Book Review

Book Review: West Side Love Story by Priscilla Oliveras

Rating: ★★
Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: 331 pages
Author: Priscilla Oliveras
Publisher: Montlake
Release Date: June 1st, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


A heart-stirring romance of star-crossed love, feuding familias, and the bonds of sisterhood by USA Today bestselling author Priscilla Oliveras.

Two familias in Texas, both alike in dignity, rivalries, and passion…

Having grown up in the nurturing household of Casa Capuleta, Mariana will do anything for familia. To solve her adoptive parents’ financial problems amid their rapidly changing San Antonio comunidad, Mariana and her younger sisters are determined to win the Battle of the Mariachi Bands. That means competing against Hugo Montero, their father’s archnemesis, and his band and escalating a decades-old feud. It also raises the stakes of Mariana’s forbidden attraction for a certain dark-eyed mariachi who sets her heart racing.

To Angelo Montero’s familia, Mariana is also strictly off-limits. But that doesn’t stop him from pursuing her. As their secret affair intensifies and the competition grows fierce, they’re swept up in a brewing storm of betrayals, rivalries, and broken ties. Against the odds, they vow to bring peace. But sacrifices must be made and consequences weighed for two star-crossed lovers to make beautiful music together.


I wanted to love this so badly y’all. SO BADLY.

The culture and setting? Absolutely loved those. The reason I gave it even 2 stars to begin with. Everything else made me wish I just hadn’t finished.

I think my biggest issue was the writing style. It was intensely focused on over explanation factors. The main plot points were repeated almost every chapter and it needed more substance than that. And anything to do with the characters was mapped out or shown many yards before the character actually did something.

The romance had some cute moments. I didn’t totally find it at fault. The love scenes (even including the kissing scenes) made me straight up cringe. Not smooth or engaging. Poor word choices that I was not a fan of.

Anyways, I’ll stop. This didn’t work for me. But that doesn’t mean it couldn’t for you.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary Romance
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: open door
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: gentrification, a sibling who runs away, physical altercations

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Book Review

Book Review: Tattered Stars (Tattered & Torn #1) by Catherine Cowles

Rating: ★★★★★
Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: 320 pages
Author: Catherine Cowles
Publisher: PageSmith LLC
Release Date: February 1st, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


Be brave. Just for sixty seconds. Twenty breaths.

It took every ounce of my courage to return to the small town I fled all those years ago. But I should’ve known he’d hate me. How could he not when my father’s blood still runs through my veins?

Yet here I am, desperate for a chance to make things right. Even if it means facing the family my father almost destroyed and the boy with the dark eyes—now grown—who still haunts my dreams.

I never expected just how explosive things would turn between us. He’s the last person I should want. Yet, somehow, I keep drawing closer—so close I know I’ll end up burned.

But Hayes is a good man, a noble one. Someone who channeled his pain into a career spent protecting those around him. So, when the threats begin, he steps in to keep me safe. And we discover that maybe neither of us knew the other at all.

As the sparks between us ignite into something deeper, someone watches. And they’ll do anything to tear it all apart.


Oh wow. This book took over my entire day and I would like to thank it for that. It’s been a bit dramatic, but y’all. TRUST ME. Lean into the drama of this small town romance with a great dash of suspense and let it woo you like it did me.

I adored this romance. The dynamic is perfectly plotted. A small dash of enemies to lovers with character growth and communication for days. Hayes and Everly were so dang sweet on each other that you couldn’t help but cheer them on.

The family dynamics are loving and complicated. I like this whole group so much and look forward to the future relationships that are sprouting from this book.

The suspense portion had me in alllll the feels. I was anxious to know what would happen next and surprised by the final details. Even when I think I have it nailed there’s always a bit more that weaves it’s way out.

Overall audience notes:

  • Romantic Suspense
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: three brief open door
  • Violence: med/high
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: a father with mental health issues, kidnapping, PTSD, domestic abuse (recounted), assault, gun violence

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Monthly Wrap-Up

Monthly Reading Wrap-Up: June 2021

My reading was a bit all of the place this month. Started off super strong and I feel like downhill was the only place to go. That’s okay! Definitely a positive month overall.

Favorites: The Poplar Falls series (of which I binged in 3 days), KULTI!!!!!, Ugly Love if you’re looking for a good cry, Southern Sun Northern Star (for crying reasons as well), The War I Finally Won, and We Free the Stars

