Book Review

Book Review: Shortcake by Lucy Watson

Rating: ☆☆☆
Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: 413 pages
Author: Lucy Watson
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: September 19th, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Things Emelia Anderson would rather do than share a house with Benjamin Crawford:

1) Get strapped to a chair in a restaurant full of loud-chewers.

2) Parachute into the Australian Outback armed with only a blowdart.

3) Live her best life as an ice road trucker in the Alaskan Tundra.

Benjamin Crawford thinks Emelia conned his dying grandmother into leaving her half of an estate worth millions, so let’s just say he’s not her biggest fan either. Not even close.

Now they have to live together for the next thirty days while renovating the family home. Or the estate will transfer to the one person Ben hates more than Emelia, and she’ll have to move back to the one place she wants to forget more than Ben.

Did I mention Ben look likes man-candy and smells like testosterone? Not that Emelia notices. She spends a lot of time not noticing things about Ben.

TOOK SOME TURNS.

What started out pretty well, dropped significantly as the book went on.

I LOVE enemies to lovers. Will read it all day, every day. The way this was portrayed was a lot more intense than I appreciated. Some dialogue crossed lines that I was uncomfortable with and wow do you really feel the hate between them.

As things progressed, some scenes were sweet and I felt myself more invested in their story. I snort-laughed through some of the antics and found the whole plot neat! I love some forced proximity and there was plenty of that around.

Towards the end, things took an oddly dark turn? I’m fine with heavier subject matter in a romance when it’s interspersed throughout and works with the story. The conversations seemed thrown in to maybe create some kind of dynamic that I’m still not fully understanding.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary romance
  • Language: strong, often
  • Romance: kisses to open door scenes
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: mentions of substance abuse, mentions of suicide, mentions of drunk driving, a loved one with a terminal illness

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Book Review

ARC Book Review: Well Played (Well Met #2) by Jen DeLuca

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: 336 pages
Author: Jen DeLuca
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: September 22nd, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Another laugh-out-loud romantic comedy featuring kilted musicians, Renaissance Faire tavern wenches, and an unlikely love story.

Stacey is jolted when her friends Simon and Emily get engaged. She knew she was putting her life on hold when she stayed in Willow Creek to care for her sick mother, but it’s been years now, and even though Stacey loves spending her summers pouring drinks and flirting with patrons at the local Renaissance Faire, she wants more out of life. Stacey vows to have her life figured out by the time her friends get hitched at Faire next summer. Maybe she’ll even find The One.

When Stacey imagined “The One,” it never occurred to her that her summertime Faire fling, Dex MacLean, might fit the bill. While Dex is easy on the eyes onstage with his band The Dueling Kilts, Stacey has never felt an emotional connection with him. So when she receives a tender email from the typically monosyllabic hunk, she’s not sure what to make of it.

Faire returns to Willow Creek, and Stacey comes face-to-face with the man with whom she’s exchanged hundreds of online messages over the past nine months. To Stacey’s shock, it isn’t Dex—she’s been falling in love with a man she barely knows.

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

SO SWEET.

I am all over this series by Jen DeLuca. They’re adorable and easy to enjoy and get a few smiles out of me.

In differentiating from Well Met, this book follows Stacey as she goes through a lot of big life decisions. Some cards were handed to her unplanned and now she’s found herself stuck in a slump, wondering what to do next. I struggled with the way Stacey talked about herself at times. I liked that she had a good evolution over the book about finding her way. Learning to take those leaps of faith and following something you know you love.

Okay, Daniel? TOTES ADORBS. I mean, from the get go. Absolutely loved him. So flippin’ cute. He warmed my heart 100x over and was such a match for Stacey. I liked the way the initial conflict (trying to avoid spoilers) happened between them. The communication and understanding that went into seeing both sides of the story really set me up for loving this ship. And this was a continual theme that helped

Another magical setting at a Ren Fest and I am once again wishing I could go to one this year! I love the writing and magic I feel between everyone. Getting to see Simon and Emily again was also absolutely amazing. I did like Well Met more, ONLY because it had more of an enemies to lovers vibe (which is my favorite trope ever). This is more friends to lovers and I found it very sweet watching Daniel and Stacey fall in love.

