Act Your Age, Eve Brown ARC Review

Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Series: The Brown Sisters #3

Heat Level: 🔥🔥🔥

Release Date: March 9, 2021

I received a complimentary copy/audiobook of this book from the publisher.


SYNOPSIS

In Act Your Age, Eve Brown the flightiest Brown sister crashes into the life of an uptight B&B owner and has him falling hard—literally.

Eve Brown is a certified hot mess. No matter how hard she strives to do right, her life always goes horribly wrong—so she’s given up trying. But when her personal brand of chaos ruins an expensive wedding (someone had to liberate those poor doves), her parents draw the line. It’s time for Eve to grow up and prove herself—even though she’s not entirely sure how…

Jacob Wayne is in control. Always. The bed and breakfast owner’s on a mission to dominate the hospitality industry—and he expects nothing less than perfection. So when a purple-haired tornado of a woman turns up out of the blue to interview for his open chef position, he tells her the brutal truth: not a chance in hell. Then she hits him with her car—supposedly by accident. Yeah, right.

Now his arm is broken, his B&B is understaffed, and the dangerously unpredictable Eve is fluttering around, trying to help. Before long, she’s infiltrated his work, his kitchen—and his spare bedroom. Jacob hates everything about it. Or rather, he should. Sunny, chaotic Eve is his natural-born nemesis, but the longer these two enemies spend in close quarters, the more their animosity turns into something else. Like Eve, the heat between them is impossible to ignore—and it’s melting Jacob’s frosty exterior.


REVIEW

Eve Brown has held a few different jobs over the past few years. The latest one being a kind of disaster – oops! Eve’s parents are a bit harsh and decide to cut Eve off for a while until she can hold down a job.

Eve is upset, but understands (kinda) her parents reasoning for cutting her off. While taking a long drive she happens upon a charming Inn. This is where she meets Jacob Wayne – owner of said Inn. Jacob and Eve immediately do not get a long. Jacob just happens to be interviewing for a cook and Eve just happens to be looking for a job. The interview doesn’t go so great and while leaving, Eve manages to hit Jaco with her car (yikes!). And now Eve kind of has to stay to help out Jacob because – she did kind of hit him with her car.

What starts off as a rocky working relationship slowly turns into a tentative friendship. I loved the relationship between Eve and Jacob. They are literally the definition of sunshine and grump with Jacob even nicknaming Eve “Sunshine” (swoon 😍). I loved the slow growth of their relationship and how they didn’t ever shy away from hard subjects for both of them.

I really liked the fact that Jacob was very outright and forthcoming with his autism. And that he felt at ease with Eve. Eve hasn’t always had the best relationships with friends either and so it was a joy watching their friendship bloom. They were always free to be each other when they were together.

As always, Talia is such a talented author. There are always specific lines that stick with me when reading her books and I definitely highlighted parts of Act Your Age, Eve Brown that I will be going back to revisit.

Audiobook:

Story: 4.5
Narration: 5
Overall: 5

I had an opportunity to listen to the the audiobook of Act Your Age, Eve Brown and it was so good! The audiobook was narrated by Ione Butler and I feel that she did a wonderful job narrating Eve, Jacob and all of the secondary characters in the book. I was laughing so hard while listening to this book and that just goes to show you how amazing and talented the author and narrator are!

Grab Act Your Age, Eve Brown if you’re looking for an enemies-to-lovers/grumpy sunshine romance that will have you laughing and swooning in equal measures!

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February Reads

February flew by and I definitely felt like I didn’t have a lot of reading time this month. Figures, since I started my new job and computer training/training took up a good part of the month. Although I didn’t read a lot of books this month, the ones I did read were mainly 4 and 5 star reads!

I haven’t made my TBR list for March, but there sure are a lot of good books releasing in the next few months!


Rating: 5 out of 5.

A Lady’s Formula for Love by Elizabeth Everett

Love at First by Kate Clayborn

Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert

Make it Sweet by Kristen Callihan

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Mine Till Midnight by Lisa Kleypas

The Spanish Love Deception by Elena Armas

The Frind Zone by Kristen Callihan

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Wicked Sexy by J.T. Geissinger

Make it Sweet by Kristen Callihan Review

Make it Sweet by Kristen Callihan

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Heat Level: 🔥🔥🔥

Release Date: February 23, 2021


Lucian Osmond – ex hockey player – is staying with his grandmother Amalie at her private sanctuary Rosemont. Lucian is a recently retired ex-athlete and wants to be near his grandmother while he figures out exactly what it is that he does next.

