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!

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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

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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

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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

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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”

Set Fire To The Gods by Sara Raasch and Kristen Simmons Review | Gladiators And Elemental Powers, Yet Still No Spark

41954467. sy475 Set Fire to the Gods
Author: Sara Raasch & Kristen Simmons
Series: Yes, first book
Release Date: August 4, 2020
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

Ash is descended from a long line of gladiators, and she knows the brutal nature of war firsthand. But after her mother dies in an arena, she vows to avenge her by overthrowing her fire god, whose temper has stripped her country of its resources.

Madoc grew up fighting on the streets to pay his family’s taxes. But he hides a dangerous secret: he doesn’t have the earth god’s powers like his opponents. His elemental gift is something else—something that hasn’t been seen in centuries.

When an attempted revenge plot goes dangerously wrong, Ash inadvertently throws the fire and earth gods into a conflict that can only be settled by deadly, lavish gladiator games. The fights put Madoc in Ash’s path, and she realizes that his powers are the weapon her rebellion needs—but Madoc won’t jeopardize his family, regardless of how intrigued he is by the beautiful warrior.

But when the gods force Madoc’s hand, he and Ash uncover an ancient war that will threaten more than one immortal—it will unravel the world.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Check out my review on GoodReads over here!

I’ve only read one of each author’s past work, and they were both very mediocre. However, the glorious cover for SET FIRE TO THE GODS and exciting blurb convinced me to pick up their joint creation. What came out from this experience was reading a powerful punch of combined mediocrity. The world-building was weak, the storyline was fine but failed to grip me, and I couldn’t care less about the characters. This is odd, because despite everything, the writing was fine. The narrative switches between Madoc and Ash’s POV’s as they enter a “war” as gladiators and fight against gods. The blurb promises non-stop action and maybe a hint of romance. Something about it, though, failed to differentiate this story from the amalgam of YA fantasies out there, and it just wasn’t gripping enough to really make me care. This review is my good-bye for picking up any of these author’s next works. Continue reading “Set Fire To The Gods by Sara Raasch and Kristen Simmons Review | Gladiators And Elemental Powers, Yet Still No Spark”

You Had Me At Hola by Alexis Daria Review | You Had Me At The Cover!

You Had Me At Hola
Author: Alexis Daria
Release Date: August 4, 2020
Publisher: Avon
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

Leading Ladies do not end up on tabloid covers. 

After a messy public breakup, soap opera darling Jasmine Lin Rodriguez finds her face splashed across the tabloids. When she returns to her hometown of New York City to film the starring role in a bilingual romantic comedy for the number one streaming service in the country, Jasmine figures her new “Leading Lady Plan” should be easy enough to follow—until a casting shake-up pairs her with telenovela hunk Ashton Suárez.

Leading Ladies don’t need a man to be happy.

After his last telenovela character was killed off, Ashton is worried his career is dead as well. Joining this new cast as a last-minute addition will give him the chance to show off his acting chops to American audiences and ping the radar of Hollywood casting agents. To make it work, he’ll need to generate smoking-hot on-screen chemistry with Jasmine. Easier said than done, especially when a disastrous first impression smothers the embers of whatever sexual heat they might have had.

Leading Ladies do not rebound with their new costars.

With their careers on the line, Jasmine and Ashton agree to rehearse in private. But rehearsal leads to kissing, and kissing leads to a behind-the-scenes romance worthy of a soap opera. While their on-screen performance improves, the media spotlight on Jasmine soon threatens to destroy her new image and expose Ashton’s most closely guarded secret.

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Check out my review on GoodReads over here!

SO. SWEET. You had me at the cover!

4 darling stars for this celeb romance full of heart and dramaaa:

  • I was captivated by the cover.
    Gorgeous. Those telenovela vibes. That color scheme. The art style. Absolute perfection.
  • A wonderful homage to Latinx culture through family, food, and media.
    The #ownvoices writing really shines as readers get to see Jasmine’s large and loving, diverse family, as well as their events and relationships with one another. I also appreciated the rep of different cousins in the family having different backgrounds in their knowledge of Spanish. For example, Jasmine has a perfect accent but isn’t fluent.

Continue reading “You Had Me At Hola by Alexis Daria Review | You Had Me At The Cover!”

Marriage by Arrangement by Sophia Singh Sasson Review | that feel when you start an affair and your partner says they have an arranged marriage

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Marriage by Arrangement
Author: Sophia Singh Sasson
Series: Nights at the Mahal #1
Release Date: August 1, 2020
Publisher: Harlequin Desire
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & NobleBook Depository

Synopsis:

When a business proposal turns very personal…

Rule #1: Don’t fall for the client.

Because he’ll rock your world…

Architect Rani Gupta will never let a man compromise her career or freedom again. Which is a problem now that her newest client is irresistible hotelier Arjun Singh—aka the sexiest bachelor in India. A little fling with this gorgeous man would be scandal enough. But a fake engagement might just be more trouble than they bargained for—especially if Arjun has a prior arrangement!

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

2.5 stars, rounded up because of the familial and cultural dynamics.

I requested this book because the cover was absolutely diVINE. The cover models are on-point and their poses and everything are just seductive and eye-catching. While the story was a quick read, the writing was a bit old-school? In that a lot of events and feelings happen quite quickly without a build-up, and the characters have pretty repetitive thinking/introspection. By old-school, I mean that it utilizes cliches that I haven’t seen in a while and actually inserts it into characters’ thinking. For example, Rani, the heroine, will think of Arjun as India’s “hottest hottie” (oh my goodness haha I can’t) and constantly wonder how someone common like her can attract someone as wealthy and attractive as him. My main problem is that she never really lets go of this thinking and realizes her worth… a lot of her happiness near the end of the book is tied around being in a relationship with Arjun and having him support her, instead of intrinsically uplifting her own self-image.

For years she’d been beaten down, first by Navin convincing her that she was screwed up inside, and then Delia making her doubt her abilities to lead this project. It was nice to hear someone build her up rather than cut her down.

Continue reading “Marriage by Arrangement by Sophia Singh Sasson Review | that feel when you start an affair and your partner says they have an arranged marriage”