Book Review

Book Review: The Match (It Happened in Charleston #1) by Sarah Adams

Rating: ☆☆☆
Audience: Contemporary romance
Length: 282 pages
Author: Sarah Adams
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: May 30th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Having worked for Southern Service Paws for a few years now, I like to think I’m prepared for just about any client meeting under the sun. I am dead wrong.

The day I meet with single dad, Jacob Broaden, about potentially matching his daughter with one of our service dogs, I learn a few valuable lessons.

1) Always set my alarm clock.
2) Single dads are way hotter than I previously thought.
3) It is possible to go from fantasizing about kissing someone to wishing they would be run over by a truck in a matter of two minutes.

Unfortunately, I don’t hold that opinion of him for very long. Not when he shows me a different side of himself—one that’s sweet as maple syrup and hot as apple pie fresh out of the oven.

Too bad this guy is so far out of my league that I shouldn’t even be allowed to enter the game. Jake doesn’t seem to get that memo though. And after a few days of working closely with him and his daughter, he starts looking at me with fire in his eyes, making me dream of something I probably shouldn’t…

A family.

“The Match is a feel-good romantic comedy! Perfect for readers who enjoy a sizzling romance without explicit content.”

KINDA OKAY?

This may have covered some sensitive topics, but yet, everything felt simple and laid on way too thickly for met to fully enjoy it.

I had some issues with the writing style, some remarks made me cringe a bit and felt dated. The Southern vibe was fun and I liked the overall set-up. It’s easy to pick-up any book that involves dogs as an active side character.

I really liked Evie from the start. She was a solid main character who was really trying her best in multiple ways. I liked how she approached life, and was straight-forward in her choices. Jake was cute too. Wasn’t the greatest love interest I’ve read, but also not near the worst. He kind of floated somewhere in the middle. I liked how he continually sought out to bet there for Evie and to a partner she could count on.

Evie’s mother [the “villain” if you will], was laid on way too thick. Oh my goodness. She was excessive in every way possible and I spent more time rolling my eyes at her than anything else. That felt entirely forced and really distanced the sweet romance happening.

Some good here, some bad. Haven’t decided if I’ll read the sequel (with new characters).

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses
  • Trigger warnings: Evie and Jake’s daughter both have epilepsy and experience an episode (at different times) during the book; emotionally/verbally abusive parents; divorce

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Book Review

Book Review: Eleanor & Grey by Brittainy C. Cherry

Rating: ☆☆☆ 1/2
Audience: Contemporary romance
Length: 350 pages
Author: Brittainy C. Cherry
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: April 8th, 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Greyson East left his mark on me.

As the young girl who first fell for him, I didn’t know much about life. I did know about his smiles, though, and his laughs, and the strange way my stomach flipped when he was near.

Life was perfect…until it wasn’t, and when we were forced to go our separate ways, I held on to our memories, let go of my first crush, and wished for the day I’d find him again.

When my wish came true, it was nothing like I imagined.

I couldn’t have known when I took the nanny position that it would be his children I looked after, that my new boss would be that boy I used to know, that boy who was now a man—a cold, lonely, detached man.

The smile and laugh I had loved so much were gone, now distant memories. Every part of him was covered in a fresh pain.

When he realized who I was, he made me promise to do my job and my job only.
He made me promise not to try to get to know him, not to recall the memories I’d treasured all this time.

But, sometimes, I saw the boy I’d once known in his stormy eyes. I saw the Greyson who smiled and laughed, who had stolen a young girl’s heart, and there was no doubt in my mind that this boy was worth fighting for.

I was given a second chance with the one who’d left his mark on me. All I hoped was that somehow I’d leave a mark on his soul, too.

A BIT OF A FLAIR IN THE DRAMATICS.

Okay. I don’t know how I feel about this book which is why I’ve gone with 3.5 stars. There were some portions I enjoyed and was emotionally involved in and then I had this moment where I started thinking. And those thoughts led me to wondering how many more things can happen purely for the sake of adding a dramatic flair to the entire story?

Apparently, A LOT.

There were so many things jammed into this story to pull on my emotions that I was surprised by the end. I didn’t think it needed all of it to make a great story. A few of the dramatics were needed, yes. That’s how this became a second chance romance, but others were added that I had to shrug my shoulders over.

I did like the romance. I wished the time in high school was a bit longer so I really got a feel for Eleanor and Greyson’s relationship before they had to part ways. I was enjoying the precious romance that was brewing. I’m glad that in the present it took time for them to rekindle anything. I was going to be real upset if they jumped back together and was impressed that it took a bit to get there. I loved seeing the character arcs of both of them from the past to the present and even to the end. Greyson and Eleanor worked through a lot to be together.

I adored Greyson’s children. They were a great pair that gave this book a whole new side. Lorelei and Karla both had their own issues that allowed Greyson to step in as a father figure to address. Even better was watching Eleanor go mama bear on people when the girls were bullied or disrespected.

