Book Review

Book Review: On Rotation by Shirlene Obuobi

Rating: ★★★
Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: 352 pages
Author: Shirlene Obuobi
Publisher: Avon Books
Release Date: June 21st, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

For fans of Grey’s Anatomy and Seven Days in June, this dazzling debut novel by Shirlene Obuobi explores that time in your life when you must decide what you want, how to get it, & who you are, all while navigating love, friendship, and the realization that the path you’re traveling is going to be a bumpy ride.

Ghanaian-American Angela Appiah has checked off all the boxes for the “Perfect Immigrant Daughter.”

– Enroll in an elite medical school
– Snag a suitable lawyer/doctor/engineer boyfriend
– Surround self with a gaggle of successful and/or loyal friends

But then it quickly all falls apart: her boyfriend dumps her, she bombs the most important exam of her medical career, and her best friend pulls away. And her parents, whose approval seems to hinge on how closely she follows the path they chose, are a lot less proud of their daughter. It’s a quarter life crisis of epic proportions.

Angie, who has always faced her problems by working “twice as hard to get half as far,” is at a loss. Suddenly, she begins to question everything: her career choice, her friendships, even why she’s attracted to men who don’t love her as much as she loves them.

And just when things couldn’t get more complicated, enter Ricky Gutierrez— brilliant, thoughtful, sexy, and most importantly, seems to see Angie for who she is instead of what she can represent.

Unfortunately, he’s also got “wasteman” practically tattooed across his forehead, and Angie’s done chasing mirages of men. Or so she thinks. For someone who’s always been in control, Angie realizes that there’s one thing she can’t plan on: matters of her heart.

IN THE MIDDLE.

I have mixed thoughts on this one.

Firstly, I loved the medical school setting. I think it was unique and I learned a lot more (as someone who almost went to med school) than I previously knew. I love when a read is more impactful than expected and there were many, many conversations in here about important themes and topics that I appreciated being highlighted. There’s always space to grow and listen, and this book provided a moment like that.

Romance wise, I wasn’t sold. It started off iffy and then by the time I truly thought it was sweet, things soured quickly. I didn’t like the way the conflict was handled, I never fell for Ricky and I really wanted the best for Angie. Just not convinced this was it.

This does read more as fiction over romance (which I know some prefer). For me, I was hoping for a bit more romance interspersed. The audiobook narrator was wonderful, but I hesitantly say to go with the audiobook option. I learned via other reviews that there’s footnotes about a lot of the medical related things in here and it came off in the audio as more of an over explanation. Knowing about the footnotes helped me change my frame of mind while listening. Adding that in here so others know too!

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary Romance
  • Language: strong
  • Romance: brief fade to black
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: racism, misogyny, sexism, drug abuse, death, medical scenes, anxiety, mentions of gun violence

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Book Review

Book Review: The Viscount Who Loved Me (Bridgertons #2) by Julia Quinn

Rating: ★★★★★
Audience: Historical Romance
Length: 391 pages
Author: Julia Queen
Publisher: Avon
Release Date: December 5th, 2000
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

ANTHONY’S STORY

This time the gossip columnists have it wrong. London’s most elusive bachelor Anthony Bridgerton hasn’t just decided to marry—he’s even chosen a wife! The only obstacle is his intended’s older sister, Kate Sheffield—the most meddlesome woman ever to grace a London ballroom. The spirited schemer is driving Anthony mad with her determination to stop the betrothal, but when he closes his eyes at night, Kate’s the woman haunting his increasingly erotic dreams…

Contrary to popular belief, Kate is quite sure that reformed rakes do not make the best husbands—and Anthony Bridgerton is the most wicked rogue of them all. Kate’s determined to protect her sister—but she fears her own heart is vulnerable. And when Anthony’s lips touch hers, she’s suddenly afraid she might not be able to resist the reprehensible rake herself..

THE ANGST.

This was a complete, bookstagram made me do it. I had no designs about picking up this series and a friends review convinced me to give it a try and Y’ALL. WHY DID I HOLD OFF ON THIS.

THE PINING. THE PASSION. THE ANGST. THE HEATED GLANCES.

It is everything I LOVE about enemies to lovers and I couldn’t get enough. There were so many rememberable scenes and I loved watching these two fall in love. Fantastic banter and the quiet moments where they learned more about each other were so tender. I liked how much background was added for both characters to give credence to decisions and actions. I found the steam scenes to actually be really sweet and work well into the story.

I liked the way the side characters worked into the plot but didn’t over shadow the romance. They added to the story and I loved many of them. I bet I’m going to find myself reading the rest of these books.

The ability for both Kate and Anthony to overcome different aspects of their pasts and find love together was CHEF’S KISS. There was no way I wasn’t throwing five stars at this book and now I already want to reread it.

