Book Review

ARC Book Review: Enjoy the View (Moose Springs, Alaska #3) by Sarah Morgenthaler

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: 352 pages
Author: Sarah Morgenthaler
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Release Date: January 19th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

A grouchy mountaineer, a Hollywood starlet
And miles of untamed wilderness…
What could possibly go wrong?

Former Hollywood darling River Lane’s acting career is tanking fast. Determined to start fresh behind the camera, she agrees to film a documentary about the picturesque small town of Moose Springs, Alaska. The assignment should have been easy, but the quirky locals want nothing to do with River. Well, too bad: River’s going to make this film and prove herself, no matter what it takes.

Or what (literal) mountain she has to climb.

Easton Lockett may be a gentle giant, but he knows a thing or two about survival. If he can keep everyone in line, he should be able to get River and her crew up and down Mount Veil in one piece. Turns out that’s a big if. The wildlife’s wilder than usual, the camera crew’s determined to wander off a cliff, and the gorgeous actress is fearless. Falling for River only makes Easton’s job tougher, but there’s only so long he can hold out against her brilliant smile. When bad weather strikes, putting everyone at risk, it’ll take all of Easton’s skill to get them back home safely…and convince River she should stay in his arms for good.

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for the eARC. All opinions are my own!

BEST OF THE SERIES.

Seriously. THE BEST ONE. I LOVED IT SO MUCH. I WOULD WRITE THIS ENTIRE REVIEW IN CAPS IF I COULD.

But I understand that might annoy some of y’all so I’ll try to tame my emotions here.

OR MAYBE NOT.

I was nervous to dive in because I had *hyped* this book up in my mind. I adore Easton. I was ready for his grumpy mountain man self to mind some love. This did not disappoint. From chapter one I knew I was in for the perfect contemporary romance.

Easton and River’s chemistry was off the charts. Banter on point. Sly looks, and near kisses, heavens I was begging for them to kiss by the time we got there. I loved getting both of their stories and points of view. Add in climbing a daunting mountain and let the romance commence. I’m just still sitting here smitten with them. They bounced off each other beautifully and I really felt like they were a match. The conflict for this one wasn’t over drawn and dramatic. Fit right in and the solution had me giddy. Goodness gracious, read these books y’all.

It’s been sealed that I’m a Morgenthaler fan. I can’t wait to see what she writes next. Hot dang, I loved this book y’all. This entire review would be more gushing so trust me on this. Snowy, low steam, cute and fluffy, contemporary romance in Alaska. It’s all there folks.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary romance
  • Language: A little
  • Romance: kisses / make-outs; one love scene that is so closed door you barely realize it
  • Violence: accidents and injuries from mountain climbing (near frostbite, low oxygen levels, falls)

Instagram || Goodreads

Book Review

Book Review: The Royal We (Royal We #1) by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan

Rating: ☆☆ 1/2
Audience: Contemporary romance
Length: 454 pages
Author: Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Release Date: April 7th, 2015
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

“I might be Cinderella today, but I dread who they’ll think I am tomorrow. I guess it depends on what I do next.”

American Rebecca Porter was never one for fairy tales. Her twin sister, Lacey, has always been the romantic who fantasized about glamour and royalty, fame and fortune. Yet it’s Bex who seeks adventure at Oxford and finds herself living down the hall from Prince Nicholas, Great Britain’s future king. And when Bex can’t resist falling for Nick, the person behind the prince, it propels her into a world she did not expect to inhabit, under a spotlight she is not prepared to face.

Dating Nick immerses Bex in ritzy society, dazzling ski trips, and dinners at Kensington Palace with him and his charming, troublesome brother, Freddie. But the relationship also comes with unimaginable baggage: hysterical tabloids, Nick’s sparkling and far more suitable ex-girlfriends, and a royal family whose private life is much thornier and more tragic than anyone on the outside knows. The pressures are almost too much to bear, as Bex struggles to reconcile the man she loves with the monarch he’s fated to become.

Which is how she gets into trouble.

Now, on the eve of the wedding of the century, Bex is faced with whether everything she’s sacrificed for love-her career, her home, her family, maybe even herself-will have been for nothing.

UNIMPRESSED.

We had a pretty good start then things just went downhill.

I liked the beginning. It was cute! Meeting at college, getting to know a new country and being truly on Rebecca’s own (without her twin). I honestly thought this would have been dragged out longer over the course of the book. Mostly because I was leaning towards that being that point of this romance. How they met, fell in-love, etc. What I got was…not what I was expecting.

About halfway is when things sunk, but I was far enough in that I decided to go ahead and finish it out. The Royal We could have easily been 100 pages (at least) shorter. There was an incredible amount of focus on the media. I understand that it plays a big role in all of their lives, but with how much it was discussed it got boring and repetitive. Not to mention the only characters I liked were Cilla and Gaz. And they were side characters.

Not to mention, with the way it ended, I think it as meant to be romantic and spontaneous. What it really portrayed was a relationship with a bunch of band-aids. There wasn’t enough of the romance with Nick and Rebecca having sincere and productive conversations about their difficulties.

