Josh And Hazel's Guide To Not Dating by Christina Lauren

Thursday, August 30, 2018


JOSH AND HAZEL'S GUIDE TO NOT DATING

by Christina Lauren
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Adult
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication Date: September 4th
Source: ARC received for review
Star Quotient: ★★★
Kiss Factor: ✷✷✷
Amazon - The Book Depository 

I was ready to completely fall for Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating after having three back-to-back hits from Christina Lauren. For some reason, I thought this book would involve fake-dating - it did not. But that's not why I wasn't entirely in love with this book. It had some very charming moments, but it wasn't my favorite from this writing duo.

Waiting on Wednesday (2) : The Frame-Up by Meghan Scott Molin

Wednesday, August 29, 2018



Two Books That Had Potential: Mirage by Somaiya Daud & See All The Stars by Kit Frick

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

MIRAGE

by Somaiya Daud
Series: Mirage #1
Genres: Fantasy, YA
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Publication Date: August 28th 2018
Source: ARC received for review
Star Quotient: ★★1/2
Kiss Factor: ✷
Amazon - The Book Depository

  • Mirage with its stunning cover and its roots in Morrocan culture caught my attention, despite not being much of a YA fantasy reader. It sounded so interesting too because it fused together elements of science-fiction and fantasy. While overall reading this book was a decent experience, Mirage fell short of my expectations.

  • The story revolved around Amani, a young woman who dreams of being a poet. Kidnapped and forced to act as the body-double of as the Princess of the Vathek empire, Maram, she finds her life turned upside down. Amani was a passionate girl. Her love for poetry and her desires for adventure shone through the Mirage. Her main goal throughout this book was to get back to the safety of her home and family.

  • This was where my one of my biggest issues with Mirage stemmed from. Though you could sense that Amani wanted to go home, I never felt like she actively tried to get out of her situation. This baffled me because this was the core of the plot.

  • Princess Maram was an intriguing character. She was cold-hearted and cruel, but there were shades and layers to her characters. I almost wish that we will get a novella told in her POV because I'm interested in knowing more about the background that turned her into such a vicious ruler.

  • My biggest problem with Mirage was the romance. Princess Maram's fiancee, Idris, figured out early on that Amani was a body double. After just a couple of interactions, these two were head over heels over each other and it made no sense. The romance was rushed and felt incredibly out of place. Not to mention, we begin to see no progress in the plot because of this romance. I took away much of my enjoyment of this book. There were no sparks between Idris and Amani too which didn't help this book.

  • Next, the plot. Mirage seemed to go nowhere when it comes to the story, mostly because Amani did absolutely nothing to get out her kidnapping. This meant that the book was dull in many places. Towards the second half, we did get to see some progress including common fantasy tropes such as secret rebellions and court politics.

  • In the end, this wasn't a book that 100% impressed me. I think there is much potential here and I only hope it gets explored in the subsequent books.

Historical Romance Triple Threat: Sarah MacLean, Tessa Dare & Caroline Linden

Monday, August 27, 2018

WICKED AND THE WALLFLOWER

by Sarah MacLean
Series: Barenuckle Bastards #1
Genres: Historical, Romance, Adult
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: June 19th 2018
Source: ARC received for review
Star Quotient: ★★★
Kiss Factor: ✷✷✷
Amazon - The Book Depository

I am very picky about the historical romance novels that I pick but Sarah MacLean happens to be one of my auto-read author in the genre. She always writes compelling romances that draw me in from the beginning. Wicked and the Wallflower was a book I couldn't wait to read so as soon as it was in my hands, I dove into the book, only to find that I was having a hard time. I set the book aside at the time and only picked it up again recently because of Becky's review. The second time around, I  had a much more pleasant experience reading Wicked and the Wallflower. It's still not a favorite from MacLean though. I was intrigued by the setup of a wallflower falling in love with a devilish king of London's dark street. I mean everything about that premise just appealed to me! One of the issues I faced while I read this book was my inability to connect with the characters. I liked Felicity - I thought she was a sweetheart who truly bloomed and became the best version of herself during the book - but I also didn't find her to be particularly memorable. I was also sure that I would LOVE Devil (I really did hate his name though), but even he was very lackluster even with his angsty past, in my opinion. We are told about how he is this dark and broody character, but we hardly ever see that side of his personality. For a "king of London's dark streets", he was rather dull. The guy also constantly called the heroine by her full name after every sentence he uttered to her and that drove me batty! I also felt like Wicked and the Wallflower was unnecessarily long. I don't mind romance novels that are lengthy, but this book was very repetitive. As far as the romance went, it was sweet and I thought the chemistry between Devil and Felicity was a strong presence throughout the book. What kept pushing me through the pages of this book was the siblings' interactions between Devil and his brother and sister. I was also very curious about the villain (future anti-hero?) here. I have my fingers crossed that he is getting a book too because there was a lot of history there that I hope MacLean delves further into. Sarah MacLean is undeniably a very strong writer, but I don't think this so-called darker tone that she explored here was executed all that well. That being said, I will still read everything and anything by her, so I will definitely continue on with this series in the hopes that it gets better.

