Friday, January 29, 2021

Cover Reveal: Before Time Runs Out by Amy Matayo


Coming March 9, 2021


Graduate student Bree Sanders is failing the one class she needs to get her degree. So when her professor gives her an ultimatum—ace her dissertation or risk having to repeat her final semester—she knows she has to pull out all the stops. After scrambling for an idea, she decides to create her own Ghost Club, a club that blames ghosts for unsolved crimes, the same type of club originally founded two centuries ago by Charles Dickens. 


What she doesn’t expect is to find an original copy of one of Dickens’ early works, or to be transplanted into Dickens’ actual ghost club meeting, circa 1870, the instant she picks it up.


When Bree shows up in nineteenth-century England wearing cut-offs and an old t-shirt, her only option is to hide. The Cambridge of 1870 won’t look kindly on a woman dressed like her. So, when Theodore Keyes finds her tucked behind a bookcase at the Trinity College library and immediately demands to know where she came from, she knows he doesn’t belong here either. Turns out she’s right; the same book caused him to time-travel from 1947 almost three months ago and he’s been stuck in England since.


Together, the two vow to work side-by-side in their search for the lost book that will take them home. But as their feelings for one another deepen, Theo and Bree are caught between a desire to return to the lives they each left behind, and the knowledge that if they find the book, they won’t be able to leave together. 


In the end, they each must decide which sacrifice is worth making—the one that will cost them their hearts, or the one that could cost them their very existence.  

All's Fair in Love and Blood by Jennifer Peel {Review}

All's Fair in Love and Blood by Jennifer Peel

Kindle Edition, 347 pages
Published January 26th 2021 
Source: I received a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given


They are both out for blood, but could it end in love?

Scarlett Armstrong and Kane Hudson have a tangled past involving not only their families but their own failed love affair. Now, eight years later, to make things more complicated, they’re both in the running to become the next CEO of Scarlett’s family’s business, Armstrong Labs, a privately held blood plasma company. It all comes down to who presents the best business plan to the board of directors.

For Scarlett, it’s a matter of continuing her family’s legacy and hoping that her father will be proud of her once and for all. After all, she’s spent her entire life pushing her own dreams aside preparing for this role. And perhaps she would like a little sweet revenge against the man who stole her heart and never gave it back. Kane, on the other hand, is determined to reach his goal of becoming the CEO of a Fortune 500 company before his forty-fifth birthday and proving to Scarlett she’s meant to follow her own dreams.

But things don’t go according to plan for either Scarlett or Kane when they realize that perhaps they’re fighting for the wrong thing. With love and blood on the line, which one will come out on top?


My Review: 5 Stars

Wowza! Peel has a talent of bringing her characters to life, but this one takes the cake. Reading All's Fair in Love and Blood was like devouring an entire delicious and rich German chocolate cake (with all that glorious frosting) in one sitting. I was blown away by this love story and had all the heart eyes for Kane. And I mean ALL the heart eyes. That man was pure sugary sweet perfection.

This book is divided into two parts and each was completely necessary to paint the full, beautiful picture of Kane's and Scarlett's tale. I loved how each chapter was named, as they gave the reader a hint of what was to come, and because of those hints, I could NOT put it down. Life is all about timing, experiences, and things coming together when they're meant to, and not only does Peel write an amazing story that showcases those spots in life, but she delivers it with humor and lots of breathtaking swoon.

The romantic, work, and familial relationships are complex, which drew me right in. Kane is the most supportive and charming character and Scarlett is the most persistent, driven, and giving woman. Their scorching chemistry was an addictive love potion that kept me anticipating more. Give me an impressive plot with fantastic characters and some mad swoon and I'm all in! Peel is in trouble because this one is going to be hard to beat. 

Content: mild+ romance; mild+ language

Monday, January 25, 2021

One Kick Wonder (Romeo Family Romance Book 10) by Jennifer Youngblood {Review}

One Kick Wonder (Romeo Family Romance Book 10) by Jennifer Youngblood

Kindle Edition, 180 pages
Published January 20th 2021
Source: I received a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given

Dream big. Live large. Love like there’s no tomorrow.

