Book Review

Book Review: A Loyal Heart (An Uncertain Choice #4) by Jody Hedlund

Rating: ☆☆☆
Audience: YA Historical Romance
Length: 302 pages
Author: Jody Hedlund
Publisher: Northern Lights Press
Release Date: March 6th, 2018
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

He’s taken her as his prisoner. But she’s holding his heart captive. In gaining their freedom, will they lose what matters most?

When Lady Olivia’s castle is besieged, she and her sister are taken captive and held for ransom by her father’s enemy, Lord Pitt. Loyalty to family means everything to Olivia. She’ll save her sister at any cost and do whatever her father asks—even if that means obeying his order to steal a sacred relic from her captor.

As Lord Pitt’s commander, Sir Aldric is in charge of the beautiful but feisty new prisoner. He has his hands full attempting to keep Lady Olivia out of trouble. When Lord Pitt throws her in the dungeon and threatens to hang her for stealing, Aldric conceives a plot to save Olivia’s life—betrothal to him.

Can Olivia give up the prestigious match her father has arranged with a wealthy marquess in order to marry a lowly knight like Aldric? And can Aldric move beyond his past mistakes to embrace love again? When loyalties are tested, they’re thrust into danger that could cost them their love and their lives. 

TOO EASY.

This was an enjoyable read, it was. I just started noticing some things that stuck out enough that caused my rating to go down.

I did love this historical vibes and time period. That was different for a young adult book and it was a good change of pace. The audio book was already really well narrated and I flew through it (it’s short, about 7 hours).

The romance had some sweet moments but I felt like things progressed for them too easily. They’re flat out enemies and I wanted more angst between them because of that. There wasn’t a sense of will they/won’t they and even in the midst of all the things happening around them I thought the romance arc moved too swiftly. Probably a by-product of a short story, but alas, these are my thoughts.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult historical romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: battle themes, kidnapping, whipping
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: suicide ideation, loss of a spouse (prior to book, but discussed), grief, near death situations

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Book Review

Book Review: The Trouble with Hating You (The Trouble with Hating You #1) by Sajni Patel

Rating: ☆☆☆
Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: 336 pages
Author: Sajni Patel
Publisher: Forever
Release Date: May 12th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Liya Thakkar is a successful biochemical engineer, takeout enthusiast, and happily single woman. The moment she realizes her parents’ latest dinner party is a setup with the man they want her to marry, she’s out the back door in a flash. Imagine her surprise when the same guy shows up at her office a week later — the new lawyer hired to save her struggling company. What’s not surprising: he’s not too thrilled to see her either after that humiliating fiasco.

Jay Shah looks good on paper…and off. Especially if you like that whole gorgeous, charming lawyer-in-a-good-suit thing. He’s also arrogant and infuriating. As their witty office banter turns into late night chats, Liya starts to think he might be the one man who truly accepts her. But falling for each other means exposing their painful pasts. Will Liya keep running, or will she finally give love a real chance?

IT WAS FINE.

I don’t have a lot of feelings for this book which also makes a review kind of hard to write. Everything was just okay here, I think I’ll pick up the next one? I’ve heard better things about it at least.

The real gem of the story was the Hero, Jay. Wow did he put up with A LOT. Frankly, I don’t know why he did, but it worked out for him and that’s great. I thought it was incredibly sweet and kind. Took care of those around him and was a strong, reliable presence throughout.

I did not like Liya. One oddly glaring thing was her obsession with saying how expensive all of her clothes/accessories were? You can convey someone is doing well for themselves without making it come off in a way that really turned me off from her character. It was obnoxious and many aspects of her personality were bothersome.

The ending was mostly cute, didn’t love how some of the conflict went about, but like I said before, this was all fine. The second half was much better, and I’m not upset I finished it, even if it wasn’t everything I was looking for.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary romance
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: closed door
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: sexual assault, emotional abuse, domestic abuse, slut shaming

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Book Review

Book Review: The Ex Talk by Rachel Lynn Solomn

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Contemporary Romance
Length: 336 pages
Author: Rachel Lynn Solomon
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: January 26th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Public radio co-hosts navigate mixed signals in Rachel Lynn Solomon’s sparkling romantic comedy debut.

