Book Review

Book Review: Heart in the Highlands by Heidi Kimball

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: Historical Romance
Length: 260 pages
Author: Heidi Kimball
Publisher: Covenant Communications
Release Date: August 9th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

An arranged marriage was never what Callum Darrington, future Duke of Edinbane, imagined for himself. But with the well-being of his uncle’s family hanging in the balance, Callum strikes a bargain with his father and reluctantly agrees to tie himself to a stranger. The reality of the lovely Lady Katherine is more than he could have hoped for, and their wedding heralds a bright new future for the couple—until Callum discovers his father deliberately deceived him. Callum lashes out, setting in motion heartbreak not even he could have foreseen.

Four years later, Callum is ready to piece together the marriage he so carelessly destroyed. But their years apart have hardened Kate: she is not the naive and trusting young woman she once was, and she has no intention of allowing Callum a foothold in her life or her heart. Despite her coldness, Callum works to regain her trust and rebuild their marriage, not realizing Kate harbors a secret that could change everything—and this time, there is much more at stake than just her heart. 

ROMANTIC SECOND-CHANCE

First, lets acknowledge that absolutely BEAUTIFUL cover that I can’t stop staring at as I’m writing this review.

Secondly, lets acknowledge the absolutely BEUATIFUL story this book holds.

Callum and Kate are these flawed souls who have hardened hearts from a mistake Callum made and grief Kate had to go through alone. Within the first few chapters I found myself captivated and completely upset at what was already happening. When things moved a few years later, I got to read a story full of raw and real commitment to fixing what was a charming beginning.

“I’d come to expect that if I waited to love someone until they were perfect. I’d never love anyone at all”

I couldn’t get enough of either of these characters and am so grateful that there’s points of view from both of them. There were many moments I loved having both sides from. My heart ached, leaped for joy, and made me feel every emotion across the spectrum. Along with the romance this was a story of forgiveness. Of a willingness to see someone at their lowest and rising together with a tighter bond. If you want to be transported to Scotland without ever stepping on a plane, if you want a romance that is engaging and tender, this is the book you need in your hands.

Overall audience notes:

  • Historical romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses to closed door scene
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: spousal abandonment, stillborn child

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Book Review

Book Review: Cake (Cake #1) by J. Bengtsson

Rating: ☆☆☆
Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: 611 pages
Author: J. Bengtsson
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: May 14th, 2016
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Casey

I’ve met the perfect guy. Handsome, talented, and sarcastic as hell, Jake McKallister is everything I’ve ever dreamed of in a man.

There’s just one problem: Jake is everyone’s dream man.

But he sees me—an everyday college girl—and introduces me to a whole new world of music and tour buses and adoring fans. The more I fall for him, the more I realize that Jake might not be all he pretends to be.

I’ve finally found a man worth fighting for…but will he let me win?

Jake

Casey thinks she knows. She doesn’t know. No one knows—but me.
And I’m not talking. Ever.

HMM.

I feel mixed by this story.

There was a lot of trauma and exploration of working through those past issues (see trigger warnings for further explanation). There was a love story. Yet the two didn’t mix that well.

Love story wise, it was charming overall. I did like Jake and Casey together. Sweet meet-cute. Fun traveling, going through some tough times and coming out the other side. The rockstar and normal girl romance was something I hadn’t read recently so it was a nice switch-up.

I didn’t connect with the writing style. The jokes didn’t land well, and some commentary wasn’t appealing. I thought the characters seemed very surface level and trying too hard to be more than that.

I’m finding it hard to write out all the things I thought while reading this. I know it’s well loved, it just didn’t hit that place for me.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary romance
  • Language: strong throughout
  • Romance: kisses to open door scenes
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: child kidnapping, sexual assault and rape (mentions from the past); torture, PTSD, suicide ideation; near death embolism, a loved one in a coma

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Book Review

Book Review: Once Upon a Broken Heart (Once Upon a Broken Heart #1) by Stephanie Garber

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Fantasy
Length: 408 pages
Author: Stephanie Garber
Publisher: Flatiron
Release Date: September 28th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

How far would you go for happily ever after?

