I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher.
I just finished You Had Me At Hola and what I’m left feeling is the importance of culture, your roots and the strength and love of your family. At the heart of You Had Me At Hola is a love story between two co-stars, Ashton and Jasmine that is intertwined with their respective cultures and background.
Jasmine Lin needs a break from the LA scene. She’s in the tabloids (not for a good reason) and wants to get away from working on soap operas. Ashton Suarez has been working on telenovas and is eager to try his hand at something new. When both of them are cast as the main stars – Carmen and Victor – in a new show on a paid service called Carmen InCharge, they both jump at the opportunity.
I really enjoyed learning about the diverse backgrounds of both Jasmine and Ashton. They each had their own challenges that were equally important to both of them. Jasmine faced the challenge of not knowing Spanish as fluently even when she was starring in a mainly Latinx show. Ashton had his own difficulties because English is his second language and he wasn’t used to the new environment/set.
I will admit that the relationship between Ashton and Jasmine didn’t immediately have me rooting for them as a couple. Ashton was a bit cold towards Jasmine, but as I kept reading I understood his motives. But once these two did decide to take their relationship to the next level – the steamy scenes were so damn hot!
Some of my favorite scenes were the chapters that were dedicated to Carmen In Charge. I loved the way Alexis Daria transformed the book so seamlessly into the show and I found myself really enjoying those scenes between Carmen and Victor.
I really enjoyed You Had Me At Hola! If you’re looking for a sweet and sexy romance that is interwoven with family dynamics then pick up this book when it releases August 4th!
When I first saw the buzz surrounding You Had Me At Hola, I knew it was a book that I really wanted to read. Being a second generation Indian-American I was excited to read a romance that would possibly depict of some of those same struggles that I faced growing up. Alexis Daria does such a wonderful job highlighting those struggles and incorporating Latin representation in You Had Me At Hola without taking away from the romance. Topics such as learning a new language, or not fluently speaking the language of your mother tongue really hit home for me in You Had Me At Hola. I look forward to reading more work from Alexis Daria!
Do you have a favorite romance trope that you find yourself reading over and over again? For me that trope is enemies-to-lovers/hate-to-love. I am such a sucker for these romances! Something about that initial hate with underlying sizzling chemistry that I fall for every single time.
Sometimes the hate elements is greater than the love and vice versa. I really need to feel a bit of the angst in the enemies-to-lovers romances for them to really stand out for me. But overall, this is definitely a trope that I gravitate towards.
Here are a few of my favorite enemies-to-lovers romances!
Immediately from the get-go I knew I was going to love this book. Bishop and Stevie had such great chemistry even though they got off on the wrong foot (ahem, very wrong foot). Bishop is a complete grump/jerk, but so protective of the people he loves and I loved him! I loved the daily shenanigans between Bishop and Stevie – they had me laughing out loud but the scenes between these two were also smoking hot! This book had the slowest of slow burns with plenty of sexual tension.
“I type my password: IHATEJOSHUA4EV@.”I mean that sets the premise for this enemis-to-lovers office romance. Lucy and Josh HATE each other something fierce, or do they? The Hating Game had so much angst and had my heart racing constantly, but I could not stop reading this book. The hating game that Josh and Lucy incorporated into their everyday boring office life made this book that much more exciting. A favorite that I have re-read many times!
The chemistry between Jonah and Calla was so amazing. As soon as these two have their first scene together, you are rooting for them to end up together. I loved the witty banter between these two. I hated Jonah and yet I also loved his personality and the way he would needle Calla. I loved loved loved the fact that both Jonah and Calla got to know one another first. They started off on the wrong foot, but the more you got to know both Calla and Jonah the more you hoped and wished for their love story to continue.
A western romance by Queen Nora? Yes please! Nora Roberts is generally known for writing contemporary romances (usually suspenseful romances), but I loved her foray into historical/western romance. Jake Redman comes across as this rude, horrible gunslinger, but the more Sarah finds out about him the further she falls in love with this complicated man. Okay I will admit, I bought this paperback when it came out in 2003 and it has held a special place in my heart. I LOVE the witty banter, the way these two misfits “hate” each other, but also keep coming back to each other.
