Book Review

ARC Book Review: A Soldier’s Vow (Aster Ridge Ranch #7) by Kate Condie

Rating: ★★☆
Genre: Historical Western Romance
Length: 244 pages
Author: Kate Condie
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: October 7th, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Three years ago, he destroyed her family.

He’s been wrestling with himself ever since.

The war is over, but the battle has just begun.

Fay Morris’ life has taught her one thing: marry rich. And her plan is about to work, until her family’s one enemy decides to play the hero.

Three years ago, soldier Garrick Hampton made a mistake. He’s done running, but when he returns to Aster Ridge, nothing is as he expected. From the now grown Fay, to the unfamiliar feeling of home that makes his chest ache.

When Fay’s brother goes missing in a winter storm, Garrick is glad to help, and hopes for a sliver of forgiveness from Fay’s family. But Fay is no damsel and she doesn’t need help from a greenhorn. When a stormy search for her brother means the lines between friends and enemies are blurred and a fake marriage is required to keep them alive, will they learn what it is each of them really needs?

Thank you to the author for an eARC.

WHAT YEAR IS IT?

This missed big time for me. One of my grievance would definitely have to be not knowing what year it is. This is a western historical romance and I couldn’t pinpoint what exact year we were going for? Confused and bothered me.

There’s aspects of a lot of things I should love and some of those were well enough. I liked the enemies to lovers (though, because I didn’t read the previous books was confused about why they were enemies) banter and the forced proximity moments that brought them closer together.

Writing style wise we did not click. There were explanations of things that didn’t need explained in convoluted ways. And that continually took me out of the story.

I know this book may be a hit for others so if it sounds interesting I’d still say give it a go. I had other friends love it, and that’s why there’s many books out there for all.

Overall audience notes:

  • Western Historical Romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: medium
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: gun violence

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Book Review

Book Review: Part of Your World by Abby Jimenez

Rating: ★★★★★
Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: 400 pages
Author: Abby Jimenez
Publisher: Forever
Release Date: April 19th, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

The New York Times bestselling author of Life’s Too Short delivers a refreshingly modern fairy tale perfect for fans of Casey McQuiston and Emily Henry.

After a wild bet, gourmet grilled-cheese sandwich, and cuddle with a baby goat, Alexis Montgomery has had her world turned upside down. The cause: Daniel Grant, a ridiculously hot carpenter who’s ten years younger than her and as casual as they come—the complete opposite of sophisticated city-girl Alexis. And yet their chemistry is undeniable.

While her ultra-wealthy parents want her to carry on the family legacy of world-renowned surgeons, Alexis doesn’t need glory or fame. She’s fine with being a “mere” ER doctor. And every minute she spends with Daniel and the tight-knit town where he lives, she’s discovering just what’s really important. Yet letting their relationship become anything more than a short-term fling would mean turning her back on her family and giving up the opportunity to help thousands of people.

Bringing Daniel into her world is impossible, and yet she can’t just give up the joy she’s found with him either. With so many differences between them, how can Alexis possibly choose between her world and his?

NEW AUTHOR FAVORITE.

Ohhh this just climbed mountains to become my new favorite book by Jimenez. WHAT A READ. Everyone’s reviews had me hyped for this and it delivered.

One of the subtle things I appreciated was how the one night stand trope was handled. I’m generally not a fan, but it was kept closed door and I liked that spice wasn’t added just to do it. The heat was brought in further along in the story when the connection between Daniel and Alexis had reached extreme levels. I felt like it was the best way to use this trope and rather than being in my face about it, just slowly brought on how much I ADORE these characters.

I loved that both Alexis and Daniel had their own personal struggles and true differences. But that with both sides of their lives they found ways to connect, to understand where the other person is coming from, and to find ways to bond themselves together. There were plenty of utterly wholesome moments (baby goat y’all) and passionate arguments about what was happening meant to them. I loved it all (though I could have thrown Alexis’s Dad down a hill and would not have blinked an eye).

The side characters only enhanced the plot and made me excited for future books in this series. Even those I didn’t like, I thought brought in the right touch of drama to keep things moving and to shine light on certain topics and how they can unfold without knowing. I LOVED THIS BOOK. Highly recommend. It’s everything I love about contemporary romances.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary Romance
  • Language: some
  • Romance: brief/vague open door
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: parental abuse, emotional abuse and gaslighting (on page), intimate partner violence and abuse (side character, on page), cheating recounted, depression, grief, on page childbirth, loss of loved ones

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Book Review

Book Review: Lovelight Farms by B.K. Borison

Rating: ☆☆
Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: Unknown pages
Author: B.K. Borison
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: November 10th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Where the lovelight gleams …

A pasture of dead trees. A hostile takeover of the Santa barn by a family of raccoons. And shipments that have mysteriously gone missing. Lovelight Farms is not the magical winter wonderland of Stella Bloom’s dreams.

