Spoiler Free Review: Two Wrongs Make A Right by Chloe Liese

Title: Two Wrongs Make A Right

Author: Chloe Liese

Pub. Date: November 22nd 2022

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Format: eARC

Publisher: Berkley Books

Pages: 326

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☆☆ARC provided by Publisher in exchange for an honest review☆☆

*•.¸♡ “𝙸 𝚗𝚎𝚟𝚎𝚛 𝚝𝚑𝚘𝚞𝚐𝚑𝚝 𝙸 𝚌𝚘𝚞𝚕𝚍 𝚕𝚘𝚟𝚎 𝚜𝚘𝚖𝚎𝚘𝚗𝚎 𝚜𝚘 𝚞𝚗𝚕𝚒𝚔𝚎 𝚖𝚎. 𝚃𝚑𝚊𝚝 𝚋𝚎𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚜𝚘 𝚍𝚒𝚏𝚏𝚎𝚛𝚎𝚗𝚝 𝚏𝚛𝚘𝚖 𝚜𝚘𝚖𝚎𝚘𝚗𝚎 𝚌𝚘𝚞𝚕𝚍 𝚖𝚊𝚔𝚎 𝚖𝚎 𝚏𝚎𝚎𝚕 𝚛𝚒𝚐𝚑𝚝 𝚊𝚝 𝚑𝚘𝚖𝚎 𝚛𝚊𝚝𝚑𝚎𝚛 𝚝𝚑𝚊𝚗 𝚎𝚟𝚎𝚛𝚢 𝚔𝚒𝚗𝚍 𝚘𝚏 𝚠𝚛𝚘𝚗𝚐.” ♡¸.•*

 I love a good opposites attract romance but up until now I haven’t read anything that really gets the magnetic pull and irresistibility you feel when you meet your polar opposite. Bea is an artist who creates sensual cards for a stationary shop, she’s Pansexual, a twin, prone to accidents, a junk food lover, and an astrology loving Cancer. Jamie is a pediatrician, cat lover, health conscious, and non-astrology loving Capricorn. They’ve had a few run-ins that didn’t end so well but their meddling friends seem to think they’re perfect for each other. Bea and Jamie zone in on their schemes to make them date & are peeved by the intrusion. They hatch a plan to fake-date that includes a big break-up in hopes that it will dissuade their friends from ever playing cupid again. The thing is, they do connect in all the ways that matter. Bea is on the spectrum and Jamie has severe anxiety, they pick up on each other’s wants and needs very quickly. There’s a magnetic attraction and a desire to protect each other and create a safe space where they can speak their thoughts. Their dates are fun and different, from Chess matches to Sip & Paints they begin to fall hard. Soon it’s made very clear to them both that they’re not just pretending to like one another, they’re actually enjoying their dates.

I’ve heard the name Chloe Liese mentioned on every bookish platform I’m in and it’s always been high praise for delivering romance with neurodivergent rep. Having loved Helen Hoang’s Kiss Quotient series, I was on the hunt for more romance books with this representation. I kid you not my fellow book lovers, it was 1am and I had startled everyone in my home with my laughter within the first chapter of reading this book. The laugh out loud scenes were sudden and unexpected and as a fellow Capricorn I’d say it was the dry humor Jamie dished out lol. Jamie and Bea could square off any day and I’d grab a front row seat! the snark was on point. These characters are well fleshed out, it honestly felt like we’re getting to know them as they’re digging deep. There were times I wondered to myself why things were handled a certain way but understood the reasons as Bea and Jamie started to let each other in.

I LOVE Jamie, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t find flaws that contradicted the picture I had of him for the majority of the story. Without spoiling anything, I started to not love some of Jamie’s reactions or lack there-of to how a major side character was being treated, this is why I docked it half a star. Why only half a star? well because it could be argued that Jamie didn’t know the extent of how terrible a certain character was acting. Jamie is honestly the sweetest most thoughtful male MC I’ve read, he tunes into Bea’s love language very quickly. Bea on the other hand I instantly fell in love with! she’s quirky and artistic but also fiercely protective of her healing journey. Our girl went through some things and she is not about being rushed into anything, I loved seeing this on the page! Bea keeps the cutest little hedgehog in her room that I dare you not to make heart eyes over. We’re here for non-traditional pets haha! there are also a handful of side characters that really bring the friend circle to life. I’m anticipating Juliet’s story arc, she is Bea’s twin but also came across as three-dimensional and had me invested in her side-line story. In the meantime, I think I’ll join the Chloe Liese lovers & pick up the Bergman Brothers series 😉