Emma is an actress on a famous show… but not for long. She finds out at a table read that her character has been killed off. Needing some time and privacy for herself she seeks out Rosemont. What she doesn’t anticipate is the big, burly, snarly man who just happens to be wherever she’s at at the resort. When these two end up spending so much time together – there’s bound to be attraction. But will they act on it – knowing that they’re both in a weird headspace right now?

I truly adored Make it Sweet . I loved the often playful banter between Lucian and Em. Both of them had so many vulnerabilities and yet with one another they truly felt safe letting their guard down. And the fact that Lucian bakes french pastries…sigh 😍. I’ve read a few books that have the cooking or baking aspect in them – but Make it Sweet has got to be one of my favorites! It’s just done so perfectly.

This book had so many things that I love in a romance including:
-playful banter
-only one bed
-the sweetest nicknames for each other
-close proximity
-both characters who are a bit broken and yet believe so strongly in one another.

The audiobook was also fantastic – narrated by Jacob Morgan and Ava Erickson. I switched back and forth between the audio and the e-book! Both of these narrators were such a great duo for portraying Emma and Lucian.

I’m so glad I decided to pick up Make it Sweet.

The Spanish Love Deception ARC Review

The Spanish Love Deception by Elena Armas

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Heat Level: 🔥🔥

Release Date: February 23, 2021

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author.


SYNOPSIS

A wedding. A trip to Spain. The most infuriating man. And three days of pretending. Or in other words, a plan that will never work.

Catalina Martín, finally, not single. Her family is happy to announce that she will bring her American boyfriend to her sister’s wedding. Everyone is invited to come and witness the most magical event of the year.

That would certainly be tomorrow’s headline in the local newspaper of the small Spanish town I came from. Or the epitaph on my tombstone, seeing the turn my life had taken in the span of a phone call.

Four weeks wasn’t a lot of time to find someone willing to cross the Atlantic–from NYC and all the way to Spain–for a wedding. Let alone, someone eager to play along my charade. But that didn’t mean I was desperate enough to bring the 6’4 blue eyed pain in my ass standing before me.

Aaron Blackford. The man whose main occupation was making my blood boil had just offered himself to be my date. Right after inserting his nose in my business, calling me delusional, and calling himself my best option. See? Outrageous. Aggravating. Blood boiling. And much to my total despair, also right. Which left me with a surly and extra large dilemma in my hands. Was it worth the suffering to bring my colleague and bane of my existence as my fake boyfriend to my sister’s wedding? Or was I better off coming clean and facing the consequences of my panic induced lie?

Like my abuela would say, que dios nos pille confesados.

The Spanish Love Deception is an enemies-to-lovers, fake-dating romantic comedy. Perfect for those looking for a steamy slow-burn romance with the sweetest Happily Ever After


REVIEW

Catalina has a pressing situation on hand. She’s required to return home to Spain to attend her sister’s wedding. Only one small problem – she’s told her family that she has a boyfriend … and she doesn’t. Aaron Blackford is the last person that Catalina would take with her to Spain, but he offers and Catalina doesn’t have a lot of choices left.

Catalina and Aaron have history – the not so good kind. They’re co-workers and don’t always get along. Aaron is always berating Catalina and yet he’s always showing up wherever she’s at. Could she possibly survive this trip with Aaron as her pretend boyfriend when they’re not even really friends?

The Spanish Love Deception was a slow-burn, romantic and sexy romance. I adored the back and forth between Aaron and Catalina. She didn’t take his shit and he doesn’t take hers and together they were just so sweet. What starts off as a slow burn turns deliciously sexy. But be forewarned – this is a very slow slow burn. There were times where I was just yelling for Aaron and Catalina to act on their attraction towards one another. But the payoff is worth it!

Pick up The Spanish Love Deception if you’re looking for an enemies-to-lovers, slow burn, fake dating romance. I look forward to reading more by Elena Armas!

Love at First ARC Review

Love at First by Kate Clayborn

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Heat Level: 🔥🔥

Release Date: February 23, 2021

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher.


SYNOPSIS

A sparkling and tender novel from the acclaimed author of Love Lettering, full of bickering neighbors, surprise reunions, and the mysterious power of love that fans of Christina Lauren, Sarah Hogle, and Emily Henry will adore.

