Written in the Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur | Sapphic Pride & Prejudice Retelling That is All the Cuteness & Swoon

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Written in the Stars
Author: Alexandria Bellefleur
Release Date: November 10, 2020
Publisher: Avon
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:
With nods to Bridget Jones and Pride and Prejudice, a charming #ownvoices queer rom-com debut about a free-spirited social media astrologer who agrees to fake a relationship with an uptight actuary until New Year’s Eve—with results not even the stars could predict!

After a disastrous blind date, Darcy Lowell is desperate to stop her well-meaning brother from playing matchmaker ever again. Love—and the inevitable heartbreak—is the last thing she wants. So she fibs and says her latest set up was a success. Darcy doesn’t expect her lie to bite her in the ass.

Elle Jones, one of the astrologers behind the popular Twitter account, Oh My Stars, dreams of finding her soul mate. But she knows it is most assuredly not Darcy… a no-nonsense stick-in-the-mud, who is way too analytical, punctual, and skeptical for someone as free-spirited as Elle. When Darcy’s brother—and Elle’s new business partner—expresses how happy he is that they hit it off, Elle is baffled. Was Darcy on the same date? Because… awkward.

When Darcy begs Elle to play along, she agrees to pretend they’re dating to save face. But with a few conditions: Darcy must help Elle navigate her own overbearing family over the holidays and their arrangement expires on New Year’s Eve. The last thing they expect is to develop real feelings during a fake relationship.

But maybe opposites can attract when true love is written in the stars?
One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Told from the perspectives of Elle and Darcy, WRITTEN IN THE STARS is all heart and swoon. It’s also the first contemporary adult f/f romance I’ve ever read (usually the ones I read are in the Young Adult or Fantasy genre), and I am HERE for it. Who else can see Elle and Darcy in a romantic comedy? WRITTEN IN THE STARS takes us back to the beloved tale of Pride & Prejudice with some extra additions: our outwardly cold Darcy is an actuary who gives off hot librarian energy and our quick-to-speak Elle is an energetic astrologer who’s looking for her soulmate. They both end up disliking their blind date (with each other), but continue with a fake relationship to appease friends and family. What can I say? Sparks fly from the very beginning, and the chemistry is THERE. Now, the characters just need to get their feelings to that spot as well. 

Not that Elle cared about Darcy’s eyes or that the color she wore complemented them. It was a passing observation, that was all. The sky was blue. The grass was green. Darcy was beautiful. Universally acknowledged truths.

Continue reading “Written in the Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur | Sapphic Pride & Prejudice Retelling That is All the Cuteness & Swoon”

Rent A Boyfriend by Gloria Chao Review | Fake Dating Between Young Adults? Yes, Here for it!!

Rent A Boyfriend
Author: Gloria Chao
Release Date: November 10, 2020
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before meets The Farewell in this incisive romantic comedy about a college student who hires a fake boyfriend to appease her traditional Taiwanese parents, to disastrous results, from the acclaimed author of American Panda.

Chloe Wang is nervous to introduce her parents to her boyfriend, because the truth is, she hasn’t met him yet either. She hired him from Rent for Your ’Rents, a company specializing in providing fake boyfriends trained to impress even the most traditional Asian parents.

Drew Chan’s passion is art, but after his parents cut him off for dropping out of college to pursue his dreams, he became a Rent for Your ’Rents employee to keep a roof over his head. Luckily, learning protocols like “Type C parents prefer quiet, kind, zero-PDA gestures” comes naturally to him.

When Chloe rents Drew, the mission is simple: convince her parents fake Drew is worthy of their approval so they’ll stop pressuring her to accept a proposal from Hongbo, the wealthiest (and slimiest) young bachelor in their tight-knit Asian American community.

But when Chloe starts to fall for the real Drew—who, unlike his fake persona, is definitely not ’rent-worthy—her carefully curated life begins to unravel. Can she figure out what she wants before she loses everything?

One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

Check out my review on GoodReads over here!

This cover. That blurb. The Author’s Note. Everything about this book captivated me, so it was no wonder I jumped on the chance to read it! We have Chao’s trademark easygoing humor from the first person perspectives of Chloe and Drew, two Taiwanese-American young adults that find love through a convoluted situation. With a flair of dramatism reminiscent of Taiwanese dramas and the genuine, sweet romance of youth, RENT A BOYFRIEND turned out to be a delight. 

We start the book with Drew first meeting Chloe at her parents’ place for Thanksgiving, where she rented him to act as her fake date! The ultimate goal was to make her parents cut off a betrothal to another Taiwanese boy in her community, who was pretty chauvinistic and unlikable. You can’t help but see sparks fly, and them wanting to text each other even after the ‘assignment’ was over. Drew and Chloe fall very easily into a smooth dialogue with shared interests and struggles.  Continue reading “Rent A Boyfriend by Gloria Chao Review | Fake Dating Between Young Adults? Yes, Here for it!!”

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

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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!”

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”

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”

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~”

The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa Review | Okay, This Is How Your Write A ‘Hate To Love’ Romance

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The Worst Best Man
Author: Mia Sosa
Release Date: February 4, 2020
Publisher: Avon
Get it Here: Amazon | Barnes & NobleBook Depository

Synopsis:

Critically acclaimed author Mia Sosa delivers a sassy, steamy enemies-to-lovers romantic comedy about a woman whose new job requires her to work side-by-side with the best man who ruined her wedding: her ex-fiancé’s infuriating, irritating, annoyingly handsome brother. Perfect for fans of Jasmine Guillory, Helen Hoang, and Sally Thorne!

A wedding planner left at the altar. Yeah, the irony isn’t lost on Carolina Santos, either. But despite that embarrassing blip from her past, Lina’s managed to make other people’s dreams come true as a top-tier wedding coordinator in DC. After impressing an influential guest, she’s offered an opportunity that could change her life. There’s just one hitch… she has to collaborate with the best (make that worst) man from her own failed nuptials.

Tired of living in his older brother’s shadow, marketing expert Max Hartley is determined to make his mark with a coveted hotel client looking to expand its brand. Then he learns he’ll be working with his brother’s whip-smart, stunning—absolutely off-limits—ex-fiancée. And she loathes him.

If they can survive the next few weeks and nail their presentation without killing each other, they’ll both come out ahead. Except Max has been public enemy number one ever since he encouraged his brother to jilt the bride, and Lina’s ready to dish out a little payback of her own.

But even the best laid plans can go awry, and soon Lina and Max discover animosity may not be the only emotion creating sparks between them. Still, this star-crossed couple can never be more than temporary playmates because Lina isn’t interested in falling in love and Max refuses to play runner-up to his brother ever again…
One-Way-Or-An-Author-Review

I was a bit skeptical coming into this book because romances with siblings as exes are a bit iffy for me. (Also a bit icky… I just can’t imagine, haha.) BUT Sosa writes the situation in THE WORST BEST MAN so well, drawing out the sibling rivalry and making this plot point work. There’s honestly so much great stuff going for it; it pushed all the right buttons for me as a romantic comedy and I can’t help but recommend it for romance lovers. I came because the cover was too hilarious to pass, and I stayed for the smart comments, passionate romance, and headstrong heroine that I couldn’t help but root for. I’m so happy I took the chance with this one, and I’m looking forward to reading more of this author’s works.

The moment you let your guard down with someone and let them into your life – truly into your life – you are at your most vulnerable, but you’re also utterly open to a beautiful experience if they reciprocate.

Continue reading “The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa Review | Okay, This Is How Your Write A ‘Hate To Love’ Romance”

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!”