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Spoiler Free Review: Silver Under Nightfall by Rin Chupeco

Title: Silver Under Nightfall

Author: Rin Chupeco

Pub. Date: September 13 2022

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Format: eARC

Publisher: Gallery/Saga Press

Pages: 512

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☆☆ARC provided by Publisher in exchange for an honest review☆☆╮

➶➶➶➶➶ 𝕊𝕥𝕒𝕪 𝕒𝕝𝕚𝕧𝕖, 𝕣𝕦𝕟 𝕥𝕙𝕖 𝕠𝕡𝕡𝕠𝕟𝕖𝕟𝕥 𝕥𝕙𝕣𝕠𝕦𝕘𝕙, 𝕔𝕠𝕟𝕗𝕚𝕣𝕞 𝕥𝕙𝕒𝕥 𝕥𝕙𝕖𝕪 𝕨𝕖𝕣𝕖 𝕕𝕖𝕒𝕕, 𝕜𝕖𝕖𝕡 𝕥𝕙𝕖𝕞 𝕥𝕙𝕒𝕥 𝕨𝕒𝕪. 𝔹𝕦𝕥 𝕙𝕖𝕣𝕖, 𝕪𝕠𝕦 𝕔𝕠𝕦𝕝𝕕 𝕤𝕦𝕗𝕗𝕖𝕣 𝕒 𝕥𝕙𝕠𝕦𝕤𝕒𝕟𝕕 𝕔𝕦𝕥𝕤 𝕗𝕣𝕠𝕞 𝕒 𝕕𝕠𝕨𝕒𝕘𝕖𝕣 𝕞𝕒𝕥𝕣𝕠𝕟 𝕒𝕣𝕞𝕖𝕕 𝕨𝕚𝕥𝕙 𝕟𝕠𝕥𝕙𝕚𝕟𝕘 𝕓𝕦𝕥 𝕒 𝕡𝕒𝕡𝕖𝕣 𝕗𝕒𝕟 𝕒𝕟𝕕 𝕚𝕞𝕡𝕖𝕔𝕔𝕒𝕓𝕝𝕖 𝕘𝕖𝕟𝕖𝕒𝕝𝕠𝕘𝕪, 𝕒𝕟𝕕 𝕥𝕙𝕖𝕪 𝕨𝕠𝕦𝕝𝕕 𝕔𝕒𝕝𝕝 𝕚𝕥 𝕒 𝕓𝕝𝕠𝕠𝕕𝕓𝕒𝕥𝕙. ➷➷➷➷➷

It’s been a long time since I’ve picked up a paranormal vampire book and an even longer time since I read anything with Polyamory. In part that’s because I often was left feeling like it wasn’t done well. Rin Chupeco however has brought back broody (some more playful) sexy vampires but also made it queer and Poly in the most satisfying of reads. Our MC Remy is a rogue Vampire Hunter who is an outcast among fellow Reapers. Remmy’s mother was the source of scandal for their family having eloped with a vampire. Many think Remy is a half vampire and his own father has used that to shape him to be a lethal weapon. There is a peace treaty between humans and vampires that is tenuous at best. When a new breed of vampires starts killing, he sets out to find answers and meets vampire heiress Xiaodan Song. She is warm and caring, all of the things he’s been taught vampires are not. Her fiance Lord Zidan Malekh has studied the new mutation and may have the answers to defeat them. That he infuriates the hell out of Remy and adds sexual tension just sweetens the journey. I loved this trio so much!

Silver Under Nightfall is so different than The Bone Witch trilogy and I still LOVED it so much! I’ve never watch Castlevania but I’ve heard this marketed for fans of that video game/show. It reads adult and has many gruesome battle scenes that are balanced out with many tender moments and good humor sprinkled throughout. In many ways it feels like even though Remy is tasked with killing vampires, he is still this sweet cinnamon roll everyone wants to protect. When paired with two powerful royal vampires, it does seem like he needs their protection but make no mistake he has also lived a hard life and can hold his own. The relationship between him and his father is toxic as hell, there’s talk of his father having him use his body when he was 13 years old to acquire info from the wealthy women in the aristocracy. Both Malekh and Xiaodan make sure he knows he’s worthy of love without having to give anything in exchange. Redefining intimacy and consent are huge themes in this book. All of our characters check in with one another and genuinely care about each others needs and wants. For those inquiring minds, the spice meter was broken with this one and I was here for it all! I should’ve known I was going to love Rin Chupeco’s adult Paranormal, I’m now left eagerly anticipating the next book in this duology.


