Book Review

Book Review: Roomies by Christina Lauren

Rating: ☆☆☆
Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: 368 pages
Author: Christina Lauren
Publisher: Gallery Books
Release Date: December 5th, 2017
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

From subway to Broadway to happily ever after. Modern love in all its thrill, hilarity, and uncertainty has never been so compulsively readable as in New York Times bestselling author Christina Lauren’s romantic novel.

Marriages of convenience are so…inconvenient.

For months Holland Bakker has invented excuses to descend into the subway station near her apartment, drawn to the captivating music performed by her street musician crush. Lacking the nerve to actually talk to the gorgeous stranger, fate steps in one night in the form of a drunken attacker. Calvin Mcloughlin rescues her, but quickly disappears when the police start asking questions.

Using the only resource she has to pay the brilliant musician back, Holland gets Calvin an audition with her uncle, Broadway’s hottest musical director. When the tryout goes better than even Holland could have imagined, Calvin is set for a great entry into Broadway—until his reason for disappearing earlier becomes clear: he’s in the country illegally, his student visa having expired years ago.

Seeing that her uncle needs Calvin as much as Calvin needs him, a wild idea takes hold of her. Impulsively, she marries the Irishman, her infatuation a secret only to him. As their relationship evolves and Calvin becomes the darling of Broadway—in the middle of the theatrics and the acting-not-acting—will Holland and Calvin to realize that they both stopped pretending a long time ago?

CONFLICT ISSUES.

The crux of any good romance is the conflict. That thing that dives into the couple’s lives and either brings them together or makes us all roll our eyes shouting, COMMUNICATE.

I felt COMMUNICATE was the fatal flaw the last 25%.

I’ll move with some positive details first. I really adored this plot and initial set-up. A marriage of convenience? Heck to the yes. I thought that Holland and Calvin had some solid chemistry and cute banter. Things get heated pretty quickly, and I didn’t love the spice. But the flow of the relationship moved with the story and I liked the fast paced nature of it all. Even if some of the stalker portions had my eyes widening.

Baaaaack to my COMMUNICATE rant. The main character, Holland, even acknowledges she’s acting ridiculous, but instead of saying, Hey Calvin, this is how I’m feeling. She goes in the complete opposite direction and I couldn’t believe what I was listening to. By the time the “grand gesture” rolled around I was glad that this was almost over because I was through myself.

The writing as usual, was great, even if I struggled with different aspects. There was a lot of research done to put this book together and I appreciate that as well. Though frustrating, I had a hard time putting it down because it’s easy to get wrapped up in a CL novel.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary Romance
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: kisses to multiple open door scenes
  • Violence: being pushed onto a subway rail

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Book Review

ARC Book Review: The Suite Spot (Beck Sisters #2) by Trish Doller

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: 288 pages
Author: Trish Doller
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Release Date: March 8th, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Trish Doller’s The Suite Spot is a charming romance novel about taking a chance on a new life and a new love.

Rachel Beck has hit a brick wall. She’s a single mom, still living at home and trying to keep a dying relationship alive. Aside from her daughter, the one bright light in Rachel’s life is her job as the night reservations manager at a luxury hotel in Miami Beach—until the night she is fired for something she didn’t do.

On impulse, Rachel inquires about a management position at a brewery hotel on an island in Lake Erie called Kelleys Island. When she’s offered the job, Rachel packs up her daughter and makes the cross country move.

What she finds on Kelleys Island is Mason, a handsome, moody man who knows everything about brewing beer and nothing about running a hotel. Especially one that’s barely more than foundation and studs. It’s not the job Rachel was looking for, but Mason offers her a chance to help build a hotel—and rebuild her own life—from the ground up.

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for an eARC.

GENTLE.

That was the vibe of this entire book. A gentle and loving slow-burn romance that was the kind of read I didn’t know I needed when I picked it up.

I looooooved Rachel. I thought she was a strong single Mom. She’s trying to figure things out and make the best decisions for her and Maisie. I liked that she was vulnerable and honest. And I love the way Rachel connected with Mason. Mason was one of the those dreamy quiet heroes. A solid presence who’s continually there and does the tiny things that make your heart skip a beat. There’s exploration of themes of loss, finding a second chance at love all underneath a beautiful backdrop on an island in Lake Eerie.

It’s fast paced but never in a way that felt rushed. Plenty of months fly by as Rachel and Mason swirled around each other in an ever closing vortex. I couldn’t get enough of their quiet moments and it had just the right touch of steam.