The Weekly Recap (14): Cleaning Up My Goodreads Shelves

Saturday, August 25, 2018




Revenge, Sociopaths & Smashing The Patriarchy: Jane Doe by Victoria Helen Stone

Thursday, August 23, 2018

JANE DOE

by Victoria Helen Stone
Genres: Mystery, Thriller, Adult
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing 
Publication Date: August 1st 2018
Source: Bought 
Star Quotient: ★★★1/2
Kiss Factor: ✷ 
Amazon - The Book Depository

Jane Doe wasn't on my radar until Danya recommended this for a potential buddy read with Becky. I love buddy-reading with these ladies so I was quick to say yes. I'm glad I took the dive into this story because it was just what I needed as a palate cleanser. Jane Doe was a thrilling revenge story that had me glued to the pages.

Organized Mood Reading: How I Select My Next Read

Wednesday, August 22, 2018



I'm Here For Books Featuring Female Warriors: Sky In The Deep by Adrienne Young

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

SKY IN THE DEEP

by Adrienne Young
Genres: Fantasy, YA
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Publication Date: April 24th 2018
Source: ARC received for review
Star Quotient: ★★★1/2
Kiss Factor: ✷✷✷
Amazon - The Book Depository

I am extremely late in reviewing Sky In The Deep, but I've been in such a YA funk this past year and didn't want to read a book I was excited about when I was obviously in a bit of a slump. But my YA mojo has been slowly coming back this summer and I've been particularly keen on reading YA fantasy novels. This book is about warriors and enemies and that just sounded right up my alley.

A Book As Hot As The Cover: Stripped by Zoey Castile

Monday, August 20, 2018

STRIPPED

by Zoey Castile
Series: Happy Endings #1
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Adult
Publisher: Kensington
Publication Date: August 28th 2018
Source: ARC received for review
Star Quotient: ★★★★
Kiss Factor: ✷✷✷1/2
Amazon - The Book Depository

Who thought I would ever read a book about a male stripper hero? Certainly not me! Stripped was at the top of my most anticipated romance reads of the year and Zoey Castile's romance debut totally swept me off my feet. Stripped was funny, charming and oh so sexy!

The Weekly Recap (13): Trying To Boost My NetGalley Ratio

Saturday, August 18, 2018




Angels, Demons & A Steamy Romance: Darkest Heart by Juliette Cross

Thursday, August 16, 2018

DARKEST HEART

by Juliette Cross
Series: Dominion #1
Genres: Paranormal, Romance, Adult
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Publication Date: August 20th 2018
Source: ARC received for review
Star Quotient: ★★★★
Kiss Factor: ✷✷✷✷
Amazon - Barnes & Noble

How is it that I've not come across Juliette Cross' books before? It's a travesty because this book was so good! I mean you can hardly go wrong with the combination of angels, demons, and romance, but it has to be executed well too and Cross does that here with Darkest Heart. I'm glad that I'm such an impulse reader who picks up books based on just their gorgeous covers because I think I've found a new author whose books I need to check out.

Waiting On Wednesday (1) : Dark Of The West by Joanna Hathaway

Wednesday, August 15, 2018



A Story Of Grief & Finding Oneself: The Other Side of Lost by Jessi Kirby

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

THE OTHER SIDE OF LOST

by Jessi Kirby
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Adult
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publication Date: August 7th 2018
Source: ARC received for review
Star Quotient: ★★★★
Kiss Factor: ✷✷✷✷
Amazon - The Book Depository

Well friends, I think this book just about broke me. Jessi Kirby never fails to deliver on emotive stories about grief, growing up and love. The Other Side of Lost was another wonderful and heartwrenching story from her that absolutely moved me.