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Review: Astrid Parker Doesn’t Care by Ashley herring Blake

Title: Astrid Parker Doesn’t Care

Author:Ashley herring Blake

Pub. Date: November 22nd 2022

Genre: Contemporary Romance/LGBTQIA+

Format: eARC

Publisher: Berkley

Pages: 368

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☆☆ARC provided by Publisher in exchange for an honest review☆☆╮

☆☆This review may contain spoilers for Delilah Green Doesn’t Care (Bright Falls #1)☆☆

We’re back in Bright Falls with my favorite cast of queer women and this time the spotlight is on Astrid Parker. We first met Astrid in Delilah Green Doesn’t Care (my review) as the estranged step-sister of Delilah who Was set to get married and live the ideal life her mother had always dreamed of her having. Fast forward to a year later and Astrid Parker is a single woman who is laser sharp focused on her career/family owned business in interior design. The only thing is that the phones aren’t ringing and the projects have slowed down, Astrid is looking for a lifeline. When Pru Everwood asks Astrid to be the designer for the Everwood Inn whose renovation is being broadcast on the popular home improvement show Innside America, Astrid seizes the lifeline. What she wasn’t expecting was having all of her design ideas sabotaged by Pru’s frustratingly attractive granddaughter Jordan Everwood. The Everwood is also in need of a liefeline, its been a long time since guests have booked the place. If this renovation and media coverage don’t change its fortune, Pru Everwood may have to shutter its doors for good.

Jordan and her twin brother spent summers in the Everwood Inn and she feels Astrid’s clean linen and modern/sleek designs don’t quite capture the character of the place. As the lead carpenter on the project, she begins to make some changes to Astrid’s designs that result in some tension build-up while being filmed for the show. The show runners are LIVING for it and want them both to kind of play it up some more for the ratings which would result in good publicity for them both. This was never Jordan’s intention, after having her relationship fall apart unexpectedly and her work deeply affected by it…she was just looking to get back on track and prove to her brother and grandmother that she’s climbing out of her depression. 

*•.¸♡ 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐓𝐰𝐨 𝐨𝐟 𝐂𝐮𝐩𝐬 𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐫𝐞𝐝 𝐛𝐚𝐜𝐤 𝐚𝐭 𝐡𝐞𝐫, 𝐣𝐮𝐬𝐭 𝐚𝐬 𝐢𝐭 𝐡𝐚𝐝 𝐦𝐨𝐬𝐭 𝐦𝐨𝐫𝐧𝐢𝐧𝐠𝐬 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐩𝐚𝐬𝐭 𝐦𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐡. 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐜𝐡𝐞𝐞𝐤𝐲 𝐥𝐢𝐭𝐭𝐥𝐞 𝐛𝐚𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐫𝐝 𝐰𝐚𝐬 𝐢𝐧 𝐨𝐧 𝐬𝐨𝐦𝐞 𝐬𝐨𝐫𝐭 𝐨𝐟 𝐩𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐤 𝐚𝐠𝐚𝐢𝐧𝐬𝐭 𝐡𝐞𝐫. 𝐄𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐲 𝐧𝐨𝐰 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐧 𝐬𝐡𝐞’𝐝 𝐩𝐮𝐥𝐥 𝐬𝐨𝐦𝐞𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐝𝐢𝐟𝐟𝐞𝐫𝐞𝐧𝐭, 𝐚 𝐫𝐚𝐧𝐝𝐨𝐦 𝐖𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐨𝐫 𝐏𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐚𝐜𝐥𝐞 𝐨𝐫 𝐚 𝐠𝐨𝐨𝐝 𝐨𝐥𝐝 𝐅𝐨𝐨𝐥 𝐨𝐫 𝐇𝐢𝐞𝐫𝐨𝐩𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐭 𝐨𝐫 𝐌𝐨𝐨𝐧. 𝐒𝐡𝐞’𝐝 𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐧 𝐭𝐚𝐤𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐝𝐢𝐬𝐚𝐬𝐭𝐫𝐨𝐮𝐬 𝐓𝐨𝐰𝐞𝐫 𝐫𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭 𝐧𝐨𝐰. 𝐀𝐭 𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐭 𝐢𝐭 𝐰𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐟𝐢𝐭 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐭𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐥𝐢𝐟𝐞. ♡¸.•*