All in all, a good book. Especially if you’re into a bit of dramatics you’ll enjoy this. This was my first book by this author and I’m curious about her spin-off books from Eleanor & Grey. I think I’ll definitely take a look at those later.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary romance [trope: second chance]
  • Language: some
  • Romance: a few scenes mild to explicit, but brief; kisses/make-outs
  • Trigger warnings: domestic abuse, losing a loved one to cancer, bullying, description of an awful car wreck, suicide ideation, severe grief and depression

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Book Review

Book Review: A Temporary Marriage: The Fake Love Series by Summer Dowell

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Contemporary romance
Length: 171 pages
Author: Summer Dowell
Publisher: Self-published
Expected Release Date: January 21st, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

“Kylee, will you marry me?”
If she hadn’t still been breathing, she would’ve checked for a pulse.
“M-marry you?”
“Not for real, of course!”

Struggling graphic designer Kylee Morgan would do just about anything to help Ryan Hudson, her very attractive friend she’s been harboring feelings for for way too long. But, marry him? That might be taking things a little too far even for her.

Ryan is on the cusp of success with his new product line when things come to a crashing halt. He needs cash fast and his grandparent’s trust fund is the perfect solution. However, there’s one small requirement to get the money, he has to be married.

Will Kylee and Ryan play a convincing married couple? Or will things fall apart when Ryan’s family gets involved?

Don’t miss A Temporary Marriage, the first of The Fake Love series by Summer Dowell. If you like fake relationships and swoon worthy moments, than this clean romantic comedy will have you turning pages!

QUICK AND CUTE.

This is the second book I’ve read by Summer Dowell and I gotta say, this was much better than the first one I tried. I really enjoyed this light, quick read. Made me smile and all the happy feelings. It reminded me of the movie, The Proposal (with Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds).

I love the relationship between Kylee and Ryan. I thought they clearly had chemistry and were both clearly fighting feelings for one another. Each time they got to hang out or needed to show some PDA had me excited for them. I thought the story line was written well and I liked the plot as a whole. The ending was tooootally cliche and Hallmark movie status, and I had no problem with that. Sometimes those are the best endings! I wanted all the mushy-cheesiness because this book called for it.

I thought the writing was significantly better than Love is an Art. There was a lot less telling and more showing through characters actions and words what was happening. I didn’t get as much unnecessary information and was able to really relax into the story. Occasionally the inner monologues of Ryan and Kylee would seem a bit repetitive (we get it, y’all like each other, but won’t admit it), but other than that I had no major complaints.

This would be a great full fledged story. With more background and lead-up to Ryan and Kylee getting together. Things ran pretty quickly and I found myself wanting more from them. At least this was cute. Really cute. And I’m satisfied with that.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: some kisses

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Book Review

Book Review: Neighbors Like That (A Love Like This #1) by Carina Taylor

Rating: ☆☆☆ 1/2
Audience: Contemporary romance
Length: 263 pages
Author: Carina Taylor
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: December 2019
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

KYLIE

He started our war–I intend to finish it.

Buying a house in the suburbs was supposed to be low stress—my own little haven to decorate and landscape exactly how I want. Instead, I find myself locking my garbage can to keep pests out–pests that are six-foot-one, green-eyed, and far too good-looking.
My trespassing neighbor is rude and entitled. It isn’t long before war is declared, and I find myself stooping to immature pranks.
When trouble lands at my door, my unlikely neighbor starts knocking on my heart. Am I ready to answer?

HAGEN

I will win no matter what it takes.

I moved to this neighborhood for a fresh start. The one thing I’m not looking for is a relationship. So, when I mistakenly assume my neighbor is hitting on me, I lash out at her.
I didn’t mean to start the war, but now she taunts me from across the street. Our harmless pranks have become the highlight of my day. I should stay away–but I can’t. I want to spend more time with her.
When a stalker begins sending Kylie a series of notes, I’m only too willing to help protect her.
Maybe I’m looking for a relationship, after all.

FAIRLY CHARMING.

I decided to give Carina Taylor books another chance, after being disappointed with Christmas Like This, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to read another in this series. Neighbors Like That had some pretty good praise, and here we are! I honestly enjoyed this and it was a super quick read (under 300 pages).

I liked the chemistry between Kylie and Hagen. It was a very literal interpretation of enemies to lovers. A pranking war starts between the two and some hilarity ensues. Creativity was running high as things heated between them. It offered some great banter, close encounters and laughter.

One thing that didn’t quite add up was the attempted kidnapping sub-plot. It felt unnecessarily added to heighten the *drama* of the whole book, but it could have been left out and I would have been happy without it. Hagen had his own backstory and personal issues to deal with and those flowed much better into the story line.

I enjoyed the side characters and how much I could see those types of friends in my own life. They were fun, way too into everyone’s personal lives (but in a charming way) and I thought they were a great addition to Kylie and Hagen’s happenings.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: physical
  • Trigger warnings: attempted kidnapping (with someone being held at gunpoint)

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