When A Book Shakes You To The Core: Let Me Lie by Clare Mackintosh

Monday, April 30, 2018


by Clare Mackintosh
Genres: Mystery, Thriller, Adult
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: March 8th 2018
Source: ARC received for review
Star Quotient: ★★★★
Kiss Factor: NA
Amazon - The Book Depository

Before I got lured into the world of romance, I used to predominantly read crime thrillers. I haven't been keeping up as much lately, but I did read Clare Mackintosh's debut after a friend recommended it and enjoyed it so much that I kept up with her sophomore novel. I couldn't pass up the opportunity to read Let Me Lie. This was just the palate cleanser I needed. This review is going to be short and vague because I worry that if I chat too much about it, I'll wind up spoiling even minute details. This is very much a book that you should go in knowing only the basics.

The Weekly Recap (5) : A Short Recap

Sunday, April 29, 2018

A Charming & Fiercely Feminist Story: Chaotic Good by Whitney Gardner

Thursday, April 26, 2018


by Whitney Gardner
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, YA
Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: March 13th 2018
Source: Bought
Star Quotient: ★★★★
Kiss Factor: ✷✷✷1/2
Amazon - The Book Depository

OK, I'm going to need Whitney Gardner to write YA contemporaries forever and ever! I loved her debut book and Chaotic Good was equally amazing for me. It's a story of family, identity, love and fandom and what a glorious combination.

Cameron was a delightful human being who I wanted to protect at all costs. She's ridiculously talented at sewing and creating these amaze-balls costumes based off of comics. There was so much to adore about her. I particularly loved just how passionate she was about everything she got into. She is ambitious and devoted and has so many goals. You can't help but want to cheer her for her sheer determination. She's also a girl who repeatedly makes mistakes and that made her even more lovable in my book. Before her family moved her, she and her friends win a costume event at a con - only at the con, Cameron reveals to the audience that she's not a hardcore fan of the character the costume is based on. This garners the attention of horrible online fuckboys who probably live in their mom's basements. She is relentlessly bullied and the poor girl takes it all in on her own. It was hard to watch her stomach all the callous uncalled-for insults that the internet kept throwing her way, but throughout the book, Cameron finds a way to channel them in a positive way.

A Little Bit Of Magic & A Whole Lot Of Romance: Don't Call Me Cupcake by Tara Sheets

Tuesday, April 24, 2018


by Tara Sheets
Series: The Holloway Girls #1
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Paranormal, Adult
Publisher: Zebra Shout
Publication Date: April 24th 2018
Source: ARC received for review
Star Quotient: ★★★★1/2
Kiss Factor✷✷
Amazon - The Book Depository

Well wasn't that the most charming book I've read in a long time! I've been in a bit of a slump lately in that I have no motivation to read, but Don't Call Me Cupcake entirely enamored me from start to finish. You're going to want to add this one to your TBRs, friends!

The entire concept of Don't Call Me Cupcake was so unique. It was refreshing to read something different in the romance genre and Tara Sheets certainly knew how to deliver. The Holloway girls are known on Pine Cove Island for their gifts. The heroine, Emma Holloway, can bake charmed cupcakes. Her bakery has a cupcake for everything ranging from a luck-bringer to a hangover-cure! I love how important Emma's gift was to her. It was a tie to her grandmother and she was proud of her abilities. Emma was a great heroine. She was the kind of heroine I actually want so badly to be real so I can befriend her. She has got a heart of gold and she was always willing to help the people around her. She was also incredibly devoted and hardworking. Even when life wasn't entirely rosy for her, she made the best of what she can. At the start of Don't Call Me Cupcake, she was battling with financial issues as her jerk of a fiance had run away with all of her savings. Despite her shabby situation, she was willing to do everything she could to save her family's home and legacy.

Everything I Love In A Romance: Luck of the Draw by Kate Clayborn

Monday, April 23, 2018


by Kate Clayborn
Series: Chance of a Lifetime #2
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Adult
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Publication Date: April  24th 2018
Source: ARC received for review
Star Quotient: ★★★★★
Kiss Factor✷✷
Amazon - The Book Depository

I have no idea how I'm even going to put into words my feelings towards this book. The moment I read the first line, I knew I was going to be immersed in this lovely story. To say that I loved Luck of the Draw would be an understatement of epic proportions. This was a book that I just devoured and it found a way to hold my heart hostage - yes, it was THAT bloody good.