Life rarely goes according to plan. Sometimes the unexpected is even better than we could have ever imagined …

For as long as he can remember, Mason has wanted to pursue his dream of being a musician. He’s been chomping at the bit to jump into the industry for years, but his daddy has been holding him back, claiming that Mason still has some growing up to do. As far as Mason is concerned, he’s plenty grown, and just as talented and driven as his older brother Cash.

Mason knows that he has what it takes to soar. He only needs his shot.

Just when his life takes the turn he always wanted, love and life open up a new path of possibilities that could be even better than he imagined. If only Mason can summon the courage to embrace the unexpected.

My Review: 4 Stars
The one thing that I love about this series is how the characters are connected through the Romeo family name, yet each story is so unique and different. None of that "same plot, same place, just plug a different name in" to it. And most of this delicious story took place in Hawaii, which was the perfect place to imagine.

Mason is the kicker for a pro football team, but also has a few musical bones in his body, thanks to his family genes. This man goes after what he wants and I loved his tenacity--especially when it came to Selma, but he was a little overbearing at times, putting the pressure on her. As for Selma, her dual personas are charming and hesitant, but very loyal and...trapped. Their instantaneous connection was combustible and doomed, but I adored their time together and the risks they took. I loved exploring Oahu with them and adored her bodyguard, Moose. The movie references and one-liners were a lot of fun too.

True to Youngblood fashion, the story isn't complete without some engaging tension and peril, and it came at the ideal time and in the best way. The pacing and action was believable. Youngblood knows how to deliver a book that encompasses the whole package--romance, action, and swoon.

Content: mild violence; mild romance; mild religion

Birthday Celebration


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Thursday, January 21, 2021

The Promposal (The Ugly Stepsister #2) by Sariah Wilson {Review}

The Promposal (The Ugly Stepsister #2) by Sariah Wilson

Kindle Edition, 164 pages
Published May 15th 2018 by Kindle press 
Source: I received a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given.
Now that life has finally given her everything she’s ever wanted, Mattie Lowe has one thing on her mind: Prom. Determined to throw the most epic prom ever, Mattie sets out to plan a memorable and magical event—one that would make the late John Hughes proud.

But when her gorgeous and perfect boyfriend, Jake Kingston hasn’t popped the most creative promposal of all time, Mattie starts to worry. Actually, Jake hasn’t asked her at all—he’s been distant and quiet. And Mattie isn’t about to go to her senior prom solo. Suddenly, it seems that everything is stacked against her and falling apart quickly. With rivals vowing to sabotage her event and her boyfriend’s odd behavior, Mattie’s convinced the night is headed toward ruin. Will the snarky, purple-haired manga artist lead her class to an unforgettable night of fun and frolic or will she go down in high school history as the worst president to run the school?

My Review: 4 Stars
Oh, how I remember the high school days of prom. Most of the students at my school did the elaborate ways of asking and answering, but Malibu Prep took it to a whole new level. I loved the way this story transported me back to my that time of my life and Wilson did a great job of portraying the angst and character growth during the senior year of Mattie and her boyfriend, Jake. 
Mattie is snarky and quirky, but her heart of gold emerges as she goes through the stress and conflicts of high school. Jake is a keeper, but it drove me crazy with how distracted and clueless he was at times.'s typical for high school. 
I love it when a cover matches the book completely and this one is perfection. In a light-hearted and fun way, with plenty of nods to the 80s, Wilson carries out a delightfully sweet story. This is a great series and now I'm hoping for Ella, Mattie's stepsister) to find her happily ever after.
Content: mild romance  

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

The Promised Prince by Kortney Keisel {Review}

The Promised Prince by Kortney Keisel

Kindle Edition, 410 pages
Published January 12th 2021 by Amazon Digital Services 
Source: Kindle Unlimited
He's promised to another. She's promised to forget him.
Eighteen-year-old Renna Degray is hopeful about love and her future after a chance encounter with a handsome stranger. Until she discovers who the mysterious man is—the Prince of Albion, betrothed to Renna’s stepsister. Now Renna must try to keep her feelings for the prince in check. But he's not making it easy. The prince is charming, funny, and impossible not to fall for.

