Book Review

Book Review: Love Unexpected: A Sweet Romantic Comedy (Some Kind of Love #2) by Jenny Proctor

Rating: ☆☆☆
Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: 265 pages
Author: Jenny Proctor
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: April 21st, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

A famous boss. A secret identity. And a hilarious road trip to love. 

Yes. Yes, Rosie does have a crush on Isaac, her YouTube-famous boss.

Does she ever talk to him?

Absolutely not. Crippling social anxiety can do that.

But Rosie is nothing if not tenacious. Ignoring her friends’ advice to just talk to him already (Nope, that’s way too hard), she instead opts to pursue a virtual relationship with Isaac using a secret identity.

The plan is genius. Online, Rosie has social skills she’d never dream of having in person. She’s possibly even cool. If Isaac can just get to know her, he’ll see how amazing she is.

But then a spontaneous road trip throws Rosie and Isaac together, and their virtual and in-person lives collide. (Eleven hundred miles in a seventy’s era VW hatchback? What could possibly go wrong?)

Much to Rosie’s surprise, she doesn’t constantly humiliate herself. Conversation is easy, and their chemistry? It’s pretty much off the charts.

But every road trip is bound to hit a speed bump or two.

Will Rosie’s secret identity be the thing that brings them together? Or the thing that tears them apart?

FRUSTRATING PLOT.

What I initially enjoyed turned into meh when I understood the plot. Then, it did get better towards the end, but alas, this was not my favorite.

The plot was based off of a purposeful miscommunication. One of the main characters chose to hide their identity and I just couldn’t stand by it (or how long it went on…OR how EVERYONE IN THE OFFICE KNEW AND DIDN’T TELL THE OTHER SOUL the entire book). I mean, come on, I felt so bad for them by the time things finally came out.

There is a sweet story here. Coping with social anxiety and realizing that life is more than being apart of social media. I did like those aspects. There’s some great banter here too that would make me smile. It’s kind of a fun combination of an internet star and an introvert soul.

I really liked everyone of these characters (besides the communication issue). They were invested and really brought the book to life. I loooove good side characters that actually add to the story. A case of, not really for me, but definitely could be for you.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses
  • Content Warnings: depictions of social anxiety

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Book Review

Book Review: Home is Where You Are by Melissa Grace

Rating: ☆☆
Audience: Contemporary romance
Length: 328 pages
Author: Melissa Grace
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: October 27th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Olivia Sinclair left her dreams of a music career behind, along with her hopes for love and a family. With her husband having left her for more fertile pastures, she’s content to focus her energy on her thriving bakery, a new home, and an ornery rescue cat named Mama. That is until Liv’s best friend drags her to a concert where she meets the handsome (and much younger) frontman of the popular band, Midnight in Dallas.

Jaxon Slade is looking for a little inspiration. Up against a deadline, his ability to write music has escaped him. But when he meets Liv backstage, all of that changes. Jax is instantly captivated by her witty sense of humor and effortlessly beautiful voice. As the two grow closer, he begins to see a future with Liv by his side. All he has to do is convince her that their connection is worth the risk.

But when Jax suggests taking their relationship to the stage as a duo, fame makes some of the most painful details of Liv’s past public, testing her belief in their relationship and herself. Liv must decide between being the woman the world and her ex told her she was, or choosing the woman she was always meant to be. Home Is Where You Are, the first in the Midnight In Dallas series, is a story of love, friendship, and the family we choose.

NO.

Yeah, I should have DNFed this. I acknowledge that choice. I kept thinking there’d be a turnaround. There was not.

First mistake, the instant, first chapter, all consuming, I’m in love with this person. I know this can be accomplished well, but here, there was absolutely NO ANGST. None. I wanted to feel something for these two, but being thrown into love within the first chapter annoyed me. I knew nothing about anyone before the entire plot was laid out. You knew exactly where things were going. I could have told you the plot (including “twists”) without reading more than the first chapter.

The initial issues ramped up the pronounced drama throughout. There’s some good moments in here about a few things, but that was the small good I found.

I didn’t like how some of the characters were portrayed either. A lot of it bugged me.

I think I’ll stop here. It’s enough.