In an effort to save the Christmas tree farm she’s loved since she was a kid, she enters a contest with instafamous influencer Evelyn St. James. With the added publicity and the $100,000 cash prize, she might just be able to save the farm from its financial woes. There’s just one problem. To make the farm seem like a romantic destination for the holidays, she lied on the application and said she owns Lovelight Farms with her boyfriend. Only … there is no boyfriend.

Enter best friend Luka Peters. He just came home for some hot chocolate, and somehow got a farm and a serious girlfriend in the process.

Lovelight Farms is a romantic comedy featuring a handsome, freckled data analyst, a messy, optimistic Christmas tree farm owner, and a small town with the best hazelnut lattes on the east coast. This sweet and steamy romance is a holiday happily ever after.

NOT FOR ME.

I wanted to love this more after seeing some positive reviews on it but I had some issues with the story throughout.

I did love that it was set at a Christmas tree farm. That’s adorable and I haven’t read a holiday romance like that. I liked seeing some of the workings of the farm. All of the holiday vibes were had with this setting.

There were some cute moments between the love interests, Stella and Luka. Both of them clearly wanted to date and when the moment arose for a solid fake dating trope it fell flat. No angst, they just started dating. That’s it? Stella tried to drag it out by telling Luka that there’s no way he likes her (and other eye roll statements like this) as she went with the completely oblivious play call.

It could have used another round of edits as I noticed a lot of repetitive phrasing choices and dialogue set-up. All in all, this didn’t click for me, but I know it might for others!

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary Romance
  • Language: some
  • Romance: open door
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: loss of parents, vandalism

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Book Review

Book Review: Romancing the Rake (Brotherhood of the Black Tartan #2) by Nichole Van

Rating: ★★★★★
Audience: Historical Romance
Length: 375 pages
Author: Nichole Van
Publisher: Fiorenza Publishing
Release Date: February 18th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Lady Sophronia Sorrow considers herself an unlikely heroine. Why, just her name alone proves this. Sophronia Sorrow sounds like a girl from a gothic penny novel—the foolish miss who falls prey to a rake and becomes an object lesson for the true heroine to avoid. No, despite her mawkish name, Sophie refuses to spend her life invisible and unwanted, relegated to the margin of the text. Despite her eccentric, bluestocking ways, there must be a place where she is wanted. If only she could uncover the identity of her natural father, perhaps she would belong there?

But one thing Sophie knows for sure—unlike that foolhardy miss in a novel, she will not succumb to a rake. No matter how thoroughly the rakish Lord Rafe Gilbert may tempt her.

Lord Rafe Gilbert longs for freedom—freedom from his controlling father, freedom to live his life as he chooses. He knows playing the rake keeps his autocratic father in check, but Rafe longs to determine his own destiny. Case in point, he fell in love with Lady Sophie years ago, but his father’s threats and his mother’s health prevent him from pursuing Lady Sophie in earnest. So when Fate thrusts Sophie into his path, Rafe knows he must turn her away and distance himself. But doing the right thing has never been so impossibly difficult.

Sophie and Rafe soon find themselves on a journey together from London to a castle in the Scottish Highlands. Along the way, can two kindred souls heal from past hurts and seize a second chance to write a love story of their own?

NEW HISTORICAL FAV.

Wowwww goodness me, I LOVED THIS. This had all the tropes I love y’all. All the romance I love and more.

This was a combination of a bit of second chance, IT WAS ALWAYS YOU, major forced proximity and more. I loved the vibes between a supposed rake and an incredibly intelligent bluestocking. Their chemistry was heated from the moment the banter began and I was here for every dang moment between them. I loved forced proximity because it allows so much more conversation and interactions that give me all the feels.

Not to mention what had me up in my feels was the passionate arguments leading to my favorite kind of confessions. It was just all so good. SO GOOD. Rafe is a wonderful love interest and I loooooove that this series is dual POV. A treasured must have for romances.

The plot was thickening between the Brotherhood and I like that this subtle mystery plays out in the background of the larger story between the two main characters. I liked the reveals and how the conflict and closing scenes were accomplished. The writing is amazing and I will without a doubt be continuing this series.

Overall audience notes:

  • Historical romance
  • Language: very little
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: mild
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: gaslighting, extortion, a mother with depression (and on page depictions), emotional abuse

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