Book Review

Book Review: Mistle Text (An Accidentally in Love Story #5) by Whitney Dineen and Melanie Summers

Rating: ★★★★
Audience: Contemporary Holiday Romance
Length: 302 pages
Author: Whitney Dineen and Melanie Summers
Publisher: 33 Partners & Indigo Group
Release Date: September 19th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Twas the text before Christmas…

Twenty-eight-year-old Holly Snow is the only mother her four-year-old niece remembers. Three years earlier, when her sister and brother-in-law were killed, Holly’s dream of becoming an international flight attendant was put on hold so she could be home for baby Faith. Holly is doing everything she can to keep the rent paid, including working as an online travel agent, filing medical claims, and cleaning apartments in her building. When her friend Maggie tells her that her boss needs someone to buy his Christmas gifts, she leaps at the opportunity.

Tall, dark and Scroogy, investment banker, Archibald Harrington is too busy to do his own Christmas shopping. When his assistant tells him she knows of a professional shopper, he happily checks another dreaded task off his holiday list. The last thing Archie is expecting is for his hired elf to text him insistently to find out more about the people on list. The last thing Holly expects is to develop feelings for grumpy man who’s stealing her Christmas spirit.

Will there be a Holiday miracle, or will Holly and Archie miss their chance at love? Find out in the fifth installment of the Accidentally in Love Series.

HOLIDAY CHEER.

We have found another win for the holiday romance books column.

I do admit you do have to let go of some drama aspects for this one (as you do with holiday books), but I thought it was overall really charming!! The romance got off to a nice meet-cute and I liked the banter between Holly and Archie. They had some sweet moments that built the relationship well.

The plot had those billionaire romance aspects that I know many will love and worked for me most of the time too. I loved the personal shopper side of it too. The combination just worked so well for me.

Faith was a cute addition that only increased the charm on this book. I loved the new family they were creating together and it had me showcasing a huge smile. Faith was cheeky and landed the anecdotes at the right moment.

It’s a lighthearted and quick holiday read that I think will bring the best kind of feels for the season.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary Holiday Romance
  • Language: very little
  • Romance: make-outs
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: orphaned child (death of parents mentioned; off-page), a mother with dementia

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Book Review

ARC Book Review: Cabin Mate (Under Kansas Skies #4) by Leah Brunner

Rating: ★★★★★
Audience: Contemporary Holiday Romance
Length: 251 pages
Author: Leah Brunner
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: December 1st, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

When the woman of my dreams finally becomes available, all bets are off.

I lost a bet to my older brother. My evil, life-ruining older brother. (Okay, maybe that’s a little over-dramatic).

Now I can’t go on a date for FOUR months. I can’t even touch a woman. No hand holding. Forget kissing.

I’m walking the straight and narrow (AKA dateless and lonely) just fine. Until my best friend (the woman I’ve been pining over since college) gets her heart broken.

How can I say no to those big, gorgeous blue eyes when she asks me to fly to Vermont to attend her sister’s wedding with her? As her fake boyfriend.

Yeah, all bets are off. (Don’t tell my brother).

It’ll be easy… pretend to be my best friend’s boyfriend without holding her, kissing her, or falling even more in love than I already am.

But when we end up having to share a room at her family’s cabin, the line between real and fake becomes very blurry…and very tempting.

This closed-door romantic comedy contains mild language and references to alcohol. This is book four in the Under Kansas Skies Series, and will be most enjoyed if read after Check Mate.

Thank you to the author for an eARC.

ADORED THIS.

Do you ever spend a whole day reading a book and just love it? That’s how I felt here. This was a fast paced read filled with lots of friends to lovers angst that I have been waiting to read for months. I loved Brooks and Molly’s story. They ended this series beautifully!

I loved Molly’s character arc. I tend to struggle with ridiculously dramatic, wealthy type family backgrounds and while yes I did have to push past that a time or two, I thought overall it was written well. Molly learned to find her own ground and when she stood up for herself (and Brooks) it made me want to give her a high five. YAY for boundaries!

Brooks is the goofy guy we’ve seen across all of these books and I enjoyed getting his POV this go around. His personality is so fun and let me tell y’all I was straight swooning at all of the little things he did for Molly. I love little gestures and they’re plenty here to melt your heart.

