Book Review

Book Review: Cake (Cake #1) by J. Bengtsson

Rating: ☆☆☆
Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: 611 pages
Author: J. Bengtsson
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: May 14th, 2016
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Casey

I’ve met the perfect guy. Handsome, talented, and sarcastic as hell, Jake McKallister is everything I’ve ever dreamed of in a man.

There’s just one problem: Jake is everyone’s dream man.

But he sees me—an everyday college girl—and introduces me to a whole new world of music and tour buses and adoring fans. The more I fall for him, the more I realize that Jake might not be all he pretends to be.

I’ve finally found a man worth fighting for…but will he let me win?

Jake

Casey thinks she knows. She doesn’t know. No one knows—but me.
And I’m not talking. Ever.

HMM.

I feel mixed by this story.

There was a lot of trauma and exploration of working through those past issues (see trigger warnings for further explanation). There was a love story. Yet the two didn’t mix that well.

Love story wise, it was charming overall. I did like Jake and Casey together. Sweet meet-cute. Fun traveling, going through some tough times and coming out the other side. The rockstar and normal girl romance was something I hadn’t read recently so it was a nice switch-up.

I didn’t connect with the writing style. The jokes didn’t land well, and some commentary wasn’t appealing. I thought the characters seemed very surface level and trying too hard to be more than that.

I’m finding it hard to write out all the things I thought while reading this. I know it’s well loved, it just didn’t hit that place for me.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary romance
  • Language: strong throughout
  • Romance: kisses to open door scenes
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: child kidnapping, sexual assault and rape (mentions from the past); torture, PTSD, suicide ideation; near death embolism, a loved one in a coma

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Book Review

Book Review: Shipped by Angie Hockman

Rating: ☆☆☆ 1/2
Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: 336 pages
Author: Angie Hockman
Publisher: Gallery Books
Release Date: January 19th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Between taking night classes for her MBA and her demanding day job at a cruise line, marketing manager Henley Evans barely has time for herself, let alone family, friends, or dating. But when she’s shortlisted for the promotion of her dreams, all her sacrifices finally seem worth it.

The only problem? Graeme Crawford-Collins, the remote social media manager and the bane of her existence, is also up for the position. Although they’ve never met in person, their epic email battles are the stuff of office legend.

Their boss tasks each of them with drafting a proposal on how to boost bookings in the Galápagos—best proposal wins the promotion. There’s just one catch: they have to go on a company cruise to the Galápagos Islands…together. But when the two meet on the ship, Henley is shocked to discover that the real Graeme is nothing like she imagined. As they explore the Islands together, she soon finds the line between loathing and liking thinner than a postcard.

With her career dreams in her sights and a growing attraction to the competition, Henley begins questioning her life choices. Because what’s the point of working all the time if you never actually live?

WHERE’S MY CRUISE?

Mostly because I read this book in winter, am I desperately wanting to find myself a cruise ship. Wow did this make me want to travel (which is definitely a bonus point for it).

Shipped was a good, quick read. I didn’t find myself falling in love with it ever. Every time it got close to that level, something would drag me back down. Hard to nail it exactly, things were just missing to make it a complete romance for me.

I liked Henley. She was intelligent, a bit of a workaholic, and had a lot of space to grow. By the end I appreciated her arc and thought it was empowering. Henley found the support of her friends and the strength within herself to make some big decisions that ultimately helped her find her true career passion.

Graeme was adorable. From the first page he popped up on I liked him. I thought there would have been more banter and angst between Graeme and Henley. It was a letdown to see how quickly they became an item honestly. I wanted some more push and pull.

The Author’s Note and the general theme of the book being in the Galapagos Islands was fantastic. It encouraged me to research eco-tourism and want to plan my own supportive trips. This was a bit of romance and larger plots that bounced off of each other well enough.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary Romance
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: kisses to closed door scenes
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: side character in a domestic abuse situation

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Book Review

Book Review: An Echo in the Bone (Outlander #7) by Diana Gabaldon

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: Historical fiction romance
Length: 830 pages
Author: Diana Gabaldon
Publisher: Bantam
Release Date: June 22nd, 2010
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

In this new epic of imagination, time travel, and adventure, Diana Gabaldon continues the riveting story begun in Outlander.

Jamie Fraser is an eighteenth-century Highlander, an ex-Jacobite traitor, and a reluctant rebel in the American Revolution. His wife, Claire Randall Fraser, is a surgeon—from the twentieth century. What she knows of the future compels him to fight. What she doesn’t know may kill them both.

With one foot in America and one foot in Scotland, Jamie and Claire’s adventure spans the Revolution, from sea battles to printshops, as their paths cross with historical figures from Benjamin Franklin to Benedict Arnold.

Meanwhile, in the relative safety of the twentieth century, their daughter, Brianna, and her husband experience the unfolding drama of the Revolutionary War through Claire’s letters. But the letters can’t warn them of the threat that’s rising out of the past to overshadow their family.

