Book Review

ARC Book Review: Crazy Stupid Bromance (Bromance Book Club #3) by Lyssa Kay Adams

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: 352 pages
Author: Lyssa Kay Adams
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: October 27th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

A hacktivist and a cat café owner decode the friend zone in this romantic comedy from the author of Undercover Bromance.

Alexis Carlisle and her cat café, ToeBeans, have shot to fame after she came forward as a victim of a celebrity chef’s sexual harassment. When a new customer approaches to confide in her, the last thing Alexis expects is for the woman to claim they’re sisters. Unsure what to do, Alexis turns to the only man she trusts—her best friend, Noah Logan.

Computer genius Noah left his rebellious teenage hacker past behind to become a computer security expert. Now he only uses his old skills for the right cause. But Noah’s got a secret: He’s madly in love with Alexis. When she asks for his help, he wonders if the timing will ever be right to confess his crush.

Noah’s pals in The Bromance Book Club are more than willing to share their beloved “manuals” to help him go from bud to boyfriend. But he must decide if telling the truth is worth risking the best friendship he’s ever had. 

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for the eARC. All opinions are my own.

DEVOURED THIS.

Ahhhh, another good installment y’all. I love how the Bromance Book Club combines laugh out loud moments with critically important topics as well.

Hello, way super smitten with Noah here. Once again, anther love interest that I adore. Such a tough guy with an absolutely soft soul. I adored his dynamic with Alexis and trying to make sure he was the best he could be for her, and being what she needed when she needed it. Add in the *helpfulness* of his friends and its a recipe for some mistakes, and beautiful growth moments.

I only struggled with one decision. And I can’t speak to it because it would be a major spoiler, but I’m curious what others will think. I understood the affect it was meant to have on the reader, I just don’t know if it was necessary? I DON’T KNOW. I’m conflicted. The theme of forgiveness was huge in this and I think that’s why it’s swayed me to being more okay with it the longer I’ve thought about it. Either way you look at it, it was a tough choice.

Alexis was a strong main character. Her bravery to face down the Karen’s and finding her power again was stunning. I was hoping to see her grasp that SHE mattered too, and I really saw those changes by the end. Love some character growth from both Alexis and Noah. Put them together was fireworks. They were a match. No other way to look at it.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary romance
  • Language: strong and frequent
  • Romance: kisses / heated make-outs; a handful of open-door scenes
  • Trigger warnings: remembering sexual assaults, loss of a parent, grief

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Book Review

Book Review: Beach Read by Emily Henry

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: 361 pages
Author: Emily Henry
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: May 19th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

A romance writer who no longer believes in love and a literary writer stuck in a rut engage in a summer-long challenge that may just upend everything they believe about happily ever afters.

Augustus Everett is an acclaimed author of literary fiction. January Andrews writes bestselling romance. When she pens a happily ever after, he kills off his entire cast.

They’re polar opposites.

In fact, the only thing they have in common is that for the next three months, they’re living in neighboring beach houses, broke, and bogged down with writer’s block.

Until, one hazy evening, one thing leads to another and they strike a deal designed to force them out of their creative ruts: Augustus will spend the summer writing something happy, and January will pen the next Great American Novel. She’ll take him on field trips worthy of any rom-com montage, and he’ll take her to interview surviving members of a backwoods death cult (obviously). Everyone will finish a book and no one will fall in love. Really. 

A MUST FOR SUMMER.

Oh I loved this.

I’ve been in a huge reading slump. And this book managed to pull out a two-day read from me because I couldn’t put it down. I knew it was practically a 5 star from a quarter of the way through. Beach Read was just that magical to me at the right time.

I almost feel like that makes it hard to write a review, at least a fully coherent one. If things go sideways, know, I LOVED IT. And definitely would recommend across the board for an adult (low-mid steam) contemporary romance that makes you smile, laugh, and want to hug the main characters.

This book has magnetizing powers. I love the polar opposite, old college acquaintances, set-up. The chemistry between January and Gus flew off the charts from the moment the met again. I love that there was a clear dynamic between them and that the banter between them was snarky AND sweet, and never came across as downright mean. The pacing for their relationship moved in just the right ways for me and I love the way they worked on communicating together and acknowledging the things they needed to work on.

For the plot, how charming for authors to be writing books while reading a book written by an author? I could really feel Henry’s voice because I could feel the same struggles she probably went through writing her novel as January and Gus worked through theirs. The juxtaposition gave a charming flair that made for easy and enjoyable reading.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary romance
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: kisses / make-outs; a few open and close door scenes; mildly detailed
  • Trigger warnings: Gus discusses his abusive Father, multiple discussions about a fictional suicide cult (they see the site, speak with those who had family members that were apart of it); loss of a loved one, adultery, cancer, divorce

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Book Review

ARC Book Review: Well Played (Well Met #2) by Jen DeLuca

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: 336 pages
Author: Jen DeLuca
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: September 22nd, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Another laugh-out-loud romantic comedy featuring kilted musicians, Renaissance Faire tavern wenches, and an unlikely love story.

Stacey is jolted when her friends Simon and Emily get engaged. She knew she was putting her life on hold when she stayed in Willow Creek to care for her sick mother, but it’s been years now, and even though Stacey loves spending her summers pouring drinks and flirting with patrons at the local Renaissance Faire, she wants more out of life. Stacey vows to have her life figured out by the time her friends get hitched at Faire next summer. Maybe she’ll even find The One.

