Book Review

Book Review: These Hollow Vows (These Hollow Vows #1) by Lexi Ryan

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA/NA Fantasy Romance
Length: 464 pages
Author: Lexi Ryan
Publisher: HMH
Release Date: July 20th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

From New York Times best-selling author Lexi Ryan, Cruel Prince meets A Court of Thorns and Roses in this sexy, action-packed fantasy about a girl who is caught between two treacherous faerie courts and their dangerously seductive princes.

Brie hates the Fae and refuses to have anything to do with them, even if that means starving on the street. But when her sister is sold to the sadistic king of the Unseelie court to pay a debt, she’ll do whatever it takes to get her back—including making a deal with the king himself to steal three magical relics from the Seelie court.

Gaining unfettered access to the Seelie court is easier said than done. Brie’s only choice is to pose as a potential bride for Prince Ronan, and she soon finds herself falling for him. Unwilling to let her heart distract her, she accepts help from a band of Unseelie misfits with their own secret agenda. As Brie spends time with their mysterious leader, Finn, she struggles to resist his seductive charm.

Caught between two dangerous courts, Brie must decide who to trust with her loyalty. And with her heart.

READ IT.

Did I think I would be saying that when I started reading this book? No. BUT Y’ALL. Let me convince you to read it too.

THV has been touted as an ACOTAR/TCP (The Cruel Prince) mash-up. I know this may be a bad thing to some, but for me it made me love it allllll the more. Many books claim to be like those classic fae reads, and I love that this one ACTUALLY DELIVERED on that fact. It gives all the vibes you could hope for, with being its own story, and that’s what I’m here for.

Hello a love triangle I can handle. This was written beautifully. Even if I made my pick once the second love interest came onto the page, I still felt drawn both ways. I had to yell a few times at the book of course, but by that ending, all things became clear and I will not hear further commentary and WHO BRIE SHOULD BE WITH.

I loooove the strong sister bond here too. Brie is a fierce force of nature who will do whatever she needs to do in order to save her sister. I love her passion and strength. Those closing scenes had me fist pumping at her bad-a self and I can not wait to see her revenge in the next book.

There’s gossipy goblins and curses. Twists and turns with plenty of action. Soft and subtle moments that will bring the swoon. Goodness, I just adored this book.

Overall audience notes:

  • YA/NA Fantasy Romance
  • Language: a little
  • Romance: kisses to brief open door
  • Violence: physical and magical altercations
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: kidnapping, loss of parents and loved ones, indentured servitude, poisoning, near death experiences

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Book Review

Book Review: The Off-Limits Rule (It Happened in Nashville #1) by Sarah Adams

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: New Adult Contemporary
Length: 291 pages
Author: Sarah Adams
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: January 4th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

I have found rock bottom. It’s here, moving in with my older brother because I’m too broke to afford to live on my own. But that’s okay because we’ve always been close and I think I’m going to have fun living with him again.

That is until I meet Cooper…

Turns out, my brother has very strong opinions on the idea of me dating his best friend and is dead set against it. According to him, Cooper is everything I should stay away from: flirtatious, adventurous, non-committal, and freaking hot. (I added that last part because I feel like you need the whole picture.) My brother is right, though. I should stay away from Cooper James and his pretty blue eyes. He’s the opposite of what I need right now.

Nah—Who am I kidding? I’m going for him.

A MUST READ.

But really. A one sitting, absolutely loved every moment, kinda read. Sarah Adams best book [yet]. I LOVED IT SO MUCH.

Honestly, I feel like that should be the review. Just trust me. But, I’ll give you more.

I haven’t read many brother’s best friend trope books and this one nailed it. From the moment Cooper and Lucy meet, their chemistry flew off the charts. The sexy and fun banter was *chef’s kiss*. The antics they got into literally had me laughing out loud multiple times. I never laugh at books. This one brought out all the chuckles. I really fell for both of these characters and what they brought to the relationship. Everything was so tender and precious and I just want to read this book again for the first time. That’s my level of appreciation for this story.

The supportive family and friends was a wonderful change of pace. I like how those surrounding Lucy loved and cared for her throughout some difficult situations. Even when Cooper entered the picture, he never made her feel less and y’all, *swwwwooooooonnn*.

