eGalley provided by Publisher in exchange for an honest review, all quotes come from an advance copy and may not match the final release
Single mom Jess Davis is a statistician convinced that the dating scene is just not for her. She’s felt abandoned way too many times and doesn’t want to put her daughter through that again. Jess and her BFF Fizzy hear about GeneticAlly a match making company that is in its early stages of testing. Finding a soulmate through DNA sounds far fetched and she thinks her odds are low. That is until she matches at 98% with one of the app developers!!! 😮 the same guy who walks into the coffee shop every day with ZERO social skills. The guy who is hot AF but is always on the go to even consider his surroundings. Sort of hate-to-love if you can actually hate someone you don’t really know? Think more along the lines of modern day heartwarming tale on the lower end of the steam scale between two individuals who would make quite the odd pairing if you’re only matching by personality. Jess is super relatable as a single mom who is struggling financially to make ends meet even though she’s quite good at what she does for a living. She also happens to have a strong support system between her grandparents and best friend. Jess isn’t fully convinced that GeneticAlly is accurate, she entertains it with skepticism, intrigue, and sarcasm all at once. Dr. River Pena has invested everything into GeneticAlly, it’s basically his baby and although he also doesn’t believe he could’ve matched correctly with Jess…in order to protect the integrity of his research, he has to be willing to date her.
I didn’t really go into this expecting a steamy romance, my hopes were that I’d walk away with a new favorite Rom-Com and I feel that’s exactly what I got. Besides the developing romance, we get to see a positive f/f friendship where the BFF is more like family. I ADORED Fizzy! a romance writer who has even written a character based off of Jess and honestly every time she threatened to kill her off, I giggled thinking of my own best friend. I would absolutely read a spin-off based on Fizzy’s own escapades which we get a slight glimpse to in this book. Even seven year old Juno was fun to get to know on the page, she’s got such an inquisitive mind and loves the library. Our love interest is just about the only aspect I wish was a bit more fleshed out. We get to know him through his research but it isn’t until the last quarter of the book where we get to see some of his personal life influences like his family. This is also where we learn he’s Latinx which tbh, I would’ve loved to have learned from the very beginning. A more balanced approach towards the main characters is something I find helps me get more invested in their lives. That being said, my heart melted every time Dr. River Pena interacted with little Juno! his respect for women and just his whole love language was *chefs Kiss* perfection!
The Soulmate Equation hits shelves next week Tuesday May 18th
eGalley provided by Publisher in exchange for an honest review, all quotes come from an advance copy and may not match the final release
This Jamaican-inspired Young Adult Fantasy follows two enemy witches who must form an alliance in order to take down the Queen. The Obeah ruling family (Iraya’s people/natural born magic) has been killed and their people enslaved by the Alumbrar(Jazmyne’s people/Use of magic via Conduits.) Jazmyne happens to be the Queen’s daughter, only she doesn’t agree with how the Queen rules the people and hopes to overthrow her and take up the throne. Jazmyne is active in a rebel group plotting to eliminate the Queen when she hears of Iraya having survived her parents assasination. The last remaining heir of the previous ruling family, Iraya is a witch who was born with natural powers. See, in this world there are two ways to come about magic and that’s either through conduits to syphon it OR you’re naturally born with it. We first meet Iraya at the start of this story as she sits in jail plotting her vengeance on the Alumbrar Queen and whoever else played a part in killing her loved ones. Jazmyne plans to utilize Iraya to kill her mother, Iraya plans to allow herself to be used whilst carrying out a plan of her own.
I’ll preface my thoughts by saying that I am not an Own Voices reviewer for this story however I do encourage you seek them out. Joel from FictionalFates on Booktube gave it a 5 star rating and is an Own Voice reviewer for the Jamaican representation. I gave this a 3 star rating which means I enjoyed many aspects however there were a few things I wish had been ironed out. The world building is where I struggled quite a bit and that isn’t because of its complexity, I love my Fantasy to be meaty and in depth. However, the first half of this book doles out a ton of information and I felt it threw off the pacing. I’ll admit to even being confused for about 40% of the story while trying to take notes. The magic system is very interesting considering magic is attainable through other means if you’re not born with it. We don’t really get to see them in action much since the Obeah’s abilities are being surpressed by the Alumbrar. Some of the history that lead to the suppression of Obeah magic doesn’t get explained till much later in the story. Also, the Obeah aren’t the only people seeking to overthrow the Queen so there are a few power pieces on the board closing in on her that I would’ve liked to see more of. There’s a ton of plotting, scheming and double dealing which I happen to love in my Fantasy reads. There are characters who have good intentions but end up losing themselves along the way, I did enjoy Iraya’s POV more than Jazmyne. However, by the end of the story Jazmyne managed to get my attention back as I wondered what fate awaits her. All in all, I’m looking forward to the sequel and seeing if these characters can coexist.