Diana Gabaldon’s sweeping Outlander saga reaches new heights in An Echo in the Bone.

ENJOYING THE RIDE.

If you haven’t noticed this already, the Outlander series is a slow-burn type of read. There’s power in the mundane things Gabaldon writes about and the high action scenes. It really feels like a true story of Claire and Jamie’s lives. Every little tid-bit. And I love every little tid-bit.

One of the things I noticed here was that a lot of the travelling was cut out. Not upset with that at all. I like that they quickly crossed an ocean or land. It made the story move a bit better and consistently.

I yet again love everyone here. Claire and Jamie (especially Jamie) have my heart. They really have a romance that stand the test of time. I love Bri and Roger. And really liked having two timelines again. Lord John Grey was also in here a lot more and I love his story too. I’m just smitten all around with this cast.

I’ve been mostly listening to these on audio and have really liked the narrator. She does an amazing job to where even when I’m reading a physical copy I can hear the voices of characters in my head. It’s really brought to life and I can’t wait to be caught up on this series soon!

Overall audience notes:

  • Historical romance
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: kisses to open scenes
  • Violence: depictions of war (Revolutionary War), physical, depictions of Claire acting as a surgeon (removal of body parts, lots of blood/gore)
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: I say this for every Outlander book, I apologize if I may miss some of the warnings because they’re generally many: PTSD from war, kidnapping, child endangerment, slavery, murder, animal attacks, loss of loved ones, accidental manslaughter, remembrance of stillborn child and miscarriages, and potentially more

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Book Review

Monthly Reading Wrap-Up: July 2021

May have hit a new personal best for the month, 38 books y’all! I did read a lot of graphic novels mixed in with my big fantasy books. But I really love changing the pace between reads. Keeps slumps at bay.

Favorites this month: The Traitor Queen, How to Walk Away, Always Only You, The Poppy War, Otherwise Engaged, Well Matched, The Gravity of Us, Six Crimson Cranes, Falling for Your Enemy, Jade War, The Second Blind Son

Least Favorites: Redemptor, A Lady in Attendance, Gods & Monsters

  • [ARC] Redemptor (Raybearer #2) by Jordan Ifueko
  • Come Back to Me (Waters of Time #1) by Jody Hedlund
  • [Reread] The Traitor Queen (The Bridge Kingdom #2) by Danielle L. Jensen
  • [ARC] Never Saw You Coming by Erin Hahn
  • How to Walk Away by Katherine Center
  • Always Only You (Bergman Brothers #2) by Chloe Liese
  • The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels (Dangerous Damsels #1) by India Holton
  • [Graphic Novel] Sheets (Sheets #1) by Brenna Thummler
  • The Mostly Real McCoy (Apple Valley Love Stories #1) by Julie Christianson
  • [Graphic Novel] Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds
  • [Graphic Novel] Barely Functional Adult: It’ll All Make Sense Eventually by Meichi Ng
  • The Poppy War (The Poppy War #1) by R.F. Kuang
  • Otherwise Engaged by Joanna Barker
  • Caught Bread Handed (A Bakeshop Mystery #4) by Ellie Alexander
  • Roomies by Christina Lauren
  • Reckless Memories (Wrecked #1) by Catherine Cowles
  • A Lady in Attendance by Rachel Fordham
  • The Mark of Athena (The Heroes of Olympus #3) by Rick Riordan
  • The Extinction Trials: Rebel (The Extinction Trials #3) by S.M. Wilson
  • [ARC] Beasts of Prey by Ayana Gray
  • [ARC] Well Matched (Well Met #3) by Jen DeLuca
  • [Novella] Pursuing Miss Hall by Karen Thornell
  • On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness (The Wingfeather Saga #1) by Andrew Peterson
  • The Gravity of Us (Elements #4) by Brittainy C. Cherry
  • Carving for Miss Coventry (Sons of Somerset #1) by Deborah M. Hathaway
  • Counting Down With You by Tashie Bhuiyan
  • [Non-fiction] Princes at War by Deborah Cadbury
  • Six Crimson Cranes (Six Crimson Cranes #1) by Elizabeth Lim
  • Falling for Your Enemy (Love Cliches #6) by Emma St. Clair
  • Ever After Always (Bergman Brothers #3) by Chloe Liese
  • Jade War (The Green Bone Saga #2) by Fonda Lee
  • [Graphic Novel] Heartstopper, Vol. 3 by Alice Oseman
  • The Second Blind Son by Amy Harmon
  • [Novella] The Twelve Holidates (Love Cliches #4) by Emma St. Clair
  • The Tea Dragon Festival (Tea Dragon #2) by Kay O’Neill
  • Gods & Monsters (Serpent & Dove #3) by Shelby Mahurin
  • [Graphic Novel] Fence, Vol. 1 by C.S. Pacat
  • [Graphic Novel] Fence, Vol. 2 by C.S. Pacat

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