Sixteen years ago, a teenaged Will Sterling saw—or rather, heard—the girl of his dreams. Standing beneath an apartment building balcony, he shared a perfect moment with a lovely, warm-voiced stranger. It’s a memory that’s never faded, though he’s put so much of his past behind him. Now an unexpected inheritance has brought Will back to that same address, where he plans to offload his new property and get back to his regular life as an overworked doctor. Instead, he encounters a woman, two balconies above, who’s uncannily familiar . . .

No matter how surprised Nora Clarke is by her reaction to handsome, curious Will, or the whispered pre-dawn conversations they share, she won’t let his plans ruin her quirky, close-knit building. Bound by her loyalty to her adored grandmother, she sets out to foil his efforts with a little light sabotage. But beneath the surface of their feud is an undeniable connection. A balcony, a star-crossed couple, a fateful meeting—maybe it’s the kind of story that can’t work out in the end. Or maybe, it’s the perfect second chance . . .


REVIEW

What starts off as a meeting between two strangers during golden hour – the time frame right when the sun hits everything with its golden light – turns into an often funny, sweet and romantic love story in Love at First

Will has recently acquired his deceased uncle’s apartment unit. Will wants nothing to do with the apartment unit, the people who live there or any memory of his uncle. Will is busy – he is an emergency physician after all and wants the unit off of his hands ASAP. With some urging, will decides to flip the unit and sub-lease it. And that’s where Nora comes in.

Nora has so many fond memories associated with her current apartment. She spent many summers there with her late nonna and the apartment complex tenants have become more of a family to her. So when an outsider – Will – comes in talking about change and sub-leasing the apartment, Nora isn’t having it. What starts off as a feud between the two, slowly turns into something more.

I loved this book so much. Kate Clayborn has a way of writing her books that just gets to me. The story in Love at First revolved around Will and Nora, but it was also so much more than that. It was about sharing their history and how it shaped them to who they are. It was about second chances and the choices that we make when faced with hard decisions. It was about two people coming together because they end up meaning so much to each other.

I don’t think I’m doing this review justice, but just know that I absolutely adored Love at First and I can’t wait to go back and re-read my favorite parts.

Serena Singh Flips the Script ARC Review

Serena Singh Flips the Script by Sonya Lalli

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Genre: Women’s Fiction/Romance

Heat Level: Closed Door

Release Date: February 16, 2021

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher.


SYNOPSIS

Serena Singh is tired of everyone telling her what she should want–and she is ready to prove to her mother, her sister, and the aunties in her community that a woman does not need domestic bliss to have a happy life.

Things are going according to plan for Serena. She’s smart, confident, and just got a kick-ass new job at a top advertising firm in Washington, D.C. Even before her younger sister gets married in a big, traditional wedding, Serena knows her own dreams don’t include marriage or children. But with her mother constantly encouraging her to be more like her sister, Serena can’t understand why her parents refuse to recognize that she and her sister want completely different experiences out of life.

A new friendship with her co-worker, Ainsley, comes as a breath of fresh air, challenging Serena’s long-held beliefs about the importance of self-reliance. She’s been so focused on career success that she’s let all of her hobbies and close friendships fall by the wayside. As Serena reconnects with her family and friends–including her ex-boyfriend–she learns letting people in can make her happier than standing all on her own.


REVIEW

Serena Singh is content with her life. Her baby sister is getting married, she’s getting a new job and she has an okay-ish relationship with her parents. Maybe they won’t always be on her case to get married and have kids now that her sister is getting married.

It seems like all of Serena’s friends are at a different stage in life than her. They’re almost all married with kids and she’s feeling left behind. It doesn’t help that her new job isn’t quite as easy as she thought it was going to be. Her team is resentful of her position and isn’t exactly wanting to make anything easy for her. It isn’t until she bonds with a fellow co-worker, Ainsley that Serena starts to really examine herself. Is she too focused on her career? What about making new connections and hobbies?

I loved connecting with Serena and especially her mother, Sandeep. Being brought up as a Sikh Punjabi I related to so much of what both of them were going through. I am a second generation South Asian/Indian American and often felt and still do feel the same pressure that Serena was feeling. I really liked seeing the growth of her daughters from Sandeep’s perspective as well.

But what started off as a really strong book, dragged for me in the middle. The pacing was off at times and I do feel that there were parts of the story included that didn’t really add to Serena’s journey. The romance with a former flame didn’t really add to the story and I definitely did not feel the connection or angst of a second chance romance.

