Cover Reveal – Things We Hide From the Light

Things We Hide From the Light by Lucy Score

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Series: Knockemout #2

Release Date: February 21, 2023

Publisher: Bloom Books


I just started reading my copy of Things We Never Got Over (book 1 in the series) and I love all of the characters already! I’ve laughed out loud so many times and have also highlighted passages that have pulled on my heart strings. I am already looking forward to Nash’s story and look at this cover – gorgeous 😍.


SYNOPSIS

Nash Morgan was always known as the good Morgan brother, with a smile and a wink for everyone. But now, this chief of police is recovering from being shot and his Southern charm has been overshadowed by panic attacks and nightmares. He feels like a broody shell of the man he once was. Nash isn’t about to let anyone in his life know he’s struggling. But his new next-door neighbor, smart and sexy Lina, sees his shadows. As a rule, she’s not a fan of physical contact unless she initiates it, but for some reason Nash’s touch is different. He feels it too. The physical connection between them is incendiary, grounding him and making her wonder if exploring it is worth the risk.

Too bad Lina’s got secrets of her own, and if Nash finds out the real reason she’s in town, he’ll never forgive her. Besides, she doesn’t do relationships. Ever. A hot, short-term fling with a local cop? Absolutely. Sign her up. A relationship with a man who expects her to plant roots? No freaking way. Once she gets what she’s after, she has no intention of sticking around. But Knockemout has a way of getting under people’s skin. And once Nash decides to make Lina his, he’s not about to be dissuaded…even if it means facing the danger that nearly killed him.

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ARC Review – Scandalized

Scandalized by Ivy Owens

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Heat Level: 🔥🔥🔥

Release Date: August 23, 2022

Publisher: Gallery

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


SYNOPSIS

A one-night stand between two old childhood friends turns into something more, but when a scandal threatens to tear them apart, they must decide how hard to fight for love—a steamy romance debut perfect for fans of Tessa Bailey and Kennedy Ryan​.

Exhausted and on deadline with a story that could make or break her career, investigative journalist Georgia Ross is on the verge of a meltdown when a cancelled flight leaves her stuck in the airport overnight. But when a familiar face appears—the older brother of her childhood friend—and offers help, Gigi seems to have caught a break.

Alec Kim is handsome, humble, and kind—exactly the sort of man that Gigi has forgotten existed after her own painful heartbreaks. An evening of reconnection followed by a night of no-strings-attached passion with Alec feels like a gift—that is, until Gigi finally realizes that their childhood connection isn’t the only reason he seems so familiar to her.

Alec is determined to prove to Gigi that he is truly the man she thinks he is, even if it means coming clean about his fame—and his family’s connection to the story Gigi’s been working so hard to break. But as their feelings for each other grow deeper, Gigi and Alec must navigate a new reality…one where both of their hard-won careers are put directly in the path of an international scandal. 

REVIEW

Georgia, better known as Gigi, is exhausted and tired after a delay in her flight from London to LA. Gigi was in London investigating a possible story that could make headlines. She wants nothing more than to get all the words floating around in her head down and move forward with her story. But the universe has other plans and Gigi is now stuck in London for a little while longer. Here’s where she runs into a friend. Alec Kim was Gigi’s best friends older brother growing up. Now he’s all grown up and even more handsome than before.

Gigi and Alec reconnect over drinks and great conversation. They soon move their night to the bedroom and decide to act on their actions – both deciding on a no strings attached one night stand. But all isn’t as it seems to be. Alec turns out to be a famous actor and keeps his life as private as possible. Soon Alec and Gigi are caught up in a scandal much larger than either of them thought. Will they keep their relationship surface level, while they both get more involved in the case and each other?

Scandalized was such a fun and fast paced read. I loved the way that Gigi and Alec reconnected. They had such a shared history even though they hadn’t seen each other in years. Ivy Owens can bring the heat and the chemistry between Gigi and Alec was explosive! One night stands and insta-love can be hit and miss for me. But it worked in this case, more so because Gigi and Alec shared a past and I loved their fond feelings for one another when they were younger.

The suspense plot of the book was fast paced and kept me on my toes. And while parts of the book could be quite heavy at times, I feel like the storyline was done well and still moved along quickly.

Overall, I really enjoyed Scandalized and am looking forward to reading more from Ivy Owens!