For as long as she can remember, Evangeline Fox has believed in true love and happy endings…until she learns that the love of her life will marry another.

Desperate to stop the wedding and to heal her wounded heart, Evangeline strikes a deal with the charismatic but wicked Prince of Hearts. In exchange for his help, he asks for three kisses, to be given at the time and place of his choosing.

But after Evangeline’s first promised kiss, she learns that bargaining with an immortal is a dangerous game—and that the Prince of Hearts wants far more from her than she’d pledged. He has plans for Evangeline, plans that will either end in the greatest happily ever after or the most exquisite tragedy.

A GOOD START.

I admittedly let myself hype this one up because I love Garber’s Caraval series. It did let me down a little, but not enough to even suggest I won’t pick up the next book.

Who did I miss most? JACKS. I felt that he wasn’t in it as much as he should have been as the supposed main love interest. He popped in and out until the second half where I finally saw more of him. There wasn’t enough active chemistry between Jacks and Eva for me to fully be on board. I’m interested, I’m testing the waters, but I’m not convinced they are a romantic duo. A lot remains to be seen.

A bit of a wild story moving all over the Northern lands of the Caraval world. I liked that it was in a different location so that things didn’t overlap with previous characters too much and that this could be its own series. There’s A LOT of lore and little stories throughout to tell the background of what’s happening around Eva and what Jacks is trying to accomplish. It was easy to follow and I love Garber’s writing style. While it wasn’t everything I hoped for, I’m excited to see the story continue. JUST GIVE ME MORE JACKS.

Eva has a lot of growth to hopefully look forward to as well. She just seemed to naïve and trusting of every single person. I’m actually hoping she becomes a bit more bitter and gray to see another side of her.

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Fantasy Romance
  • Language: very little
  • Romance: make-outs
  • Violence: physical altercations, magical attacks
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: murder, blood depiction

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Book Review

Book Review: A Little Bit Witchy (Riddler’s Edge #1) by A.A. Albright

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Paranormal Cozy Mystery
Length: 257 pages
Author: A.A. Albright
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: March 21st, 2018
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

There has most definitely not been a murder on the Riddler’s Express.

Aisling Smith is about to try out for a new job – a job writing for a paper she’s never heard of. But seeing as she’s currently writing classified ads and obituaries, it would be foolish not to give it a shot.

Riddler’s Edge might be a small town, but it’s definitely not boring. The train hasn’t even pulled into the station, and already a woman has been murdered.

According to the grumpy but gorgeous Detective Quinn, the passenger’s death wasn’t a murder at all. He insists that Bathsheba Brookes died of a nut allergy. Aisling doesn’t believe it for a minute. She intends to discover the real story – a difficult challenge, considering the town’s inhabitants seem to be keeping some very big secrets.

Riddler’s Edge is a town where people wear sunglasses after dark, and creatures howl in the woods. It’s also a town where, despite the strange occurrences, Aisling feels right at home.

But even if she gets to the bottom of Bathsheba’s death, Aisling might not get to be the Daily Riddler’s newest reporter. There’s one final, mysterious test that she must pass – a test carried out by the newspaper’s owner. And Aisling suspects he might be looking for more than just a journalist 

OH DID I ADORE THIS.

I read A.A. Albright’s other series, Wayfair Witches, last year for October and this year I’m reading Riddler’s Edge! I adored this so much and can’t wait to binge the rest.

This was so much fun and introduced the new town and characters well. I liked the mystery and meeting all of magical souls. Witches, vampires, weredogs/wolves and more. Fuzz (the familiar) was cute and gives me all the black cat witchy vibes I love.

There’s clearly a set-up for the long game and I’m curious how that’ll all shake out as well. Not to mention this has what appears to be a great romantic plot line too and I am HERE FOR IT.

Can’t wait for more!

Overall audience notes:

  • Paranormal cozy mystery
  • Language: none
  • Romance: flirting
  • Violence: murder

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