Book Review

Book Review: Simply Starstruck by Aspen Hadley

Rating: ☆☆☆
Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: 256 pages
Author: Aspen Hadley
Publisher: Sweetwater Books
Release Date: November 13th, 2018
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


Kate Evans never imagined she’d be a young widow and single mom, staying in her aunt’s guest cottage. She also never imagined she’d live next door to Jess Sullivan, an actual movie star. Struggling to put herself back together, Kate gets swept up in a whirlwind of dating, but can she keep ignoring what her heart really wants?


This book was neither here nor there. It’s a very positive three stars and I’m not upset I read it. There were just some pieces that missed the mark and caused me to lower my rating.

I liked Kate as the main character. She was witty and had a pretty funny inner monologue. What bothered me was how long some of her growth took until the very very end of the book. It was drawn out wayyy too much. Kate flounced around dating a bunch of different men (which was fine initially, but didn’t need to take up 75% of the book). So instead of feeling like this book was about her and Jess, it became an odd episode of a dating game.

I loved Jess. Really really did. Anytime he was on screen I was excited. Jess and Kate bantered well and had some tender moments that made me want to swoon. This was the best part of the book and I wish there was a whole bunch more. Jess and Kate were a great match and I loved how Kate’s son was apart of everything too.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: car accident
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: loss of a spouse, cancer, car accident

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Book Review

Book Review: The Promised Prince by Kortney Keisel

Rating: ☆☆☆
Audience: YA Dystopia Romance
Length: 412 pages
Author: Kortney Keisel
Publisher: Self published
Release Date: January 12th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


He’s promised to another. She’s promised to forget him.
Eighteen-year-old Renna Degray is hopeful about love and her future after a chance encounter with a handsome stranger. Until she discovers who the mysterious man is—the Prince of Albion, betrothed to Renna’s stepsister. Now Renna must try to keep her feelings for the prince in check. But he’s not making it easy. The prince is charming, funny, and impossible not to fall for.

Trev has no room for mistakes. He must marry the princess of New Hope and secure the marriage alliance along with his future as king. The safety of his kingdom depends on it. Duty and honor never bothered Trev before, but love has a way of changing everything.

In this post-Desolation world, the Council of Essentials controls everything, including the prince. Is love more than a negotiation?

Is love essential?


I found this book simultaneously over dramatic and hard to put down. I guess I’m really into the dramatics sometimes.

This is an older YA cast, with a younger YA vibe. I believe the male lead is 24, and acts like he’s 17. I found a lot of the inner dialogue and thoughts to be rather naïve and occasionally annoying. I enjoyed the overall interactions between Trev and Renna at least.

Plenty happened throughout. I didn’t find the pacing slow until near the end. Some interesting villains who tried to hard to be villains. And I was desperate for some world-building. I understood it was a post-world scenario. That’s about it. No thought given to why their were kingdoms now, how they were run. What everything kind of looked like, nada. I had to make a lot of assumptions to understand everything.

Yet, I enjoyed reading this. There were some good nuggets. I was invested enough to keep going and see how it all played out (which was rather whoa on its own).

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult dystopia romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses/make-outs
  • Violence: murder, physical, gun violence, attempted assassination
  • Content Warning: loss of a sibling/loved one

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