Soulmates and Tarot. Need I say more?!? ok there’s also the BEST character redemption arc I’ve come across in romance. I was not a fan of Astrid at all when I read Delilah green Doesn’t Care and when I started reading this book, I still wasn’t sold on her. Then I started seeing Astrid for who she really is, when all the need to meet her mother’s expectations just stops. This is when we really start seeing Astrid, a 30 something year old who is late to discovering who she really is but is choosing to step out and do so anyways. She’s exploring her sexuality and questioning her career choices. It’s not often that we get stories centered around woman in their 30’s redefining their lives. Jordan however is my favorite MC, she’s had her heart broken by someone she cared deeply for and thought was her soulmate. This doesn’t stop her from believing her soulmate is out there, her tarot cards won’t let her forget. Second chances in love and life, soulmates, and rediscovering passions while having an amazing group of supportive friends/found family…I may love this one more than Delilah Green Doesn’t Care? but good luck making me choose!


Spoiler Free Review: A Very Merry Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams

Title: A Very Merry Bromance

Author: Lyssa Kay Adams

Pub. Date: November 1st 2022

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Format: eARC

Publisher: Berkley

Pages: 368

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☆☆ARC provided by Publisher in exchange for an honest review☆☆╮

The fifth installment in the Bromance Bookclub romance series gives us a pinch of The Grinch and a dash of ​the Ghosts of Christmas past. This time around big time country music star Colton Wheeler is going through the motions after a year of not hearing from Gretchen Wheeler, the woman who stole his heart and never looked back. Gretchen is an immigration lawyer with a grinchlike approach to Christmas, how can anyone celebrate and buy lavish gifts when there are families being torn apart. Her clients are marginalized people who are just trying to survive while putting food on the table. When her wealthy family comes calling for her to make an appearance at their estate, Gretchen begrudgingly gives in and goes to see why they’re looking for her. A deal is presented to her, get Colton Wheeler to be the new face of their family owned/renowned whiskey and she’ll be given a seat on their charity board. An opportunity to give back to the community she works in and with is something she can’t turn down even if it means swallowing her pride to talk to Colton. Colton agrees only on the condition that she go on three dates with him leading up to Christmas, the holiday she is accustomed to work on. This Grumpy/Sunshine Christmas romance had a little of everything including the found family vibes we’ve all come to look from these books. 

What I loved? Colton’s optimism and holiday spirit, found family vibes, seeing the club members and their wives, the deep dive into Gretchen’s childhood/trauma and finally the emphasis on self worth/self care. These books gift us with fictional men who actually care about working through toxic masculinity and maintaining healthy relationships with the women they are dating. This is the fifth book in the Bromance Bookclub series so we’ve seen the guys meet and fall in love with women from all walks of life. Some are repairing/salvaging marriages they want to stay in and none of them are quick to throw in the towel. I love when character’s are well fleshed out and their careers/hobbies are further explored. Colton’s music career is on the line when he has a bit of writers block and isn’t able to compose music to the standard that made him a big country star. Gretchen could’ve taken the easy route and stepped into a role in the family business, instead we see an immigration lawyer who is very empathetic and actively looking for ways to make a difference in marginalized communities. I follow Lyssa Kay Adams on Goodreads and see that the next release will be a Historical Romance companion to the Bromance Bookclub slated for Summer 2023, something to look forward to! 


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Spoiler Free Review: On The Hustle by Adriana Herrera

Title: On The Hustle

Author: Adriana Herrera

Pub. Date: October 11th 2022

Genre: Contemporary Romance/Latinx

Format: eARC

Publisher: Carina Press

Pages: 352

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☆☆ARC provided by Publisher in exchange for an honest review☆☆╮

𝗢𝗡 𝗧𝗛𝗘 𝗛𝗨𝗦𝗧𝗟𝗘 is the second book in the Dating In Dallas series by Latinx author Adriana Herrera and hands down my FAVORITE of Herrera’s books! Alba Duarte is a Dominican bisexual woman living in NYC, hard working and owner of a start-up she is passionate about. The only thing getting in her way is the 9 to 5 job she needs to walk away from, especially because working for the Olympian swimmer Theo Ganas is working her last nerve. The Dominican Greek adonis is particular about his coffee and his assistant. Alba doesn’t quite understand why she hasn’t walked away from her position, it’s not like Theo even acknowledges her existence other than when she’s late. On the side she has turned her love of books & fandoms into a business where she designs bedrooms inspired by them. When a visit to her BFF in Dallas Texas presents her with an opportunity to give her business some visibility & recognition, Alba knows it’s time to make some tough decisions. Life in NYC is tied to her family, the ones who depend on her almost like a crutch. Stepping out on her own could potentially lead to better helping them and a fresh new start that’ll put some much needed space between them. When a two week notice turns into an abrupt goodbye, a very determined Theo Ganas hops on a plane to Dallas to find Alba with an offer of his own.

