The Plus One
GENRE: Romantic Comedy
SUB-GENRES: Fake dating, Enemies to Lovers, Mental Health
RELEASE DATE: APRIL 4, 2023
"I'm not here to fix you! I'm here to love you!"
I could not put this book down. It is my second 5-star book of the year, and it was so unexpected and wonderful. "The Plus One" by Mazey Eddings is a romance novel that tells the story of two childhood enemies, Jude and Indira. Despite their initial hatred for each other, they end up fake dating, and their relationship grows into something more.
One of the standout aspects of the book is the witty banter between the two characters and how Eddings expertly weaves in emotional moments that tug at the heartstrings. The book tackles deeper issues such as sensory overload and therapy, which adds an extra layer of complexity to the characters. Eddings explores these issues in a sensitive and nuanced way that is both relatable and thought-provoking.
Additionally, Eddings' writing style is engaging and easy to follow, making it a quick and enjoyable read. The characters are well-developed and their chemistry is palpable. Their relationship is not without its challenges, but it's heartwarming to see them work through their issues and grow closer.
Honestly, "The Plus One" is a must-read for me. If you love humor, heart, and spice with well-developed characters and emotional depth. Mazey Eddings has crafted a beautiful love story that will leave readers feeling satisfied and swooning for Jude and Indira. Pick it up at your local bookshop when it comes out April 4th. You won't regret it.
Please note: I received this ARC through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Not The Witch You Wed
GENRE: Romance, Enemies-to-Lovers, Plus Size
This novel falls into one of my favourite genres as of late (also perfect for anyone reading for Spooky Season). The series follows three magic witch sisters (The Magic Triad) although this novel specifically focuses on the eldest sister Violet (Points for me already being the eldest sister). She is known throughout the community as the “Magicless Dud”, which is super heartbreaking and sadly why I related to Vi quite a bit. She is the underestimated, overlooked eldest sister. She and ex-Lincoln - the sexy Alpha wolf-shifter - are thrown together to pretend they are dating in order to save them both.
The banter between Linc and Vi is just so well written, that it reads as if one is peering into someone’s real life. I could not get enough of their interactions. If someone were to ask me of an example of my favour type of man to read about, I would point to this novel and excitedly yell Lincoln Throne.
One thing about this novel, that does not necessarily pertain to the story, but rather to April Asher’s writing is the pop culture references that were made throughout the book. From Hocus Pocus to Buffy the Vampire Slayer to Sam and Dean on Supernatural. All references that really tied to my own teenage/adult years; all things that I absolutely loved.
This is a fun read, with a complete and captivating story beyond the romance coupled with a beautiful plus size main character. The perfect read to end your spooky season on a high note. Or honestly, if you love supernatural romances, its a perfect read for any time of the year.
Go Hex Yourself
GENRE: Romance, Witchy, Love-the-Villain
This Witchy Rom-Com was the perfect way to start off my Spooky Season reading list. I have so many feelings, it’s so hard to get anything out that is more than just a happy squawk. I loved this book! It was so much more than I expected and I have to say its going to be a contender for one of my favorite books of 2022. Our main character Reggie, knowns nothing about magic, and responds to an add in the paper to work at her favorite card game, Spellcraft: The Magicking. It is not quite what she thought it was, because she ends up as an “assistant” for an eccentric older witch named Drew. Drew is fun and Reggie quickly takes a liking to her, but her nephew Ben is rude, dark, mysterious and insufferable! But when things go bad, Reggie has to put her feelings towards Ben aside and work together to break the curse set on loveable Drew.
Without giving anything away, Ben is everything I love in a romantic interest. He first comes off as rude and obnoxious but he is ultimately the guy who hates everyone but you. He has a dark past (yeah real skeletons in his closet) and he is grumpy but sunshine Reggie seems to pull him out of it. The novel is narrated by Reggie and Ben, and I honestly felt like Ben’s narration stayed true to his character and his gender expression.
Regardless of what the cover may depict, this book had SPICE! So if you’re looking for a tame Hallmark Rom-Com; then perhaps this isn’t for you. But, if you love rom-coms with spice, falling in love with the villain, and the meant-to-be trope; then pick up this book during this wonderful Spooky Season!
MY KILLER VACATION
GENRE: CRIME, ROMANCE, FEMALE-LEAD, ENEMIES-TO-LOVERS
I have never been more disappointed in a Tessa Bailey novel than this one. I am honestly so surprised that it was published. It was overall weird. Firstly, Miles’s narration was awful. I honestly think that if you cannot embody the voice of a man, it might be best to not write in that perspective. Like - show his side to ANY dude and they’ll tell you that this was way too off, and in no way believable. “clearly interpreting my silence as irritation, with her, Taylor turns on a heel in the sand and sashays towards the far side of the cove” No matter how much RuPaul a straight man watches, there is no way he says that.
Another big issue with this novel was the relationship between Taylor and her brother, it honestly felt like really gross. No sister and brother (gay or not) would ever speak to each other like that - it really felt like this book was supposed to feature the “gay bestie trope” and last minute it was removed. No matter how close me and my brother are, I will NEVER… NEVER tell my brother that I am going to buy a dildo. And I sure as hell would never tell my brother details of my sex life…
Now back to Miles, there are points where he made allusions to be jealous… OF HER BROTHER and basically seeing him as a threat… like wtf… Like on p.118 Miles would make a comment how annoyed he was at Taylor getting male attention and then in the same paragraph… makes comments about how her brother seems decent and then goes back to talking about the guys who are hitting on her. Like I said very weird.