Trev has no room for mistakes. He must marry the princess of New Hope and secure the marriage alliance along with his future as king. The safety of his kingdom depends on it. Duty and honor never bothered Trev before, but love has a way of changing everything.

In this post-Desolation world, the Council of Essentials controls everything, including the prince. Is love more than a negotiation?

Is love essential?

My Review: 5 Stars
Labeled as a YA Dystopian, there were glimpses of a dystopian life--it's set in a future time, there are some throwbacks to the society in the manner of clothing and ways of life, and an obvious desolation has occurred, but if you're looking for something like The Hunger Games, you won't find it here. That said, I absolutely loved it! I'm a huge fan of royalty and loved the role the crown played in this intriguing, adventurous, romantic, humorous tale.

Trev and Renna had the cutest meet-cute and the wit and banter only escalated from there. Trev is one of the most dashing, charming, and likable protagonists ever, especially as he strives to fulfill duty and making sacrifices to do what's best for his country. Renna is not only sweet and amiable, but she's somewhat of an enigma for her times, daring to test boundaries and rules. I. Loved. Them!
I loved the conspiracy element and the danger helped propel the plot at a thrilling pace, but be still my racing heart! It was the romance that clutched me and caught my full attention. I devoured these pages and couldn't believe this was a debut novel. The supporting cast of characters were superb as well, which always makes for a great story. Please tell me there's more to this world because I just couldn't get enough of this world and the characters inhabiting it!

Content: mild+ violence; mild+ romance

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Second Chance Kisses by Cindy Roland Anderson {Review}

Second Chance Kisses by Cindy Roland Anderson

Kindle Edition
Published December 21st 2020 
Source: I received a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given.
She wants nothing to do with him.
He wants a second chance.

When the jerk playing Sir Lancelot in a TV series is fired, Madison Taylor is relieved the show isn’t canceled. But when she discovers his replacement is British heart-throb Caleb Matthews, she’s tempted to quit her job. Not only is Caleb on the list of Britain’s hottest male actors…he’s also Madison’s former fiancé. She regrets ever falling in love and is determined not to let it happen again. But her foolish heart isn’t listening…putting her in danger of falling for him all over again.

Note: This book originally appears as Forgotten Kisses, a short story in the Under the Mistletoe Collection. Second Chance Kisses has been extensively re-written with added content that tells the rest of Madison and Caleb’s story! You’ll love the witty dialogue and added scenes, including a bonus epilogue!
My Review: 5 Stars
I'm a sucker for a sweet celebrity romance and this book delivers a good one. Madison and Caleb had a chance years ago at the start of his fame, but doubts and insecurities got in the way. Back again and determined to win her over, Caleb's charm and wit won me over and I was cheering him on in his efforts. 
But honestly, for me personally, I would completely identify with Madison's concerns and feelings, as they would mirror each other. It would be hard to be in a relationship with a Hollywood heartthrob and be secure enough in our relationship to never question fans, co-stars, or media's attempts at creating a romance. 

Anderson has a way of writing that evokes real emotion and never fails to make me smile. I loved the added content and thought a better developed story resulted, leaving me utterly satisfied.

Content: mild romance (kissing, slight innuendo)

Monday, January 18, 2021

The Secret of Dartwood Manor by N.A. Triptow {Spotlight}

The Secret of Dartwood Manor by N.A. Triptow

388 pages
Published January 2021 by Wishing Well Publishing 

New Release!

