Book Review

Book Review: Rustic Hearts (Poplar Falls #1) by Amber Kelly

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: 268 pages
Author: Amber Kelly
Publisher: Amber Kelly, LLC
Release Date: September 16th, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

The last place Sophia Lancaster wanted to return to was Poplar Falls. It’s the place that holds all the painful memories and unanswered questions she’s ever had. One phone call causes her life to take a turn, forcing her back to the town she hasn’t stepped foot in over twenty years.

And right into the path of Braxton Young.

His blue eyes, sinful smile, and rough exterior are no match for Sophia. She’s there for one reason, and it isn’t to fall in love. The sooner she can get out of this small town and back in New York City—the better.

However, fate doesn’t care for either of their desires. Instead, they’re forced to deal with each other, finding their differences aren’t as great as they thought. Each day brings them closer to friendship and the possibility of something more. The answers she seeks might not only break her and Braxton apart but also her heart.

SMITTEN.

That’s how the first book in this series made me feel. It’s totally Hallmark + some steam and I am here for seeing how the rest of these characters love stories play out.

I easily read this in a day and I love when shorter books feel like the perfect length. I got the answers I wanted, the cuteness I needed and I only wish the ending was a bit longer to get more of Sophie and Braxton.

Braxton and Sophie were definitely an enemies to lovers saga (which is probably the number one reason I enjoyed this). They clashed immediately, but the obvious fire was there too. I liked how each one had some misconstrued ideas about the other, but after listening to the facts and learning more about each other they both had changes of heart. Sophie and Braxton seeked to figure out each other and how they could fit into each other’s lives.

Side story that I looooooved was that Sophie was a jewelry designer!! I just thought that was really unique from the romances I’ve read and adored how it fit into her personality and her life at large.

Dude wow, did I really loathe Sophie’s Mother. Finding out what really happened made honestly angry that a parent would put their child in that situation (and lie about it). I didn’t see redemption there, but I guess at least Sophie worked it out.

The steam was a bit much more my preference, but it can be easily skipped and the story at large is lovely and engaging. I’m so glad Dallas’s story is next!!

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary romance
  • Language: strong
  • Romance: kisses to open door scenes
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: infidelity, divorce, loosing both parents in an accident

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Book Review

Book Review: All Rhodes Lead Here by Mariana Zapata

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: Contemporary romance
Length: 551 pages
Author: Mariana Zapata
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: April 1st, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Losing people you love is hard.

Aurora De La Torre knows moving back to a place that was once home isn’t going to be easy.

Starting your whole life over probably isn’t supposed to be.

But a small town in the mountains might be the perfect remedy for a broken heart.

Checking out her landlord across the driveway just might cure it too.

I GET IT NOW.

My first Zapata book was, The Wall of Winnipeg and Me, and I thought it was…fine. I think it might have been over-hyped for me so I didn’t know how I would feel about another book. But decided, why not?

ENTER IN ALL RHODES LEAD HERE.

I get it all now. This is clearly the Zapata book for me and I LOOOOVED IT.

Oh my gosh, Rhodes is a new bookisk boyfriend forever favorite. I couldn’t get enough of his quiet, stoic ways. He was incredibly romantic in the best ways. I was wrapped up in every little (and big) way he showed Aurora he was falling for her hard. I don’t know how to better describe this other than it was some of the mest slow-burn romanticness I’ve ever read.

I thought Aurora was a great main character too. I cheered for her, wanted to hug her, she made me laugh and smile. Watching her work through her trials with a sense of hope that the next turn was going to be better was such a light. Aurora’s ability to smile and continue to love was fantastic.

All of these side characters had me wrapped around their fingers too. [Well, all of the positive characters — the terrible ones can go hide in a hole]. They all felt well built and had their own stories that wove well into the over-arching plot.

Even though some of these hikes went sideways, this book gave me major wanderlust. I would love to travel to some of these areas now and see them for myself.

What a gem of a book y’all. I will recommend this up and down if you’re looking to dive into a Zapata book.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary romance
  • Language: strong
  • Romance: kisses/make-outs to one open door scene
  • Violence: hiking mishaps (falling and getting injured)
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: loss of a parent, emotional/verbal abuse, gaslighting and intense manipulation, depression

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