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

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ARC Review – In a New York Minute

In a New York Minute by Kate Spencer

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Heat Level: 🔥

Release Date: March 15, 2022

Publisher: Forever

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


SYNOPSIS

A clever, tender, and romantic novel for readers of Christina Lauren, Jasmine Guillory, and Sophie Cousens, this laugh-out-loud debut is a perceptive reminder that fate can have a sense of humor, and that love can happen…In a New York Minute.

Franny Doyle is having the worst day. She’s been laid off from her (admittedly mediocre) job, the subway doors ripped her favorite silk dress to ruins, and now she’s flashed her unmentionables to half of lower Manhattan. On the plus side, a dashing stranger came to her rescue with his (Gucci!) suit jacket. On the not-so-plus side, he can’t get away from her fast enough.

Worse yet? Someone posted their (entirely not) meet-cute online. Suddenly Franny and her knight-in-couture, Hayes Montgomery III, are the newest social media sensation, and all of New York is shipping #SubwayQTs.

Only Franny and Hayes couldn’t be a more disastrous match. She’s fanciful, talkative, and creative. He’s serious, shy, and all about numbers. Luckily, in a city of eight million people, they never have to meet again. Yet somehow, Hayes and Franny keep running into each other—and much to their surprise, they enjoy each other’s company. A lot. But when Franny’s whole world is turned upside down (again!), can she find the courage to trust in herself and finally have the life—and love—she’s always wanted?


REVIEW

Franny is having a total crapshoot of a day. She thinks she’s getting a promotion, but actually gets let go. And if that isn’t bad enough – her favorite dress rips right down her back on the subway. But as luck has it a kind stranger offers his jacket. The two have a connection, but think they’ll never see each other again. Except…as fate would have it – they’re an internet sensation and go viral on Instagram! When they finally meet – will that chemistry still be present or are they better off as strangers?

The meet cute in In A New York Minute was so cute! I was immediately sucked into the storyline between Hayes and Franny. These two were so opposite, and yet they hit it off in a busy subway in New York. The lead up to them finally meeting again was so much fun. I loved the friendship between Franny, Cleo and Lola! Their text messages, impromptu meetings and how they were always there for one another was such a wonderful part of the book.

I do feel like the second half of the book was a little bit slower moving than the first half. I did enjoy the slow progression of friends to lovers between Franny and Hayes. Their friendship felt true and the way they showed little bits and pieces of themselves to one another was so charming.

If you’re looking for a sweet romance with a group of friends at its core – grab your copy of In A New York Minute when it releases!

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!

ARC Review The Dating Playbook

The Dating Playbook by Farrah Rochon

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Genre: Romance/Women’s Fiction

Series: The Boyfriend Project #2

Heat Level: 🔥

Release Date: August 17, 2021

Publisher: Forever

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


SYNOPSIS

When a personal trainer agrees to fake date her client, all rules are out the window in this delightful romantic comedy from the USA Today bestselling author of The Boyfriend Project!

When it comes to personal training, Taylor Powell kicks serious butt. Unfortunately, her bills are piling up, rent is due, and the money situation is dire. Taylor needs more than the support of her new best friends, Samiah and London. She needs a miracle.

And Jamar Dixon might just be it. The oh-so-fine former footballer wants back into the NFL, and he wants Taylor to train him. There’s just one catch — no one can know what they’re doing. But when they’re accidentally outed as a couple, Taylor’s game plan is turned completely upside down. Is Jamar just playing to win . . . or is he playing for keeps?


REVIEW

Taylor Powell is a force to be reckoned with. She’s fierce, independent and strong – she does run her own personal training program Talyor’d Conditioning. Problem is, bills are piling up and Taylor isn’t getting as many clients as she needs. When a famous pro football player – Jamar Dixon- ends up taking her class he loves her enthusiasm and drive and wants to hire her.

Taylor is weary of men. Especially after the disaster where she ended up meeting her best friends (they were all dating a serial dater at the same time). She doesn’t trust Jamar, but he sounds too good to be true. So at the urging of her friends, Taylor takes on the job of getting Jamar back into shape enough so he can try out to play pro football again. Only problem – Jamar doesn’t want it known that Taylor is training him and Taylor has no problem keeping it that way. Except they’re accidentally outed as a couple and both go along with the ruse.

