Beach Read by Emily Henry Review | I Didn’t Know A Beach Read Could Be So ~Angsty~

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Beach Read
Author: Emily Henry
Release Date: May 19, 2020
Publisher: Berkley
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & NobleBook Depository

Synopsis:

A romance writer who no longer believes in love and a literary writer stuck in a rut engage in a summer-long challenge that may just upend everything they believe about happily ever afters.

Augustus Everett is an acclaimed author of literary fiction. January Andrews writes bestselling romance. When she pens a happily ever after, he kills off his entire cast.

They’re polar opposites.

In fact, the only thing they have in common is that for the next three months, they’re living in neighboring beach houses, broke, and bogged down with writer’s block.

Until, one hazy evening, one thing leads to another and they strike a deal designed to force them out of their creative ruts: Augustus will spend the summer writing something happy, and January will pen the next Great American Novel. She’ll take him on field trips worthy of any rom-com montage, and he’ll take her to interview surviving members of a backwoods death cult (obviously). Everyone will finish a book and no one will fall in love. Really.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

I’ve heard a lot of great things about this book, so I was excited to delve into it. However, I’m sad to say I didn’t enjoy it as much as other readers, and a lot of that hinged on the author’s lack of execution when it came to anything but the romance. I appreciate the direction she was going, but I don’t think it was well-written enough to make a lasting impression on me. This is a romance book between two writers who cover different topics: January writes romances with happily-ever-afters, and Gus captures tragic stories through his literary fiction. They find themselves neighbors, and hijinks ensue in the small beach town that they live in. There are adorable moments between the two, between moments of tension in regards to their relationship and past tragedies. Both moments worked, but I never found myself letting go of the ‘tense’ aspects, especially when it came to January.

I was happy to be here, doing nothing with Gus, and even if it was temporary, it was enough for me to believe that someday I’d be okay again. Maybe not the exact same brand of it I’d been before Dad died – probably not – but a new kind, nearly as solid and safe.

Continue reading “Beach Read by Emily Henry Review | I Didn’t Know A Beach Read Could Be So ~Angsty~”

Get A Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert Review | Let’s Go, Bucket-List Romance!

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Get a Life, Chloe Brown
Author: Talia Hibbert
Release Date: November 5, 2019
Publisher: Avon
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & NobleBook Depository

Synopsis:

Chloe Brown is a chronically ill computer geek with a goal, a plan, and a list. After almost—but not quite—dying, she’s come up with seven directives to help her “Get a Life”, and she’s already completed the first: finally moving out of her glamorous family’s mansion. The next items?

• Enjoy a drunken night out.

• Ride a motorcycle.

• Go camping.

• Have meaningless but thoroughly enjoyable sex.

• Travel the world with nothing but hand luggage.

• And… do something bad.

But it’s not easy being bad, even when you’ve written step-by-step guidelines on how to do it correctly. What Chloe needs is a teacher, and she knows just the man for the job.

Redford ‘Red’ Morgan is a handyman with tattoos, a motorcycle, and more sex appeal than ten-thousand Hollywood heartthrobs. He’s also an artist who paints at night and hides his work in the light of day, which Chloe knows because she spies on him occasionally. Just the teeniest, tiniest bit.

But when she enlists Red in her mission to rebel, she learns things about him that no spy session could teach her. Like why he clearly resents Chloe’s wealthy background. And why he never shows his art to anyone. And what really lies beneath his rough exterior…

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

What happens when you’re several feet away from being run over by a car, and you realize that your life flashing by your eyes was not very… exciting? For Chloe Brown, it was a wake-up call to “get a life” and really live without hesitation. And thus begins our bucket-list romance, with a super hot superintendent riding along to help Chloe reclaim her life. 

I thought Chloe’s voice was full of energy and life. She’s a coder that designs websites and the like, and ends up with a proposition for the hot building superintendent, Red: she’ll design his art website for free, if he helps her check off her “Get a Life” list. Red himself is super attracted to her and wants to spend more time with this mysterious rich girl who has such a lively personality, so of course he agrees! 

Continue reading “Get A Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert Review | Let’s Go, Bucket-List Romance!”

Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston | Fell Into the Hype and Found it aDORKable!