And low-key, STOKED for the next book in this series and the fact it’s about Mitch and April.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary romance
  • Language: a little (strong when used)
  • Romance: kisses / make-outs; a full chapter open door scene

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Book Review

Book Review: Love is an Art by Summer Dowell

Rating: ☆☆☆
Audience: Contemporary romance
Length: 187 pages
Author: Summer Dowell
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: March 13th, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Normally poised and confident Erin McCoy is having a rough day. Spilling paint all over a stranger’s car was not part of her plans that morning. Luckily, things begin looking up when her best friend drags her to an art class taught by the unmistakably gorgeous Travis Hunter.

Travis is your average, easygoing art teacher. His day is off to a bumpy start when he finds his parked car covered in grey paint. However, when a stunning brunette walks into his class later that afternoon, things don’t seem so bad.

A hilarious love/hate situation forms as Erin and Travis unknowingly battle over the paint accident while simultaneously pursuing their budding relationship.

SUPERFLUOUS.

This is unfortunately how I felt about most of this book. For a short story it had a lot of random details and tangents that I couldn’t possibly figure out why it was that important. The writing itself was my biggest issue with the book. While cute, it overall let me down.

There was a lot of telling rather than showing. For instance, there was a coworker the main character, Erin, didn’t like what so ever. And you know what? I still don’t know why. He never DID anything in the story to warrant this level of hatred other than Erin telling me I should hate him. These kind of moments kept me asking more questions and not getting any answers.

Erin and Travis were a cute couple. I liked the banter and flirting between them. They also had real issues and communication problems. Having POVs from both characters gave me greater insight into how they saw themselves and others. I appreciated seeing them work through their communication issues and realizing that being able to truly talk to one another can help create a lasting relationship.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses, flirting
Book Review

Book Review: My Very Own Hitman by Izi Miller

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Contemporary romance
Length: 124 pages
Author: Izi Miller
Publisher: Village Lane Publishing
Release Date: August 6th, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

When Jessica gets blackmailed into working for a gang boss, the last thing she expects to find is romance. She is certain her bucket list full of wishes- like learning to ice skate and kissing under the mistletoe- will never come true. When she tries to run for it, the boss sends a hitman after her. But when the hitman shows up looking more uncertain than murderous, she proposes a deal. If he’ll give her two weeks to complete her bucket list, she’ll let him take her out without a fight. It turns out a lot can happen in two weeks. Especially when kissing is on your bucket list and your hitman happens to be a handsome billionaire…

This new romantic comedy by Izi Miller will sweep you off your feet with action, adventure, suspense and romance. Hands-down the best clean romance you’ll find this year. Miller has crafted a novella perfect for summer beach reading, and equally well-suited for cozying up by the fire at Christmas. Fans of movies like Holiday in Handcuffs, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, and Knight and Day will love the hilarious situations the characters find themselves in!

I WOULD READ A FULL NOVEL LIKE THIS.

I saw this as a recommendation on Bookstagram as a light-hearted, entertaining, and a novella that’ll make you smile. And they were right!

This was a short and simple novella with a kinda dark background. Our MC has been wrapped up into gang work and when she tries to escape she runs into a cute stranger. Then said stranger is blackmailed into being her hitman. Y’all, what a plot line. I can’t say I’ve heard this before!

It was definitely a romantic comedy. As Jessica tries to accomplish things off of her bucket list, she drags her hit man off on her adventure. I smiled the whole time through these scenes. They were clever and provided good banter between the two. There’s no intense steam of anything. It’s all very clean and sweet.

I liked the chemistry between the two and how it all wrapped up. For a novella I thought the amount of background information was great and that the story actually had an end point. It’s also around Christmastime so this would be a great wintery novella as well.

Overall audience notes:

  • Rom-com contemporary novella
  • Language: none
  • Romance: a kiss
  • Violence: guns, murder, kidnapping

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