When I say the HEAT was at an ALL time high! it’s because it consumed me! This book had it all and then some. The Dallas Crew who we met in Here To Stay is back and they’re dying for Alba to stay in Dallas, I LOVE this circle of friends and how supportive they are with one another. I really enjoyed hearing about their individual careers and how they give back to other communities in need. Theo acknowledging that his life is more than just gaining his father’s approval and then looking for ways to find his soul purpose was cool to see. Just like Alba not settling or watering down her vision/dream just for a dollar made me love her even more. Now as for the romance itself? Herrera gives us a grumpy/sunshine, forced proximity, workplace romance that is off the charts…Theo Ganas brought the heat! Alba didn’t stay behind making sure Theo knew that he was on her time. Both characters are well fleshed out making this romance easy to get behind and cheer on. One recurring thought I had all throughout was that this man sure does know how to love up on his woman! Adriana Hererra is an author to look out for if you’re looking for quality romance with queer representation. It’s easy for a New Yorker such as myself to look at Alba and see themselves, chances are if you’re a career woman living in any city…you are tired and a massage is in order! 😉


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Spoiler Free Review: The Secret Society Of Irregular Witches by Sangu Mandanna

Title: The Very Secret Society Of Irregular Witches 

Author: Sangu Mandanna

Pub. Date: August 23rd 2022

Genre: Contemporary Romance/Paranormal

Format: eARC

Publisher: Berkley Books

Pages: 336

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☆☆ARC provided by Publisher in exchange for an honest review☆☆╮

╰☆☆ “𝐌𝐚𝐠𝐢𝐜 𝐦𝐞𝐚𝐧𝐭 𝐰𝐞𝐥𝐥, 𝐛𝐮𝐭 𝐢𝐭 𝐝𝐢𝐝 𝐬𝐨 𝐰𝐚𝐧𝐭 𝐭𝐨 𝐛𝐞 𝐮𝐬𝐞𝐝 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐢𝐭 𝐡𝐚𝐝 𝐚𝐧 𝐢𝐫𝐤𝐬𝐨𝐦𝐞 𝐡𝐚𝐛𝐢𝐭 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐚𝐤𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐦𝐚𝐭𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐬 𝐢𝐧𝐭𝐨 𝐢𝐭𝐬 𝐨𝐰𝐧 𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐝𝐬 𝐢𝐟 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐜𝐡𝐞𝐬 𝐝𝐢𝐝𝐧’𝐭 𝐭𝐚𝐤𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐡𝐢𝐧𝐭.” ☆☆╮

When thinking of books that give off cozy warm blanket paired with a cup of hot coco vibes, The Very Secret Society Of Irregular Witches should just magically materialize! quaint and whimsical best describe the setting of Nowhere House where we find a cast of characters that will steal your heart. Mika Moon is a witch who lives a very solitary life in an effort to protect her identity as well as that of the other witches in her network. It’s very rare these witches meet up but when they do, their leader Primrose makes it a point to emphasize their under the radar lifestyle. Mika however has found a clever way to not feel so alone. She streams videos of herself sharing magical elixir/potion making recipes under the guise that it’s all in good fun. Until her videos catch the attention of Ian, an octogenarian retired actor who is desperate to get her assistance. The estate of Nowhere House has been left the charge of three young witches who are in absolute need of guidance and training. Will Mika accept the offer to teach the girls how to control their powers? 

Mika Moon is an Indian British witch with a penchant for naming her pets after mythological figures, she was lovely to meet on the page. There’s a lot of loneliness surrounding our MC even though she comes off super warm and kind hearted…not someone you’d take for living in isolation. It’s almost kismet that she’d meet such a loving welcoming bunch, some of who make it their mission to make her feel at home. Ian is dramatic and enchanted by Mika from the start, he very much gives off retired actor vibes. His husband Ken is Japanese and works as the Groundskeeper for the estate, he’s more laid back and serious. Ian and Ken are happily married and in love. Lucie is the plus sized 56 year old Housekeeper who will remind you she’s still young, I LOVED her! Jamie is our 36 year old Irish curmudgeonly love interest. He’s the librarian who is equal parts grumpy and protective over the young witches and also Mika. Altamira, Terracotta, and Rosetta are the young witches we meet with mischievous energy! I can easily see this turned into a movie and I’d buy my ticket on day one. I LOVED the fact that Ian specifically wanted Mika a woman of color to be the one to train these young children of color how to properly wield and control their magical abilities. The potion mixing was a plus, Mika’s Golden Retriever Circe was a plus, and the witty banter/slow burn between Mika and Jamie was *chefs kiss* perfection! this book was MAGIC Book Lovers! ❤ 