CW: sexual assault (off page)

ARC Review – Heartbreaker

Heartbreaker by Sarah MacLean

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Genre: Historical Romance

Series: Hell’s Belles

Heat Level: 🔥🔥

Release Date: August 23, 2022

Publisher: Avon

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


SYNOPSIS

New York Times bestselling author Sarah MacLean follows her highly acclaimed Bombshell with Heartbreaker, featuring a fierce, fearless heroine on a mission to steal a duke’s secrets…and his heart.

A Princess of Thieves

Raised among London’s most notorious criminals, a twist of fate landed Adelaide Frampton in the bright ballrooms of Mayfair, where she masquerades as a quiet wallflower—so plain and unassuming that no one realizes she’s the Matchbreaker…using her superior skills as a thief to help brides avoid the altar.

A King of Reputation

Henry, Duke of Clayborn, has spent a lifetime living in perfection. He has no time for the salacious gossip that arises every time the Matchbreaker ends another groom. His own reputation is impeccable—and the last thing he needs is a frustrating, fascinating woman discovering the truth of his past, or the secrets he holds close.

A Royal Match

When the two find themselves on a breakneck journey across Britain to stop a wedding, it’s impossible for Clayborn to resist this woman who both frustrates and fascinates him. But late-night carriage rides make for delicious danger…and soon Adelaide is uncovering Clayborn’s truths, throwing his well-laid plans into chaos…and threatening to steal his heavily guarded heart.


REVIEW

Adelaide Frampton didn’t have an easy childhood. Growing up as the daughter of a prominent gang leader – she made her escape and hasn’t looked back. Now a part of the Hell’s Belles, Adelaide is also known as the Matchbreaker – the one that London society comes to when the bride wants to avoid the alter.

Henry, Duke Clayborn is hiding a secret. Turns out secrets are worth quite a bit and none other than the Matchbreaker is in possession of his secret. Worse still is that she has some information not only on Henry, but also his brother. Henry will go to any length to protect his family. When Henry finds that his brother has eloped with a woman who Adelaide is trying to stop at the alter – they are in a race to see who will get there first. Henry knows that his brother loves his betrothed and Adelaide wants only whats best for young misses who might be pushed into marriage against their will. In this race across Britain – who will end up winning and at what cost?

Oh, how I loved Adelaide and Duke Clayborn in Heartbreaker. These two had so much sizzling chemistry and the banter was – chef’s kiss! I seriously had a silly grin on my face anytime these two were on the same page. I don’t know how Sarah MacLean manages to make me laugh in what should be a serious situation but she totally does it.

Duke Clayborn might very well be my favorite hero that Sarah MacLean has written and that says something because there are quite a few of her heroes that are favorites. He was the perfect hero to pair with badass Adelaide.

I am seriously falling in love with the Hell’s Belles. These women are so strong and don’t take anyone’s BS and I LOVE that. I loved the first book in the series – Bombshell, but Heartbreaker was even better somehow! I can’t wait to read more of the Belles!

ARC Review – The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy

The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy by Megan Bannen

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Genre: Fantasy Romance

Heat Level: 🔥🔥

Release Date: August 23, 2022

Publisher: Orbit

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher and audiobook from Libro.fm


SYNOPSIS

Hart is a marshal, tasked with patrolling the strange and magical wilds of Tanria. It’s an unforgiving job, and Hart’s got nothing but time to ponder his loneliness.

Mercy never has a moment to herself. She’s been single-handedly keeping Birdsall & Son Undertakers afloat in defiance of sullen jerks like Hart, who seems to have a gift for showing up right when her patience is thinnest.

After yet another exasperating run-in with Mercy, Hart finds himself penning a letter addressed simply to “A Friend”. Much to his surprise, an anonymous letter comes back in return, and a tentative friendship is born.

If only Hart knew he’s been baring his soul to the person who infuriates him most – Mercy. As the dangers from Tanria grow closer, so do the unlikely correspondents. But can their blossoming romance survive the fated discovery that their pen pals are their worst nightmares – each other?


REVIEW

The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy is a book that I knew nothing about going in and then could not stop reading it. Mercy Birdsall is an undertaker working at her father’s business. She’s stressed out and overworked ever since her dad had to take it easy after suffering a heart attack. To make matters worse – she has to deal with marshal Hart Ralston. He is often bringing in dead bodies while on patrol.