The faking dating, one bed, and friends to lovers tropes were all highlighted well. I did notice a few repetitive inner monologue scenarios, but in the end. I truly loved reading this and it was the best book for me to pick up.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary Holiday Romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses
  • Trigger/Content Warning: fatphobia, discussion of weight and food restriction, emotionally manipulative parent

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Book Review

Book Review: Children of Fallen Gods (The War of Lost Hearts #2) by Carissa Broadbent

Rating: ★★★★
Audience: Fantasy Romance
Length: 666 pages
Author: Carissa Broadbent
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: March 31st, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

No war can be fought with clean hands. Not even the ones waged for the right reasons. Not even the ones you win.

Tisaanah bargained away her own freedom to save those she left behind in slavery. Now, bound by her blood pact, she must fight the Orders’ war — and Max is determined to protect her at all costs.

But when a betrayal tears apart Ara, Max and Tisaanah are pushed into an even bloodier conflict. Tisaanah must gamble with Reshaye’s power to claim an impossible victory. And Max, forced into leadership, must confront everything he hoped to forget: his past, and his own mysterious magic.

All the while, darker forces loom — far darker, even, than the Orders’ secrets.

As Tisaanah and Max are ensnared in a web of ancient magic and twisted secrets, one question remains: what are they willing to sacrifice for victory? For power? For love?

WHOA.

I hardly noticed this was 600 pages I was enjoying the ride so much. This is a captivating fantasy series that I am allllllll the way here for. I can’t wait to get to book three.

I like that this didn’t have the dreaded sequel issues. While still slower in nature the plot kept moving forward in turns I didn’t see coming. I loved the character growth for Tisaanah and Max AND them together! I think I would have loved even more romance (those little quiet moments I love so much), but I’m especially grateful there’s not some dumb breakup involved in this story.

There’s a bunch of moving pieces that keep unveiling themselves. I was excited about the third POV wondering why in the world it was there, but trust me, IT MATTERS. I think this was a really exciting and interesting piece to add in because it provides a lot more sustenance to the entire story.

I’m nervous to see what darkness rises in book three, and to see how my sweet couple survives.

Overall audience notes:

  • Fantasy Romance
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: two open door
  • Violence: med-high
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: kidnapping, war themes, loss of life, near death experiences, possession, medical experimentation

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Book Review

ARC Book Review: The Two Bells of Christmas by Joanna Barker

Rating: ★★★★★
Audience: Holiday Regency Romance Novella
Length: 142 pages
Author: Joanna Barker
Publisher: Rose Petal Press
Release Date: November 21st, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Christmas is the perfect time to fall in love—unless you’re pretending to be your twin sister.

Cassandra Bell is happy to stay in the shadow of her poised and proper twin sister. After all, her only goal for the Hastings’ Christmas house party is to not make a complete fool of herself. Vivian, however, has much higher aspirations—her heart is set on a proposal from the eligible Mr. Hastings himself. But when Vivian grows ill, she begs Cassie to switch places with her and keep the other conniving ladies away from Mr. Hastings. Cassie reluctantly takes on the role of her twin, certain the charade will end in disaster.

Anticipating a quiet Christmas in the country, Roland Hastings arrives home to learn his matchmaking mother has organized an entire house party to help him find a bride. The last thing Roland wants is to spend the Yuletide season fending off simpering ladies—that is, until he meets Miss Bell. Spunky and unconventional and refreshingly honest, Miss Bell sweeps into Roland’s heart like a whirlwind. A whirlwind he has no desire to escape.

Mr. Hastings is nothing like Cassie expected, and the closer she grows to her handsome host, the harder it becomes to hide her true self—and her true feelings. But falling in love was never part of the plan, especially since Roland believes she is someone else. With Vivian quickly recovering and the house party coming to a close, Cassie is torn between loyalty to her sister and the unexpected yearnings of her heart . . .

The Two Bells of Christmas is a sweet Regency romance novella that was previously published in the Timeless Regency Collection, A Christmas Promise. This edition has a bonus epilogue and new edits.

Thank you to the author for an eARC.

LOOOOVED.

Joanna Barker’s books never let me down. Even her novellas are some of my favorites because she can captivate an audience beautifully with whatever romance she is writing. I AM HERE FOR IT ALWAYS.

I loved both of these characters. Roland and Cassie were the sweetest. There was plenty of interaction between them, lots of soft moments, and kisses in the snow. YAY.

The plot was handled amazingly too. I loved how the twin switch worked out between Cassie and her sister. I love when siblings love and take care of each other and this was no exception. Especially when the go get the girl line comes up? Done. I am a puddle of swoon.

All in all, perfect for the season. You’ll love these characters and this story and I hope it gives all the warm fuzzies it gave me.

Overall audience notes:

  • Regency Holiday Novella
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: none

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