Immediately you sense the hatred between Ethan and Olive but it’s still so fun to see them interact and watch sparks fly. It’s always so fun watching an enemies to lovers trope unfold and Ethan and Olive have so many hurdles thrown at them it made it extra fun! If you want an enemies-to-lovers romance that will have you laughing out loud – grab this book!
When hairdresser Delaney Shaw returns home to Truly, Idaho, she doesn’t expect to run into Nick Allegrezza. The resident bad boy in town. Delaney and Nick have always had a love/hate relationship and that relationship becomes even more complicated now that they are adults. Definitely a favorite old school Rachel Gibson book!
I enjoyed the banter between Gabriel Duke and Penny so much! I am a sucker for grumpy meets sunshine and that was definitely the relationship between Penny and Gabriel. Gabriel initially doesn’t want anything to do with Penny or her animals, but I loved the slow transformation of how he came to care for Penny so much.
After the Night is the romance between Hope and Gray. Gray and Hope have a push and pull attraction to one another that neither of them initially want. Gray hates Hope and her family for what they have done to his family in return. And hope…she wants nothing to do with Gray but has to be surrounded by him based on a mystery she is trying to solve from the past. I LOVE this old school romance from Linda Howard. Perfect amount of romantic suspense filled with sizzling sexual tension!
Travis hasn’t had much experience running his family’s ranch and instead is relying on other forms of income taking on a few landscaping jobs to make ends meet. Maggie Mackey runs Petal Pushers a landscape and garden business in Big Verde and now she has competition in the form of one Travis Blake. When Maggie and Travis end up having to work together on a project together sparks fly. I loved their initial hate towards one another and how that slowly evolved into friendship. The witty banter between Travis and Maggie was so great and the chemistry was undeniable. The Halloween party and the Little Red Riding Hood and Big Bad Wolf scenes were hot hot hot and I loved each and every one of them!
After a meet-cute that goes terribly wrong, agent Vaughn Roberts finds himself in the same wedding party as the maid of honor Sidney Sinclar (yes, the same woman who rejected his advances). I’ve re-read It Happened One Wedding so many times and I never get tired of it! Julie James writes such good witty banter and the banter between Sidney and Vaughn was exceptional. I’m a huge fan of enemies-to-lovers and this book nailed down that trope so perfectly. You immediately sense the hate between Vaughn and Sidney, but their underlying sexual current is always just as active.
When Wall Street hot-shot Ian Bradley has to prove to FBI agent Lara McKenzie that he wasn’t privy to insider trading information – sparks fly. These two definitely hate each other and don’t always see eye to eye, but what starts off has a mutual dislike slowly morphs into something more. Hot Asset had it all – a great plot, suspense to keep you guessing until the very end and a great romance between the two leads
If you’re looking for a suspenseful romance set in Alaska – pick up Delta Force Defender by Megan Crane! This is the 4th book in the Alaska Force series and is sure to be filled with plenty of action and romance.
Dangerous secrets force Caradine Scott on the run from Grizzly Harbor–with Alaska Force leader Isaac Gentry in hot pursuit–in the irresistible new romantic suspense from USA Today bestselling author Megan Crane.
After an explosion that should have killed her, Caradine barely escaped her criminal family by leaving her old identity behind. These days she runs the Water’s Edge Cafe in a rugged little town on the edge of nowhere, vowing never to let anyone close to her again.
After his career in the military, Isaac is back home playing the part of an unassuming local in Grizzly Harbor, while also overseeing Alaska Force’s special ops work as the founder and commanding officer he once was in the Marines and beyond. He has better things to do than obsess over a woman who claims she hates him, but every glimpse he gets of the vulnerability beneath her prickly exterior is a distraction . . . and a challenge he can’t ignore.
When Caradine’s demons catch up with her, her cafe isn’t the only thing that blows up. Her past pushes them together, and closer to a future that’s been waiting for them all this time. They just have to survive long enough to enjoy it.
About the Author
Megan Crane is a USA Today bestselling and RITA-nominated author. She currently lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher
In Katherine Center’s What You Wish For, Sam has chosen to embrace joy. She’s a librarian at a local elementary school and loves quirky things like polka dots and dying her hair pink. She loves the leadership at her school and has found other teachers who embrace joy just like her.
She moved from another school a few years ago and hasn’t really kept in touch with the other teachers she used to work with. She mainly left because of a crush on another colleague who didn’t return any of the feelings that Sam had for him and she needed a new start.
