharma
Series: The Singh Family
Release Date: August 18, 2020
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & NobleBook Depository

Synopsis:

Rajneet Hothi built her empire with sweat, blood, and information. She knows everything there is to know about Ajay Singh, the future CEO of Bharat, Inc., as well as how crucial he is in securing her future. But she didn’t expect the passion that burst between them the first time they went head-to-head. She’d never felt anything like it before, especially during her marriage to her soon-to-be-ex-husband. When her company is blamed for her ex’s dirty dealings with Bharat, she’s forced to prove that Ajay is no match for her in the art of business or seduction.

Ajay shouldn’t trust Raj or her company. He’s on the verge of losing everything his family has worked to achieve, but he can’t stop thinking about the breathtaking way Raj opens her mind, body and heart to him. Throwing his infamous caution to the wind, he tempts the gorgeous CEO into his bedroom and boardroom. He soon realizes he wants Raj by his side and he’s willing to fight the people he’s always protected to be with her.

When Raj and Ajay discover the source behind Bharat’s leak, they must trust each other and work together to defy the odds and save the Singh legacy.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

There’s definitely something about powerful couples in boardrooms and offices, dominating corporations and work-life, that is smoking hot. And Sharma totally delivers in her Singh Family trilogy. THE LEGAL AFFAIR’s fast pace (regarding both romance and events) will keep readers’ attention as it follows the Singh family’s company, Bharat, Inc, as the middle brother Ajay steps up to take the mantle of CEO. Not all things are that simple, however, and Sharma promises a story full of corporate intrigue, betrayals, and revelations as the Singh family and their loved ones must team up to save their company and legacies. 

[Raj] ‘Never attend an event, business or pleasure, unless you’re aware of all the major players in the room. You’ll put yourself at a serious disadvantage.’
[Ajay] ‘And you’re one of the major players?’
[Raj] ‘I’m one of the more dangerous ones you have to worry about.’

Continue reading “The Legal Affair by Nisha Sharma Review | Corporate, Heat-Filled Romance at its Finest”

Star Daughter by Shveta Thakrar Review | A Light Fantasy That Is Out Of This World

52781202. sx318 sy475 Star Daughter
Author: Shveta Thakrar
Release Date: August 11, 2020
Publisher: Harper Teen
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & NobleBook Depository

Synopsis:

This gorgeously imagined YA debut blends shades of Neil Gaiman’s Stardust and a breathtaking landscape of Hindu mythology into a radiant contemporary fantasy.

The daughter of a star and a mortal, Sheetal is used to keeping secrets. Pretending to be “normal.” But when an accidental flare of her starfire puts her human father in the hospital, Sheetal needs a full star’s help to heal him. A star like her mother, who returned to the sky long ago.

Sheetal’s quest to save her father will take her to a celestial court of shining wonders and dark shadows, where she must take the stage as her family’s champion in a competition to decide the next ruling house of the heavens–and win, or risk never returning to Earth at all.

Brimming with celestial intrigue, this sparkling YA debut is perfect for fans of Roshani Chokshi and Laini Taylor.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Check out my review on GoodReads over here!

While not perfect, STAR DAUGHTER was enjoyable due to the fact that it was MAGICAL and BEAUTIFUL and, in general, a GRAND ADVENTURE that warmed my heart. Don’t look too deep though, because you’ll find some logistics called into question. Instead, enjoy this book for the star-filled, enchanting fantasy that it is.

STAR DAUGHTER pays tribute to the gorgeous world of Gaiman’s STARDUST, while weaving in the author’s own twists on Hindu astrology. It features a magical Night Market, glowing star families based on the nakshatras that make up our night sky, and a girl who’s stuck between two worlds. It’s prettily written and captures Sheetal’s balance between her mortal dad’s world and her star mother’s legacy of star royalty. Continue reading “Star Daughter by Shveta Thakrar Review | A Light Fantasy That Is Out Of This World”