Book Review

Book Review: If Only You (Bergman Brothers #6) by Chloe Liese

Rating: ★★★★★
Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: 376 pages
Author: Chloe Liese
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: April 11th, 2023
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


Brace yourself for longing, laughter, and a swoony slow-burn in this brother’s best friend sports romance about scoring the love of your life when you least expect to.


I’m the youngest player on the National Soccer team, the baby of my family, and thoroughly sick of being underestimated, so I’ve decided to take matters into my own hands. Which is where my brother’s best friend and teammate, the infamous Sebastian Marchand, comes in. 

Seb needs to rehab his reputation. I want to give mine an edge. So I propose a fake friendship with real benefits: spending time in the public eye, my good-girl image and his bad-boy notoriety rubbing off on each other. He’s my devious, dark-haired fantasy come to life, but his destructive ways make it easy to keep him in the (fake) friend zone. Or so I thought, until I start to see the heart of gold he’s been hiding beneath that sinister surface…


Like any self-respecting reprobate, I’ve been spiraling downward, and finally I’ve hit rock bottom. My hockey career and sponsorships are in jeopardy, and while I’m not ready to actually reform my ways, I’m happy to pretend that I have, to secure the life I’m on the brink of losing. 

So when my best friend’s sister, Ziggy Bergman, proposes a public “friendship” to revamp our reputations, it’s an offer I can’t refuse. Up till now, I’ve stayed away from Ren’s sweet, shy little sister to avoid any risk of ruining my one good friendship. But I reassure myself there’s no risk in our scheme. I’ll fake a friendship with Ziggy, fix my reputation, and get back to hockey, the one and only thing I love. At least, it was, until what began as a transactional arrangement became the most loving relationship I’ve ever known.

​If Only You is a brother’s best friend, (fake) friends with benefits to friends to lovers romance about a bighearted, quietly fierce soccer star on the autism spectrum, and a thoroughly unprincipled, almost irredeemable hockey player who has celiac disease. Complete with an absurd level of mutual pining, meddling family and friends, and a spicy slow burn, this standalone is the sixth in a series of novels about a Swedish-American family of five brothers, two sisters, and their wild adventures as they each find happily ever after.


Goodness gracious I binged this book so fast. Who knew I would love this take on fate dating?? I loved the fake friendship vibes. It was perfect and created all sorts of angst and tension and build. Had me absolutely wrapped up in Sebastian and Ziggy’s life.

I was smitten with the soft tender moments as Sebastian realizes just how much he loves Ziggy and the way that he works so hard to be the man he wants to be for her. But also how Ziggy balances that with showing him that that man is already there. I love that this was a slow burn and really gave time for the friendship to develop before bringing in a full relationship.

As usual, loved all of the side characters and familial moments. Loved the setting, the whole plot. All of the friend moments, sports moments and everything in between.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary Sports Romance
  • Language: strong
  • Romance: multiple open, explicit
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: parental abandonment recounted, emotional child abuse recounted, anxiety, chronic illness & pain (celiac disease), alcohol consumption, emesis

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Book Review

Book Review: Cover Story by Susan Rigetti

Rating: ★★★★
Audience: Contemporary Fiction
Length: 368 pages
Author: Susan Rigetti
Publisher: William Morrow
Release Date: April 5th, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


Netflix’s Inventing Anna and Hulu’s The Dropout meets Catch Me If You Can, a captivating novel about an ambitious young woman who gets trapped in a charismatic con artist’s scam.

After a rough year at NYU, aspiring writer Lora Ricci is thrilled to land a summer internship at ELLE magazine where she meets Cat Wolff, contributing editor and enigmatic daughter of a clean-energy mogul. Cat takes Lora under her wing, soliciting her help with side projects and encouraging her writing.

As a friendship emerges between the two women, Lora opens up to Cat about her desperate struggles and lost scholarship. Cat’s solution: Drop out of NYU and become her ghostwriter. Lora agrees and, when the internship ends, she moves into Cat’s suite at the opulent Plaza Hotel. Writing during the day and accompanying Cat to extravagant parties at night, Lora’s life quickly shifts from looming nightmare to dream-come-true. But as Lora is drawn into Cat’s glamorous lifestyle, Cat’s perfect exterior cracks, exposing an illicit, shady world.

A whip-smart and delightfully inventive writer, Susan Rigetti brilliantly pieces together a perceptive, humorous caper full of sharp observations about scam culture. Composed of diary entries, emails, FBI correspondence, and more, Cover Story is a fresh, fun, and wholly original novel that takes readers deep into the codependency and deceit found in a relationship built on power imbalance and lies.


This was a total bookstagram made me do it read. I didn’t have a clue what it was about, I just picked it up and then DEVOURED it. The fast paced nature of email, text and diary entries make this a story you can’t look away from.

And it was worth it. That ending blew my mind. I had picked up on a couple of the subtle pieces mentioned throughout, yet I was still flabbergasted at how everything worked out in the end. It was perfectly convoluted and insanely well written.

