Book Review

Book Review: A Match Made at Christmas (Nantucket Love Story) by Courtney Walsh

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Contemporary Romance Novella
Length: 147 pages
Author: Courtney Walsh
Publisher: Sweethaven Press
Release Date: October 20th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Hayes McGuire never believed the stories about a famous Nantucket matchmaker until she ropes him into taking over her duties in while she’s off the island for Christmas.

So he enlists the help of the one person he can trust with this crazy scheme—his best friend, Prudence. Armed with a series of rules, a book of success stories and the promise of Christmas magic, the pair of old friends sets out to make a Christmas match.

Little do they know that magic doesn’t discriminate, and the pair soon finds their years of friendship deepening into something more. Will Pru and Hayes ignore the electricity in the air between them or will there be more than one match made at Christmas?

A Match Made at Christmas is a stand-alone holiday novella.

THIS WAS SWEET.

A quick romantic novella on the East coast.

I liked the story and how even more a novella, I felt connected to the second-chance/childhood friends romance. Hayes and Pru had some tender interactions and really broke down some communication walls to discuss their relationship.

It was fun to have the other story line weave throughout. It highlighted what what Hayes and Pru were going through and added something more to the plot overall. I found this an easy read, plenty of holiday spirit and that cute happy every after.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary Holiday Novella
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses

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Book Review

ARC Book Review: Isn’t It Bromantic? (Bromance Book Club #4) by Lyssa Kay Adams

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: 352 pages
Author: Lyssa Kay Adams
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: July 20th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

With his passion for romance novels, it was only a matter of time before Vlad took up the pen to write a novel the Bromance Book Club would swoon over.

Elena Konnikova has lived her entire adult life in the shadows. As the daughter of a Russian journalist who mysteriously disappeared after speaking out against government corruption, she escaped danger the only way she knew how. She agreed to marry her childhood friend, Vladimir, and move to the United States, where he is a professional hockey player in Nashville.

Vlad, aka The Russian, thought he could be content with his marriage of convenience. But after four years, it’s become too difficult to continue in a one-sided relationship. He joined the Bromance Book Club to learn how to make his wife love him, but all he’s learned is that he deserves more. He’s ready to create his own sweeping romance–both on and off the page.

The Bros are unwilling to let Vlad forgo true love–and this time they’re not operating solo. They join forces with Vlad’s senior citizen neighbors, a group of meddling widows who call themselves The Loners. Just when things finally look promising, the danger from Elena’s past life intrudes, and the book club will face their first-ever life-or-death grand gesture as they race to a happy ever after.

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for an eARC in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own!

BEST OF THE SERIES.

Yup. I said it. I stand by it. I LOVED THIS ONE SO MUCH.

Sweet soul Vlad had my heart wrapped around his finger. He’s my favorite. I love him so much. Bearing his soul over and over and over again. Leaning on his friends, renewing his love, and finding his voice. IT WAS ALL AMAZING. Vlad is an unconventional hero and underneath that intimidating, hockey player, exterior is a smushy cinnamon roll.

Marriage of convenience might be one of my favorite tropes. I want all of the books with this plot line because I am enamored. This was no exception. Getting a bit of childhood friends, and a few other tropes that make me weak and I was instantly in love.

Elena hurt me sometimes. I just wanted her to see herself the way Vlad does!! But this only racketed up the pure angst between them. There was just the right amount of steam to match this story and it fit in beautifully with the rekindling of their love. Elena and Vlad has so much growth as individual characters.

The side characters y’all. Oh my gosh, couldn’t get enough. I love every moment that the entire Bromance Book Club is together. The way they have bonded and the deep friendships that have aligned make me melt. I love the communication and power of loyal friends. Vlad’s other set of friends, a group of ladies, The Loners, also had me smitten. I loved the clash and meeting of the minds whenever everyone was together. This whole cast makes this book.

I loved this. I hope to goodness there’s another book. I don’t want this series to end!

Also lowkey, I want to go make all of the Russian dishes in this book. They sounded mouth-watering delicious!