Overall audience notes:

  • Historical romance
  • Language: little
  • Romance: two low explicit open door
  • Violence: low
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: PTSD, death from anaphylaxis recounted, death of a parent discussed

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Book Review

Book Review: Duke, Actually (A Princess for Christmas #2) by Jenny Holiday

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: 384 pages
Author: Jenny Holiay
Publisher: Avon
Release Date: November 16th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

USA Today bestselling author Jenny Holiday follows A Princess for Christmas with another delightful contemporary Christmas romance between a playboy baron and a woman who has said goodbye to love.

Maximillian von Hansburg, Baron of Laudon and heir to the Duke of Aquilla, is trapped. Under pressure from his domineering father, he must marry a suitable bride before he inherits a title that feels like a prison sentence. In New York to meet a prospective wife, he ditches his responsibilities and appears on Dani Martinez’s doorstep. He’s been intrigued by the no-nonsense professor since he met her at the Eldovian royal wedding and is determined to befriend her.

Newly single Dani is done with love—she even has a list entitled “Things I Will Never Again Do for a Man”—which is why she hits it off with notorious rake Max. He’s trying to escape relationships, and she’s resolved to avoid them at all costs. All they want from each other is friendship and a distraction from their messy lives.

As their bond begins to deepen, so does their attraction, until they end up in bed together. Falling in love was never part of the plan—Max’s family doesn’t see Dani as a perfect match, even as his heart tells him she’s the one, and Dani isn’t sure she can make it in Max’s world. Can they find the courage to live they life they desire, even if it means risking everything? 

CHARMING (& BETTER THAN THE FIRST).

Pleasantly happy with this one. I had some mixed feeling over A Princess for Christmas, but holiday romances call my name every year and I couldn’t skip this one. Luckily enough, it’s my new favorite of the two.

I loved the slow build between Dani and Max. The texts, phone calls, chance meetings and forced proximity moments gave them plenty of chances to turn acquaintances into lovers. I liked this that this took over a year and there were many sides to both Dani and Max’s backgrounds. They leaned on each other in the tough times and found a connection as friends before making that last leap. I thought it might hit friends with benefits territory (which I don’t personally love), but it didn’t. The progression was perfectly suited for the book.

Max was so tender and passionate. I loved watching him reconnect with his brother and coming into his own as responsibility was thrown his way. He was incredibly sweet and respectful of Dani and all of the things he did for her had me smiling. I adored Dani as well and loved that this was a dual-POV. My favorite for romances!

I didn’t like the running away trope towards the end, but the rest of the book was stellar enough that I kept my rating. It was a great vibe of Hallmark after dark and plenty of Christmastime cheer too.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary Romance
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: open door
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: alcoholic & abusive father, loss of a parent (on page), divorce

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Book Review

Book Review: A Princess for Christmas by Jenny Holiday

Rating: ☆☆☆ 1/2
Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: 400 pages
Author: Jenny Holiday
Publisher: Avon
Release Date: October 13th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Leo Ricci’s already handling all he can, between taking care of his little sister Gabby, driving a cab, and being the super of his apartment building in the Bronx. But when Gabby spots a “princess” in a gown outside of the UN trying to hail a cab, she begs her brother to stop and help. Before he knows it, he’s got a real-life damsel in distress in the backseat of his car. 

Princess Marie of Eldovia shouldn’t be hailing a cab, or even be out and about. But after her mother’s death, her father has plunged into a devastating depression and the fate of her small Alpine country has fallen on Marie’s shoulders. She’s taken aback by the gruff but devastatingly handsome driver who shows her more kindness than she’s seen in a long time. 

When Marie asks Leo to be her driver for the rest of her trip, he agrees, thinking he’ll squire a rich miss around for a while and make more money than he has in months. He doesn’t expect to like and start longing for the unpredictable Marie. And when he and Gabby end up in Eldovia for Christmas, he discovers the princess who is all wrong for him is also the woman who is his perfect match.

PRETTY CUTE.

I adored this on some levels, and others maybe not so much.

What I did love was the overall story. There was plenty of Hallmark vibes and I love a good princess story. There was a fun meet cute, and I felt the connection between Leo and Gabby immediately. I was surprised that even though this is a small timeline, that things didn’t feel forced between them. Not really insta-love or anything like that, a nice change!

The love scenes were out of place. It went from Hallmark to whoa whoa whoa steamy scenes, that were long and very open door. My general issue is when those scenes don’t match up with the vibe and tone of the rest of the novel.

Without that it was cute. Leo’s little sister Gabby and his friend Dani were wonderful additions. And y’all, there was a ball at the end. I’m a sucker for a good ball in a book and this was definitely hit the mark. Totally cheesy, totally perfect.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary romance
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: a handful of very open door scenes
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: loss of loved one(s)

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