The small New England town of Tarryville, Maine is steeped in history, having been settled by the Dartwood and Farris families who fled Salem during the witch trials. The Dartwood sisters, Eden, Mariah, and Melissa, unexpectedly return home after their parents are found murdered. Upon their arrival, the girls are plagued by dreams in which dark spectral beings haunt them. When the hellish creatures seem to be more than just nightmares, another mystery begins to unravel as they discover that the circumstances around the murder of their parents may be far more menacing than they appear. Frantic for answers, they must untangle the mystery of their parents’ murders and reconstruct the pieces of an ancient secret. With the help of the young assistant curator of their family museum, Baden Correia, and an estranged friend from their past, Evan Farris, the orphaned Dartwood sisters must uncover the truth before the darkness haunting their family descends upon them as well.

Find your copy here!


Friday, January 15, 2021

Round Up (Lost Creek Rodeo Book 1) by Rebecca Connolly, Sophia Summers, and Heather B. Moore {Review}

Round Up (Lost Creek Rodeo Book 1) by Rebecca Connolly, Sophia Summers, and Heather B. Moore

Kindle Edition, 300 pages
Published January 12th 2021 by Mirror Press 
Source: I received a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given.
Broken Heart? Check. Ranch retreat? Check. Handsome cowboy? ...Check.

The rules at Broken Hearts Ranch are pretty simple: no romance between staff and visitors. Ryan Prosper, rodeo has-been and ranch manager, hasn’t had a problem with that. His sister runs the therapy side of the place while he handles the ranch itself, and the balance has worked well. But when Talia James shows up for her turn at the retreat, things get a little more challenging.

Talia needs this therapeutic retreat badly, and hopes that it will be just what she needs to get unstuck after her tragic loss. The charming cowboy brother of her new therapist is a ray of sunshine she hadn’t anticipated, and spending time with him seems to do as much good as her sessions. But is her still broken heart ready for romance, and does she really have the heart to resist him?

My Review: 5 Stars
I may have squealed out loud when I realized that this new sports series has some connections to both the Belltown Six Pack AND the Northbrook Hockey Elite series! And add to that, there's also a connection to the Prosperity Ranch series--I think I've died and gone to heaven. I'm so excited for the rodeo setting and the dashing cowboys that come with it, and this one was the perfect introduction to the series and its characters.
Some people deal with so much hurt and pain and I was overjoyed that Talia was able to find peace and healing at the Broken Heart Ranch. Talia is a resilient character. Although she has obvious grief, her positive attitude and determination to heal were very endearing. Ryan Prosper was written in a way that "speaks of a country song" and caused me to visualize the perfectly imperfect cowboy--all sinewy muscles and gentlemanly manners, with a hint of roughness.
These characters and the plot they found themselves in was well-written. I really enjoyed the way this story came together, and although the romance was a little on the fast side, it felt authentic and was delightfully swoony. Bring on the rest of the crew--I'm ready!  

Content: mild+ romance (non-descriptive talk of teen pregnancy, kissing); mild+ language (6-8 Bible swears); very mild violence (talk of rodeo injuries)

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Decoy Valentine by Shannon Kent {Review}

Decoy Valentine by Shannon Kent

Kindle Edition
Published January 10th 2021 
Source: I received a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given.

A broken engagement drives Susanna Kelly back to her hometown of Sweetheart, Texas and the arms of its quirky, lovable citizens. But her peaceful return to her roots is shattered when heart-shaped notes with sinister messages start appearing. The support of Daniel Sheppard, Asian American bestselling author and her childhood friend, gives her a much needed ally amidst the turmoil. He offers to play the role of her boyfriend to discourage the stalker, but Susanna resists. Pretending to be a couple? And with Daniel of all people? Who would buy it?

The note writer's mind games force her to reconsider. Susanna accepts Daniel's crazy plan, but her heart acts up whenever she's near her decoy valentine. Comfortable, uncomplicated Daniel has turned into a full-grown man who makes her senses spin. As she tries to sort out her feelings, the make-believe romance has the opposite effect intended. Harmless notes turn into life-threatening accidents, and Daniel and Susanna must find out who's behind the chaos before they can decide if their temporary relationship is a heaven-sent gift meant to last forever.

