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

Book Review: The Gravity of Us (Elements #4) by Brittainy C. Cherry

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: 270 pages
Author: Brittainy C. Cherry
Publisher: Self published
Release Date: April 12th, 2017
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Graham Russell and I weren’t made for one another.

I was driven by emotion; he was apathetic. I dreamed while he lived in nightmares. I cried when he had no tears to shed.

Despite his frozen heart and my readiness to run, we sometimes shared seconds. Seconds when our eyes locked and we saw each other’s secrets. Seconds when his lips tasted my fears, and I breathed in his pains. Seconds when we both imagined what it would be like to love one another.

Those seconds left us floating, but when reality knocked us sideways, gravity forced us to descend.

Graham Russell wasn’t a man who knew how to love, and I wasn’t a woman who knew how to either. Yet if I had the chance to fall again, I’d fall with him forever.

Even if we were destined to crash against solid ground.

THIS WAS EVERYTHING.

I couldn’t put this down from chapter one. All of a sudden I had a deep need to know what happened next and so I began a journey of ALL the dang emotions through the lives of Lucy and Graham.

“If you need to fall, fall into me.”

I mean, COME ON. Look at those words. Did you swoon? Because I swooned so many times throughout this book!! One of my new favorite grump and sunshine trope reads. I loved these characters with my whole being. I found myself almost in tears by the end waiting for a happy ending. I love that Lucy was optimistic and truly cared from her soul about her loved ones. That Graham was hardened by abandonment, but was also able to work on himself. The chemistry was undeniable. It was a slowwww burn and incredibly romantic with all of the lead up.

An incredibly sweet story that has a lot of heavy and deep content matter (I’ll put that in the warnings below). I adored the banter and soft smiles. The cute way they just hung out together. How they undeniably stood by each other’s side when things got hard instead of running away. I was wrapped up in this opposites attract love story and I beg of you to read it!!

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary romance
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: kisses to one brief open door scene
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: a mother smoked while pregnant (off screen), emergency delivery, preemie baby in NICU, cheating, loss of parent(s), domestic abuse, alcoholism, child abuse, parental/spousal abandonment

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Book Review

Monthly Reading Wrap-Up: May 2022

A mixed bag of a month, most of five star reads came from rereads. But now I am ready for all of the summer reads!

Favorite Reads This Month: Some Mistakes Were Made, The Phoenix Priest, TBK/TTQ, QOS, Love & Olives, All the Feels, Love in Bloom, Roaring, The Bluff

  • [Graphic Novel] Heartstopper Vol. 4 by Alice Oseman
  • Obsidian Throne (The Lochlann Feuds #4) by Robin D. Mahle and Elle Madison
  • [ARC] Exactly Where You Need to Be by Amelia Diane Coombs
  • Just Go With It (Just Us #1) by Madison Wright
  • Bonded Fate (Guardians of the Maiden #2) by Beck Michaels
  • The Do-Over by Bethany Turner
  • Some Mistakes Were Made by Kristin Dwyer
  • Book of Night by Holly Black
  • Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen
  • Book Lovers by Emily Henry
  • The Phoenix Priest (The Blood and Water Saga #2) by Cassidy Clarke
  • [Reread] The Bridge Kingdom (The Bridge Kingdom #1) by Danielle L. Jensen
  • [ARC] Every Summer After by Carley Fortune
  • [Reread] Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass #4) by Sarah J. Maas
  • [ARC] Edward and Amelia by Karen Thornell
  • Love & Olives (Love & Gelato #3) by Jenna Evans Welch
  • Last Chance Summer by Shannon Klare
  • The Queen’s Rising (The Queen’s Rising #1) by Rebecca Ross
  • The Witch Collector (Witch Walker #1) by Charissa Weaks
  • [Bonus Chapters] The Calm Before the Storm (The Bridge Kingdom #3.5) by Danielle L. Jensen
  • All the Feels (Spoiler Alert #2) by Olivia Dade
  • [Novella] The Missed Connection (Airport Novellas #2) by Denise Williams
  • [Graphic] Miss Butterworth and the Mad Baron by Julia Quinn
  • [Reread] The Traitor Queen (The Bridge Kingdom #2) by Danielle L. Jensen
  • [ARC] For Butter or Worse by Erin La Rosa
  • Complex (The Sweet Rom”Com”s #2) by Kortney Keisel
  • An Arrow to the Moon by Emily X.R. Pan
  • Love in Bloom (Some Kind of Love #4) by Jenny Proctor
  • Firebrand (Green Rider #6) by Kristen Britain
  • Maybe Now (Maybe #2) by Colleen Hoover
  • Reign & Ruin (Mages of the Wheel #1) by J.D. Evans
  • [Novella] Unrequited (The Donovans #0.5) by Martha Keyes
  • How to Kiss Your Best Friend by Jenny Proctor
  • Roaring by Lindsey Duga
  • [Novella] A Wilderness of Glass (Wraith Kings #2.7) by Grace Draven
  • The Queen of Blood (The Queens of Renthia #1) by Sarah Beth Durst
  • Gleam (The Plated Prisoner #3) by Raven Kennedy
  • A Show for Two by Tashie Bhuiyan
  • [ARC] The Bluff (Graham Brothers #2) by Emma St. Clair
  • [Novella] Love Beginning (Some Kind of Love #0.5) by Jenny Proctor