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary romance
  • Language: strong
  • Romance: kisses to closed door
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: discussion of infertility and a past miscarriage, growing up in foster care, a parent with a drug addiction, losing a spouse to cancer, losing a spouse to an accident, divorce

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Book Review

Book Review: The Promised Prince by Kortney Keisel

Rating: ☆☆☆
Audience: YA Dystopia Romance
Length: 412 pages
Author: Kortney Keisel
Publisher: Self published
Release Date: January 12th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

He’s promised to another. She’s promised to forget him.
Eighteen-year-old Renna Degray is hopeful about love and her future after a chance encounter with a handsome stranger. Until she discovers who the mysterious man is—the Prince of Albion, betrothed to Renna’s stepsister. Now Renna must try to keep her feelings for the prince in check. But he’s not making it easy. The prince is charming, funny, and impossible not to fall for.

Trev has no room for mistakes. He must marry the princess of New Hope and secure the marriage alliance along with his future as king. The safety of his kingdom depends on it. Duty and honor never bothered Trev before, but love has a way of changing everything.

In this post-Desolation world, the Council of Essentials controls everything, including the prince. Is love more than a negotiation?

Is love essential?

HELLOOOO DRAMA.

I found this book simultaneously over dramatic and hard to put down. I guess I’m really into the dramatics sometimes.

This is an older YA cast, with a younger YA vibe. I believe the male lead is 24, and acts like he’s 17. I found a lot of the inner dialogue and thoughts to be rather naïve and occasionally annoying. I enjoyed the overall interactions between Trev and Renna at least.

Plenty happened throughout. I didn’t find the pacing slow until near the end. Some interesting villains who tried to hard to be villains. And I was desperate for some world-building. I understood it was a post-world scenario. That’s about it. No thought given to why their were kingdoms now, how they were run. What everything kind of looked like, nada. I had to make a lot of assumptions to understand everything.

Yet, I enjoyed reading this. There were some good nuggets. I was invested enough to keep going and see how it all played out (which was rather whoa on its own).

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult dystopia romance
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kisses/make-outs
  • Violence: murder, physical, gun violence, attempted assassination
  • Content Warning: loss of a sibling/loved one

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Book Review

Book Review: Temple of Sand (The Gods of Men #2) by Barbara Kloss

Rating: ☆☆☆☆ 1/2
Audience: NA Fantasy + Romance
Length: 523 pages
Author: Barbara Kloss
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: December 7th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Sable has been exposed for who she is: Imari, the illegitimate daughter of Istraa’s king, and a Liagé—someone born with forbidden Shah power. After ten years of hiding and surviving in the bitter cold Wilds, she is finally returning home.

But it’s not the homecoming Imari envisioned. After all, her father proclaimed her dead ten years ago, and with an anonymous Liagé leader operating in Istraa’s shadows, attacking villages and burning down temples, her father fears the people will blame Imari.

It could mean his throne, and her life.

Worse yet, the night Imari played her flute in Skyhold’s court, something unlocked inside of her, and now her power will not quiet. Neither will the growing fury she feels on behalf of Istraa’s Sol Velorian labor— people who share her blood.

As that fury becomes too loud to ignore, Imari chooses to use her position to liberate the Sol Velor. But can she free them without angering enemies hungry for the power she wields—a power that could rip the Five Provinces apart?

INTO THIS.

Oh how I’m loving all of these Kindle Unlimited finds. This is another great fantasy (with a large romance plot) series that I am without a doubt enjoying.

I love the way that religion was used in this story. The details were woven into the characters lives and it played a large part in decisions and actions. Combining the religious aspects with music was another great style choice. It was enchanting reading the way the musical tones were being conveyed. I like to think music can be soothing to us all (whatever genre/style we prefer!) and thought this was a great addition to the overall plot and story.

Ohhh how I wish Jeric and Imari found each other again sooner! I hate waiting until half the book is over for my love interests to be back on the same page. Once together, sparks started flying all over again. I LOVE these two. They have banter, and beautifully touching sentiments. Some heated moments (with a little steam) and I want them to end up together. Better get my happy ending in the next book!!

This story is very interesting and the plot feels like it’s always thickening. The villains are flat-out vile and appreciatively not one-dimensional. Temple of Sand combines dark aspects with hope and light to achieve a gorgeous book. I can’t wait to read the next one and definitely think you should take a chance on this!

Overall audience notes:

  • New adult fantasy + romance
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: heated make-outs; one mild open door scene
  • Violence: gory/bloody; murder, demon possession, physical, creature attacks, magical attacks
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: loss of loved ones, hints at past sexual assault

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