I really just struggled with this one for a lot of reasons and I don’t want to continue listing them. This wasn’t the romantic normal girl turns princess trope I was hoping for.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary fiction + romance
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: kisses / make-outs; a lot of closed door scenes
  • Trigger warnings: loss of a parent, and a parent suffering from mental health issues

Instagram || Goodreads

Book Review

Book Review: Not Like the Movies (Waiting for Tom Hanks #2) by Kerry Winfrey

Rating: ☆☆☆
Audience: Contemporary romance
Length: 320 pages
Author: Kerry Winfrey
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: July 7th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

What happens when your life is a rom-com…but you don’t even believe in true love?

Chloe Sanderson is an optimist, and not because her life is easy. As the sole caregiver for her father, who has early onset Alzheimer’s, she’s pretty much responsible for everything. She has no time—or interest—in getting swept up in some dazzling romance. Not like her best friend Annie, who literally wrote a rom-com that’s about to premiere in theaters across America…and happens to be inspired by Chloe and Nick Velez, Chloe’s cute but no-nonsense boss.

As the buzz for the movie grows, Chloe reads one too many listicles about why Nick is the perfect man, and now she can’t see him as anything but Reason #2: The Scruffy-Bearded Hunk Who’s Always There When You Need Him. But unlike the romance Annie has written for them, Chloe isn’t so sure her own story will end in a Happily Ever After. 

IT WAS FINE.

Oh, but I liked Waiting for Tom Hanks more. Even though I was more excited for this release. I love a good side character follow-up in “series”.

It was really hard for me to watch Chloe struggle with all of the weight on her shoulders. Her highly relatable nature to take things solely on her own had me up in frustration, yet completely understanding the choices she continued to make. I felt she had some growth over the novel, but a lot of it felt stuffed right at the end. I just didn’t appreciate the way I felt she toyed with Nick after finally allowing herself to admit her feelings. Emotions got twisted poorly and I could feel my trepidation as the book went on.

Nick, oh, I adored Nick. Would have loved even more Nick. He was a quiet and firm presence in Chloe’s life. Made my heart flutter and feeling all the feels. I loved him so much and thought he was the perfect addition to Chloe’s world. Sometimes you just need someone that gets you. And that’s how both of these characters collided.

This was just missing something for me. There was so much ELSE going on that the romance fell by the wayside. Usually not a big deal, but this book is a romance? Leaving my expectations befuddled. I enjoyed seeing old characters again and getting a form of an extended epilogue for them. Everything did work out in the end, which is expected and appreciated, at least.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary romance
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: kisses / heated make-outs; innuendo and suggestive dialogue; a few closed door scenes with some detail leading up
  • Trigger warnings: Chloe takes care of her Father with Alzheimer’s, mentions of past parental abuse (Nick)

Instagram || Goodreads

Book Review

Book Review: The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapata

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: 673 pages
Author: Mariana Zapata
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: February 28th, 2016
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Vanessa Mazur knows she’s doing the right thing. She shouldn’t feel bad for quitting. Being an assistant/housekeeper/fairy godmother to the top defensive end in the National Football Organization was always supposed to be temporary. She has plans and none of them include washing extra-large underwear longer than necessary.

But when Aiden Graves shows up at her door wanting her to come back, she’s beyond shocked.

For two years, the man known as The Wall of Winnipeg couldn’t find it in him to tell her good morning or congratulate her on her birthday. Now? He’s asking for the unthinkable.

What do you say to the man who is used to getting everything he wants?

MY FIRST ZAPATA BOOK!

I did it. I read a book by Zapata and my first sports romance!

And I have wide-ranging thoughts on the matter. Namely, mixed, but on the positive side overall.

I have decided I need a lot more sports romances in my life, why did I take so long to read one? I love the aspects added in and I thought it really made the book even better. Aiden was *all the stars*. I adored his character and thought his progression from stoic to, stoic AND tender was fantastic. Seeing him slowly open up to Vanessa, and acknowledging he’s totally smitten with her, had me totally smitten with him. YUP. On the other side of that coin, I struggled with Vanessa. Maybe because it was all from her point of view. I felt there was repetitive nature to her thoughts that got to be a bit much. She may have been a bit aloof, but without the repetitiveness I did like her character progression as well. Aiden and Vanessa did have stellar chemistry, so that was a big bonus.

The last quarter of this book was dynamite. I think because of the speedier nature compared to the rest of it, things moved at the pace I was craving to finally reach. That sealed the deal for me to give it four stars (rather than 3.5). For someone who loves slow-burns, I felt this really toed the too slow line. And the way it jumped from a very mild romance book to WHOA in the final chapter just made me shrug my shoulders.

Lots of good and some eh. I did read (and listen) to this very fast. It truly did keep my attention which is always nice to have. With the length, it does seem long at times, but I was surprised at how little I really noticed. I definitely want to try another Zapata book and see what other romances she has!

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary sports romance
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: kisses / make-outs; a detailed almost scene and one very open-door scene
  • Violence: physical, football related injuries
  • Trigger warnings: a physically abusive boyfriend (a side character), mentions of abusive parents and siblings

Instagram || Goodreads