Book Review

ARC Book Review: People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: Contemporary romance
Length: 384 pages
Author: Emily Henry
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: May 11th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Poppy and Alex. Alex and Poppy. They have nothing in common. She’s a wild child; he wears khakis. She has insatiable wanderlust; he prefers to stay home with a book. And somehow, ever since a fateful car share home from college many years ago, they are the very best of friends. For most of the year they live far apart–she’s in New York City, and he’s in their small hometown–but every summer, for a decade, they have taken one glorious week of vacation together.

Until two years ago, when they ruined everything. They haven’t spoken since.

Poppy has everything she should want, but she’s stuck in a rut. When someone asks when she was last truly happy, she knows, without a doubt, it was on that ill-fated, final trip with Alex. And so, she decides to convince her best friend to take one more vacation together–lay everything on the table, make it all right. Miraculously, he agrees.

Now she has a week to fix everything. If only she can get around the one big truth that has always stood quietly in the middle of their seemingly perfect relationship. What could possibly go wrong?

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for an eARC in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own.

LOVED THIS.

I can break down this review really simply.

I have a hard time loving these tropes: friends to lovers, second chance, and books with flashback chapters.

People We Meet on Vacation made me love them ALL. It was written so beautifully and magnetically that I devoured this in a day. I didn’t want to put it down, I needed to know what happened. The story was a journey and gave me plenty of wanderlust about traveling.

I LOVE Alex and Poppy. Goodness gracious. Their chemistry leaped off the page into fireworks. From the get-go I knew I was in for this book. I love the opposites attract vibes and watching their love story play out over the flashbacks. It was expertly accomplished. I can’t say enough good things about how this story. I wish I could read it fresh again.

Need I mention some tropes I do love that were also included? ONE BED, slow burn and tension for days. The angst here was real. Alex was such a cinnamon roll. Poppy was vibrant and larger than life. I just love them. LOVE THEM. I found myself smiling and laughing at the banter and antics. How things were going utterly wrong in one way and perfectly right in another.

I like to mention in romances if that conflict we all know is coming took away from the story. This time? It didn’t take away at all. It fit into everything I learned about the characters over the book. It allowed for growth from both characters and learning what they truly wanted and needed from their own lives as their’s collided.

What a book. I love Emily Henry’s romances!

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary romance
  • Language: some
  • Romance: kisses to brief open door
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: depicitons of anxiety, loss of a parent, bullying

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Book Review

Book Review: The Boyfriend Project (The Boyfriend Project #1) by Farrah Rochon

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: 368 pages
Author: Farrah Rochon
Publisher: Forever
Release Date: June 9th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Samiah Brooks never thought she would be “that” girl. But a live tweet of a horrific date just revealed the painful truth: she’s been catfished by a three-timing jerk of a boyfriend. Suddenly Samiah-along with his two other “girlfriends,” London and Taylor-have gone viral online. Now the three new besties are making a pact to spend the next six months investing in themselves. No men, no dating, and no worrying about their relationship status . . .

For once Samiah is putting herself first, and that includes finally developing the app she’s always dreamed of creating. Which is the exact moment she meets the deliciously sexy, honey-eyed Daniel Collins at work. What are the chances? When it comes to love, there’s no such thing as a coincidence. But is Daniel really boyfriend material or is he maybe just a little too good to be true? 

GOOD OFFICE ROMANCE.

A solid contemporary romance y’all. Flew through it pretty quickly, enjoyed the characters. All good notes.

I really enjoyed the friendship between Samiah, London, and Taylor. I love how it was a show of coming together rather than tearing each other down over the initial situation. Add in the continuing moments of them supporting one another and I want that kind of girl gang in my life. Great camraderie.

Daniel was adorable and I loved him. He was sweet, focused, and an amazing support person for Samiah. I wasn’t hooked by their initial chemistry, but loved the way it worked out. As well know, rom-coms have a conflict somewhere between the couple and this was no different. What was unique was the set-up for it all. I haven’t read something like that in a romance which made for a nice change in the genre for me.

I loved the conversations on privilege and consent and what it means to be a POC woman working in the tech industry. The writing was easy and fun. Didn’t love the steamy scenes, but that didn’t wholly distract from the story. I did like Daniel and Samiah together as couple though which really brought the ending home. A bit cheesy, but totally cute and a nice happy ever after.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary romance
  • Language: strong throughout
  • Romance: kisses / make-outs; a few open door scenes
  • Violence: mention of a bike & car accident

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Book Review

Book Review: Roommaid by Sariah Wilson

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Contemporary romance
Length: 301 pages
Author: Sariah Wilson
Publisher: Montlake
Release Date: October 1st, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

From bestselling author Sariah Wilson comes a charming romance about living your life one dream at a time.