My Review: 4 Stars
Decoy Valentine is a story full of adventure, danger, and love. Kent does a great job of capturing a reader's attention with menacing threats and moments of peril, mingling with a tender romance.
Susanna is back in her small hometown of Sweetheart, ready to help withe the town's Valentine celebration. She's an overly nice and giving character, which leads to her being taken advantage of by some of these quirky residents. Her childhood best friend, Daniel, shows up again as well, which leads to a fake relationship, escalated threats, and a hint of romance. Daniel is a solid, likable character, with a sweet, protective streak.
I really enjoyed the way Kent kept me guessing. The mystery/suspense elements were well done and not very easy to untangle--just the way I like it. The pacing was perfect--not too overwhelming, but moved at a believable stride. I would have loved an epilogue to tie everything together, especially with the celebration, but it was still very entertaining.

Although I'm all about the love, this story was a great deviant from the typical Valentine's story and I loved the blend of a perilous romance.

Content: mild romance; mild violent/perilous situations; mild+ religion

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Georgana's Secret by Arlem Hawks {Review}

Georgana's Secret by Arlem Hawks

Kindle Edition
Published January 12th 2021 
Source: I received a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given



1811, HMS Deborah

A Regency romance on the high seas.

As a young girl, Georgana Woodall dreamed of beautiful dresses, fancy balls, and falling in love. However, when her mother dies, she cannot face a future under the guardianship of her abusive grandmother and instead chooses to join her father on his ship disguised as his cabin boy, “George.”

Lieutenant Dominic Peyton has no time in his life for love, not with his dedication to His Majesty’s Royal Navy claiming his full attention. Determined to prove himself to his new captain, he strives to be an exemplary officer and leader. When he sees the captain’s cabin boy being harassed by the crew, he immediately puts a stop to it and takes the “boy” under his wing. After discovering a number of clues, Dominic deduces that George is really a woman. Knowing that revealing the cabin boy’s secret would put her in serious danger from the rowdy crew, Dominic keeps silent and hides his growing affection for her.

Georgana is quickly losing her heart to Dominic’s compassion and care but is convinced nothing can come of her affection. She cannot continue to live her life on the sea, and having already missed too many seasons in London, her chances of being welcomed back into polite society and finding a suitable husband have slipped away.

Georgana’s Secret is about two hearts yearning to find a safe harbor, and possibly, a lasting love.


My Review: 5 Stars

Life isn't all ballgowns and happiness in this book, but that's not a bad thing at all. A Regency romance on the high seas during war was a very interesting way to find adventure and love. More than once, I found myself feeling very anxious over the events and I was completely invested in this tale.

Georgana is disguised as a boy on a ship that her father captain's for a few different reasons and when the new lieutenant, Dominic, takes her under his wing to help her learn the ways of Navy life, she's smitten. Between Georgana's stubborn strength and Dominic's caring determination, I was held hostage to this story. 

Life on a Navy ship isn't easy at all and I felt that I was given a fairly accurate glimpse into that life. I loved the adventure, danger, and camaraderie, especially the relationship between Georgana and Dominic, but the power struggles and death were hard. I appreciated the balance of information and emotion, and felt that a very well-rounded story was delivered. 

I loved the uniqueness of this book and Hawks has an excellent way of telling a believable and engaging story.   

Content: mild romance; mild+ moments of danger, violence, death 

Monday, January 11, 2021

Love & Olives by Jenna Evans Welch {Review}

Love & Olives by Jenna Evans Welch

Audiobook, 15 pages (Hardback, 512 pages)
Published November 10th 2020 by Simon & Schuster Audio


Liv Varanakis doesn’t have a lot of fond memories of her father, which makes sense—he fled to Greece when she was only eight. What Liv does remember, though, is their shared love for Greek myths and the lost city of Atlantis. So when Liv suddenly receives a postcard from her father explaining that National Geographic is funding a documentary about his theories on Atlantis—and will she fly out to Greece and help?—Liv jumps at the opportunity.