When tragedy strikes and a new principal enters her elementary school none of the teachers know what to make of it. But Sam knows Duncan or rather she used to know Duncan when they worked together a few years ago. This is the same Duncan that Sam had a crush on.
Sam knows that Duncan used to be so great with kids! He was funny and kind and was always a shining light. But principal Duncan is not the same Duncan that she knew when they taught together in the past. This Duncan is hell bent on re-doing the schools security. He sees everything that Sam and the other teachers love as a potential hazard and way for intruders to get in to the school and harm children. With the rising amount of school shootings in America, Duncan is out to make a change. And to make matters worse he doesn’t seem to remember Sam. Will Sam be able to get through to him and to preserve the school that she loves so much.
After reading Things You Save in a Fire last year, I was really looking forward to reading Katherine Center’s new book What You Wish For. Katherine Center is such a talented author. I love her prose and the ability and ease in which I can read her books. She has a way of completely immersing you in the world that she’s created. As soon as I started reading What You Wish For, I couldn’t put it down. The first half was done so well, but the second half felt a bit rushed and not as developed. There were certain storylines that I didn’t feel necessarily added to the story. A lot of character arcs felt incomplete and I didn’t feel emotionally connected to them.
What You Wish For was still an enjoyable read, but I wanted to love it more than I did. Overall I would give it 3.5 stars. I’m looking forward to Katherine Center’s next book!
After seeing Well Met all over Bookstagram and Twitter I finally ordered myself a copy (yay for Target buy 2 get 1 sales). Well Met was highly recommended from a few friends, so I was really excited to read it. My library audiobook hold for Well Met came in at the same time I was about to pick up the book so I ended up listening/reading this book. I have to say that the narrator of the audiobook did such a tremendous job! If you’re considering reading/listening to Well Met – the audiobook really did enhance the experience!
Emily has recently relocated to Willow Creek, Maryland to help out her sister and niece. Her sister, April was recently in a car accident and needs some help around the house. When Emily’s niece decides to volunteer at the local Renaissance Faire, Emily gets roped into participating too.
This is where Emily meets high school teacher Simon. Simon is a bit rough around the edges and very strict with his faire rules. Emily and Simon quickly develop a tumultuous bond. But when the two of them are in character – sparks fly!
The description around the faire, truly had me imagining I was there. I felt that Jen DeLuca did a wonderful job setting up the scene of the faire and I felt just like Emily – left in awe when the woods transformed into the faire.
I loved the push and pull of Simon and Emily’s relationship. I do wish that Simon had his own POV chapters, because his character came across as very brash/rude on occasion. I also wish that he would have done a bit more groveling in the end. Overall I did really enjoy Well Met and am looking forward to April and Stacey’s stories!
Story: 4 Narration: 5 Overall: 4
I really enjoyed the audiobook of Well Met! Usually when I listen to an audiobook for the first time I like to read along as well, but I found myself wanting to listen to this audiobook because Brittany Pressley does such an excellent job! I loved it when Emily would switch to Emma the tavern wench! The various accents absolutely make the book even that much more enjoyable.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher.
I had gotten to read an excerpt of Romeantically Challenged and really enjoyed the first few chapters, so I couldn’t wait to read the rest. Annie was feisty, funny and I couldn’t wait to read more about her journey.
Annie had been engaged, but her fiance left her for another woman. On top of everything else, he’s using their wedding venue to plan his wedding to his new fiance. Annie is determined to get away from that life and moves to Rome. Not Rome, Italy but rather Rome, Rhode Island.
This is where she meets Emmitt. Emmitt and Annie hilariously meet when Annie finds out that the house she’s renting belongs to Emmitt and he’s back in town. Emmitt has been overseas as a photojournalist, but a recent injury has forced him to come back home.
I thought Marina Adair’s writing style was really great, but I wasn’t feeling the emotional connection between Annie and Emmitt. It almost felt like there were too many story lines happening with Emmitt reconnecting with his teenage daughter, his injury and then Annie reconnecting with her Vietnamese heritage. Emmitt and Annie’s love story felt almost more of an afterthought and it didn’t feel as well developed as I would have liked.