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Red, White, and Royal Blue
Author: Casey McQuiston
Release Date: May 14, 2019
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

What happens when America’s First Son falls in love with the Prince of Wales?

When his mother became President of the United States, Alex Claremont-Diaz was promptly cast as the American equivalent of a young royal. Handsome, charismatic, genius—his image is pure millennial-marketing gold for the White House. There’s only one problem: Alex has a beef with an actual prince, Henry, across the pond. And when the tabloids get hold of a photo involving an Alex/Henry altercation, U.S./British relations take a turn for the worse.

Heads of the family and state and other handlers devise a plan for damage control: Stage a truce between the two rivals. What at first begins as a fake, Instagrammable friendship grows deeper, and more dangerous, than either Alex or Henry could have imagined. Soon Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret romance with a surprisingly unstuffy Henry that could derail the presidential campaign and upend two nations. It raises the question: Can love save the world after all? Where do we find the courage, and the power, to be the people we are meant to ben? And how can we learn to let our true colors shine through? , how will history remember you?

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Check out my review on GoodReads over here!

Jumped into the bandwagon, and came out to say I have been converted. I’m a big fan. 4.5 stars rounded up!

(It helped that a good, longtime friend of mine has been pushing it since last year. The hype was worth it!) I’m also shocked at the depth of this book’s fandom. There are seriously creative and talented people on Tumblr making magic from the pages of this book.

This was a story about a boy, and a boy, and how they #makehistory.

McQuiston writes from Alex’s third person POV as a biracial First Son of the White House, where his mother serves as the President of the United States in this re-imagined contemporary setting. His voice is effortless and quick-witted, sarcastic and political. At the start of the book, he’s entering his final year of college and is looking forward to a career involving the government. While he’s balancing his life, he’s also attending political functions with his family and helping his mother’s campaign for re-election. One of these political functions is a royal wedding, where he meets his nemesis in popularity: Prince Henry, heir to the British throne. Alex has this obsessive rivalry with the prince and his stuck-up ways. But readers are all giggling because we’re like, “Sure you hate him, sureee.” Anyway, a toppled wedding cake and a promise to set the media straight by becoming Henry’s ‘best friend’ brings the boys together and unresolved feelings/tensions out in the open.

Continue reading “Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston | Fell Into the Hype and Found it aDORKable!”

Dragon Unleashed by Grace Draven Review | When The Dragonshifter Hunter Becomes The Hunted

43401514. sx318 Dragon Unleashed
Author: Grace Draven
Series: The Fallen Empire #2
Release Date: June 9, 2020
Publisher: Ace
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

A dragon shapeshifter and a healer with power over the earth fight a corrupt empire in this thrilling and deeply emotional romantic fantasy from the USA Today bestselling author of Radiance.

Magic is outlawed in the Krael Empire and punishable by death. Born with the gift of earth magic, the free trader Halani keeps her dangerous secret closely guarded. When her uncle buys a mysterious artifact, a piece of bone belonging to a long-dead draga, Halani knows it’s far more than what it seems.

Dragas haven’t been seen for more than a century, and most believe them extinct. They’re wrong. Dragas still walk among the denizens of the Empire, disguised as humans. Malachus is a draga living on borrowed time. The magic that has protected him will soon turn on him–unless he finds a key part of his heritage. He has tracked it to a group of free traders, among them a grave-robbing earth witch who fascinates him as much as she frustrates him with her many secrets.

Unbeknownst to both, the Empire’s twisted empress searches for a draga of her own, to capture and kill as a trophy. As Malachus the hunter becomes the hunted, Halani must risk herself and all she loves to save him from the Empire’s machinations and his own lethal birthright.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Check out my review on GoodReads over here!

3.5 STARS for a beautiful love story between a healer with Earth magic and a dragon that can bring lightning to his foes.

