Book Review

ARC Book Review: Running Wild (The Simple Wild #3) by K.A. Tucker

Rating: ★★★★
Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: TBD pages
Author: K.A. Tucker
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: January 25th, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

From the internationally bestselling author of The Simple Wild comes the story of a woman at a crossroads in her life, struggling between the safe route and the one that will only lead to more heartbreak.

Veterinarian Marie Lehr knows unrequited love all too well after pining for her best friend, only to watch him marry another woman. It’s a mistake she will never make again, especially not when she can practically hear the clock ticking on her childbearing years.

The trouble is, she can’t seem to find anyone who appeals to her even a fraction as much as that burly bush pilot did. Competitive musher Tyler Brady certainly doesn’t, especially not after the heated altercation with the handsome but arrogant, spiteful man.

Or so she thinks.

While volunteering at the Iditarod Sled Dog Race, Marie discovers that first impressions may have been false, and her attraction to Tyler is very real. But his heart belongs to someone else, leaving him with nothing to offer but friendship. Marie’s been down this road before and knows how that ends. Yet, no matter how hard she works to keep from falling for Tyler, it seems she’s doomed to follow her own trail once again.

Thank you to Valentine PR for the eARC.

BEAUTIFUL STORY.

I could not put this down. I have a deep love for Tucker’s romances and this was another great one. I’m elated that we got to read Marie’s story at last!!

Marie and Tyler got off to a bumpy start (which is honestly kind of my favorite). I loved the slow nature of their connection as it built over months. Truly becoming friends first and then watching that love grow as they got to know each other on very deep levels. These are two heartbroken people just trying to find the next right step on their paths. I wanted a bit more of page time between them in the first half, but that 50% mark really set off a rollercoaster ride to the end. I was alllllll up in my feels wondering how it was going to end. Grateful for a short and sweet epilogue that gave some closure.

The Alaskan setting is always the best. I loved that this focused on the Iditarod race and all that that entails. It was SO COOL. I learned a lot from the book and looking up my own information. How can you not love a book that’s filled with ALL THE DOGS? Answer: you can’t.

I never felt overly negative towards Marie in TSW. Going in to Running Wild, I wasn’t sure what to expect from her character. But I ended up loving the whole process. Grappling with feelings for Jonah, moving on, dealing with family and what she hoped for herself and the dreams she wanted realized. Everything together made for a beautiful characterization and I adore Marie. I do. She gave it her all, and finally got her all.

And yes, you do get to see Jonah and Calla again!!

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary Romance
  • Language: a little strong
  • Romance: two brief open door scenes
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: major theme of the book is about pregnancy/babies, brief mention of miscarriage (side character), abused animals, discussion of treatment for pets (euthanasia, amputation, etc.)

Instagram || Goodreads || The StoryGraph

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

Instagram || Goodreads

Book Review

Book Review: Life’s Too Short (The Friend Zone #3) by Abby Jimenez

Rating: ☆☆☆☆ 1/2
Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: 384 pages
Author: Abby Jimenez
Publisher: Forever
Release Date: April 6th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

A brilliant and touching romantic comedy from the USA Today bestselling author of The Friend Zone and The Happy Ever After Playlist.

When Vanessa Price quit her job to pursue her dream of traveling the globe, she wasn’t expecting to gain millions of YouTube followers who shared her joy of seizing every moment. For her, living each day to its fullest isn’t just a motto. Her mother and sister never saw the age of 30, and Vanessa doesn’t want to take anything for granted.

But after her half sister suddenly leaves Vanessa in custody of her baby daughter, life goes from “daily adventure” to “next-level bad” (now with bonus baby vomit in hair). The last person Vanessa expects to show up offering help is the hot lawyer next door, Adrian Copeland. After all, she barely knows him. No one warned her that he was the Secret Baby Tamer or that she’d be spending a whole lot of time with him and his geriatric Chihuahua.

Now she’s feeling things she’s vowed not to feel. Because the only thing worse than falling for Adrian is finding a little hope for a future she may never see.

BEST OF THE SERIES.

This series (but not a series because you can read them out of order) has progressively gotten better with each book. I’m so happy I kept up with it because WOW. This was a gem.