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Spoiler Free Review: Carrie Soto Is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Title: Carrie Soto Is Back

Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid

Pub. Date: August 30th 2022

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Format: eARC

Publisher: Balantine Books

Pages: 384

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☆☆ARC provided by Publisher in exchange for an honest review☆☆╮

Carrie Soto the winner of 20 Grand Slams titles who has since retired is watching a game at the 1994 U.S. Open where a younger Nicki Chan is about to break her record. The Battle-Axe has built a career in tennis as a fiercely driven, competitive and grant no mercy icon. She lives, breathes, and dreams tennis alongside her father Javier a former champion himself who has dedicated his life to training her. Carrie may not have the charisma the fans look for or the likeability factor in her favor but she’s well respected as one of the greats. When she announces her return from retirement for the sake of reclaiming her record/title, the sports casters are ruthless. They voice their disapproval and break down all of the reasons (age & stamina) she should just stay in retirement and let the younger tennis players have their day.  Carrie could care less about anyone’s opinion, she knows she’s taking on a task many have already counted her out of but it only serves to further motivate her. This book is heavy on the tennis talk, it can never be said that TJR doesn’t research her subjects thoroughly. We see Carrie both on and off the court with her dad Javier running plays and really pushing her body to the limits day and night. It is a story about a father/daughter relationship that is nurtured through tennis. It is a story about grief, that of loved ones and that which we experience when certain chapters come to a close. 

Taylor Jenkins Reid’s signature style story-telling has delivered some of the most memorable female protagonists. Carrie Soto is an archetype she writes well and will remind readers who’ve read TJR’s previous books of Evelyn Hugo, Daisy Jones, and Nina Riva. In similar fashion TJR throws out some easter eggs with mentions of characters we’ve met in her previous books. Readers should also know that there are bits of Spanish sprinkled throughout the book (translation guide not included) yet that does not make this a Latine book. We are made aware that these are Argentinean characters but that’s about as deep as it gets with regards to their ethnicity and culture. I went in knowing this and did not pick it up for Latine representation since TJR is not a Latine author. My pull towards this book was the father/daughter relationship that was mentioned in the synopsis since these types of stories are my Achilles heel for personal reasons. Yes, the tennis was well researched and engaging. Yes, Carrie herself is intriguing and complex. Yes, the sportscaster commentary mixed in made for a more realistic play by play of the matches. The father/daughter relationship however was the real highlight of this book and Javier in my opinion is the real star of the show. Javier has a special place  in my heart and will be quite difficult to forget.


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Spoiler Free Review: Love On The Brain by Ali Hazelwood

Title: Love On The Brain

Author: Ali Hazelwood

Pub. Date: August 23rd 2022

Genre: Contemporary Romance/Rom-COM

Format: eARC

Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group

Pages: 368

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☆☆ARC provided by Publisher in exchange for an honest review☆☆╮

*•.¸♡ 𝐘𝐨𝐮 𝐝𝐨𝐧’𝐭 𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐧 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐭𝐨 𝐚𝐝𝐦𝐢𝐭 𝐭𝐨 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫𝐬𝐞𝐥𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐥𝐨𝐯𝐞 𝐦𝐞, 𝐁𝐞𝐞. 𝐆𝐨𝐝 𝐤𝐧𝐨𝐰𝐬 𝐈 𝐥𝐨𝐯𝐞 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐞𝐧𝐨𝐮𝐠𝐡 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐛𝐨𝐭𝐡 𝐨𝐟 𝐮𝐬 – 𝐋𝐞𝐯𝐢 𝐖𝐚𝐫𝐝 ♡¸.•*

Bee Königswasser has been given the opportunity to work as the lead on a neuroengineering project with NASA to create a helmet for astronauts that would improve their focus. She’s excited up until she finds out Levi aka the guy who she believes hates her, will be the co-lead engineer on the project. She feels he made his feelings toward her known during grad school and the last thing she’d fathom is having to work in close proximity with someone who loathes her. She asks herself what would her idol the French Physicist Marie Curie do if she were in her shoes? readily acknowledging that Marie would accept this opportunity no questions asked, Bee decides to accept. Soon after she introduces herself to the team (all dude bros), all sorts of hijinks occur to prevent Bee from actually doing her job. We see Levi begin to back her up as she’s presenting her ideas/suggestions and quickly turns into more of an ally than enemy. Bee is very aware of his presence and stolen glances so much so that she starts to enjoy their collaboration. All the while reminding herself that Levi still fundamentally hates her. 