There’s lots of goodness here. I do wish there was a bit longer of an ending or even an epilogue. Lots of heartstrings were pulled and this book gave off a beautiful message of hope.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary Romance
  • Language: a little
  • Romance: two brief open that quickly fades to black
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: divorce (recounted), single parent, loss of a child (recounted), sexual assault (occurs in the first chapter)

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Book Review

Book Review: Falling for Your Best Friend’s Twin (Love Cliches #1) by Emma St.Clair

Rating: ☆☆☆ 1/2
Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: 280 pages
Author: Emma St. Clair
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: October 11th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

There are a million and one reasons why I shouldn’t fall for my BFF’s twin…

Too bad love isn’t reasonable.

Zane is my total opposite. He dates a steady string of women who are nothing like me.

And there’s no way I would risk Zoey’s friendship over my teensy, tiny crush on her brother.

But when Zane hires me to help fix a glitch with his startup’s software, I run into two problems:

1. Someone on the inside seems to be sabotaging it.

2. Working with Zane every day sends my feelings into overdrive.

My master plan is to sniff out the rat, help Zane save the company, and get out while my heart is still intact. No biggie.

But somehow, I get roped into an investors’ spa trip. Which means spending a whole weekend with Zane and sharing a room with his date.

Kill. Me. Now.

This might serve to destroy my crush once and for all.

If it doesn’t destroy me first.

A SWEET READ.

And very fast. It was a nice break between long reads and was perfectly predictable and made me smile. I liked both of these main characters and one of my favorites aspects was present: both points of view!! I love this in romances because it really gives a great persepctive from both sides.

I love this this confict wasn’t blown out of proportion either. Clearly there was a mistake made, but I didn’t feel it ever hit a high drama note. Zane and Abby were fun to cheer for and got into some antics that had me chuckling. I thought they had good chemistry and the flirty banter was pretty great too.

I remember not loving a few scenes, and really strugged with the ending. It was definitely the happy ever after I was hoping for, but it felt…forced? An attempted big gesture that wasn’t wholly necessary. It kind of took it down for me, luckily the book overall was a good read.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses/make-outs
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: an after-birth scene (side character has baby, then Abby is present for everything after), loss of a parent (by a car wreck), bullying/harassment

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Book Review

Book Review: Meet Me in Paradise by Libby Hubscher

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: Contemporary romance
Length: 352 pages
Author: Libby Hubscher
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: March 23rd, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Marin Cole has never:
Seen the ocean
Climbed a mountain
Taken a risk on love
….But if her sister’s plan works, she just might do all three.

Ever since her journalist mother died on assignment, Marin has played it safe, refusing to set foot outside the state of Tennessee. Her wild-child younger sister, Sadie, has trotted the globe as a photographer, living off of art and adrenaline.

When Sadie returns from a tough assignment abroad and looks a little worse for wear, Marin reluctantly agrees to a sisters’ spa weekend on the tropical island of Saba. But her lifelong fear of travel is affirmed when Sadie misses the flight, Marin’s luggage gets mixed up with another passenger’s, and an episode of turbulence sends her hurtling into the lap of Lucas Tsai, the handsome stranger who stole her sister’s seat.

For the first time in a long time, Marin has to step outside of her comfort zone as she explores the island with Lucas and learns what she’s been missing out on. With each breathtaking new experience, Marin gets closer to her real self, the man she’s falling for, and the heart-wrenching truth about why she’s there in the first place.

EMOTIONALLY BEAUTIFUL.

LOVED THIS BOOK SO DANG MUCH Y’ALL.

This was filled with so much!!

I love the strong bonds of sisterhood. Marin and her sister, Sadie were partners in life and everything else. I adored both of them with all of my heart and their family dynamic hit home in many ways. I’m going to start crying just trying to type this review out.

The romance was incredibly tender. It was somehow quick-moving but perfectly paced. I was all in from the moment Lucas sat beside Marin on the plane. It was incredibly romantic and had me swooning and cheering them on. It was everything I love to see in an passionate island getaway.

The setting had me wanting to brave my own fear of flying and get on a plane ASAP. It was enchanting and the locals were fantastic. I love that Marin got to meet many new people and really explore for the first time in her life.

Marin had incredible growth. She stretched and found a whole new world to stand in. Marin chose herself [finally] first and it allowed her to be able to see where she wanted to go next and with who.

Many times I was brought close to tears and the pure raw emotion emanating from the pages. This story will break you completely down and still be able to hand out hope in the end. I love how this combined life and love together to create one magnificent read. I couldn’t put this down and I loved every second of it (even if I wanted to cry half the time).

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary romance
  • Language: a little
  • Romance: kisses to closed door
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: a dicey plane ride, a loved one with terminal illness, loss of a parent

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