Shay Goldstein has been a producer at her Seattle public radio station for nearly a decade, and she can’t imagine working anywhere else. But lately it’s been a constant clash between her and her newest colleague, Dominic Yun, who’s fresh off a journalism master’s program and convinced he knows everything about public radio.

When the struggling station needs a new concept, Shay proposes a show that her boss green-lights with excitement. On The Ex Talk, two exes will deliver relationship advice live, on air. Their boss decides Shay and Dominic are the perfect co-hosts, given how much they already despise each other. Neither loves the idea of lying to listeners, but it’s this or unemployment. Their audience gets invested fast, and it’s not long before The Ex Talk becomes a must-listen in Seattle and climbs podcast charts.

As the show gets bigger, so does their deception, especially when Shay and Dominic start to fall for each other. In an industry that values truth, getting caught could mean the end of more than just their careers.

SWEET & STEAMY.

A charming read that kept me page turning. It was such a FUN read. I loved all of the flirting and banter. It was a great workplace romance that did feel a little competitive, but never over the top.

I adored Shay and loved her real life self. I laughed and connected with many scenes about trying to be an adult. She was still trying to figure out herself and where she wanted to be and I loved watching her work through those emotions. Add in Dominic (with his sexy forearms) and I became utterly smitten. I LOVED THEM TOGETHER. They just worked. I love when I feel so invested in a relationship. Shay being older was a touch that I thought was relevant and fitting. It added another layer to their relationship that definitely had some steam.

The surrounding plot was pure entertainment and it was so unique to have this set up at a public radio broadcasting company! I feel like I got the inside scoop on how these shows work. And convinced me I should look up more podcasts to listen to. I’m glad that things worked out there because I was all sorts of enraged reading about Shay having to deal with a crappy boss. The drama was amped up towards the end and maybe somethings weren’t completely worked out. It’s such a sweet happy ever after though.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary Romance
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: kisses to open door scenes
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: loss of a parent (past, but often brought up)

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Book Review

Book Review: You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle

Rating: ☆☆☆
Audience: Contemporary romance
Length: 368 pages
Author: Sarah Hogle
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Release Date: April 7th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Naomi Westfield has the perfect fiancé: Nicholas Rose holds doors open for her, remembers her restaurant orders, and comes from the kind of upstanding society family any bride would love to be a part of. They never fight. They’re preparing for their lavish wedding that’s three months away. And she is miserably and utterly sick of him.

Naomi wants out, but there’s a catch: whoever ends the engagement will have to foot the nonrefundable wedding bill. When Naomi discovers that Nicholas, too, has been feigning contentment, the two of them go head-to-head in a battle of pranks, sabotage, and all-out emotional warfare.

But with the countdown looming to the wedding that may or may not come to pass, Naomi finds her resolve slipping. Because now that they have nothing to lose, they’re finally being themselves–and having fun with the last person they expect: each other.

When your nemesis also happens to be your fiancé, happily ever after becomes a lot more complicated in this wickedly funny, lovers-to-enemies-to-lovers romantic comedy debut.

HAD POTENTIAL.

I loved the concept of a lovers to enemies TO LOVERS again. Thought if it was written out well, we could have a smash-hit. Lots of good reviews convinced me to pick it up and I have been let down by my own interpretation.

One of my main issues is that 60% of the book is spent in the enemies stage. And not the joke-y, cute, steam-building enemies I’ve read, but actual enemies. I couldn’t believe they ever actually liked one another. Nicholas and Naomi were so mean to each other. It really rubbed me the wrong way and I had a hard time swinging back around to them working things out. Naomi was so adamant about leaving Nicholas that frankly, I was agreeing with her. I hit the point multiple times where I was like, sure dump him. Not a good sign.

I saw Nicholas trying so much more, and since we never got his POV that’s all i got from him. I did like his character and his efforts. I felt bad that he had to deal with the saltiness from Naomi. Most of these issues could have been easily solved with some honest conversations, not petty pranks.

There were definitely some sweet moments towards the end and I did like those. It ended on a good note and how I felt things should have wrapped up.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary romance
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: kisses / make-outs; love scenes are little detailed

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