🖤ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review🖤
This sex positive story about two people who unexpectedly end up being roommates was a fun page turner. Clara has followed her childhood best friend in a move across country in a case of unrequited love. When they get there, her BFF gets notice of his band landing a gig and leaves her his apartment. There she meets Josh, the roommate she didn’t sign up for. Clara comes from a wealthy Manhattan family, her entire life goal has been to stay out of the rumor mill. After a few scandals she’s seen her mother weather, she doesn’t want to be a cause for more. This is why she decides to tough it out & not go running back home. Josh is pretty chill, described as a dreamy Zac Morris from Saved by the Bell type. He’s the polar opposite of Clara who comes across a bit uptight. There’s undeniable attraction when they first meet but a simple google search leaves Clara wide eyed. Josh works in the sex industry and is exactly the publicity Clara is trying to stay far away from however, running back to NYC just isn’t an option. Clara knows that would be the easiest route to take but in doing so, she’d be proving to her family that she’s driven by impulse and emotion. The family who has already cast aside her aunt as the black sheep of the family for a very public affair. Instead, Clara decides to indulge in her curiosity by sticking round and getting to know him a bit better.
I appreciated the discussion on the sex industry, specifically the negative stigma society has placed on sex workers. Also, LOVED the positive discussion on the female orgasm as well as body exploration through self pleasure. Although Clara and Josh come from very different backgrounds, they both feel passionately that women deserve better sex. We follow them as they join together to bring sexual awareness & empowerment to women by using their individual talents and knowledge. The chemistry is wicked intense, the steamy scenes are a 10 because Josh clearly appreciates and understand the female body. He’s super respectful while also confident and smooth which in turn helped Clara feel more at ease and step into her own power. We also get an inside look to the trash treatment many sex workers get in the industry and the fact that many of it isn’t talked about. Society has already deemed their profession something to look down on which makes it just as hard to want to speak up. One of my fave characters Naomi Grant who is an ex of Josh, has managed to get control of her narrative as a sex worker. She embodies confidence and body positivity but like Josh, is one of the few who have learned the ropes well enough to not let anyone low ball them. Relationships are also discussed since its is something many outsiders have wondered about…can a sex worker manage to have a successful relationship? I’d say the verdict is still out on that with it depending on the individual because at the start of it all Josh is having relationship/trust issues. If you’re looking for a read that offers a perspective we don’t often see, The Roommate delivers while also keeping it fun and sexy!
Hello Hello Book Lovers! I’m a bit past the mid-point of the year but I was reading some FAB books I couldn’t put down & risk them not making this list. I’m pretty sure there are still some new faves out there I’ve yet to read but I’m also very happy with the ones that did make the cut in this tag. The fact that we’re still finding joy in a hobby we love in such tough times is a blessing in & of itself. This tag took me just about a day to work through but while working on it I caught up with some Booktube videos as well as my binge of The Cold Case Files on Netflix.
Best book you’ve read so far this year
Without a doubt the honor goes to All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson! (My review) this book will forever stay in my heart & soul as a genuine collection of stories (essays) that are raw & powerful. George gives us a intimate look at life growing up as a queer black man in America. At times it was very hard to listen to & others I felt like an honorary guest at the kitchen table. Race, gender, sexuality, and socio-economic differences are all explored here. Poignant & life changing, this is a book you want to have read Luvs!
Best sequel you’ve read so far this year
Out of all the prompts in this tag, this is the one I can say was the reason for this tag going up past the month of June. I was honestly holding out to read a few more sequels that I’m pretty certain are going to blow my mind but for now I have selected Ruthless Gods by Emily A. Duncan! (My review) This was 10 times darker than Wicked Saints & I was sort of anticipating this since I follow the author on Twitter. This book is more focused on Serafin but overall the character development was *chefs kiss* & the set-up for the final book which btw will be driven by a Malachiasz POV…was just A+! slower paced sequel & worth every page 😉
New release you haven’t read yet, but want to
The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson (Goodreads)🖤 First off I’ll start by saying that I love reading all things witchy, even before I had read the synopsis this book was in my cart. Described as a feminist fantasy with gothic vibes that takes on race, misogyny, religion and homophobia to name a few. I received my copy in the mail about a week ago & will be reading it in August!