I was SO HYPED for this book, because I absolutely devoured the previous book of the series PHOENIX BOUND and adored it. While DRAGON UNLEASHED follows a different couple and storyline, it starts right off after the end of book 1. And let me say first: the energy is VERY different. PHOENIX BOUND is brutal and vicious, with a lot of action and violence. DRAGON UNLEASHED is about a healer, and thus has calmer moments, traveling, and dialogue, rather than straight-out battles. I would warn readers to be aware of that before starting DRAGON UNLEASHED, and with expectations that it’ll be like book 1. Different characters = different ways to outline the story. While I’m enjoying this world and lore, DRAGON UNLEASHED follows the same meandering pace that book 1 had, where the middle section dragged for quite some time without an actual progression in plot. I’m all about character interactions and development, but that seemed a bit stagnant as well. And while I love every page immersed in this world, I couldn’t help but feel my attention slip in the middle. Other than that, I enjoyed the rest of the book mightily and thought it was a solid sequel. Book 1 was definitely a bit more impactful for me, but DRAGON UNLEASHED was on the quieter and calmer side, and still as lovely and wonderful.

We begin with a hunt. Continue reading “Dragon Unleashed by Grace Draven Review | When The Dragonshifter Hunter Becomes The Hunted”

The Marriage Game by Sara Desai | Super Cute Indian Rom-Com That Will Melt Your Heart

51588815. sx318 sy475 The Marriage Game
Author: Sara Desai
Release Date: June 9, 2020
Publisher: Berkley
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

A high stakes wager pits an aspiring entrepreneur against a ruthless CEO in this sexy romantic comedy.

After her life falls apart, recruitment consultant Layla Patel returns home to her family in San Francisco. But in the eyes of her father, who runs a Michelin starred restaurant, she can do no wrong. He would do anything to see her smile again. With the best intentions in mind, he offers her the office upstairs to start her new business and creates a profile on an online dating site to find her a man. She doesn’t know he’s arranged a series of blind dates until the first one comes knocking on her door…

As CEO of a corporate downsizing company Sam Mehta is more used to conflict than calm. In search of a quiet new office, he finds the perfect space above a cozy Indian restaurant that smells like home. But when communication goes awry, he’s forced to share his space with the owner’s beautiful yet infuriating daughter Layla, her crazy family, and a parade of hopeful suitors, all of whom threaten to disrupt his carefully ordered life.

As they face off in close quarters, the sarcasm and sparks fly. But when the battle for the office becomes a battle of the heart, Sam and Layla have to decide if this is love or just a game.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Check out my review on GoodReads over here!

THE MARRIAGE GAME was sweet, sexy, and a wonderful, diverse contemporary read! I really recommend it for romance lovers because the romance is super sweet and I loved the resilient main characters, as well as their family dynamics. I also adored the Desi representation, and the super yummy food descriptions and fun Bollywood references. Overall, this was a great addition to the contemporary romance genre, with super smart and sexy characters that had amazing character development.

“Layla made him feel things he wasn’t ready to feel. She made him think about things he’d buried years ago. She was redemption made real. But was he worthy of being redeemed?”

The story starts with Layla breaking up with her media star boyfriend and getting fired from her job. She goes back to her family’s restaurant where they cook traditional Indian cuisine and starts to work her own recruitment agency upstairs. The problem is, she finds herself having to share an office with another businessman whose job is to FIRE people. Cue sparks, and the marriage game is on. While Layla’s father is recovering from a heart attack, he sets her up with 10 Desi men, which she goes on dates on… with Sam (the hero) as a chaperone, hehe. Sometimes the story seemed a tad silly and unrealistic, but overall it was all-around fun and chaotic good energy.

“‘Having you in the office, watching you run your business, is inspiring. And instead of wanting to chase you out …’ Her cheeks heated. “I want to let you in.’”

Both Sam and Layla are really sweet characters who are trying to do good in their lives. Layla is trying to start over after seeing her cheating boyfriend and getting fired from her job. This time, she’s ready to embrace her family, whether that’s helping them at their restaurant or going on blind dates per her father’s will, while setting her life to rights. Sam, on the other hand, doesn’t feel like he deserves the love of his family after failing to save his younger sister from an abusive arranged marriage. He’s on a quest for vengeance against his ex-brother in law, which becomes a large point of conflict. I think he should have opened his eyes earlier to his obsession with revenge, as it dragged more than it should have and really halted the relationship development. Nevertheless, readers experience a good grovel as Sam realizes that his life is more than revenge.