I’ll preface this part of my review by mentioning that I’ve seen many reviews since I finished my read and although I agree that there’s a specific formula to all of these “Steminist” books, I enjoyed this more than The Love Hypothesis. The biggest standout difference for me is that both leads/romantic love interests are thoroughly fleshed out making it easy to connect and root for this ship. I LOVED the insider look we get to the actual project and seeing Bee leave a lot of dude bros in awe as she strutted her knowledge in her area of expertise. I also loved seeing Levi go from silent bystander to someone in Bee’s corner who can’t stand when his male colleagues make it difficult for her to work. I loved the fact that Bee hates that it takes Levi backing her in order for the team to give her the time of day. She draws parallels between her current situation and that of Marie Curie who had to fight for an ounce of respect/recognition as a female Physicist during the early 1900’s. It’s not often that I end up LOVING the male lead but Levi has my whole heart simply because he’s a feminist that genuinely wants to see change in their field of work. If you can get past the many mentions of Levi’s large manly frame 😂 and Bee being overly oblivious, there’s a lot to love:

🧪Empowered women in STEM
🧪Tropes: Hate to love (kinda)/Close proximity
🧪Twitter threads/wars for entertainment
🧪feisty invisible 🐈
🧪Vegan love
🧪🧠 talk as they race to perfect a helmet for NASA
🧪Male lead is a feminist
🧪The humor was 👌🏽if it can get me to laugh out loud, then and only then it gets placed on my rom-COM faves shelf 😉


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Spoiler Free review: Love In The Time Of Serial Killers by Alicia Thomspon

Title: Love In The Time Of Serial Killers

Author: Alicia Thompson

Pub. Date: August 16th 2022

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Format: eARC

Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group

Pages: 336

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☆☆ARC provided by Publisher in exchange for an honest review☆☆╮

Characters: 7/10   Atmosphere: 0/10  Writing Style: 7/10  Plot: 5/10  Intrigue: 5/10  Logic/Relationships: 7/10  Enjoyment: 7/10

Rating: 38/5.4 =  ☆☆ 3 Stars☆☆╮

Rating system created by The Book Roast 

Fellow Cappies Rejoice we’ve got ourselves our very own Capricorn female MC and I dare you not to draw parallels as you take a trip inside the mind of Pheobe Walsh. Obsessed with True Crime and working on her dissertation analyzing the genre leaves Pheebs with very little time to even think of dating. Her father has recently passed away and she is now back in Florida trying to get her childhood home in order to sell. Having had a tough relationship with her dad that resulted in leaving with her mom after they divorced, she also has her brother Jeremy to reconnect with. The brother who stayed with their curmudgeon dad and is very sweet natured is also worried his sister’s obsession with true crime has reached new levels. Pheeb’s swears the hot and mysterious neighbor Sam MUST be a serial killer and she’s gone as far as logging in his coming & goings. There’s only one problem with this theory & that’s that with every interaction they have she has to admit Sam is just a great guy but this doesn’t mean she’s going to make it easy for him.

Our main character Pheobe puts the grump in grumpy sunshine and her dark sense of humor isn’t for everyone. Some readers may even find her to be unlikeable because we get a heavy dose of her paranoia with many mentions pop culture references of serial killers. For other readers who may listen/read true crime, the research in the genre may actually be a bonus and the dissertation process to have been detailed nicely. The romance takes off a bit later in the story with the steamy scenes falling short and I know that’s probably going to hurt the overall ratings for this book. I feel this one is going to land with those who don’t mind their female protagonist to be a bit unlikeable, perhaps even pessimistic and cynical. Sam the love interest is hard not to love, he’s a music teacher who can’t help but want to assist Pheobe with moving furniture or any project really as long as he’s getting to spend time with her. I almost wish this had been dual POV to give us a break from Pheeb’s thought process while also giving us a chance to get to know Sam. Taking all of this into account… this is my personal opinion but I feel male grumpy protagonists are ALWAYS preferred over a female grump 😂 yet they DO exist and deserve to be loved just as much! haha! To be honest I loved so many of the other themes in this book like the sibling dynamics, second chance friendships and unresolved grief of a parent being addressed. I feel these did compensate for some of the other things that needed more developing. 

