Book Review

Book Review: Knitted Hearts (Poplar Falls #6) by Amber Kelly

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: 234 pages
Author: Amber Kelly
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: June 29th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

An emotional, passionate second-chance romance in the Poplar Falls series from Amber Kelly

Sometimes you have to lose control to have it all…

I’ve always longed to start a family of my own. I throw everything I have into every relationship. Too bad I seem to attract the fixer-uppers. You know the type—the boys with all the potential but none of the drive. I thought Ricky was different, the one who would finally step up and be the man I’d been dreaming about all these years—ever since I lost my father when I was a little girl. I didn’t realize the dream would turn out to be a nightmare.

So here I am. Twenty-four years old, on the verge of divorce, and trying not to think about what my daddy would say while I hold on to the last threads of my life to keep it all from unraveling.

It’s all going fine until Foster Tomlin swaggers into my life. The sexy-as-sin former soldier works on my best friend’s family ranch, and there’s no getting around him or what I’m feeling. He doesn’t need fixing up. He’s perfect the way he is. The way he looks at and treats me makes me feel things I’ve sworn off for good. And when he wraps his arms around me, I find myself letting go of all the things I thought I wanted and needed.

The question is…can I take a risk and put my heart on the line again?

POPLAR FALLS FOREVER.

I can’t believe I finished this series! Or maybe I can because I loved it that much. A small town romance series you need in your life y’all!!

Getting Sonia’s story last was the best. I loved her romance with Foster and the second chance love between them was perfect. Sonia and Foster both had pasts that they needed to repair in their hearts as they also learned to lean on their new love and each other. It was all sorts of sweet and a little spicy.

I wasn’t sure how I felt about the relationship conflict because it’s usually not a trope I love, but the more I sat on it the more I liked it in the end. It worked for this story and I’m fine with that!

Sometimes the plot focused too much on the previous couples in the series when I just wanted more Sonia and Foster. That was my only complaint. Otherwise all of the dates and romancing under the moonlight was fantastic.

Another quick read I flew through in one morning because I needed to know how everything worked out. It was emotional and tender and I can’t wait to see what Kelly writes next.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary romance
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: kisses to open door scenes (2-3)
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: loss of a parent (on page), divorce and separation

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Book Review

ARC Book Review: Set on You by Amy Lea

Rating: ★★★★☆ (4.5)
Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: 384 pages
Author: Amy Lea
Publisher: Berkley Romance
Release Date: May 10th, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

A gym nemesis pushes a fitness influencer to the max in Amy Lea’s steamy debut romantic comedy.

Curvy fitness influencer Crystal Chen built her career shattering gym stereotypes and mostly ignoring the trolls. After her recent breakup, she has little stamina left for men, instead finding solace in the gym – her place of power and positivity.

Enter firefighter Scott Ritchie, the smug new gym patron who routinely steals her favorite squat rack. Sparks fly as these ultra-competitive foes battle for gym domination. But after a series of escalating jabs, the last thing they expect is to run into each other at their grandparents’ engagement party.

In the lead up to their grandparents’ wedding, Crystal discovers there’s a soft heart under Scott’s muscled exterior. Bonding over family, fitness, and cheesy pick-up lines, she just might have found her swolemate. But when a photo of them goes viral, savage internet trolls put their budding relationship to the ultimate test of strength.

Thank you to Berkley and Netgalley for an eARC.

SLOW BURN SWOON.

This was an amazing debut!! Incredibly heart warming and full on grin inducing. Crystal and Scott will bring the house down.

I loved Crystal. I loved so many of the conversations and topics she spoke about in regards to her identity, fitness, health and more. It was like the author was in my mind reminding me and telling me things I needed to hear. As someone who struggles (and I mean who doesn’t?) with many of the themes I loved the way this was approached.

Now, the ROMANCE. Ohhhh my gosh. SWOON. I didn’t know how much I would adore a love story primarily set-up around a gym. It was the best. I loved the instant charged connection and the subtle ways these two clearly showed their growing feelings. It wasn’t quite as angsty as I was thinking it would be, but it was gosh dang sweet. I loved the development and the banter. All of these tiny moments amounting into tender confessions. Scott Ritchie is the kind of love interest I will never tire of seeing in a romance.

A lot of the ending scenes were wonderful. I had a minor issues with some aspects, but I am all for a grand gesture so I was able to look past [most] of it. Not to mention, throwing in an it’s always been you trope had to be the icing on the cake. I can not handle another moment with Crystal and Scott because I will be in a puddle on the floor.

Please tell me Amy Lea has more books coming??