What starts off as a fake relationship for the reporters slowly starts turning real, will Jamar and Taylor be able to keep their relationship strictly platonic and a few stolen glances and kisses just for the camera?

Okay first of all, I LOVED the banter between Jamar and Taylor in The Dating Playbook. I was constantly cackling out loud at how funny these two were with one another. Their banter and relationship always felt easy – right from the beginning. Taylor had so many rules for their fake relationship and I loved watching the lines blur between what was real and what was fake.

The relationship between Taylor, Samiah and London that I loved so much in The Boyfriend Project was back again with The Dating Playbook! The girl bonds between these three was so lovely. I love that their relationship was still strong in the second book of this series.

The Dating Playbook was a sweet fake dating romance interwoven with the lovely bonds of friendship. I am looking forward to London’s story next!

Life’s Too Short ARC Review

Life’s Too Short by Abby Jimenez

Rating: 4 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

A brilliant and touching romantic comedy from the USA Today bestselling author of The Friend Zone and The Happy Ever After Playlist.

Vanessa lives life on her own terms — one day at a time, every day to its fullest. She isn’t willing to waste a moment or miss out on an experience when she has no idea whether she shares the same fatal genetic condition as her mother. Besides, she has way too much to do, traveling the globe and showing her millions of YouTube followers the joy in seizing every moment.

But after her half-sister suddenly leaves Vanessa in custody of her infant daughter, she is housebound, on mommy duty for the foreseeable future, and feeling totally out of her element.

The last person she expects to show up offering help is the unbelievably hot lawyer who lives next door, Adrian Copeland. After all, she barely knows him. But as they get closer, Vanessa realizes that her carefree ways and his need for a structured plan could never be compatible for the long term. Then again, she should know better than anyone that life’s too short to fear taking the biggest risk of all. . .


REVIEW

There’s something amazing about Abby’s writing style. Every time I pick up one of her books it plays out like a movie. Life’s Too Short was no different and I literally could not stop reading this book once I picked it up.

Vanessa is a famous YouTuber. She has a huge following and lives by one motto – life’s too short – so get out there and live your very best life. Vanessa hasn’t had an easy life, she lost her mother at a young age and then her sister to ALS. Her younger sister leaves her newborn in Vanessa’s care and vanishes – so on top of everything Vanessa is now a caregiver to a little baby girl too. But Vanessa tries not to let anything slow her down and she loves her little niece. She tries to always have a sunny disposition and a positive attitude.

Adrian views most things in black and white. He relies on facts – he is a lawyer after all. When these two meet each other for the first time – I had a huge grin on my face. Abby knows how to write the perfect “meet cutes” and this one was no different. Suddenly Adrian and Vanessa start spending all of their free time together. Both of them state that they’re not looking for a romantic relationship – but being in such close proximity to one another that’s bound to happen, right?

The thing I loved most about Life’s Too Short was that Abby really incorporated mental health into her book in a way that we can all relate. We all process grief, sadness and anger in our own ways, but it’s what we decide to do with those feelings that sometimes make or break us. Life’s Too Short can sometimes be a bit heavier to read with topics such as ALS, mental health and addiction discussed, but in between those topics is an amazing love story.

I absolutely loved and enjoyed reading Life’s Too Short. Overall I would give it 4.5 stars – so many amazing parts of the book highlighted and quotes that resonated with me so deeply!

Sandcastle Beach ARC Review

Sandcastle Beach by Jenny Holiday

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Series: Matchmaker Bay #3

Heat Level: 🔥🔥

Release Date: March 9, 2021

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


SYNOPSIS

From the USA Today bestselling “master of witty banter” (Entertainment Weekly) comes a hilarious and heartwarming romance about two enemies whose feud turns red-hot.
Maya Mehta will do anything to save her tiny, beloved community theater. Put on musicals she hates? Check. Hire an arrogant former-pop-star-turned-actor? Done. But what Maya really needs to save her theater is Matchmaker Bay’s new business grant. She’s got some serious competition, though: Benjamin “Law” Lawson, local bar owner, Jerk Extraordinaire, and Maya’s annoyingly hot arch nemesis. Let the games begin.