Now, not only that but this novel is riddled with inconsistencies. So on page 118, Miles says that she is a suspect and that he hast to distance himself but then nothing happens really because he still in that same situation where he’s with her and then on page 121 says that she isn’t a suspect anymore because the time of death made it so their alibis were fine. He never received a call, he never left her side during those pages… but she’s suddenly not a suspect?
Taylor’s character is also sort of annoying. I have friends who are elementary school teachers… and I swear not everything is about how your students related to this issue. She acts like she has no adult friends who she talks to and relates to. Not everything has to be “but my fourth grade students” or “if one of my fourth grade students acted like this I would…”
I am only giving this 2/5 instead of 1/5 is because the sex scenes and the sexual tension were extremely well written.
Anyways, hope this helps… you can skip this book honestly… Booktok lied.
A Highlander for Hannah
GENRE: Romance, Ennemis-to-Lovers, Plus Size
I absolutely loved every second of reading this novel. Mary Warren’s A Highlander for Hannah is hands down one of my favorite novels of 2022. This is the third book this year I am giving 5 stars too, alongside Book Lovers and Dating Dr. Dil. While these books were all near perfect, AHFH is the only one to have the fat representation I have been craving for. This novel hits all the marks, its fat without trying too hard. It is effortless, real and relatable.
There were so many moments where I literally had to stop reading and hold my chest because my heart felt like it was going to implode. I wish I could comment more, but I really do not want to give anything away…
At one point in the novel, Hannah’s mother is shocked that sexy Graham is dating her and as a fat girl, I’ve had these same issues. I had such beautiful skinny friends dating mediocre men and I’ve dated Nigerian footballers, a 6”4’ boxer, and most recently a sexy-Tarzan looking real-estate broker and EVERY TIME there are people who are super shocked at how hot my boyfriends are and it’s annoying. Granted the long term friends have gotten used to it at this point, they know my boyfriends are always hot AF… but anyways there are so many instances where I found myself reading Hannah’s story and looking back at my own life and feeling seen, and understood.
And not to say this book is only for fat girls, I am sure that Hannah’s words could be relatable to any woman growing up in this society but being the love interest… the leading lady as it were, is something I have never seen myself as and it was so refreshing to read Hannah’s story. This is also an amazing read if you’re a fan of Outlander. When this releases in September… get your hands on it. ASAP.
Dating Dr. Dil
RATING: 5/5 Stars
GENRE: Romance, Ennemis-to-Lovers, Fake Dating
SPICE RATING: 2/5
I absolutely devoured this book. It was so cute and such a great way to break me out of my reading slump. I have been having such a hard time with Circe by Madeline Miller, that this was super refreshing and heartwarming. The characters funny and real, although there were times where I found myself wishing men spoke with their friends about their problems the same way this novel portrays it… It would save us a lot of heartache to be quite honest.
There were many themes that emphasized the immigrant-American experience in the Western world, and as someone from an immigrant family living in Canada I felt seen and understood. While Dating Dr. Dil is from a South Asian perspective, the themes do translate very well. For immigrants and children of immigrants, there is this concept that our parents do not have to tell us that they love us. That they show us everyday by taking care of us that there is love… but that is very hard. I constantly find myself needing reassurance, because I find that in my relationships, it isn’t something I get. I am used to understanding that actions are also a way of saying “I love you” but to be honest, reading this novel really made me feel okay with asking to have things said.
There is also this idea that we sacrifice our mental health and well-being for our family, and in order to keep them, and that is something I hold true to heart. I even have made the joke on multiple occasions about my living at home for free. It’s not free, I will joke, I pay with my mental health. It was the perfect novel at the perfect time for me. It gives me hope of change and bettering and overall the future being a happy one. I am not sure that was the goal of Nisha Sharma when she wrote this novel, but I am so glad she wrote it and that I picked up this novel.
RATING: 5/5 STARS
TROPE: ENEMIES TO LOVERS / GRUMPY LOVE
I am going to begin by stating that Book Lovers by Emily Henry, is as of yet, my favourite book for 2022. There are so many elements that Henry brings to this novel, that make it an near perfect summer read. Book Lovers is not only a romance, but a story about the relationship between sisters; specifically when the elder sister takes on a more maternal role, and how that can cause issues within the relationship. As an elder sister myself, a lot of the ideas, thoughts and feelings that Nora, our heroine experiences, are similar to what I have experienced with my own younger sister.
Now, the premise of the novel is, Nora Stevens is an agent for authors. Her younger sister, Libby, convinces her to spend an entire summer with her in Sunshine Falls, North Carolina. Why? Well, this happens to be the setting of one of Libby’s favourite novels, whom the author is actually one of Nora’s clients. Libby, pregnant with her third child, sets off this summer adventure in order to spend time with her sister before the baby comes, but also have her sister experience the “small-town transformation” trope seen in so many of the novels she loves. This along with her rival, Charlie Lastra, being in town has Nora in fun, awkward and exciting places.
Seems like a simple enough plot, but with Emily Henry’s amazing easy-to-read and detailed writing style, it is easy to speed through this book this book and miss the amazing gems within it. I had to actively slow myself down because I wanted to devour it. There are so many hilarious lines. This novel is so quotable, with things like “Nothing more intimidating than a forehead.” “If you’re the wrong kind of woman, than I am the wrong kind of man.” “Your nightmare brain is my absolute favourite.” If these haven’t won you over, just know that if you’re the millennial older sister who doesn’t want to have kids, loves sarcasm and that grumpy kind of love, then this novel is for you.
2023 Reading Challenge
Antigoni has read 1 book toward her goal of 30 books.