Another 2018 Favorite: Bad Reputation by Stefanie London

Monday, August 13, 2018

BAD REPUTATION

by Stefanie London
Series: Bad Bachelors #2
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Adult
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: August 7th 2018
Source: ARC received for review
Star Quotient: ★★★★1/2
Kiss Factor: ✷✷✷✷1/2
Amazon - The Book Depository

Oh man, I just loved this book. Can I simply leave my review at that? Bad Bachelor was such a pleasant surprise for me earlier this year. I thought it would be more of a romantic comedy, but it surprised me by bringing forward not only an entertaining romance but also thought-provoking discussions about the state of social media. Finding out that Bad Reputation was set in the theater/ballet world just about sealed the deal for me and I was giddy with excitement. This book delivered on every front and I know I'm going to have the hardest time pointing out why exactly this book resonated with me.

The Weekly Recap (12): A Tale of Laziness, A Book Club and The Beach

Saturday, August 11, 2018




SURVIVNG ADAM MEADE

by Shannon Klare
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, YA
Publisher: Swoon Reads
Publication Date: August 14th 2018
Source: ARC received for review
Star Quotient: ★★
Kiss Factor: ✷
Amazon - The Book Depository

  • Surviving Adam Meade sounded like it would be a fun hate-to-love romance, and you guys know I'm all over that. I picked this one up with some high expectations, especially after reading a couple of rave reviews, but I never entirely clicked with the book.

An Angst-Free Second Chance Romance: The Good Luck Charm by Helena Hunting

Thursday, August 9, 2018

THE GOOD LUCK CHARM

by Helena Hunting
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Adult
Publisher: Forever
Publication Date: August 7th 2018
Source: ARC received for review
Star Quotient: ★★★1/2
Kiss Factor: ✷✷✷1/2
Amazon - The Book Depository

I'm a sucker for a good second chance romance. In fact, besides the opposites-attract trope, I think it's my favorite romance trope. Anytime I see a book that even fleetingly mentions a second-chance romance, I'm all over it. I love the angst, the growth the characters undergo while apart, and the intensified love the second time around. The Good Luck Charm sounded right up my alley because of that. While not the typical second-chance romance that I am normally used to, this book still had me swooning in delight.

Design Resources You Might Find Useful

Wednesday, August 8, 2018



Another Addicting Hockey Romance: The Chase by Elle Kennedy

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

THE CHASE

by Elle Kennedy
Series: Briar U #1
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Adult, New Adult
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: August 6th 2018
Source: ARC received for review
Star Quotient: ★★★1/2
Kiss Factor: ✷✷✷1/2
Amazon - Barnes & Noble

Trigger warnings (highlight to see): sexual assault, attempted rape, abuse of power by a professor

After a short break from her hockey romance world, Elle Kennedy is back with The Chase. This is possibly one of the whole romance community's most anticipated books. As I devoured all of her previous stories, I was pumped to read The Chase, a new companion series to the popular Off-Campus series. With her signature charm, the author delivered another fun and sexy sports romance novel that will have you swooning and sighing in happiness.

A Gorgeous Read With A Gorgeous Setting: The Simple Wild by K.A Tucker

Monday, August 6, 2018

THE SIMPLE WILD

by K.A Tucker
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Adult
Publisher: Atria
Publication Date: August 7th 2018
Source: ARC received for review
Star Quotient: ★★★★1/2
Kiss Factor: ✷✷✷✷1/2
Amazon - The Book Depository

I have read 95% of K.A Tucker's books, but I have to say, The Simple Wild might be her strongest. She has truly outdone herself as a romance writer here. From the characters to the setting to the romance, every aspect of this book was breathtakingly beautiful. There aren't many books that make you feel as much as The Simple Wild did.

The Weekly Recap (11): The Stress Of Finding An Apartment But I Have A New Phone!

Saturday, August 4, 2018




Monthly Memories: June & July 2018

Thursday, August 2, 2018



Who Knew I'd Like A Book About Space Zombies: Contagion by Erin Bowman

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

CONTAGION

by Erin Bowman
Series: Contagion #1
Genres: Science-Fiction, Young Adult
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publication Date: July 24th 2018
Source: ARC received for review
Star Quotient: ★★★1/2
Kiss Factor: ✷
Amazon - The Book Depository

I've been slowly getting back into YA lately and Contagion was a book I was very excited to check out. I'm not usually one for science-fiction books, but the summary for Contagion sounded so intriguing. Plus, it's written by Erin Bowman, whose books I've very much enjoyed in the past. Dark, atmospheric and eerie, Contagion had me on the edge of my seat.