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary romance
  • Language: very mild
  • Romance: a few open door with low explicitness
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: fatphobia, cyber bullying, racism, fitness/diet culture, cancer

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Book Review

ARC Book Review: The Unknown Beloved by Amy Harmon

Rating: ★★★★★
Audience: Historical Romance
Length: 413 pages
Author: Amy Harmon
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Release Date: April 19th, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

From the bestselling author of Where the Lost Wander and What the Wind Knows comes the evocative story of two people whose paths collide against the backdrop of mystery, murder, and the Great Depression.

Chicago, 1923: Ten-year-old Dani Flanagan returns home to find police swarming the house, her parents dead. Michael Malone, the young patrolman assigned to the case, discovers there’s more to the situation—and to Dani Flanagan herself—than the authorities care to explore. Malone is told to shut his mouth, and Dani is sent away to live with her spinster aunts in Cleveland.

Fifteen years later, Michael Malone is summoned to Cleveland to investigate a series of murders that have everyone stumped, including his friend and famed Prohibition agent Eliot Ness, now Cleveland’s director of safety. There, in a city caught in the grip of a serial killer, Malone’s and Dani’s paths cross once again.

Malone is drawn to Dani and her affinity for the dead and compassion for the destitute. It doesn’t take long for him to realize that she could help him solve his case. As terror descends on the city and Malone and Dani confront the dark secrets that draw them together, it’s a race to find the killer or risk becoming his next victims.

Thank you to the author for an eARC.

ALL THE STARS.

I am forever attached to Harmon and her writing magnificence. The beauty and portrayal of the nuances of every aspect of her stories is immersing and impossible to turn away from. The moment this dropped onto my kindle I read it was quickly as I could as once again, I have nothing but good things to say.

AH THE ROMANCE. If you love a good age gap romance, this one is for you. I looooved the way that Dani and Michael came together. Through learning about each other’s backgrounds, to the slow forced proximity of their situations. And at last to the clashing of their souls has love took them under. It was everything subtly beautiful I love in a romance. I constantly needed more of them because each interaction pulled at my heart and while I loved Dani and Michael separately, I also loved the way they stood together.

The gritty murder mystery throughout was definitely hard to read in the dark at times. A bit gruesome and will keep you on your toes. I constantly was waiting for the other foot to drop and for the those final throw down scenes to ramp up my heartrate. Don’t worry, IT HAPPEEND. I liked the conclusions that were brought through to the end to tie up things for a book (even with the author’s note at the end explaining creative differences for the sake of the story).

This review is already a lot longer than my usual because I can’t STOP. I loved everything about this story. Amy Harmon writes historical romances like no other.

Overall audience notes:

  • Historical Fiction Romance
  • Language: very little
  • Romance: closed door
  • Violence: med/high blood and gore
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: kidnapping, gruesome depictions of murder, dismembering, gun violence, murder/suicide

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Book Review

Book Review: The Viscount Who Loved Me (Bridgertons #2) by Julia Quinn

Rating: ★★★★★
Audience: Historical Romance
Length: 391 pages
Author: Julia Queen
Publisher: Avon
Release Date: December 5th, 2000
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

ANTHONY’S STORY

This time the gossip columnists have it wrong. London’s most elusive bachelor Anthony Bridgerton hasn’t just decided to marry—he’s even chosen a wife! The only obstacle is his intended’s older sister, Kate Sheffield—the most meddlesome woman ever to grace a London ballroom. The spirited schemer is driving Anthony mad with her determination to stop the betrothal, but when he closes his eyes at night, Kate’s the woman haunting his increasingly erotic dreams…

Contrary to popular belief, Kate is quite sure that reformed rakes do not make the best husbands—and Anthony Bridgerton is the most wicked rogue of them all. Kate’s determined to protect her sister—but she fears her own heart is vulnerable. And when Anthony’s lips touch hers, she’s suddenly afraid she might not be able to resist the reprehensible rake herself..

THE ANGST.

This was a complete, bookstagram made me do it. I had no designs about picking up this series and a friends review convinced me to give it a try and Y’ALL. WHY DID I HOLD OFF ON THIS.

THE PINING. THE PASSION. THE ANGST. THE HEATED GLANCES.

It is everything I LOVE about enemies to lovers and I couldn’t get enough. There were so many rememberable scenes and I loved watching these two fall in love. Fantastic banter and the quiet moments where they learned more about each other were so tender. I liked how much background was added for both characters to give credence to decisions and actions. I found the steam scenes to actually be really sweet and work well into the story.

I liked the way the side characters worked into the plot but didn’t over shadow the romance. They added to the story and I loved many of them. I bet I’m going to find myself reading the rest of these books.

The ability for both Kate and Anthony to overcome different aspects of their pasts and find love together was CHEF’S KISS. There was no way I wasn’t throwing five stars at this book and now I already want to reread it.

Overall audience notes:

  • Historical romance
  • Language: little
  • Romance: two low explicit open door
  • Violence: low
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: PTSD, death from anaphylaxis recounted, death of a parent discussed

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