I appreciated the aspect that Serena was a strong and independent woman. I really loved the relationship she had with her friend Ainsley and her mother Sandeep. Overall I enjoyed the cultural references in Serena Singh Flips the Script, but the romance and latter half of the book fell flat for me.

The Intimacy Experiment ARC Review

The Intimacy Experiment by Rosie Danan

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Heat Level: 🔥🔥

Release Date: April 6, 2021

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher.


SYNOPSIS

Naomi and Ethan will test the boundaries of love in this provocative romance from the author of the ground-breaking debut, The Roommate.

Naomi Grant has built her life around going against the grain. After the sex-positive start-up she cofounded becomes an international sensation, she wants to extend her educational platform to live lecturing. Unfortunately, despite her long list of qualifications, higher ed won’t hire her.

Ethan Cohen has recently received two honors: LA Mag named him one of the city’s hottest bachelors and he became rabbi of his own synagogue. Taking a gamble in an effort to attract more millennials to the faith, the executive board hired Ethan because of his nontraditional background. Unfortunately, his shul is low on both funds and congregants. The board gives him three months to turn things around or else they’ll close the doors of his synagogue for good.

Naomi and Ethan join forces to host a buzzy seminar series on Modern Intimacy, the perfect solution to their problems–until they discover a new one–their growing attraction to each other. They’ve built the syllabus for love’s latest experiment, but neither of them expected they’d be the ones putting it to the test.


REVIEW

Naomi Grant is a successful businesswoman. She started up her own sex-positive start-up Shameless and has never conformed to the idea of what society thinks she should be like. She feels the need to do more though and wants to start teaching and lecturing about intimacy. Only problem – no one wants to hire her.

Ethan Cohen is the rabbi of his own synagogue and loves his job very much. He wants only the best for his congregation, but is trying to increase the number of his members. Especially young members. When Ethan and Naomi cross paths with one another they decide to work together. Naomi gets an opportunity to lecture on modern intimacy and Ethan gets an opportunity to get young members into his shul. Should be a win-win situation, what could go wrong?

I absolutely loved Naomi and Ethan together. As soon they met I could feel the chemistry between them. Ethan was the sweetest most cinnamon roll hero and I loved how he saw through to Naomi’s vulnerabilities. The way these two became acquainted with one another was so so sweet.

I can honestly say that I haven’t read much Jewish representation in romance books. I’ve read one other romance that had Jewish representation – The Ex Talk –  and enjoyed that book very much. I loved the way that Rosie Danan was able to incorporate the love of Judaism within this wonderful romance. I have so many excerpts highlighted because of Ethan’s obvious love, but also his patience. The way Naomi and Ethan come together with their combined backgrounds was just done so perfectly. I’m sure I’m not putting into words how this book made me feel – but trust me when I say it gave me all the feels.

I loved The Roommate when I read it earlier this year and I was a little bit afraid that The Intimacy Experiment wouldn’t live up. But I was proven wrong and Rosie Danan is such an amazing author. I can’t wait to read more of her work!

A Lady’s Formula for Love ARC Review

A Lady’s Formula for Love by Elizabeth Everett

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Genre: Historical Romance

Series: The Secret Scientists of London Series #1

Heat Level: 🔥🔥🔥

Release Date: February 8, 2021

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher.


SYNOPSIS

What is a Victorian lady’s formula for love? Mix one brilliant noblewoman and her enigmatic protection officer. Add in a measure of danger and attraction. Heat over the warmth of humor and friendship, and the result is more than simple chemistry—it’s elemental.

Lady Violet Hughes is keeping secrets. First, she founded a clandestine sanctuary for England’s most brilliant female scientists. Second, she is using her genius on a confidential mission for the Crown. But the biggest secret of all? Her feelings for protection officer Arthur Kneland.

Solitary and reserved, Arthur learned the hard way to put duty first. But the more time he spends in the company of Violet and the eccentric club members, the more his best intentions go up in flames. Literally.

When a shadowy threat infiltrates Violet’s laboratories, endangering her life and her work, scientist and bodyguard will find all their theories put to the test—and learn that the most important discoveries are those of the heart.


REVIEW

Widowed Lady Violet Hughes is on a top secret mission for the Crown. But as with all top secret missions, her life may very well be in danger. Soon Violet is under the protection of bodyguard Arthur Kneland.