Least favorites: The Roommate Situation, and The Trustworthy Groom

  • Stone Hearts (Poplar Falls #2) by Amber Kelly – (☆☆☆☆☆)
  • Wicked Hearts (Poplar Falls #3) by Amber Kelly – (☆☆☆☆)
  • Fragile Hearts (Poplar Falls #4) by Amber Kelly – (☆☆☆☆)
  • Crazy Hearts (Poplar Falls #5) by Amber Kelly – (☆☆☆☆)
  • The Lion’s Den by Katherine St. John – (☆☆☆☆)
  • Kulti by Mariana Zapata – (☆☆☆☆☆)
  • In the Penalty Box by Lynn Rush and Kelly Anne Blount – (☆☆☆)
  • [ARC] A Feeling Like Home by Haleigh Wenger – (☆☆☆)
  • A Fate of Wrath & Flame (Fate & Flame #1) by K.A. Tucker – (☆☆☆)
  • Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover – (☆☆☆☆☆)
  • [Graphic] Heartstopper Vol. 1 by Alice Oseman – (☆☆☆☆☆)
  • [Graphic] Heartstopper Vol 2. by Alice Oseman – (☆☆☆☆☆)
  • [ARC] Between You, Me, and the Honeybees by Amelia Diane Coombs – (☆☆☆☆)
  • Foundryside (The Founders Trilogy #1) by Robert Jackson Bennett – (☆☆☆☆)
  • A Fall from Grace (Clavering Chronicles #1) by Jennie Goutet – (☆☆☆)
  • Southern Sun, Northern Star (Glass Alliance #3) by Joanna Hathaway – (☆☆☆☆☆)
  • The War I Finally Won (The War That Saved My Life #2) by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley – (☆☆☆☆☆)
  • The Bone Thief (The Bone Charmer #2) by Breeana Shields – (☆☆☆☆)
  • At Love’s Command (Hanger’s Horseman #1) by Karen Witemeyer – (☆☆☆)
  • Pride and Premeditation (Jane Austen Murder Mystery #1) by Tirzah Price – (☆☆☆☆)
  • Eye of the Beholder (Stone Springs #1) by Gracie Ruth Mitchell – (☆☆☆)
  • [Reread] The Bridge Kingdom (The Bridge Kingdom #1) by Danielle L. Jensen – (☆☆☆☆☆)
  • The Roommate Situation (Only in Atlanta #1) by Katie Bailey – (☆☆☆)
  • Fat Chance, Charlie Vega by Crystal Maldonado – (☆☆☆☆)
  • Only When It’s Us (Bergman Brothers #1) by Chloe Liese – (☆☆☆☆)
  • [Graphic] Soppy by Philippa Rice – (☆☆☆)
  • The Trustworthy Groom (Texan Titans Romance) by Cami Checketts – (☆☆)
  • We Free the Stars (Sands of Arawiya #2) by Hafsah Faizal – (☆☆☆☆ 1/2)
  • Knitted Hearts (Poplar Falls #6) by Amber Kelly – (☆☆☆☆)
  • Hollowpox: The Hunt for Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor #3) by Jessica Townsend – (☆☆☆☆)

How was your reading month? Lets talk in the comments!

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Book Review

Book Review: Roommaid by Sariah Wilson

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Contemporary romance
Length: 301 pages
Author: Sariah Wilson
Publisher: Montlake
Release Date: October 1st, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


From bestselling author Sariah Wilson comes a charming romance about living your life one dream at a time.

Madison Huntington is determined to live her dreams. That means getting out from under her family’s wealth and influence by saying no to the family business, her allowance, and her home. But on a teacher’s salary, the real world comes as a rude awakening—especially when she wakes up every morning on a colleague’s couch. To get a place of her own (without cockroaches, mold, or crime scene tape), Madison accepts a position as a roommaid. In exchange for free room and board, all she needs to do is keep her busy roommate’s penthouse clean and his dog company. So what if she’s never washed a dish in her life. She can figure this out, right?

Madison is pretty confident she can fake it well enough that Tyler Roth will never know the difference. The finance whiz is rich and privileged and navigates the same social circles as her parents—but to him she’s just a teacher in need of an apartment. He’s everything Madison has run from, but his kindhearted nature, stomach-fluttering smile, and unexpected insecurities only make her want to get closer. And Tyler is warming to the move.

Rewarding job. Perfect guy. Great future. With everything so right, what could go wrong? Madison is about to find out.


I admit, I struggled through the first quarter or so of this one.

Too much detail focused on Madison’s family and her previous lifestyle, etc. I will say, it did come back into play, but I don’t think that much time needed to be spent on it. They were a nuisance from start to finish. I’m reading a romance, I want the two love interests front and center!!

After that initial issue, I got really on board with this one. Tyler is absolutely someone to be smitten with. Precious and easy to love. He and Madison truly did hit it off and I thought their chemistry was fantastic. Those WHY DIDN’T YOU KISS HER scenes are some of the best in this book. I loved their progression and development of feelings. When we got to the main conflict (which we all know happens in a romance formula), I liked the way it was handled. It wasn’t overly blown out of proportion and things got back on track quickly enough that I didn’t feel like anything missed a beat.

I thought the side plots and characters were funny. Watching Madison try to figure out how to use a dishwasher and take care of a dog had me snickering. I think it made her character really lovable and I wanted to cheer her on for choosing her own path, out of the grasp of her Mother.

By the end, I was loving this and even went and picked out another Wilson book to read for my TBR. This low-steam contemporary romance was playful and sincere, and I always love a read that goes by so quickly!

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary romance
  • Language: very little, light
  • Romance: kisses / make-outs
  • Trigger warnings: emotionally and verbally abusive parents; a cheating significant other

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