Hart despises Mercy Birdsall, but he often has no choice when he has to interact with her. Hart knows how to dish it right back to Mercy though. But for some reason she gets to him. Hart is often left feeling lonely so when he pens a letter to a friend anonymously he’s surprised to get a response back. Little does he know that the person who is on the other end of the letter is no other than Mercy.

Hart and Mercy are like fire and gasoline. You can’t help but feel the sparks coming off of them every time they interact with one another. I loved these two so very much. Not just how much I wanted them to end up together (which I was rooting for immediately), but also how they interacted with all of the secondary characters in the story.

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I picked up The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy, but this book surprised me in the best way. I would find myself laughing out loud – the dialogue is so good. But then, in the next sentence my heart would feel like it was about to burst.

I had an opportunity to listen to the audiobook and it was fantastic! Michael Gallagher and Rachanee Lumayno did such a good job giving voice to Hart and Mercy. I honestly can’t wait to listen to the audiobook again.

In this fantasy romance that was kinda morbid but also beautifully written you can expect to find:
-an epistolary romance
-grumpy/lonely + sunshine
-🔥🔥🔥 + dirty talking hero
-some suspense

I don’t know how to put into words how much I loved this book. Definitely worth a pre-order!

ARC Review – The Godparent Trap

The Godparent Trap by Rachel Van Dyken

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Heat Level: 🔥

Release Date: July 19, 2022

Publisher: Forever

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


SYNOPSIS

Life’s Too Short meets The Unhoneymooners in this sparkling, steamy, and swoon-worthy novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Rachel Van Dyken, in which two sworn enemies must share house, home—and maybe their hearts—when they become co-parents after a sudden loss.

Colby’s living her best life: as a popular food blogger, she gets to fulfill her dreams of exploring the globe. But her world comes crashing down when a tragic accident leaves her co-guardian of her best friend’s two adorable children. Not only does she need to put down roots—fast—but she’ll be sharing custody with the one man she can’t stand sharing a continent with, let alone a house.  

Accountant-extraordinaire Rip values rules and plans. But when he loses his sister and his best friend and becomes an insta-guardian all in one night, Rip sees his organized life imploding. What he really doesn’t need is his sister’s irresponsible, flighty—albeit kind and gorgeous—best friend making it worse.

Rip doesn’t trust Colby to take their new responsibilities seriously, while Colby can’t believe Rip thinks children will thrive under his rigid control. Yet soon Rip and Colby discover they need each other more than they hate each other. Could it be possible that following their hearts is just what their new little family needs?


REVIEW

Colby is living her best life. She gets to travel to exotic locations and try the most delicious food and then blog about it! She loves her best friend and their two young kids and is constantly hanging out with them. So what if her best friends brother – Rip – is a thorn in her side. He’s annoying, controlling and the one date they went on ended up as a disaster. Colby tries her best to keep her distance from Rip.

Rip is orderly, likes thing done a certain way and doesn’t like change. He loves his sister something fierce. Which is why he has a hard time letting in Colby – his sister’s best friend. Colby is wild, unruly and drives him to distraction. They don’t always see eye to eye, but are often in each others orbit.

When their worlds turn upside down and Rip and Colby end up godparents to young kids and end up living in the same house – will they find a way to make their living arrangement work without fighting all the time?

The Godparent Trap was such a sweet romance. I ended up binging this book in less than a day. While it was a bit predictable – think Life as We Know It a movie that came out ~2010 – it was still a good romance. The The Godparent Trap deals with the heavy issue of grief, but it still managed to make me laugh!

I really loved the sexual tension and banter between Rip and Colby. Right from the beginning – whenever these two characters were on the page I had a huge grin on my face. They had great chemistry and I loved how they complimented each other. Where Colby was carefree and fun, Rip was rigid and orderly – but they need both of their traits to make their precarious situation work.

Overall, I really enjoyed The Godparent Trap and highly recommend this book!

CW: death of loved ones (car accident – off page), grief

ARC Review – The Devil You Know

The Devil You Know by Elizabeth O’Roark

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Series: Devil #3

Heat Level: 🔥🔥🔥

Release Date: June 23, 2022

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Valentine PR


SYNOPSIS

There’s a devil on my shoulder, and every Monday morning she announces herself. She’s this delicious flame in my chest, a flurry of whispered suggestions in my ear. Suggestions I ignore…because every single one of them is about Ben Tate.