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Book Review

ARC Book Review: The Godborn and the King (The Raven and the Dove #4) by Kaitlyn Davis

Rating: ★★★★☆ (4.5)
Audience: NA Fantasy Romance
Length: 486 pages
Author: Kaitlyn Davis
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: May 23rd, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Return to the world of The Raven and the Dove, where winged people rule the skies, a lost kingdom lives at sea, and two star-crossed lovers hold the fate of each in their palms. Perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas, Sabaa Tahir, and Leigh Bardugo!

A love written in the stars…

Thrown into a world of claws and flame, Lyana and Rafe must work together to survive. Dragons abound. Danger lurks. And the hybrids are out for blood. But perhaps more terrifying are the questions in their hearts. Are they ready to lead? Were they ever truly in love? Or with the prophecy realized, will everything they thought they had fall apart?

A clash five hundred years in the making…

With the isles now returned to the sea, two worlds have become one. The avians will do anything to protect their homes. The mages will do anything to take them. And without a king or queen of prophecy to guide them, peace is no longer an option. Xander must decide where his loyalties lie—with the ravens he’s sworn to serve or the woman he can’t help but love.

Find the chosen one or face the end of everything…

Deep in the skryr’s dreams, Cassi bears witness to the prophetess’s final vision. A rift mage lives and Cassi is the only one with the power to find her. She’ll sacrifice anything to save the world, including her future with Xander, but even the queen of secrets never anticipated the mysteries waiting for her in the mist. 

Thank you to the author for an eARC.

WHAT A CONCLUSION.

I’ve been enjoying this series since the start and I am so excited to be able to say I loved the conclusion. It had a lot of things I look for in a finale and gave me all the feels.

I adored these romances. Rafe & Lyana getting some alone time and finding an even deeper bond between them. Xander & Cassi both looking past their faults and seeing how strong they can be on their own and together. YES TO ALL THE ABOVE. I thought Brighty’s romance was sweet too, but it wasn’t well developed. It was like one chapter she saw the other woman and was interested, and the next, confession of love. I just wanted more build-up there, but I’m glad she found someone too.

The plot stayed moving. I know I’m not loving a book if I find myself skimming to dialogue, this was not the case for me here. I wanted to take in every word and enjoy the story’s pace and the unfolding drama. Plenty of action, moments to cheer, moments that had me gasping all barreling towards an ending that’s easy to be satisfied with. I would have loved a bit more from Rafe and Lyana in regards to the plot. They were stuck somewhere else for so long that I feel they missed out on a lot. I know part of the ending with them will be polarizing but I LOVED it. I thought it made a lot of sense and got me alllllll in the feels.

Great read, I seriously can’t wait to see what Davis writes next. I’m glad I hopped onto this fantasy romance because it’s a gem. If you haven’t added to your TBR already, now it’s complete so you SHOULD DO IT.

Overall audience notes:

  • NA Fantasy Romance
  • Language: very little
  • Romance: vague and brief open door
  • Violence: mild to mid-high
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: loss of a parent, loss of loved ones, kidnapping, torture, near death experiences

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