Book Review

Book Review: The Happy Ever After Playlist (The Friend Zone #2) by Abby Jimenez

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Contemporary romance
Length: 401 pages
Author: Abby Jimenez
Publisher: Forever
Release Date: April 14th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

From the USA Today bestselling author of The Friend Zone comes an adorable and fresh romantic comedy about one trouble-making dog who brings together two perfect strangers.

Two years after losing her fiancé, Sloan Monroe still can’t seem to get her life back on track. But one trouble-making pup with a “take me home” look in his eyes is about to change everything. With her new pet by her side, Sloan finally starts to feel more like herself. Then, after weeks of unanswered texts, Tucker’s owner reaches out. He’s a musician on tour in Australia. And bottom line: He wants Tucker back.

Well, Sloan’s not about to give up her dog without a fight. But what if this Jason guy really loves Tucker? As their flirty texts turn into long calls, Sloan can’t deny a connection. Jason is hot and nice and funny. There’s no telling what could happen when they meet in person. The question is: With his music career on the rise, how long will Jason really stick around? And is it possible for Sloan to survive another heartbreak?

STELLAR MEET-CUTE.

Oh so much better than The Friend Zone.

What’s ironic to me is that even if I have some issues with these books, I devour them in a day. The writing is easy to dive in fast and not come up for a breath. Things move at a great pace that has you wanting more. Problems are overlooked and the flipping can’t stop until the happy ending is reached. So yes, while I gave this 4 stars, trust me, it’ll keep your interest.

I’m so happy we got a Sloan story. I liked the way grief was handled in this book. I know it looks different for all of us and I appreciated the way it was woven into this story. Sloan went through a lot (to put it mildly) and I like the way this romance came about in her life. Sweet and flirty text/phone conversations? I’m all of that modern take on romance. Jason had me smiling from moment one, and throwing a cute dog into the mix is definitely a way to my heart.

At times I thought the drama felt over worked and a bit out there. Yet, I guess that’s also part of being a celebrity. While I was frustrated with how Jason handled things, I did at least see his side of it. Sloan and Jason’s relationship wasn’t easy and that’s honestly one of the best parts of THEA. I like seeing couples have to work through things, have the difficult conversation, and really decide if this is where they want to be.

The totally cliche ending did make me incredibly happy. I like a good movie moment in a book and since I was begging this to end well, I’m smitten with how extra it was. Sloan and Jason deserve all the happy ever afters.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary romance
  • Language: often and strong (one of issues is with the flagrancy)
  • Romance: kisses / heated make-outs; a few almost scenes (with detail), and a open door scene (mild detailed, less than The Friend Zone)
  • Violence: physical
  • Trigger warnings: discussion of losing a loved one, grief and depression

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Monthly Wrap-Up

Monthly Reading Wrap-Up: October 2020

What a month!

I devoured another 31 books and can’t believe my eyes. I finished and caught up on series. Read a smattering of genres and really enjoyed my October reads!

Favorites: The Extinction Trials, the Wayfair Witches series, Kingdom of the Wicked, Empire of Storms, Code Name Helene, Enjoy the View

Least Favorites: The Guinevere Deception, Fire Study

  • Tunnel of Bones (Cassidy Blake #2) by Victoria Schwab – (☆☆☆☆)
  • The Extinction Trials (The Extinction Trials #1) by S.M. Wilson – (☆☆☆☆☆)
  • The Inheritance Games (The Inheritance Games #1) by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (☆☆☆☆)
  • Loved Up (Wayfair Witches #6) by A.A. Albright – (☆☆☆☆)
  • Lost Roses (Lilac Girls #2) by Martha Hall Kelly – (☆☆☆☆)
  • Small Spaces (Small Spaces #1) by Katherine Arden – (☆☆☆☆)
  • [ARC] Kingdom of the Wicked (Kingdom of the Wicked #1) by Kerri Maniscalco (☆☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • The Boyfriend Project (The Boyfriend Project #1) by Farrah Rochon – (☆☆☆☆)
  • Steelheart (The Reckoners #1) by Brandon Sanderson – (☆☆☆☆)
  • Rocking Out (Wayfair Witches #7) by A.A. Albright – (☆☆☆☆)
  • The Guinevere Deception (Camelot Rising #1) by Kiersten White – (☆☆☆)
  • London Prep (London Prep #1) by Jillian Dodd – (☆☆☆☆)
  • [Reread] Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass #5) by Sarah J. Maas – (☆☆☆☆☆)
  • Fire Study (Poison Study #3) by Maria V. Snyder – (☆☆☆)
  • Acting Up (Wayfair Witches #8) by A.A. Albright – (☆☆☆☆☆)
  • The Kinder Poison (The Kinder Poison #1) by Natalie Mae – (☆☆☆☆)
  • London Prep No. 2 (London Prep #2) by Jillian Dodd – (☆☆☆☆)
  • Legally Red (Wayfair Witches #8.5) by A.A. Albright – (☆☆☆☆)
  • Code Name Helene by Ariel Lawhon – (☆☆☆☆☆)
  • Swotting Up (Wayfair Witches #9) by A.A. Albright – (☆☆☆☆)
  • [Reread] A Reaper at the Gates (An Ember in the Ashes #3) by Sabaa Tahir – (☆☆☆☆☆)
  • London Prep No. 3 (London Prep #3) by Jillian Dodd – (☆☆☆☆)
  • Age of Death (The Legends of the First Empire #5) by Michael J. Sullivan –(☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • Forget Me Knot (Wayfair Witches #10) by A.A. Albright – (☆☆☆☆)
  • [ARC] Instant Karma by Marissa Meyer – (☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • If It’s Perfect (The Wedding Business #1) by Summer Dowell – (☆☆☆☆)
  • The Storm Crow (The Storm Crow #1) by Kalyn Josephson – (☆☆☆)
  • All Hallowed Out (Wayfair Witches #11) by A.A. Albright – (☆☆☆☆)
  • Holiday Heist (Wayfair Witches #11.5) A.A. Albright – (☆☆☆☆)
  • [ARC] Enjoy the View (Moose Springs, Alaska #3) by Sarah Morgenthaler – (☆☆☆☆☆)
  • Age of Empyre (The Legends of the First Empire #6) by Michael J. Sullivan – (☆☆☆ 1/2)

How was your month? Do you have a favorite book you read? Lets talk in the comments!

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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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