Most anticipated release for the second half of the year
Wayward Witch (Brooklyn Brujas #3)by Zoraida Cordova the final book in a witchy series I absolutely fell in love with! This book will be following the youngest of the sisters Rose as she comes into her newfound powers. This is the third & final book so I’ll just leave it at that cause spoilers. If you’re looking for more Latinx Representation, Zoraida Cordova is such a talented writer who has become one of my top 3 favorite authors!
This is the year I’ve re-discovered my love for reading & that’s partly because I’ve made it a priority to only read what my spider senses detect will be a hit. I’m sort of riding the wave between mood reading & arc timely reading if that’s even a thing. No disappointing reads to report as of yet and a gal is crossing her fingers it stays that way 😉
You Had Me at Hola by Alexis Daria (Goodreads) When I first saw this book announced I knew that I had to read! not only for the Latinx representation but also because it’s centered around telenovela stars which I figured would be pretty nostalgic for me. This book was more than what I expected in the best of possible ways. We see two Latinx characters cast in a major telenovela that is set to break barriers & stereotypes for the Latinx community. This is also the first time I read a book with Latinx characters where the Spanish in text is not italicized which gave me a more organic reading experience. I have a review in the works but for those that are interested, some of the content warnings are PTSD, anxiety, talk of loss of a parent, Cancer, alcohol as coping mechanism.
Favorite new author (Debut or new to you)
I’ve recently fallen down the rabbit hole with buying all of anything written by Sylvia Moreno-Garcia with ZERO regrets! I read Mexican Gothic (review coming) this month while at the beach & was just teleported to High Place with its Gothic/Horror vibes turned all the way up! I’ve legit started collecting Moreno-Garcias books since I plan on binge reading for a future blog post. One thing I have noticed about this author is that she isn’t boxed into any particular genre. So far I’ve seen books she’s written under the Horror, Sci-Fi, Urban Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Mythology, Magical realism genres. The one thing that makes Moreno a favorite for me besides the A+ writing is that her characters are all Latinx. I’m really looking forward to reading all of her back-list books.
Newest fictional crush
I’ll admit I’ve never had a fictional crush but then Talia Hibbert went & changed all that with Zafir Ansari in Take a Hint Dani Brown (My review) he is the perfect balance between sweet cinnamon roll & a knight in shining armor. Not that Dani needed one at all but he’s old school & seeing to his ladies needs/wants is at the top of his priorities. Zaf is attentive & nurturing, he’s also super supportive. To top it all off, he has. foundation where he helps young boys shed toxic masculinity by providing a safe space where they can talk about their feelings. Zaf has my heart!
Newest favorite character
House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City #1) by Sarah J. Maas (my review) was the last book I purchased before Quarantine in NYC & I LOVED it to pieces! There are so many stand-out characters but one in particular stole the show…Lehabah the small & curvy Fire Sprite. Lehabah is bashful & loves watching Fangs & Bangs. Her love for Fangs & Bangs is only rivaled by her love for our MC Bryce Quinlan. Lehabah fretted over Bryce & I just adored her!
Book that made you cry
This may come as a surprise but the book that made me cry was House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City #1) by Sarah J. Maas (my review). If you’ve yet to read this one I’d suggest steering clear of the Goodreads synopsis since it’s VERY spoilery & in my opinion also takes away from the emotional reaction it may illicit. However, I will say what I loved most about this book is the awesome ride or die female/female friendship at its core.
Book that made you happy
Take a Hint, Dani Brown (The Brown Sisters #2) by Talia Hibbert (My Review) was THE book that made me smile & just radiate happiness all over! Between Zafir being the ideal love interest & Dani being this independent bi-sexual witch Goddess, I was LIVING for their story! the body positivity & acceptance of personalities and differences is #GOALS If I’m being honest for favorite new to me author it was a tie between Sylvia Moreno-Garcia and Talia Hibbert. Love them both so much! but this is the book that put me in a happy place.
Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)
Mexican Gothic by Sylvia Moreno-Garcia is STUNNING!!! Noemi our MC is serving 1950’s glamor with a Gothic/Horror Vibe on the cover with what looks to be dead flowers in her grasp. I LOVE this cover & story so much that I have it on display on my bedroom shelves. It is legit a source of inspiration for some upcoming paint/artwork I have planned for my bedroom walls.
What books do you need to read by the end of the year?
There are SO many wonderfully Diverse titles as well as some highly anticipated sequels hitting our shelves in the second half of this year that I absolutely can’t wait to read. These are just a few I plan on reading THIS year in an attempt to deliver my Top 20 of 200 by the end of the year…
WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted bySam @ Taking On a World of Wordsand to participate all you have to do is answer the three W’s listed below. Once you’ve posted your WWW, drop a link to your post in Sam’s comments <3’s!
The questions: 1. What are you currently reading? 2. What did you recently finish reading? 3. What do you think you’ll read next?
Who else is experiencing all of their library holds coming in at once? 🤷🏻♀️I wasn’t expecting my 8 week long holds to show up on my Available Now shelf & now I’m thinking its time to get serious about possibly creating a TBR? 🙈DREAD that for me! 😂 but I also don’t want to pass up this opportunity. I’m choosing to divvy up my reads between eGalleys & Library holds for the time being. This all the while I try to stop myself from falling into the next binge worthy Netflix show. All bets are off if we get anything along the lines of The Tiger King cause 🤦🏻♀️I can’t help watching the circus #jussayin! These books down below are what I’d like to focus on while I work from home 🖤
INCENDIARY (HOLLOW CROWN #1) BY ZORAIDA CORDOVA-I’m 170 pages into this book & can honestly say it will probably make my top 20 of 2020. Described by many as being inspired by 15th century Spain and the Inquisition, this is in my opinion Zoraida Cordova’s best book yet. Having read two of the Brooklyn Brujas books, I can see the growth in this authors writing. The world building is EXACTLY what I look for in Fantasy, to see this well done in YA Fantasy makes it stand out all the more. Incendiary deals with rebels & spies who are conspiring to bring down a kingdom hell bent on eradicating those of Moria descent. More specifically those who are wielders of magic. HOOKED & totally invested in these characters! 🙌🏽
FROM TWINKLE, WITH LOVE BY SANHYA MANON-30% into this audiobook & am loving all of the cheesy smiles this book is getting out of me. Twinkle is a MC who hasn’t found her voice yet when dealing with confrontation. However, she has BIG dreams & a hunger to one day be a filmmaker. I’m still early on in the story but I’m enjoying so far seeing Twinkle, a self appointed wallflower come into her own while also falling in love.
DOCILE BY K.M. SZPARA(My Review)-This is a dark one Bookworms! My review does have content warnings, it is a M/M BDSM Adult Sci-Fi/Dystopian. Docile is quite the page turner that will probably keep you reading at all hours of the night. I rated this one 3.5 stars because of the way that it ended. It’s not a bad rating at all but I did feel rather uncomfortable with how certain things played out. I would however still check out any of this authors future works.
RUTHLESS GODS (SOMETHING DARK & HOLY #1) BY EMILY A. DUNCAN -I have a review in the works for this highly anticipated sequel here on the blog. I rated this one 4 stars & really am looking forward to the final book in this trilogy. I’ll admit I struggled with about 50% of the book, pacing was definitely an issue. It took us a while to get to the climax but once it was reached it took off & had me fully enthralled. I’ve said it before & I’ll say it again, The Darkling from Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse has NOTHING on Malachiasz! this guy is 50 shades of complex & as such, will leave you feeling just as messed up smh 😂
MY DARK VANESSA BY KATE ELIZABETH RUSSELL –“Exploring the psychological dynamics of the relationship between a precocious yet naïve teenage girl and her magnetic and manipulative teacher, a brilliant, all-consuming read that marks the explosive debut of an extraordinary new writer.” – I’ve been mentally preparing myself as best I could for this read & when I received the notification from Libby I knew it was Go time!