I loved the characters in Beginner's Luck, but here? I just fell head over heels in love with them. Zoe just stole my heart. After winning the lottery with her friends, she quits her job as a corporate lawyer. At the beginning of the book, she is very much lost and trying to find her way. At the same time, she is being plagued by the way she treated people in the past, so she sets out on a path to seek their forgiveness. This brings her in the path of Aiden O'Leary, whose family was ill-treated by her firm after Aiden's twin died of a drug overdose. Zoe may have made mistakes in the past, but she was a girl with a heart of gold. Her struggles with her conscience really spoke to me and I rooted for her as she tried to make amends for them. Zoe was what I would call a soft heroine with layers upon layers to her personality. The more I got to know her and the person she was deep inside, the more I cherished her.

The Weekly Recap (4) : Miss Grumpy

Sunday, April 22, 2018

A Delightful Fake-Dating Romance: Pretending He's Mine by Mia Sosa

Thursday, April 19, 2018


by Mia Sosa
Series: Love on Cue #2
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Avon Romance
Publication Date: April 10th 2018
Source: ARC received for review
Star Quotient: ★★★★
Kiss Factor✷✷
Amazon - The Book Depository

The first book in the Love on Cue, Acting on Impulse, was an underrated gem. It had everything I enjoy in a romance and easily made me a Mia Sosa fan. I couldn't wait to read Pretending He's Mine for several reasons, but the main one being that the book has the fake-dating trope. This book left me grinning and with a warm feeling in my heart - you know that's a sign of a good romance!

Pretending He's Mine tells the story of a flight attendant, Ashley, and Hollywood agent, Julian. Julian also happens to be Ashley's famous brother's best friend and agent. Talk about complicated dynamics! Both Ashley and Julian were endearing characters. They were both flawed, messy and so very real to me. I adored Ashley and how headstrong she was, but I also admired how Mia Sosa explored her vulnerabilities, especially her self-doubt, throughout the book. I think a lot of readers will connect with Ashley's character and see a fraction of themselves in her. She was a little lost in life and was figuring out where she fit in. I enjoyed her journey a lot! I also loved Julian, who also had his fair share of vulnerabilities and self-doubt. Seeing his passion for his job and for diversity in the movie industry was one of the highlights of Pretending He's Mine.

5 Beautiful Libraries On My Travel Bucket List

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

When Opposites Attract: The Love Coupon by Ainslie Paton

Monday, April 16, 2018


by Ainslie Paton
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Adult
Publisher: Carina Press
Publication Date: April 9th 2018
Source: ARC received for review
Star Quotient: ★1/2
Kiss Factor✷✷
Amazon - Barnes & Noble

Ainslie Paton was one of my favorite romance discoveries last year. I completely adored The Love Experiment - it turned me into an instant fan of the author. I was beyond thrilled to find out that she was continuing the series on with The Love Coupon. I didn't think it was possible, but I think I fell for this book even more than The Love Experiment. It had all the ingredients for a perfect romance read.

I'm all for pairings of grumpy heroes and peppy heroines, and I got exactly that with The Love Coupon. Flick was an adorable ball of energy! And an ambitious ball of energy at that. I loved how hardworking she was. Flick was also a girl with a huge heart. Despite the way her family members mistreated her for being successful, she still went out of her way to ensure that they were happy. She had just gotten her dream job in Washington and had to find temporary housing, which is how she and the hero Tom come to be roommates. Of course, grumpy Tom wanted nothing to do with Flick. He found her annoying and far too chipper for his likes. I was very easily charmed by Tom. He had me swooning - I don't know what it is about the silent grumpy hero that I can't resist. Underneath all those buttoned-up layers was a sweetheart. Even though he didn't like to show it, he grew to care deeply about Flick. Honestly, there was so much to love about the guy, but I'm going to let you discover him all yourself. :)

The Weekly Recap (3) : Postal Frustrations

Sunday, April 15, 2018

You're Going To Need Ice Cream For This One: Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren

Thursday, April 12, 2018


by Christina Lauren
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Adult
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication Date: April 10th 2018
Source: ARC received for review
Star Quotient: 1/2
Kiss Factor✷✷
Amazon - The Book Depository

Love and Other Words is quite possibly one of my FAVORITE books of 2018. This book was absolutely stunning and evocative and I simply can't stop thinking about the story that lay within. If you like your romances with angst, swoons and ALL the emotions, you must read Love and Other Words.

This was the story of Macy and Elliot, two soulmates who met as teenagers at Macy's weekend home, and whose relationship bloomed into something deeper than friendship, only to be torn apart by ugly circumstances. Love and Other Words was told in alternating timelines that were weaved beautifully together. Normally, I tend to struggle with alternating timelines, but Christina Lauren gave both equal attention here which made it seamless to navigate. I personally thought the dual timelines took this story to a whole other dimension. We get to watch as Macy and Elliot navigate their friendship as teenagers, and how that slowly changed into feelings. Their relationship absolutely made my heart ache in the very best way and watching as the two became each other's rocks was one of the highlights of Love and Other Words. For most of the book, we as readers don't know what exactly occurred to estrange these two kids with such a powerful bond between them, and that anticipation kept me on the edge of my seat. When they ran into each other as adults, their relationship was obviously different in tone - more mature and with a lot of underlying hurt.