Ben—Stealer of Clients, Evicter of Homeless Women, Nemesis. Sitting across from me every damn Monday with his lovely, smug smile and his too-perfect teeth, the living symbol of everything I hate.

It’s been my policy to avoid him, but when a case comes into the firm—one that could change his career and mine—I make an exception. It means weekends and evenings by his side. It means enduring his smirk and his smart mouth and never taking the bait.

Until the night Ben says, “Beg.”
And that devil on my shoulder decides to make a few demands of her own.


REVIEW

Gemma is one one singular goal – to make partner in her firm. She’s sick of the all boys club and is willing to put in her time until she makes partner. Except this time she has to put in time with the one partner that annoys her the most – Ben Tate. Ben the person who stole her client as soon as he came on with the firm, the one who is constantly teasing her and pushing all her buttons. But the more time they spend together the harder it is to ignore their growing attraction. Will Gemma be able to prove that she’s willing to make partner at the firm and have a relationship with Ben?

Gah, how I loved The Devil You Know. After getting glimpses of Ben in the previous books in this series I was so excited to finally get his story. But I have to be honest – I totally fell in love with Gemma. Gemma who’s prickly on the outside, but soft and gooey on the inside. Gemma who has been burned so many times before that she doesn’t know who to trust and definitely not sure if she can trust the one person she wants to trust the most – Ben.

These two had so much chemistry together and I loved every single moment they had together. The banter was exceptional and there was SO MUCH ANGST. The angst had butterflies in my stomach and tears streaming down my face. I’ve already read and re-read my favorite parts.

I highly recommend this entire series and this book was everything I want in a romance book. If you’re looking for a forced proximity, angsty, workplace enemies to lovers romance – I highly recommend The Devil You Know.

CW: workplace harassment, cheating (past character), depression (secondary character), parental neglect.

Spotlight & Excerpt Out of the Clear Blue Sky

Out of the Clear Blue Sky by Kristan Higgins

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Release Date: June 7, 2022

Publisher: Berkley

Kristan Higgins newest book – Out of the Clear Blue Sky – is the perfect beach read! Heartwarming and funny, this book follows Lillie, recently divorced after her husband dumps her for another woman. With a grown child now in college, Lillie isn’t quite sure what to do with her life. Soon she’s bonding with people in her life that she never thought she’d get close to. Maybe this isn’t the end of life for Lillie, but rather the start of a new chapter?


SYNOPSIS

From New York Times bestselling author Kristan Higgins comes a funny and surprising new novel about second chances–and why the lies we tell ourselves are the most dangerous.

Lillie Silva knew life as an empty nester would be hard after her only child left for college, but when her husband abruptly dumps her for another woman just as her son leaves, her world comes crashing down. Besides the fact that this announcement is a complete surprise (to say the least), what shocks Lillie most is that she isn’t…heartbroken. She’s furious.

Lillie has loved her life on Cape Cod, but as a mother, wife and nurse-midwife, she’s used to caring for other people…not taking care of herself. Now, alone for the first time in her life, she finds herself going a little rogue. Is it over the top to crash her ex-husband’s wedding, dressed like the angel of death? Sure! Should she release a skunk into his perfect new home? Probably not! But it beats staying home and moping.

She finds an unexpected ally in her glamorous sister, with whom she’s had a tense relationship all these years. And an unexpected babysitter in of all people Ben Hallowell, the driver in a car accident that nearly killed Lillie 20 years ago. And then there’s Ophelia, her ex-husband’s oddly lost niece, who could really use a friend.

It’s the end of Lillie’s life as she knew it. But sometimes the perfect next chapter surprises you…out of the clear blue sky.


EXCERPT

From OUT OF THE CLEAR BLUE SKY published by arrangement with Berkley, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Copyright © 2022 by  Kristan Higgins.

When the waitress came to ask if we wanted dessert, Brad said no. “I’ll have the coconut cake,” I said, because speaking of joy . . . Pepe’s had the best coconut cake on earth. “We’ll split it,” I added, since we always did. One of our marital habits—Brad always pretended he didn’t want dessert, then shared mine. Denial.

“No, no. All for you,” Brad said, and for a second, I could’ve sworn he glanced at my midsection. He himself was lean. I was not.