Law loves nothing more than getting under Maya’s skin, and making those gorgeous eyes dance with irritation. But when he discovers the ex-pop star has a thing for Maya, too, Law decides he’s done waiting in the wings-starting with a scorching-hot kiss. Turns out there’s a thin line between hate and irresistible desire, and Maya and Law are really good at crossing it. But when things heat up, will they allow their long-standing feud to get in the way of their growing feelings?


REVIEW

Maya Mehta and Ben “Law” Lawson have been at odds since they can remember. They continually best each other at everything and the whole town knows how much they dislike each other. When Matchmaker Bay develops a new grant – both Maya and Law want it. Maya wants to save the community theater and Law wants to open up a newer restaurant. Who will win the grant and how far will the town meddling old folk go to keep on throwing Maya and Law into situations together?

After reading the previous two books in the Matchmaker Bay series I was excited to read about Maya and Law. Their enemies-to-lovers relationship was always there in the first two books in the series and I couldn’t wait to see these to finally get their book in Sandcastle Beach. I loved how sweet and caring Law was with Maya. How he always wanted her best interest even if he was pretending to keep up the charade of hating her. Sadly I felt like Maya was a tad bit too harsh with Law. I understood that she was in a lot of stress, especially trying to keep her theater and cater to moody actors. I do feel like the chemistry between Maya and Law was lacking for me. The misunderstanding that put them at odds felt very one sided and I just wanted a little bit more angst.

As in the first two books of the Matchmaker Bay series I enjoyed being back in the small town setting! Although the town folk are always meddling – they do have a good heart. It was great reconnecting with Sawyer, Eve, Jake and Nora. The sense of family and friendship is so strong in this series and I really do love that!

If you’re looking for a charming, slow burn, small town romance grab Sandcastle Beach!

Home for the Holidays ARC Review

Home for the Holidays by Sara Richardson

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Release Date: September 22, 2020

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

Home for the Holidays was my first Christmas holiday read for the year and it made me feel all warm and fuzzy all over!

The Buchanan sisters – Rose, Dahlia and Magnolia haven’t been back to Juniper Inn – their aunt’s inn- since they were little girls. Each has their own life now – with all of their own grown up issues. They each receive a letter from their Aunt Sassy informing them that they must spend one last Christmas at Juniper Inn together.

When the sisters arrive at the inn they realize why Aunt Sassy wanted all three sisters together one last time – she wants to gift them Juniper Inn. Do the sisters try to work it out if they want to keep the inn, or is it too much with all of them spread out so far?

I really enjoyed how the various chapters were told from the three sisters point of view. Home for the Holidays immediately made me feel warm and cozy – with all of the holiday decor descriptions and small town vibe. Rose, Magnolia and Dahlia had a lot of time for self reflection during their stay at Juniper Inn, but I also enjoyed how they also were eventually able to rely on one another. The bond of sisterhood was so important in this book and I loved that all of the sisters eventually were able to share not only their joys in life but also their lows.

If you’re looking for a wonderful book that tests the bonds of sisterhood, but also has you getting into the Christmas spirit – pick up Home for the Holidays!

Meet Cute Review

Meet Cute by Helena Hunting

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Heat Rating: 🔥🔥🔥

Kailyn and Daxton literally run into each other the first time they meet in law school. Daxton Hughes was a teen hearthrob when he was acting and one of his biggest fans was Kailyn. So when she fangirls over Daxton when they first meet, she’s a bit mortified.

Fast forward to a few years later when Daxton and Kailyn run into each other again (although not literally this time). Kailyn doesn’t really care for Daxton, especially since she believes that he betrayed her in law school. Circumstances have Daxton asking Kailyn to help him in a legal matter. Turns out Dax is guardian of his teenage sister and he’s at a loss of how to gain full custody of her.

Kailyn decides to step in and help Dax with his sister Emme as much as she can. What Kailyn doesn’t expect is to develop a close relationship with not only Emme, but Dax as well. But what is at stake if Kailyn and Dax decide to pursue a romantic relationship? Ultimately who will it harm and will the relationship be worth it?

I love Helena Hunting’s writing, but Meet Cute is not a lighthearted romantic comedy as the cover may suggest. There are serious issues being discussed in this book including grief and loss of a loved one. I do feel that Helena did a wonderful job navigating these issues and you could feel how desperate Daxton felt at times with having to be a guardian to a teenager.