If you’re looking for a beautifully wonderful low steam (no outright love scenes, open or closed), give you all the fuzzy feelings kinda read. THIS IS IT. It brought me out of a slump I didn’t even know I was in and let me enjoy a fantastic romance for a few hundred pages. Oh this was the best.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses / make-outs; implied scene at the very end

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Book Review

Book Review: A Princess for Christmas by Jenny Holiday

Rating: ☆☆☆ 1/2
Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: 400 pages
Author: Jenny Holiday
Publisher: Avon
Release Date: October 13th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Leo Ricci’s already handling all he can, between taking care of his little sister Gabby, driving a cab, and being the super of his apartment building in the Bronx. But when Gabby spots a “princess” in a gown outside of the UN trying to hail a cab, she begs her brother to stop and help. Before he knows it, he’s got a real-life damsel in distress in the backseat of his car. 

Princess Marie of Eldovia shouldn’t be hailing a cab, or even be out and about. But after her mother’s death, her father has plunged into a devastating depression and the fate of her small Alpine country has fallen on Marie’s shoulders. She’s taken aback by the gruff but devastatingly handsome driver who shows her more kindness than she’s seen in a long time. 

When Marie asks Leo to be her driver for the rest of her trip, he agrees, thinking he’ll squire a rich miss around for a while and make more money than he has in months. He doesn’t expect to like and start longing for the unpredictable Marie. And when he and Gabby end up in Eldovia for Christmas, he discovers the princess who is all wrong for him is also the woman who is his perfect match.

PRETTY CUTE.

I adored this on some levels, and others maybe not so much.

What I did love was the overall story. There was plenty of Hallmark vibes and I love a good princess story. There was a fun meet cute, and I felt the connection between Leo and Gabby immediately. I was surprised that even though this is a small timeline, that things didn’t feel forced between them. Not really insta-love or anything like that, a nice change!

The love scenes were out of place. It went from Hallmark to whoa whoa whoa steamy scenes, that were long and very open door. My general issue is when those scenes don’t match up with the vibe and tone of the rest of the novel.

Without that it was cute. Leo’s little sister Gabby and his friend Dani were wonderful additions. And y’all, there was a ball at the end. I’m a sucker for a good ball in a book and this was definitely hit the mark. Totally cheesy, totally perfect.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary romance
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: a handful of very open door scenes
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: loss of loved one(s)

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Book Review

Book Review: Layla by Colleen Hoover

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Paranormal Romance
Length: 304 pages
Author: Colleen Hoover
Publisher: Montlake
Release Date: December 8th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

When Leeds meets Layla, he’s convinced he’ll spend the rest of his life with her—until an unexpected attack leaves Layla fighting for her life. After weeks in the hospital, Layla recovers physically, but the emotional and mental scarring has altered the woman Leeds fell in love with. In order to put their relationship back on track, Leeds whisks Layla away to the bed-and-breakfast where they first met. Once they arrive, Layla’s behavior takes a bizarre turn. And that’s just one of many inexplicable occurrences.

Feeling distant from Layla, Leeds soon finds solace in Willow—another guest of the B&B with whom he forms a connection through their shared concerns. As his curiosity for Willow grows, his decision to help her find answers puts him in direct conflict with Layla’s well-being. Leeds soon realizes he has to make a choice because he can’t help both of them. But if he makes the wrong choice, it could be detrimental for all of them.

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover comes a novel that explores life after tragedy and the enduring spirit of love. 

INTERESTING.

Well, that was unique. Paranormal anything is a hard genre for me. So I can’t say this is my favorite Hoover book, but it did keep me invested and really dang curious where it was going.

This was completely different than any romance I’ve read. From the get-go I already felt the pull to Leeds and Layla’s relationship. I love the way this kind of connection was written (and proves that yes, I do love some insta-love/attraction sometimes). Then it took off in a incredibly far right field direction. And I spent the next several chapters trying to grasp what just happened.

While a romance book, this is also not a romance book. I was nervous in how it was starting to play out and was feeling like my rating was slipping between my fingers. The deeper I got into the book and the more revealed did satisfy any issues I was concerned with. Did take me by surprise though.

I didn’t love how the back and forth layout went and wanted a better progression. It made the characters motivations seem really skewed and was causing a lot of doubt that things were going to work. It’s a trippy ending (not as wild as Verity though) that left me with some questions, but also okay enough with everything.

Overall audience notes:

  • Paranormal Romance
  • Language: some strong throughout
  • Romance: kisses/make-outs; a handful of brief open door scenes, and quick closed door scenes
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: gun violence, near drowning, emotional cheating

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