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary romance
  • Language: some
  • Romance: kisses to mild open door scenes
  • Violence: car wreck, physical altercation
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: kidnapping, loss of a parent, severe sports injury, mentions and discussion of a sex trafficking ring

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Book Review

Book Review: Forever Wild (The Simple Wild #2.5) by K.A. Tucker

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: Contemporary Romance Novella
Length: 156 pages
Author: K.A. Tucker
Publisher: Self-Published
Release Date: December 1st, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

From the international bestselling author of The Simple Wild comes Forever Wild, a novella that continues the story of Calla’s journey to the Alaskan wild and a life she never imagined for herself.
The holiday season is upon Calla and Jonah, and with the mistletoe and gingerbread comes plenty of family drama. Jonah is bracing himself for two weeks with a stepfather he loathes, and while Calla is looking forward to her mother and Simon’s arrival, she dreads the continued pressure to set a date for their wedding … in Toronto. Add in one bullheaded neighbor’s unintentional meddling and another cantankerous neighbor’s own family strife, and Christmas in Trapper’s Crossing will be anything but simple.

PERFECT.

Yup. There’s no other words to describe when you get to read a holiday novella about one of your favorite contemporary romance couples. I LOVED THIS. It only takes a bit of your time to devour and enjoy every moment.

It was fantastic getting to see Calla and Jonah again. Add in some old friends and it was the best little mix of a Christmas in Alaska.

I love where the story went and what happened throughout [keeping spoilers at bay]. It was just precious, and I could keep gushing forever. Go read The Simple Wild if you haven’t yet.

Overall audience notes:

  • New adult novella
  • Language: very little
  • Romance: kisses; a few fade to black scenes
  • Violence: car wreck (nobody injured)

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Book Review

ARC Book Review: Curses by Lish McBride

Rating: ☆☆☆
Audience: YA Fantasy Retelling
Length: 488 pages
Author: Lish McBride
Publisher: GP Putnam
Release Date: July 20th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Merit Cravan refused to fulfill her obligation to marry a prince, leading to a fairy godling’s curse. She will be forced to live as a beast forever, unless she agrees to marry a man of her mother’s choosing before her eighteenth birthday.

Tevin Dumont has always been a pawn in his family’s cons. The prettiest boy in a big family, his job is to tempt naïve rich girls to abandon their engagements, unless their parents agree to pay him off. But after his mother runs afoul of the beast, she decides to trade Tevin for her own freedom.

Now, Tevin and Merit have agreed that he can pay off his mother’s debt by using his con-artist skills to help Merit find the best match . . . but what if the best match is Tevin himself?

Thank you to PenguinTeen for an eARC. All opinions are my own!

NOT BAD.

Just not great either.

I love the cast of characters. There were many, with unique personalities and I love how they were portrayed. It’s a great group of friends that end up working together to end Merit’s curse. The villains were plenty wicked (though it became too convenient in the end) and some morally gray ones are also a fun addition.

What I didn’t love was the lack of romance. It’s a Beauty and the Beast retelling…shouldn’t there be more? By the time Tevin is confessing his love I realized I’m not emotionally invested in this. It was a big let down for me because I definitely had higher hopes. Over the course of a long book I thought more page time could’ve been spent developing their relationship rather than my other problem, the amount of POV’s.

Usually I love multiple points-of-view. In this case, I thought it should have stuck to the main two. It would have helped a deeper connection with the main characters. We’d flit off to some side story that could have been handled (and honestly, would have been more surprising) coming from one of the main characters [Merit or Tevin]. I didn’t need to hear about everyone else to get the whole picture.

I liked the set-up for the story and how this retelling was managed. It really did feel distinctly B&tB reminiscent. I could see many parallels that helped [& occasionally hindered] the plot. There’s some good humorous moments and some soft ones too. I wish I had felt more emotionally invested to fully enjoy this tale.

Overall audience notes:

  • Fantasy Retelling
  • Language: very little
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: physical altercations, animal attacks, poisonings

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