Adrian has me absolutely smitten and swooning all over the place. He was such a dreamy guy. And his relationship with Vanessa was perfectly imperfect. They had me smiling, wanting to pass around many hugs, and full on cheering for them. I loved the conversations and shortcomings both characters had. There was raw emotions and learning to come to terms with the possible futures ahead. There whole dynamic was everything I could hope for in a romance. It was fast-paced and felt authentic.

My only tiny tidbit I didn’t like was Vanessa’s family dynamics. It came across as trying to add a bunch more drama to the story, but instead was overdone. Each member had something intense happening and I wanted to go back to Vanessa and Adrian more than anything.

Filled with plenty of moments to make your heart thump faster I couldn’t recommend this enough. It was just SO SWEET. I couldn’t put this book down and I’m not even mad about the super cheesy ending. CAUSE I LOVED IT.

If you choose to read any from this series, I’d say this one easily. Nothing is spoiled for the other two (besides who ends up with who, but honestly it’s a HEA romance, you know where those are going?).

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary romance
  • Language: some
  • Romance: kisses to closed door scenes
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: loved one dealing with substance abuse, loved one exhibiting extreme hoarding, loss of loved ones through illness, main character dealing with potential incurable condition (ALS)

Instagram || Goodreads

Book Review

Monthly Reading Wrap-Up: December 2021

Hellooooo the end of the year. Wow did I end the year with a lot of reads. All of those short Christmas novellas added up! Even if only a few were okay.

Favorite Reads: All My Rage, The Mistletoe Motive, Project Hail Mary, ACOTAR [reread], Faking Under the Mistletoe [reread], Tokyo Ever After, The Bird and the Sword [reread], Our Violent Ends, Lore Olympus [reread]

Least Favorite: Falling Under the Mistletoe, Kiss the Girl

  • Falling Under the Mistletoe by Evelyn Mae
  • [ARC] Hunt the Stars (Starlight’s Shadow) by Jessie Mihalik
  • [Novella] (Not so) Alone for Christmas by Jenny Proctor
  • [Novella] The Mistletoe Motive by Chloe Liese
  • Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone (Outlander #9) by Diana Gabaldon
  • A Shadow in the Ember (Flesh and Fire #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout
  • A Loyal Heart (An Uncertain Choice #4) by Jody Hedlund
  • Christmas As We Know It by Sarah Sutton
  • Atlas of the Heart by Brene Brown
  • [ARC] Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead (Finlay Donovan #2) by Elle Cosimano
  • Year of the Reaper by Makiia Lucier
  • Lake Mistletoe by Amber Kelly
  • [ARC] Mr. Wrong Number by Lynn Painter
  • Dreams Lie Beneath by Rebecca Ross
  • [ARC] All My Rage by Sabaa Tahir
  • Kiss the Girl (Creekville Kisses #2) by Melanie Jacobson
  • Hail Mary by Andy Weir
  • Charting Stars (The Nine Realms Tales #1) by Micheline Ryckman
  • Eight Perfect Hours by Lia Louis
  • Today Tonight Tomorrow by Rachel Lynn Solomon
  • [Reread] A Court of Thorns and Roses (ACOTAR #1) by Sarah J. Maas
  • Come Back to Me (Come Back to Me #1) by Mila Gray
  • [Reread] Faking Under the Mistletoe by Ashley Shepherd
  • Tokyo Ever After (Tokyo Ever After #1) by Emiko Jean
  • [ARC] Always Jane by Jenn Bennett
  • If the Shoe Fits (Meant to Be #1) by Julie Murphy
  • On These Black Sands (Aisling Sea #1) by Vanessa Rasanen
  • [Reread] The Bird and the Sword (The Bird and the Sword Chronicles #1) by Amy Harmon
  • The Twelve Dogs of Christmas (Pine Hollow #1) by Lizzie Shane
  • The Holiday Switch by Tif Marcelo
  • You’ll Be the Death of Me by Karen M. McManus
  • Our Violent Ends (These Violent Delights #2) by Chloe Gong
  • [Novella] Silver Bells and Secrets (Twelfth Night Novellas #1) by Laura Rollins
  • [Novella] Stranded Ranch by Cindy Steel
  • [Novella] Believe Me (Shatter Me #6.5) by Tahereh Mafi
  • [Graphic Novel] Lore Olympus: Volume One by Rachel Smythe
  • This Shattered World (Starbound #2) by Amie Kaufman
  • A Trial of Sorcerers (A Trial of Sorcerers #1) by Elise Kova

How did reading go for you in December?

Instagram || Goodreads