But when she arrives to gorgeous Santorini, things are a little…awkward. There are so many questions, so many emotions that flood to the surface after seeing her father for the first time in years. And yet Liv doesn’t want their past to get in the way of a possible reconciliation. She also definitely doesn’t want Theo—her father’s charismatic so-called “protégé”—to witness her struggle.

And that means diving into all that Santorini has to offer—the beautiful sunsets, the turquoise water, the hidden caves, and the delicious cuisine. But not everything on the Greek island is as perfect as it seems. Because as Liv slowly begins to discover, her father may not have invited her to Greece for Atlantis, but for something much more important. 


My Review: 4 Stars

A cute boy. A gorgeous location. Reuniting with your long lost dad. What could be better? Liv hasn't seen her dad for years, but is now in Greece, helping him and his cute assistant, Theo, with a documentary on the lost city of Atlantis. It might seem like fun and games, but there are a lot of bumps on this road to coming-of-age.

Welch does a great job of transporting the reader to a beautiful setting on a multi-level engaging adventure. This story isn't fast-paced, but made me feel like I was there, working on this age-old mystery and coming to know Santorini and its residents, as well as unraveling the reasons why Liv's father has been missing from her life for so many years. 

There are some twists and turns embedded in the angst, and the characters are real and flawed, with vivid emotions. Although I liked Theo, it took me a minute to warm up to him, as well as to Liv's father. 

All in all, this Mama Mia inspired tale was an enjoyable diversion.

Content: mild romance

Saturday, January 9, 2021

The Accidental Text by Becky Monson {Review}

The Accidental Text by Becky Monson

Kindle Edition, 273 pages

Published January 5th 2021

Source: I received a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given.


Wrong number. Right guy?

Once upon a time, Maggie Cooper lived for adventure. Jumping out of planes was child’s play. Now she can’t even work up the nerve to ask out her coworker. For a bit of self-therapy, she begins to text her recently deceased mother’s phone—the only problem is that the number has been reassigned and for weeks she’s been unknowingly texting a stranger her deepest thoughts and feelings. There have also been some not-so-deep texts, like the ones about her appreciation for her coworker’s butt.

When Chase Beckett, the unsuspecting stranger who has more in common with Maggie than he’d like to admit, texts back, Maggie is beyond mortified. But message after message and night after night, Maggie realizes that Chase’s wit, charm, and advice are exactly what the doctor ordered. Is it enough, though, to get her back up in the sky? And what about her heart? Can she risk taking a leap of faith for the man on the other end of her accidental texts?


My Review: 4.5 Stars

I love it when a story takes me by surprise like this one did. I was expecting light-hearted, embarrassing RomCom humor, but a slightly deeper, heart-felt story emerged instead. The book was very subdued at the start and I wasn't sure where it was headed, but don't worry--Monson swirled in the wit and charm. And I ate it right up!

Maggie and Chase do meet in an unconventional meet cute, but the way their friendship progressed was natural, sweet, and perfect. I loved the way they pushed and encouraged growth in each other. I was hoping for a tad more romance, but the whole package was such an enjoyable journey that struck me right smack in the middle of my heart. It made me think and it made me feel. And now I'm hoping for a companion book with Hannah's story.

Content: mild romance; mild language

Friday, January 8, 2021

First Kiss Train Wreck (Shaped by Love #3) by Michelle Pennington {Review}

First Kiss Train Wreck (Shaped by Love #3) by Michelle Pennington

Kindle Edition, 107 pages
Published September 25th 2020 
Source: I received a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given
I'm officially kiss-cursed!

Lately, all my first dates have ended with disastrous lip locks. After cracking teeth with my latest victim, it's official. I'm a first kiss train wreck.

But I can figure this out. I just need a nice long break from romance while I focus on my job at Booms and Nibbles and flipping houses with my best friend Troy. Only, my boss just hired a new head of marketing and he's perfection. One cosmic shove into his arms later, and I have a date I can't afford to screw up with another bad first kiss.