June was not a good reading month for me. Every time I would open a new book, I would quickly lose interest. I think there is just so much going on in the world right now, that I find it hard to focus. I’m sure a lot of us feel the same way so I’m trying not to beat myself up over that. I’m hoping that July will be a better reading month!
Rating: 5 out of 5.
Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert (ARC Released June 23, 2020)
Dark Wild Night by Christina Lauren
The Roommate by Rosie Danan (ARC Releases September 15, 2020)
Rating: 4 out of 5.
Kiss My Cupcake by Helena Hunting (ARC Releases August 11, 2020)
If You Never Come Back by Sarah Smith (ARC Released June 9, 2020)
Dear Future Self by Lisa Becker 🎧 (ALC)
Rafe A Buff Male Nanny by Rebekah Weatherspoon 🎧
Rating: 3 out of 5.
Romeantically Challenged by Marina Adair (ARC Releases July 28, 2020)
Rating: 2 out of 5.
The Dare by Elle Kennedy (ARC Released June 16, 2020)
It’s no secret that I love romance, but I also love my romances to be steamy🔥 . There’s a lot of different terminology for stating how you like your romance books – sweet, sexy, open door, closed door. Whether you prefer a closed door romance (the sex scenes happen behind closed doors) or an open door romance (the sex scenes happen on the page), there are so many great romances out there! I’ve read and enjoyed both, but gravitate towards those that have a fair amount of steam.
I’ve listed a few of my favorite must read steamy romances!
So many friends recommended Rafe by Rebekah Weatherspoon to me and I am so glad that I finally picked this book up! It was HOT and sweet and everything that I was looking for. I ended up listening to the audiobook and really enjoyed the narration.
Rafe Whitcomb is a male nanny and has decided to look into doing something else career-wise since the family he currently takes care of is moving. Dr Sloan Copeland is having a hard time finding a nanny. Her current nanny up and left while Sloan was still at work. She’s a single mom and needs a nanny desperately. When Rafe is highly recommended Sloan doesn’t hesitate to meet with him.
The chemistry between Rafe and Sloan was smoking from the first moment they met each other. I really liked the open communication between the two of them. Of course it has to be a given because Rafe is Sloan’s nanny. But I also really enjoyed how they communicated their feelings with one another. Both of them were so mature and that is so refreshing in romances.
Story: 4 Narration: 4.5 Overall: 4
I listened to Rafe without reading along and I feel like Lacy Laurel did a wonderful job narrating. I do wish that there was a male narrator, but understand that it’s not necessarily needed as the book is told in third person. I had no problem discerning the different characters that Lacy was trying to portray and honestly LOVED it when she narrated Xeni! Those were some of my favorite scenes and I cannot wait to read Xeni next.
If you’re looking for a romance between two mature adults that’s low on the drama and high on the steam, pick up Rafe!
I am a huge Helena Hunting fan and love her brand of humor! When I heard about the premise of Kiss My Cupcake I couldn’t wait to read it. I’m a sucker for enemies-to-lovers romances and Blaire and Ronan were so great together!
Blaire has been on the cupcake scene for a while. First she had her own cupcake truck and slowly made her way to a brick and mortar. Buttercream and Booze is her baby and she is determined to make it work. The Knight Cap – a bar with axe throwing is opening up right next door and Blaire is NOT a fan of the owner Ronan Knight. He’s rude and arrogant and is starting his renovations when Blaire is in the middle of opening up her shop. When a YouTuber wants to highlight unique bars in the PNW the battle between the two bars starts! Each is determined to make it #1 on the list!
I love Helena Hunting’s writing style and enjoyed the banter between Ronan and Blaire! I love a good enemies-to-lovers romance and Blaire and Ronan had such great chemistry. The way these two would razz each other was so much fun to read! Eventually what starts as a rivalry starts to heat up and I found myself swooning over these two.
Blaire’s family was a bit quirky and over the top and I didn’t necessarily enjoy them – but I think that was the point. I loved Ronan’s grandfather and the history behind The Knight Cap.
The food descriptions alone had me craving cupcakes from the moment I started to read Kiss My Cupcake. I only wish these two shops were actually real and local so I could visit!
If you’re looking for a funny, sweet and sexy enemies-to-lovers romance grab Kiss My Cupcake when it releases August 11, 2020.