Book Review

Book Review: With You Forever (Bergman Brothers #4) by Chloe Liese

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: 350 pages
Author: Chloe Liese
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: September 14th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Cozy up for a heartfelt, humorous, sizzling slow-burn in this marriage of convenience romance about finding love—and home—in the most unlikely of places.

Axel

Rooney Sullivan is sunshine incarnate. Warm, bright, always smiling, she’s everything I’m not and the last person I have any business desiring. Desperate to hide a hopeless attraction, I’ve done everything possible to keep my distance…until a charades game gone wrong brought that to a grinding halt. 

Since then, steering clear of Rooney has been impossible. In a matter of months, she’s kissed me speechless, commandeered my art career, and infiltrated not only my dreams but my home. The woman who was once avoidable has become the last thing I needed: temptingly within reach.

Rooney

Axel Bergman is a gorgeous grump who doesn’t have the time of day for me. Thankfully, I’ve kept my crush under wraps…well, until I kissed him. Charades got away from me, okay? It was an accident! I haven’t seen him since, which is for the best. My life is a mess, and the last thing I need is to embarrass myself further with the man who avoids me like that’s his job rather than painting modern masterpieces.

It seems the universe, however, has a different plan. When Axel and I unexpectedly find our paths—and problems—converging, a marriage of convenience proves the perfect solution. At least, until I’m facing my most serious problem yet: a once-loveless marriage of convenience that’s inconveniently become a love match, after all.

With You Forever is a sunshine and grump, marriage of convenience romance about a shy artist on the autism spectrum*, and a smiley smartypants who has a chronic IBD. Complete with combustible cooking lessons, interfering family and friends, and a steamy slow burn, this standalone is the fourth in a series of novels about a Swedish-American family of five brothers, two sisters, and their wild adventures as they each find happily ever after.

*This is an #OwnVoices story for its portrayal of autism by an autistic author.

A NEW FAVORITE.

I loooooooooved this book SO DANG MUCH. I flipped when it finally dropped on my kindle and read it in a day. I could not and did not want to put it down ever. I flew through this magnificent love story that gave me all the feels from laughter to tears. What a beautiful book. If you only get through this paragraph PLEASE READ IT.

I would call this one of those perfect romance. Where I can’t even think of one nuanced complaint other then that it ended too soon because it could never end I would keep reading this forever.

Rooney is the sunshine heroine with a chronic illness. Something she hides from those she loves and something that has flared up badly enough she had to take a break. I love her vulnerability and strength. Allowing Axel to see the “ugly” sides of her that he made her realize would never change a thought in his mind about her. I loved Rooney’s sunshine along with the rain.

Axel, who is autistic, struggles with emotions and expressing them towards others. He’s the grump to Rooney’s sunshine. As Axel’s layers started to peel away, you really get to the heart of why he feels a certain way about himself and his “eternal” bachelorhood. I love how this two connected and allowed a space for each of them to explore new thoughts and express words that they needed to say to one another (and to the loved ones in their circles). It was emotional and romantic. Tender and incredibly heartfelt. I LOVED every single interaction between them.

Add in a marriage of convenience, a cabin in the woods, and some cute critters and this book is everything I love about the romance genre. Rooney and Axel’s love story was compelling and so full of truth that is undeniable. I swooned many many times and this book is going to live rent free in my mind for the foreseeable future.

Overall Audience Notes:

  • Contemporary Romance
  • Language: occasionally strong
  • Romance: kisses to multiple open door
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: chronic illness (IBD)

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Book Review

Book Review: A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow by Laura Taylor Namey

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Contemporary Fiction + Romance
Length: 320 pages
Author: Laura Taylor Namey
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Release Date: November 10th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

For Lila Reyes, a summer in England was never part of the plan. The plan was 1) take over her abuela’s role as head baker at their panadería, 2) move in with her best friend after graduation, and 3) live happily ever after with her boyfriend. But then the Trifecta happened, and everything—including Lila herself—fell apart.

Worried about Lila’s mental health, her parents make a new plan for her: Spend three months with family friends in Winchester, England, to relax and reset. But with the lack of sun, a grumpy inn cook, and a small town lacking Miami flavor (both in food and otherwise), what would be a dream trip for some feels more like a nightmare to Lila…until she meets Orion Maxwell.

A teashop clerk with troubles of his own, Orion is determined to help Lila out of her funk, and appoints himself as her personal tour guide. From Winchester’s drama-filled music scene to the sweeping English countryside, it isn’t long before Lila is not only charmed by Orion, but England itself. Soon a new future is beginning to form in Lila’s mind—one that would mean leaving everything she ever planned behind.

SMITTEN.

Absolutely loved this. What a gem. And to think I chose it at random because it was available on my library app and was less than 10 hours of a read (I listened on audio).

I connected with Lila on so many levels. Struggling with grief and loss. How she’s an avid baker. Loves to run (and also uses it as a coping mechanism). Many things just resonated with me.

Throw in a cute British boy and I became hooked. What I love about the evolution of their relationship was that it truly started out as a friendship. There wasn’t a dive into the romance. It was slow and progressive. It had room to breath as we found more about Orion’s history and Lila coping with hers. I found it beautiful and even more romantic for the way they came together.

Not to mention, all of the new friendships Lila made. This side cast solidified my love too. The way everyone took in Lila, as she was, and allowed her to be with them as she was ready. And all of the baking!! My mouth was watering every few pages. I desperately need to find some good Cuban food now.

This was a magnetic young adult contemporary. Highly recommend. A new favorite.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult contemporary + romance
  • Language: a little
  • Romance: kisses
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: loss of a loved one(s), depictions of grief and depression

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