Brad was nursing a second glass of malbec. That was funny . . . I’d never seen him order red wine, not even with steak. He said it gave him headaches, but here he was, sniffing it like he was a bloodhound, swirling it, savoring it. Before I said something snarky, I decided this was the moment.

“Honey, I have something to tell you,” I said. I took a breath and tried to get into the romantic mood. The candlelight made Brad look even more handsome. His blond hair, still fairly full, that WASPy, almost delicate bone structure. His amazing cerulean eyes. He looked younger, the gift of candlelight. I hoped I looked equally beautiful. “It’s pretty exciting.”

“Really? I have something to tell you, too,” he said. “Also exciting. But go ahead.”

I paused for dramatic effect. “We’re going to Europe! I booked us a trip!”

Brad’s face didn’t change. He didn’t smile. He barely blinked.

“Oh,” he said. “Uh . . . when?”

“October seventeenth. Venice, then a train ride up into the Alps for a few days, and then . . . wait for it . . . Paris! Surprise!”

Brad didn’t say anything.

“Honey?” I asked.

“Yes. Um . . . well.”

Not the reaction I was hoping for. Brad loved traveling. “Aren’t you excited?” I asked. “You don’t seem excited.”

He drained his wine. “Actually, Lillie, I . . . uh . . . I was thinking it’s time we . . . divorced.”

“Here’s your coconut cake,” said the waitress, a pretty girl with dark hair. “Two forks, just in case.”

“Thank you!” I said. “Dig in, honey, before I lay waste to this whole thing.”

“This is hard for me,” he said. “It wasn’t an easy decision, but I’m sure.”

“About what?” God. The cake melted in your mouth. Melted.

“Did you hear me? What I just said?”

“Did you hear me? We’re going to Europe!”

He looked away sharply. “No. We’re not. I want a divorce, Lillie. That’s why I took you here. To discuss our future at this natural split in the path.”

I snorted. “Oh, please. We’re not getting divorced.” God, this cake was so good.

“I’m serious. Please listen and don’t infantilize me, Lillie.”

“Brad. Honey. Is this because Dylan’s graduating? It’s normal to feel blue. But we’re happy. Not like everyone else.” There had been a rash of divorces among our crowd lately, and suddenly my skin felt a little too tight. “We’ve been talking about how fun being empty nesters will be.” Hadn’t we? No, we had. Just not recently.

“I’ve met someone.”

“You know, this trip is going to be perfect,” I said. “Change of scenery, new places, new food, different languages all around us. You can practice your French! Our son is going to college in Montana, and we’ve both been melancholy. I’ve looked at so many pictures of Venice, I already feel better.”

Wait . . . what was that he’d just said? It wasn’t about Europe. I felt a flush starting in my chest, creeping up my neck.

I took a sip of water. Glanced around the restaurant. 

“Lillie?” Brad said.

“We’re going to Europe,” I said again, more loudly this time. “We deserve it.”

“Are you even listening to me?” he said.

“Are you listening to me?” I snapped. “We’re not getting a divorce! Are you crazy?” Heads were starting to turn. I lowered my voice. “Look. I don’t think . . . you didn’t mean what you said, honey. I know it’s a strange time, and it’s natural to do some soul-searching, but we’re in this together. It’s going to be great! We’ve been talking about all the things we want to do.” I smiled. Yeah. Keep smiling, Lillie. “And we will do them.” That last line came out as a command.

He didn’t look at me. “I haven’t been happy in some time, and . . . well, as I just said, I’m in love.”

There was a buzzing sound in my ears. “No you aren’t.”

“Lately, I just feel dead inside.”

“No you haven’t. This is idiotic.”

“I’m sorry if this hurts you,” he said, “but I’m sure.” 

Suddenly, my plate was in my hands, and I was squishing the coconut cake on his head. “How dare you, Brad Fairchild! How dare you!”

ARC Review – Go Hex Yourself

Go Hex Yourself by Jessica Clare

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Genre: Paranormal Romance/Fantasy Romance

Heat Level: 🔥🔥

Release Date: April 19, 2022

Publisher: Berkley

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


SYNOPSIS

It’s one hex of an attraction in this romantic comedy from New York Times bestselling author Jessica Clare.

