Book Review

Book Review: That Fine Line by Cindy Steel

Rating: ☆☆☆☆ 1/2
Audience: Contemporary romance
Length: Unknown pages
Author: Cindy Steel
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: April 21st, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

All I wanted was a quiet summer on my family’s ranch in Idaho…

I didn’t think that was too much to ask. With my fiancé in California, I was back home for three months to plan my wedding. I had colors to pick, cows to milk, and a wedding dress to squeeze into.

Which was why I didn’t need anybody messing with me.

Especially not the guy who had dedicated his whole life to making mine a joke. The guy who filled my high school locker with frogs and my hot car with cans of tuna. I mean…I always got him back. But not this summer. Things were different now. I was engaged. I had grown up. I would NOT fall victim to Cade’s pranks, teasing, or his manly charms.

If only my dad hadn’t hired the moron to cowboy for him this summer.

Now my childhood enemy is living on our ranch and seems to think we have a score to settle.

And all bets are off. 

ABSOLUTELY ADORED.

Ohhhhh my gosh this book was precious.

I loved the main characters. Kelsey exhibited a lot of growth throughout the novel. Even if I wanted to shake her a few times, she did have to come around on her own to what was happening in her life. I liked how fun Kelsey became and how she remembered her roots and what [and who] she loved. Cade was so dang sweet. My my was he a swoon worthy lead. An attractive baseball player turned cowboy? Yes please.

The only frustrating thing about this book was how long the fiance timeline played out. I was hoping it was going to fizzle (because it was clearly heading in that direction) quickly so there would be more Cade and Kelsey. I would have loved some more stellar kissing scenes and heat between them.

All of the farm life stuff was great! I feel like I learned a lot at the same time as I was enjoying the romance. Cade and Kelsey also played a lot of pranks on each other. I’ve read a handful of “prank war” books and it can be good or bad. I actually found this to be on the positive side. They were truly pranks that were ridiculous, but humorous. I didn’t feel a negative/mean energy to them and that helped the enjoyability of the moment.

Such a good, quick read about rekindling a childhood love and finding out where you want your path to go. The ending was incredibly sweet and I thought really wrapped up exactly where the romance needed to go.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary romance
  • Language: very little
  • Romance: kisses
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: manipulative/gaslighting significant other, intense body shaming, restriction of food and unsafe dieting

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Monthly Wrap-Up

Monthly Reading Wrap-Up: October 2021

Biiiiig fantasy mood this month y’all. Lots of good reads!

Favorite books of the month: Royally Rearranged, my rereads (The Love Hypothesis and The Simple Wid), Dial A for Aunties, Pawn/Knight, As Good As Dead

Least favorite: Crave and The Friend Zone

  • Heartbreak for Hire by Sonia Hartl
  • Royally Rearranged by Emma St. Clair
  • [Reread] The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood
  • [ARC] The Righteous (The Beautiful #3) by Renee Ahdieh
  • Once Upon a Broken Heart (Once Upon a Broken Heart #1) by Stephanie Garber
  • The Trouble With Hating You (The Trouble With Hating You #1) by Sajni Patel
  • [Novella] Sunreach (Skyward #2.1) by Brandon Sanderson & Janci Patterson
  • The Bronzed Beasts (The Gilded Wolves #3) by Roshani Chokshi
  • Crave (Crave #1) by Tracy Wolff
  • The Friend Zone (End of the Line #1) by Sariah Wilson
  • The Eye of the World (The Wheel of Time #1) by Robert Jordan
  • A Little Bit Witchy (Riddler’s Edge #1) by A.A. Albright
  • The Nabob’s Daughter by Jess Heileman
  • Witchy See, Witchy Do (Riddler’s Edge #2) by A.A. Albright
  • White Hot Kiss (The Dark Elements #1) by JLA
  • The Ex Hex by Erin Sterling
  • [Novella] Memento (The Illuminae Files #0.5) by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman
  • The Gilded Cage (The Prison Healer #2) by Lynette Noni
  • Lucky Witches (Riddler’s Edge #3) by A.A. Albright
  • [ARC] Bound by Firelight (Wickery #2) by Dana Swift
  • [ARC] The Elle Project by Summer Dowell
  • Blackveil (Green Rider #4) by Kristen Britain
  • Dial A For Aunties (Aunties #1) by Jesse Q. Sutanto
  • Pawn (Fae Games #1) by Karen Lynch
  • Stone Cold Touch (The Dark Elements #2) by JLA
  • Gild (The Plated Prisoner #1) by Raven Kennedy
  • Knight (Fae Games #2) by Karen Lynch
  • As Good As Dead (A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder #3) by Holly Jackson
  • Neverseen (Keeper of the Lost Cities #4) by Shannon Messenger
  • [Reread] The Simple Wild (Wild #1) by K.A. Tucker
  • Shiver Me Witches (Riddler’s Edge #4) by A.A. Albright
  • Glint (The Plated Prisoner #2) by Raven Kennedy
  • Voices: The Final Hours of Joan of Arc by David Elliot
  • Kingdom of the Cursed (Kingdom of the Wicked #2) by Kerri Maniscalco
  • Every Last Breath (The Dark Elements #3) by JLA

How was your reading month? What was your favorite read?