Madison Huntington is determined to live her dreams. That means getting out from under her family’s wealth and influence by saying no to the family business, her allowance, and her home. But on a teacher’s salary, the real world comes as a rude awakening—especially when she wakes up every morning on a colleague’s couch. To get a place of her own (without cockroaches, mold, or crime scene tape), Madison accepts a position as a roommaid. In exchange for free room and board, all she needs to do is keep her busy roommate’s penthouse clean and his dog company. So what if she’s never washed a dish in her life. She can figure this out, right?

Madison is pretty confident she can fake it well enough that Tyler Roth will never know the difference. The finance whiz is rich and privileged and navigates the same social circles as her parents—but to him she’s just a teacher in need of an apartment. He’s everything Madison has run from, but his kindhearted nature, stomach-fluttering smile, and unexpected insecurities only make her want to get closer. And Tyler is warming to the move.

Rewarding job. Perfect guy. Great future. With everything so right, what could go wrong? Madison is about to find out.

INCREASINGLY BETTER.

I admit, I struggled through the first quarter or so of this one.

Too much detail focused on Madison’s family and her previous lifestyle, etc. I will say, it did come back into play, but I don’t think that much time needed to be spent on it. They were a nuisance from start to finish. I’m reading a romance, I want the two love interests front and center!!

After that initial issue, I got really on board with this one. Tyler is absolutely someone to be smitten with. Precious and easy to love. He and Madison truly did hit it off and I thought their chemistry was fantastic. Those WHY DIDN’T YOU KISS HER scenes are some of the best in this book. I loved their progression and development of feelings. When we got to the main conflict (which we all know happens in a romance formula), I liked the way it was handled. It wasn’t overly blown out of proportion and things got back on track quickly enough that I didn’t feel like anything missed a beat.

I thought the side plots and characters were funny. Watching Madison try to figure out how to use a dishwasher and take care of a dog had me snickering. I think it made her character really lovable and I wanted to cheer her on for choosing her own path, out of the grasp of her Mother.

By the end, I was loving this and even went and picked out another Wilson book to read for my TBR. This low-steam contemporary romance was playful and sincere, and I always love a read that goes by so quickly!

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary romance
  • Language: very little, light
  • Romance: kisses / make-outs
  • Trigger warnings: emotionally and verbally abusive parents; a cheating significant other

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Book Review

ARC Book Review: The Knockout Rule (Showmen #4) by Kelly Siskind

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: 340 pages
Author: Kelly Siskind
Publisher: CD Books
Release Date: February 24th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Siskind’s latest slow-burn romance is stay-up-all-night addictive and proves love hits when you least expect it…

Growing up with an adoring father for a boxing legend isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. It looks more like hospital visits, bloody noses, and cracked ribs.

Isla Slade now works as a physiotherapist, helping athletes heal their bodies. Except for boxers. She has no interest in reliving the stress of her teen years. Dating someone in the boxing world? She’d rather snort wasabi powder.

Until she meets Preston Church.

Preston manages heavyweight boxing darling Brick Kramarov. A brute who’s built tougher than his name, with a cocky attitude to boot. She wants nothing to do with either man, but her father begs her to help them prepare for a huge Vegas fight.

She doesn’t expect Preston to recite romantic poems and slowly break her resolve. His fascinating mind gets under her skin, even if his star athlete reminds her how much she hates boxing.

Too bad it’s Brick coaching Preston how to woo Isla, falling for her from the sidelines. Once she finds out, she’ll have to decide if she can risk loving another man who puts it all on the line for the knockout.

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for an eARC in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own!

BEAUTIFUL STORY.

Oh I adored this! A sports romance gem.

What I loved most was the truly real feeling of the characters. There are some raw and tender moments as over and over our main characters come to terms with the situations around them. I loved the dialogue and conversations that occurred because of this. It exponentially brought another level to the novel by creating beautifully flawed humans who saw some true growth.

Isla and Eric were such a match!! I loved their chemistry and banter. The absolutely precious moments between them. It was spicy and romantic. Even better, I did like how the conflict and resolution came out between them. It worked perfectly for the story and allowed for an adorable ending. I did think [for me] the romance was a bit heavy-handed and I did have to skip over a few scenes, but if you like higher steam, this is definitely a read for you!

I love that this was a sports romance. I found it really insightful actually to boxing. I don’t like boxing at all, but was impressed with seeing another side to it than just fighting. Even when the big match came up I wasn’t quite sure who would win. The way Siskind wrote out this narrative was on point and I’m happy it went the way it did!

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary romance
  • Language: some strong throughout
  • Romance: kisses to a few very open door scenes
  • Violence: boxing matches
  • Content/Trigger Warnings: depictions of anxiety and panic attacks, coping with learning a loved one has a degenerative illness

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