THE MARRIAGE GAME is sweet, fun, and has the exciting energy of a Bollywood bop! I really recommend this #ownvoices contemporary romance as it explores two lost souls and the culture and shenanigans that bring them together.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-4star

Thank you Berkley and Netgalley for the review copy!

The Trouble With Hating You by Sajni Patel Review | Too Much Hating, Not Enough Loving

49624654. sx318 sy475 The Trouble With Hating You
Author: Sajni Patel
Release Date: May 12, 2020
Publisher: Forever
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

A laugh-out-loud romantic comedy debut about first impressions, second chances, and finding the love of your life in the most unexpected way.

Liya Thakkar is a successful biochemical engineer, takeout enthusiast, and happily single woman. The moment she realizes her parents’ latest dinner party is a setup with the man they want her to marry, she’s out the back door in a flash. Imagine her surprise when the same guy shows up at her office a week later — the new lawyer hired to save her struggling company. What’s not surprising: he’s not too thrilled to see her either after that humiliating fiasco.

Jay Shah looks good on paper…and off. Especially if you like that whole gorgeous, charming lawyer-in-a-good-suit thing. He’s also arrogant and infuriating. As their witty office banter turns into late night chats, Liya starts to think he might be the one man who truly accepts her. But falling for each other means exposing their painful pasts. Will Liya keep running, or will she finally give love a real chance?

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Check out my review on GoodReads over here!

I’ve been enjoying a lot of romcoms lately, but none so far really stuck out to me despite their tantalizing blurbs. Unfortunately, THE TROUBLE WITH HATING YOU is another miss, as I found myself disliking the book more and more until the very anticlimactic ending that wrapped the story up with a tidy bow, through randomly slapped-on dialogue. This story follows Liya’s love story with Jay, a lawyer that she sees at both her work (where her company is about to close) and the Indian community that their families are in. There are descriptions of yummy dishes, gossiping aunties and uncles, as well as going against the status quo of a community like the one Liya and Jay are in.
Continue reading “The Trouble With Hating You by Sajni Patel Review | Too Much Hating, Not Enough Loving”

The Royal Runaway by Lindsay Emory Review | Patronizing Heroes Need to S t o p

38532225The Royal Runaway
Author: Lindsay Emory
Release Date: October 9, 2018
Publisher: Gallery Books
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

For fans of The Princess Diaries and The Royal We comes a fun and daring novel about a modern-day princess who teams up with a spy to find out what happened to the fiancé who left her at the altar—and who just might get her own fairytale in the process.Princess Theodora Isabella Victoria of Drieden of the Royal House Laurent is so over this princess thing.

After her fiancé jilted her on their wedding day, she’s finally back home after spending four months in exile—aka it’s back to press conferences, public appearances, and putting on a show for the Driedish nation as the perfect princess they expect her to be. But Thea’s sick of duty. After all, that’s what got her into this mess in the first place.

So when she sneaks out of the palace and meets a sexy Scot named Nick in a local bar, she relishes the chance to be a normal woman for a change. But just as she thinks she’s found her Prince Charming for the night, he reveals his intentions are less than honorable: he’s the brother of her former fiancé, a British spy, and he’s not above blackmail. As Thea reluctantly joins forces with Nick to find out what happened the day her fiancé disappeared, together they discover a secret that could destroy a centuries-old monarchy and change life as they know it.

Funny, fast-paced, and full of more twists and turns than the castle Thea lives in, The Royal Runaway is a fresh romantic comedy that will leave you cheering for the modern-day royal who chucks the rulebook aside to create her own happily-ever-after.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

To give you a clue on how I felt about this book, The Royal Runaway ruined my post-Royal Wedding haze. Yes, the Royal Wedding that happened less than a week ago (per writing this review) for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle that I couldn’t escape from social media, and subsequently ended up enjoying. I really wanted to like this book – I really did. There’s a super cute cover, a tight and engaging premise, and in general just sounded like a fun ride. Instead, I get lackluster chemistry, lackluster character development, and a cardboard love interest. Around the 50% mark, I was looking at the time to see how fast I could finish it. The answer? Not fast enough.