Fixing my problem just got urgent. Crucial. Desperate even.

Luckily Troy says he can help. Do I dare let him try?

Surely one little experimental kiss can't ruin a friendship.

Originally published as part of the Sweet Kisses Boxset.

My Review: 5 Stars
Although this novella is short and sweet, Pennington does a great job of developing a beautiful friends-to-love story, and I just couldn't get enough.
Rian's luck with first kisses is so badly hilarious. I love the way her best friend and co-partner, Troy, cheers her on and his plan to help her is ingenious and swoony. Rian and Troy have a light and witty banter that delighted my love-struck heart.
I'm also a big fan of Booms and Nibbles and was ecstatic to see it play a part in this book, especially when Rian has a little accident at work and what results from that. From start to finish, this one was pure joy, fun, and swoon.
Content: mild romance; mild innuendo. 

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Kiss Me, Baby, One More Time (Maple Creek Romantic Comedy Book 2) by Cindy Ray Hale {Review}

Kiss Me, Baby, One More Time (Maple Creek Romantic Comedy Book 2) by Cindy Ray Hale

Kindle Edition, 139 pages
Published December 30th 2020 
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Fake dating is easy until opposites attract!

Eccentric hippie, Onyx Sharp, is the maid of honor in her best friend’s wedding. But she's not happy about having to spend so much time with the best man, Taylor. Not only does she distrust men, but being around him annoys her. The last thing she expects is for him to kiss her impulsively at a party before the wedding. And the main problem is, she wants him to kiss her one more time, but she’s not sure she can let her heart trust again.

Straight-laced surgeon Taylor Roberts is tired of being teased about being eternally single by the other groomsmen. He makes a bet that he can get the beautiful maid of honor to date him before the wedding is over. The problem is, she can’t stand him! He promises he’ll give up his booth in the Maple Creek Fall Festival to her mom’s crystal shop if she’ll pretend to date him, an offer he knows she can’t pass up.

The longer Onyx is around Taylor the more she feels drawn to him, despite being his polar opposite. Can she continue the facade of dating him when her heart gets involved?

My Review: 3 Stars
I really a good opposites attract story and Onyx and Taylor are about at the most extreme ends as possible. An impulsive kiss leads to a fake relationship that was entertaining and sweet, and I'm a sucker for a relationship of convenience.
I loved the premise and idea of this story, but I didn't completely emotionally connect, and I think it's because I wanted it to be longer and more developed. That aside, there were some funny (albeit embarrassing) moments and some glimpses of swoon that left me wanting more.
I do enjoy the Maple Creek setting and it was fun to get a sight of familiar characters in this charming small town.
Content: mild romance; some potty-related humor 

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay {Review}

The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay

Paperback, 324 pages
Published May 14th 2019 by Thomas Nelson 
Source: Audiobook
Love, friendship, and family find a home at the Printed Letter Bookshop

One of Madeline Cullen’s happiest childhood memories is of working with her Aunt Maddie in the quaint and cozy Printed Letter Bookshop. But by the time Madeline inherits the shop nearly twenty years later, family troubles and her own bitter losses have hardened Madeline’s heart toward her once-treasured aunt—and the now struggling bookshop left in her care.

While Madeline intends to sell the shop as quickly as possible, the Printed Letter’s two employees have other ideas. Reeling from a recent divorce, Janet finds sanctuary within the books and within the decadent window displays she creates. Claire, though quieter than the acerbic Janet, feels equally drawn to the daily rhythms of the shop and its loyal clientele, finding a renewed purpose within its walls. When Madeline’s professional life takes an unexpected turn, and when a handsome gardener upends all her preconceived notions, she questions her plans and her heart. She begins to envision a new path for herself and for her aunt’s beloved shop—provided the women’s best combined efforts are not too little, too late.

The Printed Letter Bookshop is a captivating story of good books, a testament to the beauty of new beginnings, and a sweet reminder of the power of friendship.