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Book Review

Book Review: The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: 384 pages
Author: Ali Hazelwood
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: September 14th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

As a third-year Ph.D. candidate, Olive Smith doesn’t believe in lasting romantic relationships–but her best friend does, and that’s what got her into this situation. Convincing Anh that Olive is dating and well on her way to a happily ever after was always going to take more than hand-wavy Jedi mind tricks: Scientists require proof. So, like any self-respecting biologist, Olive panics and kisses the first man she sees.

That man is none other than Adam Carlsen, a young hotshot professor–and well-known ass. Which is why Olive is positively floored when Stanford’s reigning lab tyrant agrees to keep her charade a secret and be her fake boyfriend. But when a big science conference goes haywire, putting Olive’s career on the Bunsen burner, Adam surprises her again with his unyielding support and even more unyielding…six-pack abs.

Suddenly their little experiment feels dangerously close to combustion. And Olive discovers that the only thing more complicated than a hypothesis on love is putting her own heart under the microscope.

ABSOLUTELY ADORED.

You might have seen that this book has A LOT OF HYPE.

THE HYPE IS WORTH IT.

I feel like I should just end my review there.

But, I’ll dive in a little bit deeper. The grump and sunshine trope was perfect. Adam and Olive were off the charts in banter and forced proximity moments where you know they’re both feeling it. I couldn’t get enough of each interaction they had. Those coffee dates were EVERYTHING. Not to mention I love a good, who did this to you, moment and TLH definitely had one for the books. Adam is the grumpy cinnamon roll of my bookish romance dreams and wow would I have loved getting chapters from his POV too.

I did notice some repetitive phrasing (like how many times Adam called Olive a smart-a**), and the spice was eh for me. But those were minor complaints in comparison to the whole. This had everything I love about romance books. Combining an engaging plot that supports the romance + plenty of times where swooning was the only applicable emotion. All of my heartstrings were tugged by the last page (because who doesn’t love a good confession moment?!).

The setting in STEM was amazing and the side characters greatly supported the plot. Every single thing just worked for this book. I consumed it because it’s nothing short of one of my top romance reads for 2021.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary romance
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: kisses to very open door
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: sexual harassment, sexism, death of a parent recounted

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Book Review

Book Review: Drums of Autumn (Outlander #4) by Diana Gabaldon

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: Historical fiction romance
Length: 904 pages
Author: Diana Gabaldon
Publisher: Delta
Release Date: December 30th, 1996
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

In this breathtaking novel—rich in history and adventure—The New York Times bestselling author Diana Gabaldon continues the story of Claire Randall and Jamie Fraser that began with the now-classic novel Outlander and continued in Dragonfly in Amber and Voyager. Once again spanning continents and centuries, Diana Gabaldon has created a work of sheer passion and brilliance….

It began at an ancient Scottish stone circle. There, a doorway, open to a select few, leads into the past—or the grave. Dr. Claire Randall survived the extraordinary passage, not once but twice.

Her first trip swept her into the arms of Jamie Fraser, an eighteenth-century Scot whose love for her became a legend—a tale of tragic passion that ended with her return to the present to bear his child. Her second journey, two decades later, brought them together again in the American colonies. But Claire had left someone behind in the twentieth century—their daughter, Brianna….

Now Brianna has made a disturbing discovery that sends her to the circle of stones and a terrifying leap into the unknown. In search of her mother and the father she has never met, she is risking her own future to try to change history … and to save their lives. But as Brianna plunges into an uncharted wilderness, a heartbreaking encounter may strand her forever in the past … or root her in the place she should be, where her heart and soul belong.

FAVORITE ONE [YET].

I’ve sat on this review for awhile because sometimes I feel like it’s hard to write a review over a book you LOVED and when it’s 900 pages. That’s a lot to cover?!

This might be my favorite Outlander book [yet]. This was also the first one I listened to on audio! Such a great combination. The narration was solid and really brought the book to life. Claire and Jamie were amazing again (no surprise) and I love the simplicity of the story in that, we’re following their lives. Even if the story itself is crazy complicated. I enjoy seeing how life progresses for them and watching them choose each other over and over again.

Some of my new favorites are definitely Roger and Brianna. I might have been more invested in them for this book. I’m smitten for a good love story and this was definitely good. Plenty of intrigue, banter, and romance for them. I was surprised where the story went and love how everything clicked together.

There’s a hundred different things that happened throughout this. Moments that made me smile, one’s that made me enraged, and others that brought tears. I love the writing and the way these stories flow over time. Magical and exhilarating with many, many things in between. I’m trying to intentionally keep this vague because I don’t want to spoil this (and previous books). Plenty of things keep happening here so it was a great continuation of the series!

Overall audience notes:

  • Historical fiction romance
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: kisses / make-outs; a handful of open and closed door scenes (with ranging levels of detail)
  • Violence: physical, swords, guns, explosions, sickness, murder, see trigger warnings for more
  • Trigger warnings: [I know I have missed some and I apologize for those I did miss, please research before choosing this series, nothing is left out in regards to detail and some of the awfulness of this time period]: multiple depictions of enslaved Africans and racism (setting from 1760’s), lynching, death from an abortion attempt, animal attacks, rape, racism involving Native Americans, sexual assault, hate crimes

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