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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Book Review

Book Review: The Christmas Swap by Sandy Barker

Rating: ☆☆
Audience: Contemporary romance
Length: 400 pages
Author: Sandy Barker
Publisher: One More Chapter
Release Date: October 16th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Chloe, Jules, and Lucy meet at a Maui resort kids’ club, aged 11, forging a lifelong friendship spanning two decades and three continents.

Twenty-two years later, they decide to swap Christmases, none of them expecting the hilarity and romantic escapades that will ensue.

Chloe from Melbourne spends her Christmas with Lucy’s mum and dad in a sleepy village in Oxfordshire, England, stunned to the core when she discovers who grew up across the road from Lucy.

Lucy, who has jetted off to snowy Colorado for her dream-come-true white Christmas, is taken into the fold of Jules’s loud and brash family, discovering more about herself in a few short days than she has in years.

And Jules leaves the cold climes of Colorado to spend a balmy ‘Orphan’s Christmas’ with Chloe’s friends in Melbourne, finding that time away from her mundane life is just what she needed.

Join these three lovable women as they each get a Christmas to surpass their wildest dreams.

JUST STOP.

Oh goodness. I can’t with insta-love y’all. I will admit, I have read good renditions of it, this was not one of those.

There’s 400 pages to cover three entirely separate story lines. It was clearly not enough to actually put any angst or moments into anyone’s romance. I couldn’t get past how quickly everything was happening and wanted it to just slow down. There was no background on relationships and the love interests. All 0 to 100 faster than I could convince myself to read this book.

I wanted to like everyone, and I did for the most part. And the premise was a nifty idea. Switching places with friends to enjoy a “new to them” Christmas celebration seemed enchanting.

I’m going to keep this short because I don’t have any desire to rip into this more. It wasn’t a love story I was on board with.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary romance
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: kisses; mentions of nights together (but no details)

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Book Review

Book Review: Jingle All the Way by Debbie Macomber

Rating: ☆☆
Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: 272 pages
Author: Debbie Macomber
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Release Date: October 13th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

A young workaholic avoiding home for the holidays discovers that you can’t run away from who you are–a heartfelt Christmas novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Debbie Macomber.

Everly Lancaster always dreamed of leaving her hometown in rural Illinois. Now she helps run a burgeoning startup in Chicago, where her professional goals leave little time for friends…or a vacation.

When a massive snowstorm hits, Everly’s mother urges her to come home for Christmas, but she hesitates to return to the life she’s worked so hard to escape. Searching for other holiday plans, Everly tasks her assistant with booking her a cruise–the perfect getaway. Embarking on a weeklong tour of the Amazon guided by charming naturalist Asher Adams, Everly slowly but surely begins to realize that relationships are more important than work–and just might decide to journey home just in time for Christmas Day.

Debbie Macomber’s signature wintry warmth shines in this holiday delight.

MISSED ITS CHANCE.

Not gonna lie, the more I sat on this review, the lower my rating went.

There was an incredible amount of potential here. I thought the premise was a fun take for a holiday romance, could have led to a lot of different avenues, and took me nowhere. Or more, took me everywhere at an intense speed I couldn’t keep up with.

Insta-love/connections can work. I have read many good ones, but I tend to struggle with them more quickly when it’s truly rushed. Before halfway our couple had already had the big “conflict fight” and went separate ways more the moment. But I realized that they had hardly spent time with each other, so I never formed a connection with them. The amount of telling vs. showing me feelings and moments ruined most of this for me.

I liked how it ended and the resolutions that were made on both sides. There was better communication and compromises on both sides that worked for the story. Just wish that was fleshed out a bit more and that there was more story and moments.

Overall audience notess:

  • Contemporary Holiday Romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses

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