When Stacey imagined “The One,” it never occurred to her that her summertime Faire fling, Dex MacLean, might fit the bill. While Dex is easy on the eyes onstage with his band The Dueling Kilts, Stacey has never felt an emotional connection with him. So when she receives a tender email from the typically monosyllabic hunk, she’s not sure what to make of it.

Faire returns to Willow Creek, and Stacey comes face-to-face with the man with whom she’s exchanged hundreds of online messages over the past nine months. To Stacey’s shock, it isn’t Dex—she’s been falling in love with a man she barely knows.

Thank you to Berkley and Netgalley for the eARC. All opinions are my own!

SO SWEET.

I am all over this series by Jen DeLuca. They’re adorable and easy to enjoy and get a few smiles out of me.

In differentiating from Well Met, this book follows Stacey as she goes through a lot of big life decisions. Some cards were handed to her unplanned and now she’s found herself stuck in a slump, wondering what to do next. I struggled with the way Stacey talked about herself at times. I liked that she had a good evolution over the book about finding her way. Learning to take those leaps of faith and following something you know you love.

Okay, Daniel? TOTES ADORBS. I mean, from the get go. Absolutely loved him. So flippin’ cute. He warmed my heart 100x over and was such a match for Stacey. I liked the way the initial conflict (trying to avoid spoilers) happened between them. The communication and understanding that went into seeing both sides of the story really set me up for loving this ship. And this was a continual theme that helped

Another magical setting at a Ren Fest and I am once again wishing I could go to one this year! I love the writing and magic I feel between everyone. Getting to see Simon and Emily again was also absolutely amazing. I did like Well Met more, ONLY because it had more of an enemies to lovers vibe (which is my favorite trope ever). This is more friends to lovers and I found it very sweet watching Daniel and Stacey fall in love.

And low-key, STOKED for the next book in this series and the fact it’s about Mitch and April.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary romance
  • Language: a little (strong when used)
  • Romance: kisses / make-outs; a full chapter open door scene

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Book Review

Book Review: Eleanor & Grey by Brittainy C. Cherry

Rating: ☆☆☆ 1/2
Audience: Contemporary romance
Length: 350 pages
Author: Brittainy C. Cherry
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: April 8th, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Greyson East left his mark on me.

As the young girl who first fell for him, I didn’t know much about life. I did know about his smiles, though, and his laughs, and the strange way my stomach flipped when he was near.

Life was perfect…until it wasn’t, and when we were forced to go our separate ways, I held on to our memories, let go of my first crush, and wished for the day I’d find him again.

When my wish came true, it was nothing like I imagined.

I couldn’t have known when I took the nanny position that it would be his children I looked after, that my new boss would be that boy I used to know, that boy who was now a man—a cold, lonely, detached man.

The smile and laugh I had loved so much were gone, now distant memories. Every part of him was covered in a fresh pain.

When he realized who I was, he made me promise to do my job and my job only.
He made me promise not to try to get to know him, not to recall the memories I’d treasured all this time.

But, sometimes, I saw the boy I’d once known in his stormy eyes. I saw the Greyson who smiled and laughed, who had stolen a young girl’s heart, and there was no doubt in my mind that this boy was worth fighting for.

I was given a second chance with the one who’d left his mark on me. All I hoped was that somehow I’d leave a mark on his soul, too.

A BIT OF A FLAIR IN THE DRAMATICS.

Okay. I don’t know how I feel about this book which is why I’ve gone with 3.5 stars. There were some portions I enjoyed and was emotionally involved in and then I had this moment where I started thinking. And those thoughts led me to wondering how many more things can happen purely for the sake of adding a dramatic flair to the entire story?

Apparently, A LOT.

There were so many things jammed into this story to pull on my emotions that I was surprised by the end. I didn’t think it needed all of it to make a great story. A few of the dramatics were needed, yes. That’s how this became a second chance romance, but others were added that I had to shrug my shoulders over.

I did like the romance. I wished the time in high school was a bit longer so I really got a feel for Eleanor and Greyson’s relationship before they had to part ways. I was enjoying the precious romance that was brewing. I’m glad that in the present it took time for them to rekindle anything. I was going to be real upset if they jumped back together and was impressed that it took a bit to get there. I loved seeing the character arcs of both of them from the past to the present and even to the end. Greyson and Eleanor worked through a lot to be together.

I adored Greyson’s children. They were a great pair that gave this book a whole new side. Lorelei and Karla both had their own issues that allowed Greyson to step in as a father figure to address. Even better was watching Eleanor go mama bear on people when the girls were bullied or disrespected.

All in all, a good book. Especially if you’re into a bit of dramatics you’ll enjoy this. This was my first book by this author and I’m curious about her spin-off books from Eleanor & Grey. I think I’ll definitely take a look at those later.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary romance [trope: second chance]
  • Language: some
  • Romance: a few scenes mild to explicit, but brief; kisses/make-outs
  • Trigger warnings: domestic abuse, losing a loved one to cancer, bullying, description of an awful car wreck, suicide ideation, severe grief and depression

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