Arthur takes his duties very seriously. Rule #1 for Arthur is to never get too close to the person he is supposed to be protecting. The growing attraction between Arthur and Violet has him concerned. Violet’s life is potentially in danger and Arthur needs to keep a clear head and his wits about him if he is to protect her. Will his sense of duty prevent Arthur and Violet from becoming more than a working relationship?

I loved A Lady’s Formula for Love! This book had the perfect amount of humor, mystery and such a sweet and sexy romance between Arthur and Violet. I will admit that I haven’t read a lot of bodyguard romances, but…sigh, this one was so good.

Grumpy + sunshine gets me every time and Arthur was such a grump (but I still loved him). I loved his dry wit, but also how much love he has to give. If Arthur is grumpy then Violet is definitely the epitome of sunshine. Not only does she have an amazing refuge for women scientists to reside in, but she loves them all equally. She is smart and witty, but is fighting her own doubts and insecurities. These two together brought out the best in one another and their romance was equally swoony.

Although A Lady’s Formula for Love was my first book by Elizabeth Everett, I already can’t wait for the next book in the series to come out! Pick up A Lady’s Formula for Love if your’e looking for a romance featuring women in STEM, a bit of mystery and a swoony, steamy romance.

Flirting with Forever ALC Review

Flirting with Forever by Cara Bastone

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Series: Forever Yours #3

Heat Level: 🔥🔥

Release Date: January 26, 2021

I received a complimentary copy of this audiobook from the publisher.


SYNOPSIS

Mary Trace is bright, bubbly and back in the dating pool in her midthirties. All of her closest friends are in love, and she refuses to miss out on romance. So when a regular customer at her trendy Brooklyn boutique wants to set Mary up on a blind date with her son, she gives a hesitant yes. John Modesto-Whitford is gorgeous and well-groomed, so maybe dinner won’t be a total bust—until he drops a less-than-flattering comment about Mary’s age.

Desperate to be nothing like his snake of a politician father, public defender John Modesto-Whitford prides himself on his honesty and candor. But his social awkwardness and lack of filter just blew it with the most beautiful woman he’s ever dated.

Luckily, Mom’s machinations keep Mary and John running into each other all summer long, and soon they resort to fake dating to get her to back off. When their pretense turns to real friendship—and some surprisingly hot chemistry—can these two stubborn individuals see past their rocky start to a rock-solid future together?


REVIEW

Mary agrees to a blind date with the son of one of her clients. She’s back in the dating pool and is an optimistic person by nature. When the date starts off on the wrong foot, Mary tries to give John Modesto-Whitford the benefit of the doubt. But when John drops a less than flattering comment about Mary’s age, she’s out. She doesn’t deserve to sit on a blind date and feel harassed.

As soon as the words leave John’s mouth, he knows he should never have said them. He tries to make things right with Mary and even seeks her out at her shop to apologize in person. But that setback landed him firmly in the friend zone.

The more time Mary and John seem to spend with each other – the harder it is to not want something more. They understand each others vulnerabilities and complicated familial relationships. Both John and Mary are fighting their own battles with their loved ones, but can always rely on one another. Will they end up taking a chance on one another after their rocky beginning?

Audiobook:

Story: 5
Narration: 5
Overall: 5

The audiobook of Flirting with Forever was narrated by Susannah Jones and I loved her narration of both Mary and John. I could always feel the varying emotions from both characters – from frustration to elation. I enjoyed the audiobook so much that I would often find things to do around the house or walk just so I could continue listening to the audiobook of Flirting with Forever.

I’m not sure why I haven’t read a book by Cara Bastone before, but I can’t wait to read more of her backlist! I really enjoyed the sweet, sexy slow burn romance in Flirting with Forever!

January Reads

I feel like January just stretched on and never ended. But I think I say the same thing every year 😅 This month started off slowly, but I picked up some speed towards the end.

I didn’t have as many stand out reads, but did read quite a bit of 4⭐️ reads. Once again, audiobooks have really been a way for me to get reading in.


Rating: 5 out of 5.

Float Plan by Trish Doller

It Happened One Summer by Tessa Bailey

Married by Morning by Lisa Kleypas

Flirting with Forever by Cara Bastone

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Princess and the Rogue by Kate Bateman

Roommate by Sarina Bowen

Like Lovers Do by Tracey Livesay

The Heiress Gets a Duke by Harper St. George

Act Like It by Lucy Parker

Rating: 3 out of 5.

How to Catch a Queen by Alyssa Cole

Much Ado About You by Samantha Young

Serena Singh Flips the Script by Sonya Lalli