Some of the diary entries did start to feel repetitive and drawn out to where I started skimming towards the end. Otherwise though, this is a great mystery of which I’m hardly saying anything to the pages within because I highly recommend you go into this book as blind as possible!

Overall audience notes:

  • Fiction / Mystery
  • Language: a little
  • Violence: low

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Book Review

Book Review: Places We’ve Never Been by Kasie West

Rating: ★★☆
Audience: YA Contemporary Romance
Length: 336 pages
Author: Kasie West
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: May 31st, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


A sweet and swoony contemporary Young Adult novel about a cross-country family road trip that puts one girl and her childhood best friend on an unexpected road to romance!

Norah hasn’t seen her childhood best friend, Skyler, in years. When he first moved away, they’d talk all the time, but lately their relationship has been reduced to liking each other’s Instagram posts. That’s why Norah can’t wait for the joint RV road trip their families have planned for the summer.

But when Skyler finally arrives, he seems…like he’d rather be anywhere else. Hurt and confused, Norah reacts in kind. Suddenly, her oldest friendship is on the rocks.

An unexpected summer spent driving across the country leads both Norah and Skyler down new roads and to new discoveries. Before long, they are, once again, seeing each other in a different light. Can their friendship-turned-rivalry turn into something more?


I go up and down with Kasie West books (big winners for me are P.S. I Like You and Sunkissed). This unfortunately fell deep in to the miss category.

The whole premise of the book is based off of a silly miscommunication between two friends who moved away from each other. That’s it. That’s the story. OH WAIT, alongside that is a sub plot about a parent choosing to hide information from her children (that, I understood to some degree, but didn’t love the way this went about). Both of these were red flags in my final opinions.

I did like the road trip antics. Those are fun, traveling in massive RV’s, eating by campfire, meet new friends. All good stuff. And there were some cute romance scenes too! Once both Norah and Skyler stopped acting ridiculous it was great. I thought they handled their relationship so much better after, ya know, COMMUNICATING.

We’ll see what the next West story holds.

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Contemporary Romance
  • Language: very little
  • Romance: kisses
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: a parent with cancer

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Book Review

ARC Book Review: King’s Bride (The Chronicles of Urn #1) by Beck Michaels

Rating: ★★★★
Audience: Fantasy Romance
Length: 500 pages
Author: Beck Michaels
Publisher: Pluma Press
Release Date: May 23rd, 2023
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


He’s the God of Death. She’s the bride sent to kill him. Their union may be the end of them both.

The Everfrost is ruled by the King in his castle of ice. Some call him the Ice Phoenix, others the God of Death. The clans survive by one law alone: pay the King the homage he is due and never take what belongs to him. But when Sunnëva Morkhàn’s brother falls gravely ill, she will have to do exactly that.
Against every warning, she sneaks into the castle to steal the one thing that would save him—a magical rose. But you don’t steal from the King and live to tell the tale. When the Ice Phoenix discovers her theft and demands payment, the cost is too steep. Mourning and enraged, she challenges him, only to lose. To spare her clan from the King’s wrath, her father offers her as a bride, and for a reason she cannot fathom, the King agrees.
Revenge is a delicate game Sunnëva is determined to play, even if killing the God of Death is no easy feat. But as secrets unfold around the alluring King, and dark threats emerge from the shadows, Sunnëva struggles to hold on to her hatred—and her heart.

Inspired by Beauty and the Beast, King’s Bride is the first book in Beck Michaels’ companion prequel series, the Chronicles of Urn—dark fables founded in forbidden love and strong-willed women who bring kings to their knees.

Thank you Storygram Tours and Beck Michaels for an eARC.


This book took me on a journey. I realllllly enjoyed it. It’s a captivating beauty and the beast retelling and I loved that it was in the same world of Michaels other series and I noticed a few world building and magic system themes that carried over. I love connections like that.

I was worried the romance would have been off to the races and I was happy to see that it did keep to a slower paced burn. I thought the chemistry between Sunnëva and Jökull was fiery and very well heated. There were a lot of moments I highlighted because I love a swoony death god with words. Spice wise, it went over my line of plot vs. spice. There was an extra scene or two that didn’t fit with the plot and took away from the story for me. Otherwise, I truly was rooting for this relationship and loved all of the development throughout. For a standalone I thought this covered a lot of bases well and wrapped up things too.

There’s a few small plot/writing quirks that I noticed that brought me to a four star. I thought pieces of the ending felt rushed (though I will say I still loved the very end, it’s a HEA don’t worry!!). I’m curious now to make more connections between the two series and seeing how this story intertwines (this do NOT spoil anything for the Guardians of the Maiden series and can be read as a standalone).

Overall audience notes;

  • Fantasy Romance
  • Language; some strong
  • Romance: 4+ open; high explicit
  • Violence: moderate
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: mentions of past sexual assault trauma (the act is not show but given to understand), loss of life, battle themes, blood/gore depiction

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