Romance Books By Authors of Color I Want To Read

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

I Need The Sequel ASAP: Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody

Monday, April 9, 2018


by Amanda Foody
Series: The Shadow Game #1
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, YA
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publication Date: April 10th 2018
Source: ARC received for review
Star Quotient: 
Kiss Factor✷✷
Amazon - The Book Depository

Amanda Foody's debut novel Daughter of the Burning City majorly impressed me, so I was couldn't wait to get my hands on her sophomore novel, Ace of Shades. Additionally, with comparisons to Six of Crows, one of my favorite books, it was hard for me to not want the book. As with her debut, Amanda Foody wowed with her fascinating and unique story.

Ace of Shades began with the protagonist, Enne, arriving on the harbors of New Reynes, the City of Sin, in search of her missing mother. Enne's characterization was one of my favorite parts of Ace of Shades. At the beginning of the story, she was a sheltered, young, very prim and proper young woman who had never experienced much darkness in her life. She was essentially tossed into the middle of this city known for its sinfulness, with the gambling, the gangs, and the wars. Watching her navigate this city was a little scary at first because I wasn't sure if she would make it out alive. Sure enough, she easily fell into pitfalls throughout the first half of the book, a major one being when she became magically tied to a notorious and sinister leader of the city. It made her character growth realistic for me. So many times in novels you come across these heroes/heroines who don't seem to struggle when they find themselves in a new world and it irritates me, so I found it quite refreshing here that the heroine came across many obstacles and most of the time didn't overcome the obstacles. As she searched for her mother and became more familiar with the city, she grew by leaps and bounds, becoming a stronger and braver version of herself. Along the way, she also discovered more secrets about not only her mother but also herself. Though her mother wasn't physically present in the book, Amanda Foody managed to flesh out her character through Enne's memories.

Weekly Recap (2) : Back To School

Sunday, April 8, 2018


by Gina Ciocca
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, YA
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: March 6th 2018
Source: ARC received for review
Star Quotient: 
Kiss Factor
Amazon - The Book Depository

Well, this was a disappointment. With a cover like that, I expected lots of swoony goodness, but what I got was :

1) Homecoming drama
2) More homecoming drama
3) Even more homecoming drama.

And it wasn't even the kind of drama that kept me glued to the pages. Everything seemed so pointless and easily something that could have been solved with communication. There were a bazillion characters here too and no one was fleshed out as deeply as they could have been. Ultimately, they wound up being bland and unmemorable. I wasn't expecting a deep story or anything, but I was hoping that there would be a good intense romance and an entertaining storyline. The romance was barely an element of the story. There are 3 potential love interests in the book and they were all really uninteresting to me. I honestly don't even have much more to say about A Kiss in the Dark. The writing was decent, I guess? Anyways, this was definitely not the book for me!

Monthly Memories: March 2018

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

When Rivals Fall In Love: The Last King by Katee Robert

Monday, April 2, 2018


by Katee Robert
Series: The Kings #1
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Adult
Publisher: Forever Romance
Publication Date: April 3rd 2018
Source: ARC received for review
Star Quotient: 
Kiss Factor✷✷
Amazon - The Book Depository

Katee Robert is easily an auto-read author for me. I was so excited to hear about The Kings series. I'm a sucker for all things complicated families and the Kings sounded like that kind of family. I can always count on this author to deliver achingly swoony romances and she certainly delivered that here with The Last King.

I always have zero trouble falling for Katee Robert's heroes. Beckett was no different. He had a quiet intensity to him that I found very intriguing. I just wanted to peel all the layers of mystery surrounding his character. He was thrust into this position of high responsibility after his father's suspicious passing, but the guy was confident and pretty brilliant at his job. Beckett was a man who went after what he wanted and didn't bow down to others, a quality he most certainly needed to face his manipulative aunt. The only person he couldn't seem to woo was Samara. Samara was a fantastic heroine herself. She was very goal-oriented, confident and could absolutely crush you with her heels. I loved how ambitious and affirmative Samara was. Samara was also an Indian America and I appreciated the diversity. That being said, I do wish Samara's Indian representation had been a stronger element here than just mentions of "samosa" and "biryani". There were also some Hindi words here that were not used properly. I'm hoping that this has changed in the final copy.

Weekly Recap (1) : A Blogging Friend Comes To Visit & Unexpected Book Mail

Sunday, April 1, 2018