Books I Forgot To Review In 2020 Pt. 1

Friday, January 15, 2021



by Jenn Bennett
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, YA
Publisher: Simon Teen
Publication Date: November 10th 2020
Source: ARC received for review
Star Quotient: ★★★★
Kiss Factor: ✷✷✷✷

I've been a Jenn Bennett fangirl for a long time now and there's always a sense of excitement picking up a new book by her. Chasing Lucky, while not my favorite book from the author, was still a fun summery read that left me feeling warm and fuzzy. Josie, with her engaging voice and her passion for photography, was the definite star of the book. Having to return back to her gossipy hometown of Beauty with her flighty mother to run their family bookstore initially throws a wrench in her plans of finding the photography internship. You see, Josie wants to show her worth to her famous photographer father so she can secure an apprenticeship with him. This new uprooting, however, is much more than Josie bargained for. Over the summer, she discovers more about her dysfunctional family, reconnects with her former best friend, and finds love. In typical Jenn Bennett style, we are introduced to a love interest who is edgy, sports leather jackets, is secretive, but is an actual softie who has a cat. You'll swoon over this boy as he reveals his depths and root for his HEA with Josie. The romance is a friends-to-lovers relationship that has just the right dose of angst that will have your heart aching in a good way. While I adored the romance in Chasing Lucky, it is the exploration of the different family dynamics that I enjoyed the most. Josie's complicated relationship with her mother is frustrating but all too realistic. If you want to escape the real world for a little bit and get lost in the angsty story of a teen finding love and more, perhaps Chasing Lucky is for you.

Relationship disclosure: Jenn Bennett and I are mutuals on social media. This does not affect my rating and review of her book.


by Carla de Guzman
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Adult
Publisher: Carina Press
Publication Date: October 19th 2020
Source: ARC received for review
Star Quotient: ★★★1/2
Kiss Factor: ✷✷✷1/2

As a fan of all things baked goods and romance, how could I possibly have resisted the charm that is the idea of a bakery rivals-to-lovers romance in Sweet on You? I mean there's pranking involved. I stood no chance! Sweet on You was my first book from Carla de Guzman, but I was so charmed that I immediately went to add her previous titles to my wishlist. There's a lot to like about Sweet on You, but I particularly enjoyed the romance between a somewhat cranky heroine, Sari, and a sunshine hero, Gabriel. They worked well together even they were pranking each other's butts off. I loved the fluffy feels this book gave me, making it the perfect romance novel to read when you just want something positive and happy. Sweet on You also excels at exploring all the family relationships. Sari and her sisters have a lovely bond and their love for each other shines through. Gabriel's relationship with his family is a little more complicated as there are lies involved, but the nuances were tackled very well. Then, there's the setting. This isn't my first book set in the Philippines, but it still felt like such a fresh look into the part of the country. I love how the community was a living and breathing part of Sweet on You. I did feel like the book lost a bit of steam towards the end, but I wouldn't say it took away from my enjoyment. All in all, Sweet on You was fun, fluffy, and romantic - what more can I ask of a Christmas romance? I look forward to reading more from Carla de Guzman!

Relationship disclosure: Carla de Guzman and I are mutuals on social media. This does not affect my rating and review of her book.


by Lauren Layne
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Adult
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Publication Date: September 1st 2020
Source: ARC received for review
Star Quotient: ★★★★
Kiss Factor: ✷✷✷✷

The last few books I've read from Lauren Layne haven't been my favorite, so I put off reading Yours to Keep for a long time. Having read it now, I 100% regret it because this book had all the elements I enjoy in a good Lauren Layne book. This is a neighbors falling in love romance between Olive, a high school teacher in a small town and Carter, a pro baseball player recovering from an injury. The two went to high school together but didn't share anything romantic. When they are forced to co-chair the upcoming high school reunion, they become fast friends. The romance in this book progressed from a friendship to more, which I was 100% here for. In typical Lauren Layne fashion, Olive and Carter exchanged plenty of witty banter that had me smiling. Their chemistry together was hot and that sexual tension was definitely palpable to this reader. I really did love watching the two come together. Though there was a little of drama in the form of Carter originally wanting to reunite with his high school sweetheart and his career prospects, I found Yours to Keep to be light on the drama overall. It made for a very pleasant reading experience. I'm thrilled that I had a good time reading Yours to Keep because it's rekindled my excitement for Layne's books. If you want a friends-to-lovers that's light, sexy, and plenty of banter, this one is for you!

Relationship disclosure: None

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