When Reggie Johnson answers a job ad in the paper, she’s astonished to find that she’s not applying to work at her favorite card game, Spellcraft: The Magicking. Instead, she’s applying to be an actual familiar for an actual witch. As in, real magic.

The new job has a few perks – great room and board, excellent pay, and she’s apprenticing to a powerful witch. Sure, the witch is a bit eccentric. And sure, there was that issue with the black cat Reggie would prefer to forget about. The biggest problem, however, is warlock Ben Magnus, her employer’s nephew and the most arrogant, insufferable, maddening man to ever cast a spell.

Reggie absolutely hates him. He’s handsome, but he’s also bossy and irritating and orders her around. Ben’s butt might look great in a crystal ball vision, but that’s as far as it goes. But when someone with a vendetta targets the household, she finds herself working with Ben to break a deadly curse. Apparently, when they’re not fighting like cats and dogs, things get downright…bewitching


REVIEW

When Reggie answers an ad in the local paper to work as an assistant for one of her favorite card games, she’s ecstatic to get a callback! Only when she goes to meet her future employer – she’s not quite sure what to make of the bizarre nature of everyone in the Magnus household.

Reggie soon finds out that she’ll be creating actual magic with Drusilla Magnus – a which who wants to share her craft with Reggie. Reggie is still on the fence about the position, but the pay is too good to pass up so she agrees! What Reggie doesn’t plan on is being around Dru’s nephew Ben all the time. Ben is overbearing, rude and generally a grumpy person. Worse – he doesn’t want Reggie around at all. Guess she’ll just have to show him how willing she is to learn magic and witch craft!

When Ben and Reggie have to work together to break a hex, they soon find themselves in close proximity to one another. And that’s not all – their attraction to one another only starts growing. Will they be able to break the curse and find a way to be together?

Gah! How much did I love Go Hex Yourself. I will be honest – a lot of fantasy/paranormal romance featuring witches and magic just falls flat for me. So I was a bit weary going in to Go Hex Yourself, but I was pleasantly surprised at how much I adored this book and the characters in it.

All of the secondary characters from Lisa, Nick and Maurice to Dru had me laughing! There was such a great cast of characters in this book. Each one of them was essential to the story and I never felt bored with their story arcs or wanting them to get off the page.

But clearly the stars of this book were Ben and Reggie 😍. These two had so much chemistry together and I wanted more of them from their very first interaction. Ben was the grump to Reggie’s sunshine and these two were completely perfect for one another. Their relationship was slow growing and I really enjoyed the way that they begin to trust each other before deciding to move their relationship along. And YES, Jessica Clare totally brought the 🔥🔥🔥.

I loved this quirky, funny and sweet romance! Once I started it I had a hard time putting it down. I hope we get more books set in this world!!

ARC Review – Book Lovers

Book Lovers by Emily Henry

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Heat Level: 🔥🔥

Release Date: May 3, 2022

Publisher: Berkley

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


SYNOPSIS

One summer. Two rivals. A plot twist they didn’t see coming…

Nora Stephens’ life is books—she’s read them all—and she is not that type of heroine. Not the plucky one, not the laidback dream girl, and especially not the sweetheart. In fact, the only people Nora is a heroine for are her clients, for whom she lands enormous deals as a cutthroat literary agent, and her beloved little sister Libby.

Which is why she agrees to go to Sunshine Falls, North Carolina for the month of August when Libby begs her for a sisters’ trip away—with visions of a small town transformation for Nora, who she’s convinced needs to become the heroine in her own story. But instead of picnics in meadows, or run-ins with a handsome country doctor or bulging-forearmed bartender, Nora keeps bumping into Charlie Lastra, a bookish brooding editor from back in the city. It would be a meet-cute if not for the fact that they’ve met many times and it’s never been cute.

If Nora knows she’s not an ideal heroine, Charlie knows he’s nobody’s hero, but as they are thrown together again and again—in a series of coincidences no editor worth their salt would allow—what they discover might just unravel the carefully crafted stories they’ve written about themselves.


REVIEW

Nora Stephens loves her job as an agent in the publishing world. She works hard for her clients and is always in their corner when they need her. While Nora is happy in her professional career, she feels like the bond between her sister is not as strong as it used to be. With two little children and a third on the way, Nora’s sister Libby decides that they need some alone time together before the newest baby arrives. Libby suggest a month (!) away and Nora isn’t quite sure she can be away from work for so long. But in the end she decides to take the time off to get some girl time in with her younger sister. They decide to journey out to Sunshine Falls – an idyllic small town that one of Nora’s authors centered a previous book on.