Continue reading “The Royal Runaway by Lindsay Emory Review | Patronizing Heroes Need to S t o p”

The Governess Game by Tessa Dare (Girl Meets Duke #2) Review | Another Historical Romance Hit!

36111620The Governess Game
Author: Tessa Dare
Series: Girl Meets Duke #2
Release Date: August 28, 2018
Publisher: Avon
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

He’s been a bad, bad rake—and it takes a governess to teach him a lesson

The accidental governess.

After her livelihood slips through her fingers, Alexandra Mountbatten takes on an impossible post: transforming a pair of wild orphans into proper young ladies. However, the girls don’t need discipline. They need a loving home. Try telling that to their guardian, Chase Reynaud: duke’s heir in the streets and devil in the sheets. The ladies of London have tried—and failed—to make him settle down. Somehow, Alexandra must reach his heart… without risking her own.

The infamous rake.

Like any self-respecting libertine, Chase lives by one rule: no attachments. When a stubborn little governess tries to reform him, he decides to give her an education—in pleasure. That should prove he can’t be tamed. But Alexandra is more than he bargained for: clever, perceptive, passionate. She refuses to see him as a lost cause. Soon the walls around Chase’s heart are crumbling… and he’s in danger of falling, hard.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

While this is the second book in the series, you don’t need to read the stories in order! Check out my review for the first book, The Duchess Deal, over here!

I! Scream! Because I love this book! So much!

Seriously, I was screaming and gasping while reading The Governess Game. Also lots of rubbing my chest where my heart is too, and some tearing was involved.

Tessa Dare never fails to write an exemplary historical romance.

The Governess Game was just another amazing addition to her repertoire. I especially adored Alexandra, the governess heroine who loves astronomy and space and fantasizes about a certain Bookstore Rake with smoldering green eyes. She’s honestly perfect and if Chase wasn’t such a caring hero, I would take her for myself.

Continue reading “The Governess Game by Tessa Dare (Girl Meets Duke #2) Review | Another Historical Romance Hit!”

Wicked and the Wallflower by Sarah MacLean Review |I love anti-heroes in Romances!

35695972Wicked and the Wallflower
Author: Sarah MacLean
Series: The Bareknuckle Bastards #1
Release Date: June 19, 2018
Publisher: Avon
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

When Wicked Comes Calling…

When a mysterious stranger finds his way into her bedchamber and offers his help in landing a duke, Lady Felicity Faircloth agrees—on one condition. She’s seen enough of the world to believe in passion, and won’t accept a marriage without it.

The Wallflower Makes a Dangerous Bargain…

Bastard son of a duke and king of London’s dark streets, Devil has spent a lifetime wielding power and seizing opportunity, and the spinster wallflower is everything he needs to exact a revenge years in the making. All he must do is turn the plain little mouse into an irresistible temptress, set his trap, and destroy his enemy.

For the Promise of Passion…

But there’s nothing plain about Felicity Faircloth, who quickly decides she’d rather have Devil than another. Soon, Devil’s carefully laid plans are in chaos, and he must choose between everything he’s ever wanted…and the only thing he’s ever desired.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

And Sarah MacLean does it again! Wicked and the Wallflower was wholly intoxicating, as Felicity and Devil’s story grabbed me from the first chapter. I LOVE seeing a strong, seemingly-evil (he’s not, I promise) man get on his knees for the woman he loves. And got dang, Felicity is definitely a heroine I could relate to. This is certainly an amazing start to the Bareknuckle Bastards series, and I cannot wait to see where MacLean goes next with these characters!

Wicked and the Wallflower follows Devil, a Bareknuckle Bastard looking for revenge, and Lady Felicity, a spinster on the shelf that only wants to retrieve her previous position as the belle of the ball. A good way to get to this goal? Getting engaged to the new duke in town. Felicity makes a deal with – dare I say it – Devil (not THE devil) as he plans to ruin both her and the duke for his revenge scheme. Like all revenge schemes, however, this one goes wrong as Felicity discovers that the favor of society is not what she wants to fight for, and Devil sees that there are more important things than revenge.

“She wished to be wanted. Beyond reason. She wished to be ached for.”

Continue reading “Wicked and the Wallflower by Sarah MacLean Review |I love anti-heroes in Romances!”