𝗪𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗜 𝗹𝗼𝘃𝗲𝗱:

💓Plus size representation
🕵🏻True Crime genre explored
😒Grumpy/Sunshine trope🤗
🐈‍⬛Stray cat claiming squatters rights
👫Sibling relationship explored
👭🏻Second chance friendships
📚The Library as a secondary setting


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Spoiler Free Review: After Hours on Milagro Street by Angelina M. Lopez

Title: After Hours on Milagro Street

Author: Angelina M. Lopez

Pub. Date: July 26th 2022

Genre: Romance/Latinx

Format: eARC

Publisher: Carina Trade

Pages: 400

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☆☆ARC provided by Publisher in exchange for an honest review☆☆╮

Characters: 10/10   Atmosphere: 10/10  Writing Style: 10/10  Plot: 8/10  Intrigue: 8/10  Logic/Relationships: 10/10  Enjoyment: 10/10

Rating: 66/9.4 =  ☆☆ 5 Stars☆☆╮

Rating system created by The Book Roast 

*•.¸♡ 𝐘𝐨𝐮 𝐝𝐨𝐧’𝐭 𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐞 𝐭𝐨 𝐛𝐞 𝐚𝐥𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐚𝐧𝐲𝐦𝐨𝐫𝐞. 𝐋𝐞𝐭 𝐦𝐞 𝐭𝐚𝐤𝐞 𝐜𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐲𝐨𝐮. 𝐖𝐞’𝐥𝐥 𝐟𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐡𝐨𝐦𝐞 𝐭𝐨𝐠𝐞𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫. ♡¸.•*

This book kept me up last night as I was determined to finish it and those final few lines gave me goosebumps!! After Hours on Milagros Street is a romance with mystery, paranormal, and historical fiction aspects sprinkled throughout. I love my romance to be complex and the story line to have some depth, this was just that. We meet Alex Torres as she makes her appearance back in her hometown of Kansas. She’s an Alpha plus size Mexican-American female who has made a name for herself as an in demand bartender. Alex has been summoned by her sisters with hopes of convincing their matriarch of a grandmother to sell them her bar so that she may retire comfortably. The problem is that many in the Torres clan view her as a bit louder than the rest of them and a bit of a loose canon. For Alex, her image is something she plays up for the white people she bartends for. “The world expected an angry black woman, and Alex had let it pay her rent” She plans to use what she’s learned as well as her social media presence to put Kansas/Milagro Street back on the map. The town that for many years has been home to Mexican-American working families is struggling to keep the lights on. Jeremiah Post is renting a room at the bar, he is a white college professor whose own backstory is a mystery to all and he’d rather keep it that way. He loves the Torres clan, grandmother Loretta treats him like one of her own and the many aunts, uncles, and cousins who congregate at the bar daily see him as family too. Alex & Jeremiah’s first encounter is 10/10 spicy and hot. Alex knows exactly what she wants and isn’t afraid to go for it, she absolutely DOES get consent even as she’s going through the motions. I LOVED IT!

Full transparency, it took me a few days to finish this book but I didn’t see it as a negative. The pace is a bit slower than most romance books because of the historical fiction/mystery aspects but the latter half really picks up the pace. I appreciated the character development we see with Alex who goes from wanting to change everything about the bar to wanting to preserve some of what makes it feel like home to many of Freedom’s residents. Also, Jeremiah’s work as an ally helping preserve the Mexican-American immigrant history of the town and the fact that Alex makes sure that he knows she’s not down with the white savior roles perpetuated by many. Jeremiah’s respectful stance in making sure that he remains an ally in the background, his respect towards her family and the towns roots make him a new fave! This book has a whole lot of heart and the characters quickly come to life including our older generations. Last but not least, the supernatural aspects the author introduced to highlight the racism and bigotry surrounding Mexican-Americans bumped this book to a five star read for me. Consider reading if you enjoy romance wrapped in a bit of a mystery, found families that just so happen to be LARGE families, and angry ghosts.

𝗧ropes: close proximity, opposites attract, hate-to-love, grumpy sunshine

Content Warnings: mention of alcoholism, racism, bigotry, microagressions


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