CLAP WHEN YOU LAND BY ELIZABETH ACEVEDO -This author is one of my favorite auto-buy authors, The Poet X & With the Fire On High were both 5 star reads for me last year. Seeing this title hit Edelweiss I quickly hit request & hoped for the best. No other title has made me feel this HYPED up to receive an approval email. This see Acevedo return to her well known written in verse format I absolutely LOVE! I was almost hesitant to request this book simply because if you’ve listened to any of her audiobooks that she narrated herself, you’d understand the raw quality behind this authors voice. Two girls separated by distance share the same father however neither know of each others existence. It isn’t until they’re made aware of his passing on a plane crash that their lives connect. BEYOND the moon grateful to have received an early copy! 🙌🏽
How is it almost Christmas? for the most part I’ve got all my Christmas shopping out of the way and so this weekend I get to chill a bit. I was gifted tickets for my tiny human and I to attend the Gazillion Bubble Show tomorrow by my lovely Sister who dubbed it a “Mommy & Me Christmas experience” which means a trip to Manhattan. Which also means I get to use my 25% off Barnes & Nobles in-store coupon…jussayin we both get treats. I’m also hoping to read my little heart away on Sunday & FINALLY binge watch The Mandalorian episodes while I make pepper steak for my little fam ❤
The Wicked king (the folk of the air #2) by holly black
If I could inhale read this book I would cause it’s just that good! I had forgotten how vicious & ruthless the world of Fae can be under the pen of Holly Black, LOVING IT!. I’m still not a fan of Taryn but Jude is making me proud! I still have about 40% left to read but seeing as this post is pre-drafted (Thursday) I may have already finished it when this goes live. The Cardan scenes are giving me life & making it hella uncomfortable to read on a crowded train. There’s only so much screen dimming I can do before I say eff it & snoop at your own risk NYC strap hangers haha! I think this book will easily make my top 10 of 2019.
Queen of nothing (the folk of the air #3) by holly black
I’ve heard from just about everyone that book 2 ends in a massive cliffhanger & I’m not about that life. This is why I chose to hold off & binge read them before the end of the year. When the Mr. showed up with a new fuzzy reading blanket & this book I pretty much ditched my TBR. I’ve adjusted my expectations a bit after watching a few spoiler free review videos. From what I’ve gathered it may not be as good as the first 2 books in the trilogy but it is still satisfying. Either way I’m excited to get to this one over the weekend 🙂
Currently The Manadalorian has aired 5 “Chapters” aka episodes on Disney Plus which I signed up for but have yet to start watching. I’ve definitely fallen down the rabbit hole of Baby Yoda memes with zero regrets so it’s time to watch the show that started this frenzy. If there is any weekend in December to binge watch these episodes this would be the one since the second half of the month will most likely be a blur of holiday activities.
Hello Bookworms! what are some of your weekend plans? reading/watching anything you think I would enjoy? sound off in the comments below <3’s!
Hello Hello Bookish Friends! 🤗 It’s almost Midnight here in NYC & I’ve had way too much coffee 🤦🏻♀️ & so what better time than to knock out a few posts? July was a weird month for me, I had a craving for Fiction (could be the overwhelming amount of Fantasy arcs on my Kindle @ the moment 😂) & I happened to catch some good deals. Besides the AWESOMENESS that is Book Of The Month, Amazon had an early Summer Black Friday sale I couldn’t turn away from. Wicked Fox was sent by the Publisher, it was a 5 star read & my review will be up this week. I also read Lock Every Door which was 3.5 stars, highly enjoyable but it did have its parts that dragged. I listened to the audiobook while reading along & loved the narrators performance. I’m currently reading The Diviners by Libba Bray as part of the #DivinersReadalong 🖤 Who is this Gal? reading all the books she hauls? haha! 🤷🏻♀️ Below I’ve included my Book of The Month referral link, if you happen to sign up using my link then I’d get a free book. I fully support this book subscription box, for an AMAZING price you get to choose some of the top buzz worthy titles. They’ve also recently added a seperate Young Adult subscription option in case Fiction alone isn’t your thing. Links for all books will take you to Goodreads 😉
“Project Runway meets Mulan in this sweeping YA fantasy about a young girl who poses as a boy to compete for the role of imperial tailor and embarks on an impossible journey to sew three magic dresses, from the sun, the moon, and the stars.” – Goodreads
The July Owlcrate box has to be the MOST beautiful box I’ve received this year! 😍 I LOVE every item but if I had to choose one favorite it would have to be the deck of cards with STUNNING artwork & red foiled edges 😍