I really enjoyed the relationship between Daxton and Kailyn. These two had great chemistry and I loved their banter. Helena always brings the heat and I loved the slow sensual burn between Dax and Kailyn. I appreciate the fact that Dax and Kailyn went slow with their relationship – especially since they were both career driven and both wanted what was best for Emme.

Audiobook:

Story: 4
Overall: 4
Narration: 5

I am such a huge fan of Teddy Hamilton and I think he did such a wonderful job narrating Daxton and the other cast in Meet Cute! I could always feel the various emotions that each character is portraying through his narration. Holly Warren was such a great choice to narrate Kailyn. I could immediately feel the distrust that Kailyn had with Dax when she first met him again. But I also felt how much she cared for Dax and Emme when she got to know both of them. This was a great audiobook and I really enjoyed listening to Meet Cute!

**As well as listening to the audiobook of Meet Cute I simultaneously read an ARC of Meet Cute that was given to a friend from the publisher.

Make Mine A Cowboy ARC Review

Make Mine A Cowboy by A.J. Pine

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

Series: Meadow Valley #2

Genre: Contemporary Romance/Cowboy Romance

Heat Rating: 🔥🔥

Release Date: August 25, 2020

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

Dr. Charlotte North has a good life in New York. She’s a physician with a good practice and loves the city life. But when her grandmother injures herself, Charlotte is on the first plane back to California to help her recover.

Ben Callahan has been a bit reckless in the past few months. He had a health scare a few months ago and has been living reckless and free. He decides it’s time to make a change with his life and that change just happens to coincide right when his ex-fling is back in town – Charlotte North or Doc as he affectionately calls her.

What starts off as Ben and Charlotte becoming friends, turns into a fake relationship with real feelings involved. With the two of them destined to be on opposite sides of the country – how will they make this “fake” relationship work if it ever turned real?

I enjoyed the second chance love story between Ben and Charlotte. I do wish I would have felt more of a connection between these two and maybe I’m missing out on a bit, because I jumped into Make Mine a Cowboy without having read the previous book first.

I always love a fake relationship and loved how Charlotte and Ben just kept on having to make excuses to lock lips with one another ;). The inner monologue for both did get to be a bit repetitive at times and there was no real angst or conflict to get over.

Overall, I enjoyed Make Mine a Cowboy and wouldn’t hesitate to pick up another book by A.J. Pine. I would give Make Mine a Cowboy 3.5 stars.

Paradise Cove ARC Review

Paradise Cove by Jenny Holiday

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Series: Matchmaker Bay #2

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Heat Rating: 🔥🔥🔥

Release Date: July 28, 2020

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

Jake is content in Moonflower Bay. He is surrounded by a wonderful community – and if they meddle sometimes he’s gotten used to it by now. A lot of the townsfolk don’t really consider him a big talker and he’s used to being solo. If you’ve read Mermaid Inn then you know that Jake’s past involves a lot of heartache, but is a bit of a mystery.

Doctor Nora Walsh needs a fresh start and Moonflower Bay seems like the perfect place. She has just ended a long term relationship and likes the vibe she gets from the quaint and charming small town. Nora and Jake’s paths soon cross and they develop a sweet friendship.

If you love a friends to lovers, slow burn then this is the perfect book for you! I loved how Nora and Jake’s friendship was always center to their relationship. They opened up to one another in ways that they hadn’t been able to do with other people in their life. They talked openly about grief, past relationships and life in general. And although grief was a big part of this book, so was healing. I felt so much for both Jake and Nora and their respective struggles with grief and how to overcome it. The way Jake and Nora always seemed to be there for one another was so sweet and I loved their relationship even more for that. But don’t let the sweet cover fool you! Once Nora and Jake move past the friendship stage they definitely know how to burn up the pages.

Moonflower Bay is so charming with it’s meddling old folks. I absolutely love the relationships that are formed in this small town community. The people here may come off as intrusive, but they sure do really care about one another.

If you’re looking for a sexy friends to lovers/slow burn romance then grab yourself a copy of Paradise Cove! I couldn’t put this book down once I started reading it and can’t wait to return to Moonflower Bay.