Book Review

ARC Book Review: The Bluff (Graham Brothers #2) by Emma St. Clair

Rating: ★★★★
Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: TBD pages
Author: Emma St. Clair
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: June 9th, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

I won’t be winning any employee of the year awards. But only because my boss is the grumpy boss to end all grumpy bosses. Did I mention he doesn’t trust me to do my job?

Challenge accepted.

Not only am I going to help James launch a successful brewery, but I’m going to find out what makes him tick … and what makes him go boom.

All this has nothing to do with the fact that the man is unbearably, unfairly, unignorably (is that a word?) attractive. Or that he lost his mom when he was young, same as me.

The more he pushes me away, the more I’m pulled into his orbit. It’s a battle of stubborn wills, and I don’t plan to concede anytime soon.

Except the more time I spend around James Graham, the more I start to lose the one thing I refuse to give to any man … my heart.

The Bluff is an enemies to lovers, grumpy boss rom-com set in the fictional small town of Sheet Cake Texas. You’ll find plenty of laughs and sizzling chemistry in this closed door romantic comedy. It’s the second in a series, but can be read as a standalone.

I LOVED THIS.

Oh wow does Emma St. Clair never disappoint.

Let’s run a small list of things you can find in The Bluff:

  • Grump x Sunshine
  • One bed (but keep it sweet)
  • Beer conventions in Austin, TX
  • Taking care of someone after a nightmare
  • Major groveling
  • Dealing with loss of a parent (off page, in past)
  • ELEVATOR MAKE-OUTS + all the other swoony kisses

I love the way these closed door romances are written. They are sizzling while keeping the spice away. Another reason to give these types of romances a chance.

I absolutely LOVED Winnie and James. There banter was perfect. The chemistry, off the charts. And the raw way they learned to speak to one another made my heart want to burst. An undeniable connection (but with out being insta-love) from the beginning, I could NOT get enough of these two. Gimme more.

The plot moved steadily and it was filled with plenty of forced proximity, but also, necessary time apart. I liked the character growth on both sides (but especially James). I’m obsessed with anything St. Clair writes and this was another hit. My current fav of this series.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary Romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: make-outs
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: depictions of anxiety, grief

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Book Review

ARC Book Review: The Buy-In (Graham Brother Sweet Rom-Com #1) by Emma St. Clair

Rating: ★★★★
Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: 412 pages
Author: Emma St.Clair
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: January 24th, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

When a family of former pro football players buy a small Texas town, they didn’t intend to start a war with its residents … or to fall in love.

Ever since his career-ending injury, Pat has bounced from job to job, idea to idea, short-lived relationship to short-lived relationship. But when his father purchases the town of Sheet Cake, Pat suddenly sees his life with clear purpose: get his brothers on board with his dad’s wild idea and win back the one woman who got away.

Lindy was supposed to be traveling the world, not stuck in a small town, caring for her niece. But she would do anything to keep custody of Jo–even if that looks like a marriage of convenience with the man who already broke her heart once.

Now if she can only keep herself from falling back in love with her husband…

This is a small town, marriage of convenience romantic comedy with plenty of sizzle while keeping the bedroom door closed. It’s the first in a spinoff series following Harper’s brothers (from Falling for Your Best Friend). You don’t need to have read the Love Clichés series first to enjoy this book.

Thank you to the author for an ARC!

ALL THE CHARM.

I adore all things Emma St. Clair and this was another notch on that belt. I have been waiting for this series starter and now I want all things Graham related. ALL THE THINGS.

This was a different take for me on the marriage of convenience trope. Love was already flowing between them before vows were said and you could FEEEEEEL it. I actually really liked that and made this book just have all of the ooey-gooey things I love. Pat had me absolutely smitten and his dedication to wooing Lindy was top notch. Lindy learning to let others help her, also top notch. Here for the character growth y’all.

Not to mention, Texas high school football, meddling friends and brothers, wild squirrels, and a rain storm. Every time Pat and Lindy fired up a kissing scene the sparks FLEW. I love how St. Clair approaches and writes these scenes. Give me alllllll those heartfelt moments.

The ending wrapped up with some tender scenes that will melt you into a puddle. I liked that the miscommunication wasn’t over blown. Each character thought and approached from their side and had an actual conversation. My fav.

Already waiting impatiently for the next story because it’s sure to be as fire as this one.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary Romance
  • Language: very little
  • Romance: make-outs
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: parental abandonment, caring for a parent with dementia

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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: Royally Rearranged by Emma St. Clair

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: 380 pages
Author: Emma St. Clair
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: September 30th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

There WILL be a royal wedding. The only question–who will be my groom?

An arranged marriage isn’t the worst fate for a princess like me. Especially because I’ve been in love with my intended groom since we were children.

But when my prince shows up with an American girlfriend instead of an engagement ring, all arrangements are off.

The clock is nearing midnight–I won’t turn into a pumpkin, but if I’m not wed by summer’s end, I’ll forfeit my kingdom.

Just your typical royal dilemma.

Out of sheer desperation, I make a deal with a devilish duke. Rafe de Silva is the prince’s rival and has a plan so ridiculous it just might work.

One moment, Rafe seems to relish making the prince jealous.

And the next… he’s making me question everything with his words, his touch, and his ability to melt my Ice Princess persona.

I’m not always given the luxury of choice, but now I have a huge one to make. I only hope I don’t lose my crown, my heart, or myself in the process…

Royally Rearranged is a sizzling, swoony, closed-door romantic comedy.

NEW ROYAL FAV.

First: ADD TO TBR.

Second: Continue with the rest of the review.

Y’all. I don’t find book boyfriends easy. Ones that live absolutely rent free in my mind. Rafe has been added to that list. RENT FREE. Ohhhhh my gosh what a vulnerable cinnamon roll with swagger. I loved every single moment he was on page. All that I learned about him. His emotional willingness to help Serafina find whatever she wanted. The support from both sides. Tender ending. ALL SO GOOD.

Not to put Serafina aside because she was top notch as well. I love how formidable she was. Intelligent and uncompromising. Not only did she really grow as a character, Serafina also showed my favorite kind of shut down. Thank heavens, when a miscommunication came up that I thought about throwing my kindle, she said, wait let me talk to him first. WHAT A CONCEPT. Five stars.

This gave off MAJOR Princess Diaries 2 vibes (it’s the best of the two, I will die on this hill). All the royalty I love to see without over the top dramatics. Everything was laid out perfectly and this book was just so dang good. My new favorite for this author.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary Romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses / make-outs
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: gaslighting and psychological abuse (recounted and a bit on page)

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