Book Review

Book Review: Kiss and Tell (Creekville Kisses #3) by Melanie Jacobson

Rating: ★★★★★
Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: 220 pages
Author: Melanie Jacobson
Publisher: Four Petal Press
Release Date: August 12th, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

He’s back to hold her to a marriage pact they made ten years ago . . .

Tabitha Winters, glamorous celebrity chef, loves her life and growing empire in New York. But when her best friends buy the old summer camp where they worked as counselors, she can’t turn down their invitation to appear at the opening week fundraising gala . . . even if it means confronting the memories of her first love and its disastrous ending.

But she soon discovers someone is playing an elaborate prank on her as she catches glimpses of Sawyer Reed, the heartbreaker who has no business being at Camp Oak Crest. When she uncovers the truth with a well-crafted counter prank campaign, it’s wilder than she could have guessed: even though she hasn’t seen Sawyer since he broke her heart, he’s there to collect on a marriage pact they made when they were still dumb kids.

Tabitha could never resist a dare, and when Sawyer double dares her to give him a week to prove that they still have their old magic, she’s all in to prove that he’s wrong: they’ve been over since the day he walked away ten years ago.

Only she didn’t count on him knowing her better than he has a right to, or having the perfect dates to wear down her resistance. And she definitely didn’t plan on their attraction still burning hotter than the end-of-camp bonfire. In this summer camp setting, can Tabitha resist the pull of past memories while Sawyer’s knee-buckling kisses try to convince her of their future?

JUST WHAT I NEEDED.

Oh this book caught me at the right time, I LOVED IT.

I got major People We Meet on Vacation vibes. The summer camp theme was perfect and this couple? OFF THE CHARTS.

The use of flashback chapters worked effortlessly here. It gave me the necessary background to understand Tabitha and Sawyer’s past and really building up that angst in the present chapters. I loved all of the pranks (which actually made me laugh) and really feeling like I was out at camp with the rest of them.

There’s a lot of great themes in here, one being, therapy. I liked the positive connotation surrounding it and the way that multiple parties learned to express emotions and concerns in a safe and genuine way. I love seeing characters grow and it wasn’t only Tabitha that showed some needed change.

I LOVED SAWYER. Good heavens he was the perfect love interest. Super swoony (those kiss scenes? FIRE). I appreciated that he could admit his wrongs and speak his truths too. The way he tried to show Tabitha just how much he cared, and also listening to her when she needed to communicate to? ALL HERE FOR IT.

Fantastic romance. Perfect for summertime.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary Romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses

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Book Review

Book Review: Maid of Dishonor by Gracie Ruth Mitchell

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: 291 pages
Author: Gracie Ruth Mitchell
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: September 23rd, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Samantha Quinn
Baseball lover. Plant mama. Eternal friend zone dweller.

I know exactly three things:
1) My heart will forever belong to my best friend, Carter.
2) Carter’s heart will never belong to me.
3) I will therefore die alone, surrounded by my houseplants, probably old and grouchy like my eighty-two-year-old landlady, Winifred.
But now Carter’s cousin wants my help planning her wedding, while Carter wants my help stopping it. How am I supposed to both plan and sabotage a wedding at the same time? How do I talk to Carter about weddings all day without my heart fracturing? And how, how, how do I ditch this stupid friend zone once and for all?

Carter Ellis
P.E. teacher. Baseball coach. Also, attractive. Very, very attractive.

I am not secretly in love with my best friend. I absolutely am not. That would be stupid and reckless and a terrible idea all around. I swore I would never fall in love, and that’s not going to change now.
Except…one tiny little kiss has all sorts of feelings rising in my chest. Feelings I was certain I buried a long time ago. But it doesn’t matter; I refuse to give in. I will laugh with her, talk with her, and dry her tears, but I will not fall in love with Samantha Quinn.

MOSTLY CUTE.

I liked this much better than the first book by the author I read. The romance was a lot better. Humorous banter and flirty moments. Some super soft, cinnamon roll scenes and wow did I flat out swoon at the confession at the end. All good things in my book!

What I struggled most with (and was able to block out somewhat) was the utterly ridiculous side plot. I know it was there to push the romance forward but it was SO UNBELIEVABLE. There’s no way Maya would honestly consider marrying someone clearly horrid. Just, no. That too me out of the story every time it was brought up.

Otherwise, solid, sweet contemporary romance. It was quick, had the HEA I always adore and I found myself smirking and laughing at some of the antics. I look forward to what the author will write next.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary Romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses/make-outs
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: side character who’s being cheated on

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Book Review

ARC Book Review: Eloise and the Grump Next Door (Oakley Island Romcom #1) by Emma St. Clair and Jenny Proctor

Rating: ★★★★★
Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: 320 pages
Author: Emma St. Clair and Jenny Proctor
Publisher: Self-Published
Release Date: August 15th, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

I’m not sure which is worse–the lawyer handling my grandmother’s estate or the attack pelican living on the screened-in porch. Just kidding–I’ll take the pelican any day.