Libby has a list of items she wants them to do together. A few including Nora going on a date with someone in the small town and helping to reform a failing business. Nora isn’t quite sure of all the things on the list, but she goes along with it anyway. This is where Nora runs into Charlie Lastra. The editor whom Nora met once and turned down a book because he didn’t think it was good enough. Every checklist that Nora tries to complete ends up with Charlie running into her. Soon they find themselves working together on a book. The more time they spend together the stronger their feelings grow. Will they be able to stay away from one another? With both of them not looking for a relationship, their convictions start to waver the longer they are in each others orbit.

Book Lovers is a story about love, family, the bonds of sisterhood and grief. I will admit that this book started off slowly for me. I wasn’t quite sure what the point of going to Sunshine Falls was and how the relationship between Nora and Libby felt so off. But the more I read the book the more I realized, that’s the way I was supposed to feel. Because when you love someone and they hide things from you – it feels stilted and you feel that hurt deep.

I loved loved loved Charlie Lastra so much! He was funny (so funny), sarcastic, a little bit jaded – but always so sweet. The chemistry between him and Nora was always so evident from the very first time they met and I was always looking forward to when these two were on the page together. I loved Charlie’s background and what made him him. In a lot of ways his grief was also similar to Nora’s and they shared the same love for publishing and big city living in New York. While their families tried to push them to the charming small town life – deep down these two knew that they’d never be happy living a life just to make their families happy.

Emily Henry has a way with words and there’s no denying that she did it again in Book Lovers. I have so many passages highlighted that either made me laugh or brought tears to my eyes. While Book Lovers started off slowly for me it picked up momentum and I couldn’t stop reading the book when I got more invested in the characters. Overall I’d give Book Lovers 4.5, but round to 5 stars because these characters will stay with me for a long time to come.

ARC Review – Part of Your World

Part of Your World by Abby Jimenez

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Genre: Contemporary Romance/Women’s Fiction

Heat Level: 🔥

Release Date: April 19, 2022

Publisher: Forever

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


SYNOPSIS

The New York Times bestselling author of Life’s Too Short delivers a refreshingly modern fairy tale perfect for fans of Casey McQuiston and Emily Henry.

After a wild bet, gourmet grilled-cheese sandwich, and cuddle with a baby goat, Alexis Montgomery has had her world turned upside down. The cause: Daniel Grant, a ridiculously hot carpenter who’s ten years younger than her and as casual as they come—the complete opposite of sophisticated city-girl Alexis. And yet their chemistry is undeniable.

While her ultra-wealthy parents want her to carry on the family legacy of world-renowned surgeons, Alexis doesn’t need glory or fame. She’s fine with being a “mere” ER doctor. And every minute she spends with Daniel and the tight-knit town where he lives, she’s discovering just what’s really important. Yet letting their relationship become anything more than a short-term fling would mean turning her back on her family and giving up the opportunity to help thousands of people.

Bringing Daniel into her world is impossible, and yet she can’t just give up the joy she’s found with him either. With so many differences between them, how can Alexis possibly choose between her world and his?


REVIEW

Alexis Montgomery has her life mapped out in front of her. Coming from a family of physicians she is the last one left to carry on the Legacy. Daniel Grant runs his family’s bed & breakfast which has been passed down from generations. He loves the memories attached to the old home and will do anything to keep the house in the family. What happens when a chance encounter between these two turns their lives upside down?

Part of Your World was such an angsty/swoony romance. I loved both Alexis and Daniel and their chemistry was undeniable from the very first time they met. I will admit that while I’m not a usual fan of age gap, the age gap between Daniel and Alexis (he’s younger) was addressed and woven throughout the book well. It definitely did not make me love Alexis and Daniel any less. This couple was pulling on my heart strings hard and definitely had me crying on more than one occasion.

Abby always does a wonderful job with serious and tough topics. Not only does Abby tackle the topic of an age gap, but also the very difficult topics of abusive relationships, depression and childhood trauma. The secondary characters in Part of Your World were so important to the story and I loved that I felt like by the end of the book I knew each and every one of them.

I highly highly recommend Part of Your World – definitely worth a pre-order!