Book Review

Book Review: Oxford Star (Oxford Wild #2) by Laura Bradbury

Rating: ★★★★
Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: 338 pages
Author: Laura Bradbury
Publisher: Grape Books
Release Date: March 6th, 2023
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


A Harry-Styles-famous rock star takes refuge from crippling panic attacks at Oxford University, only to find himself face to face with the crush whose life he ruined.

Rock stars shouldn’t suffer from debilitating panic attacks, but I’m barely hanging on by my famous fingernails. That’s why I leverage the name I despise to study my childhood love of astronomy. Just one term at Oxford? Problem solved.

Too bad my pre-stardom life reappears to haunt me in the form of Lucy Snow, the sharp-tongued, opulent-bodied woman I can’t seem to forget. This would be the perfect opportunity to make amends for stealing her fantasy four years ago, except Lucy’s love for me has turned to loathing.

When she refuses my financial help, I have a wonderful, dangerous idea…

Jack Seary stole my dream of a singing career and made it his reality. When he trampled my heart, he also taught me a lesson: being selfless and hardworking makes me Cinderella without the goddamn glass slipper.

Now this infuriating thief of a man thinks I’ll pretend to be his girlfriend to dispel tabloid rumors? Ha!

Oxford Star is an enemies-to-lovers, fake dating, second chance, celebrity / rock star romance with a plus sized heroine and panic / anxiety rep. Brace yourself for a SLOW-BURN (but steamy!) romance that explores the complexity of love, dreams, and redemption under the dreaming spires of Oxford University.

Thank you to the author for a gifted ecopy!


This was an enjoyable read! Easily binge worthy and very romantic. I loved the second chance romance and the unique twist on a rockstar and old friend.

I struggled a little with their connection at first, but the second half was reallllly strong in those aspects. I liked that Lucy and Jack got to talk a lot of things out and hash over some of the issues they needed to communicate to move forward. I LOVED Jack’s anxiety and panic disorder rep. It hit home in a lot of ways and I love that Lucy was always a listening and helpful partner in those matters.

Lucy’s growth was a little slower (which was fine). I liked that she learned that it was okay to take something for herself. After having to give and give for years, and finally being able to follow the career path you want? That’s monumental and the strides to that destination were great.

The Oxford setting was so fun!! I thought there was just enough of the history and dynamics I didn’t know about the school without overwhelming the fact that it was a romance book. There were maaany swoony moments (the dress scene? YES). I loved the body positivity and the way that was woven into Lucy’s story. There’s plenty of good things to be found in this read!

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary Romance
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: 2-3 open door; med-high explicit
  • Violence: low
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: panic attacks (on page), depictions of anxiety, loss of a father (recounted), comments on weight and body image, brief gun violence (the gun is never fired)

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Book Review

Book Review: The Fake Santa Apology Tour by Julie Olivia

Rating: ★★★★★
Audience: Contemporary Holiday Romance Novella
Length: 158 pages
Author: Julie Olivia
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: December 1st, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


I’m Birdie Mae, and let’s skip to the weird part of my story: Short-term relationships with good looking Santas are kind of my thing. And Nicholas Ryan is the good looking Santa I really don’t need in my life.

They say the spirit of Christmas finds you on holiday vacations, but instead I run into the only person who could get my Christmas lights twisted: freaking Nicholas. A man I haven’t seen in twenty years and who I never wanted to see again. Except now he’s my hot bartender, complete with a silver-fox beard, a twinkle in his eye, and looking a lot like my kryptonite: jingle belling Santa Claus.

It’s five days until Christmas, I’m stuck in a snowy town straight out of a Hallmark movie, and my ultimate goal? Avoid the Grinch who stole all my Christmases and pretend that our chemistry is simply just the magic of Christmas in the air.


I usually don’t write full reviews of novellas because they often don’t warrant a full breakdown.

BUT, I want everyone to know about this so I want to throw a few sentences out there that this was an amazing holiday novella. I absolutely adored it and it found me when I needed this kind of escapism.

It won’t be for everyone, but if you feel like giving it a go, DO IT. I loved the chemistry between Birdie Mae and Nic. They had some great enemies to lovers vibes that turned into a heated reconnection blast from the past that worked so dang well. The age gap was just right and alllll of those small town winter vibes are alive and well.

The pacing was fantastic for such a short story. I felt like I got enough back story + forward progress to enjoy these characters and could only imagine a full length novel between them. I’m curious now about Olivia’s backlist and will have to check that out!

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary Holiday Romance Novella
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: 2 open door; med-high explicit
  • Violence: low
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: a parent with dementia (not on page but discussed), loss of a parent (recounted)

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