My Review: 4 Stars
This charming bookshop was the coziest setting and a wonderful place to get to know these three narrators and the way recently deceased Maddie affected each of their lives. I loved the personal letters that Maddie left for each of them with a list of personalized books for them to read.
Claire, Janet, and Madeline are each so different, yet they connect and bond in beautiful ways as they navigate life, joys, struggles, and more. There were pieces of each of them that were easy to identify with and it was a wonderful tale of friendship, finding oneself, and second chances. Don't we all make mistakes and deserve a second chance?

This story warmed my heart. I enjoyed watching the bookshop change the lives of these characters and their families and loved ones, and the way it played such an integral role for this small town.

Content: mild romance; very mild religion

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Rules Don't Apply by Mylissa Demeyere {Review}


Kindle Edition
Publication: January 5, 2021 
Source: I received a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given 


I have loved Chris from the first day I laid eyes on him. But he’s my best friend. So I’ve watched and waited, forever the friend, never the girlfriend.

Abby is sure of a lot of things in life: her spot in the engineering program at Berkeley, her obsession for Chris, and her guaranteed slot in the friend zone. But this year is going to be different.

Shane has it all in life. The looks, the charm, the personality. He can’t help it that the entire female student body have dubbed him the number-one player on campus.

When Abby’s plan to open up to Chris backfires in the worst possible way, she finds an ally in none other than Shane, the one guy she’s never taken seriously.

All bets are off as Shane helps navigate Abby out of the friend zone and into the end zone. But sparks fly when you play with fire...
My Review: 5 Stars
I love a story with solid characters and this new adult book definitely has them. Abby has been in love with her best friend, Chris, for forever and Shane, the big player on campus, is going to finally help her win him over once and for all.

Demeyere does a great job on connecting the reader with the characters. I could relate to Abby and was cheering her on in her quest to go from friends to lovers, but Shane is utterly adorable and the weekend set aside for the transformation totally had me switching teams. The themes of friendship, attraction, and seeing a person's true colors, realizing there was some mistaken beliefs, allow for a perfectly sweet and entertaining story.
This is the type of book that feels like a bowl of comfort food--soup, to be exact--warm, creamy, and delicious, with a hint of sweet and spice. I loved the adventures, the metamorphosis, the romantic allure, and that precocious Mia (Shane's younger sister). 

Content: mild romance

Monday, January 4, 2021

The Off Limits Rule (It Happened in Nashville #1) by Sarah Adams {Review}

The Off Limits Rule (It Happened in Nashville #1) by Sarah Adams

Kindle Edition
Expected publication: January 4th 2021 
Source: I received a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given.
I have found rock bottom. It’s here, moving in with my older brother because I’m too broke to afford to live on my own. But that’s okay because we’ve always been close and I think I’m going to have fun living with him again.

That is until I meet Cooper…

Turns out, my brother has very strong opinions on the idea of me dating his best friend and is dead set against it. According to him, Cooper is everything I should stay away from: flirtatious, adventurous, non-committal, and freaking hot. (I added that last part because I feel like you need the whole picture.) My brother is right, though. I should stay away from Cooper James and his pretty blue eyes. He’s the opposite of what I need right now.

Nah—Who am I kidding? I’m going for him.

My Review: 5 Stars
What's better than laughing and swooning throughout an adorably cute book? Not much! Lucy is down on her luck and when her older brother rescues her and she meets his best friend, interesting sparks and chemistry ignite. When a meet cute has you squirming, cringing, and blushing, you know it's good. And honestly, this forbidden relationship had me feeling like a sneaky teen, with all the awkwardness and emotion. 

Lucy is a very relatable character who is full of quirks and a big heart. Although she wallows for a time in her bad situations, she latches on to hope. Cooper is the most adorable, sweet, and perfect protagonist ever! I love the way their relationship evolved throughout the story and showcased their awesome personalities. 

Adams is spot on with the swoon, banter, and humor, and I just couldn't get enough. I was plopped right smack in the middle of an ultimate escape and cherished every single page of it.

Content: mild+ romance