After graduation, I thought I’d be off to grad school, doing research on my favorite poet. Instead, I’m renovating my late grandmother’s home and posting about the process on Instagram. Talk about a detour …

But here I am. Turning Gran’s beach house into a bed and breakfast–a process that would be a lot easier if I didn’t have to deal with the grumpy lawyer living next door. It doesn’t help that the night Jake and I met, I got a little tipsy, and he had to carry me back to my hotel.

But the longer I stay on Oakley Island, the more I feel a connection to my childhood and to my grandmother. This isn’t the life I dreamed of, but dreams can change. Especially when new dreams include a future with Jake. On the outside, he might be pricklier than a puffer fish, but I catch glimpses of a delicious, cinnamon roll center.

Did I mention the tattoos he hides underneath those crisp button-down shirts? Yowza.

When I’m suddenly presented with the academic opportunity of my dreams (former dreams?), my picturesque life on Oakley starts to unravel.

A part of me wants to stay. If only a certain tattooed grump didn’t seem so determined to send me away …

Eloise and The Grump Next Door is a grumpy sunshine, closed door romantic comedy. The Oakley Island Romcom series follows three very different sisters as they renovate the house they inherited and find love on the island along the way. Each book will have sizzling chemistry but no spice.

Thank you to the authors for an eARC!

ABSOLUTELY LOVED.

I expected nothing less from this duo. It is the pairing I didn’t know I needed and now want ALL THE TIME. Bless them for giving us a full series together.

The chemistry between Lo and Jake was off the charts. I am hit or miss on age gap and this one HIT. It was played so well and I loooooooooved it. And the forced proximity? THE BEST. I LIVE FOR FORCED PROXIMITY. Add in a house that needed renovated and a grandmother who has passed away and still subtly matchmaking. The rest of the charming side characters (like Jake’s nephew) won me over too.

And the KISSING SCENES? THE SIZZLING HEAT Y’ALL. This is what I love about an amazing closed door romance. The heat can still be brought with without actual spice. I loved all of the little moments watching these two fall in love.

I couldn’t put this down and easily read it in a day. I just loved everything about it. It made me feel good, happy, light. And those are the kind of reads I often reach for. I’m so excited to continue this series and can’t wait for more.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary Romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: make-outs
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: loss of a grandmother, divorced parents

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Book Review

Book Review: Love in Bloom (Some Kind of Love #4) by Jenny Proctor

Rating: ★★★★★
Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: 305 pages
Author: Jenny Proctor
Publisher: Self-Published
Release Date: February 22nd, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Hating Cameron Hunter shouldn’t be this easy.

I’m basically a golden retriever puppy. I love everyone and want everyone to love me.

Cameron is the singular exception to my love-everyone rule, and the hatred goes both ways.

First of all, he’s one of those guys, the kind that looks like he belongs on the cover of Yacht Club Weekly. Second of all, he’s way too good at his job. The man is a walking Wikipedia; his walking tours of historic downtown Charleston stay booked weeks in advance.

Did I mention I run tours along the same route?

When we’re both up for a magazine feature that could kick our respective careers to the next level, our rivalry turns into a heated competition.

Then we unexpectedly kiss (it’s a loooong story), and things get really complicated. Now, my blood is boiling over Cameron for an entirely different reason.

Only one of us can win. Can I trust a man who used to be my enemy, or is everything—even our relationship—just part of his plan to take me down?

Love In Bloom is a full-length enemies-to-lovers romantic comedy with characters you’ll love and the sizzling chemistry you want in a closed-door romance.

SO DANG SWEET.

I adored this story. Favorite of the series for me. I would first say that this isn’t classic enemies to lovers, it’s more of a soft workplace rivals to lovers. Fortunately for me, that didn’t sway my overall thoughts, but it’s worth noting since that trope is broad in definition.

I LOVE when the guy falls first and Cameron is obviously smitten from nearly the beginning. I thought he was precious and even with all of his walls, made an effort to be in Darcy’s life. I loved Darcy as the FMC. I liked her spunk and drive. And finally going after what kind of career she wanted really resonated with me and all the flower talk made me wish I had my own greenhouse. Both of these lovebirds together were the sweetest. I couldn’t get enough of the relationship development and how the slow burn of rivals to friends to lovers came about.

The third act conflict was [hallelujah] relevant and not drawn out. Even more so, both parties handled it like actual adults without blown out drama. Cameron truly did have some things he needed to work on and I love that Darcy took the time to put him in his place, AND listen to him. They both worked for their relationship with compassion and I felt all the warm fuzzies reading this book y’all.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary Romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: make-outs
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: MMC Dad has cancer (in remission by end)

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