GENRE: Romance, Enemies-to-Lovers, Forced Proximity
I absolutely loved this. I read this in basically two days and COULD NOT stop. The writing was great. I am adding Bethany Turner to my list of good writers. It starts off with Brynn fucking up royally on live TV and having to go back to her home town to fix up her image. There she meets Sebastian, an ex-journalist who moved to this small town to start his life over. Needless to say, they DO NOT get along. But throughout the week, they begin to see each other for who they are and… swoooon. I am a sucker for enemies to lovers and forced proximity tropes.
This is a well paced book and even has some really interesting commentary on daughters with bad relationships with their moms, which I very much appreciated. The writing is very current with a lot of pop-culture references too. There are also moments of vulnerability, which were so relatable because I have been there… wondering if you said something that it ruined everything, even a slight movement…
This was such a fun read with great banter. I recommend you pick it up ASAP! (well not this second because it's only out September 1st)
RECEIVED THIS BOOK FOR FREE ON NETGALLEY IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW
GENRE: Romance, Plus Size
RATING: DNF'd at 75%
This was supposed to be a good book! I was so excited to love this! Its an Olivia Dade novel. Its got plus size rep and romance. Rose Owens is a teacher, she is in her 40s and has been divorced. She is not some the woman who never was seen as attractive and finally some man looks at her. It has all the elements I love in a book. Even Martin Krause, our love interest, he in theory was supposed to be swoon worthy. He is a single dad, a teacher and he uprooted his life in order to teach at the school his daughter attended in order to be close to her. Rose experiences sexism in the workplace (being pushed aside for a man) which is relatable and I absolutely LOVED that she asked him out first and made that confident move… but god was this book boring and oh my god I felt like a zombie reading it… You know when you’re reading the words but its so numbingly boring that nothing is really registering? Yeah… anyways really disappointed.
GENRE: Romance, Self-Love, Women's Fiction
“Back in the Burbs” was a pleasant surprise. The premise was quite simple, newly divorced Mallory inherits a house from her great-aunt Maggie, the hoarder. She is in her 30s, needing to start her life again after her husband cheats on her with a younger woman. While I have to say Mallory’s inner dialogue and thoughts were very annoying and bordering unlikeable there were so many instances where I found myself relating to her. Firstly, the fact that she had given up her career and aspirations to help her husband run a successful business; is a story that MANY women can relate to. Learning to defend yourself, speak up for yourself at a later age is really hard, and not a small feat. I was really happy to see this within the novel. I also found it so relatable that in the instance where Mallory is the victim in the situation (her ex cheated on HER) her mother basically BLAMES HER for HIS CHEATING. She uses the same old boomer talking points like not having enough sex or not wearing enough make up and I literally had my arms up in anger for Mallory. Like how could her mother… HER MOTHER say that to her.
Now I don’t want to give spoilers, but there is a romance in the novel.. I like to call it a slow burn without the tension, but I found myself really not in it for the romance at all. I really just enjoyed Mallory’s journey of self discovery, self love and figuring out her life independent of a man; as well as letting (the right) people into her life. There are even a couple of surprise twists I didn’t see coming!
If you’re looking for something lighthearted but with surprise depth to it, I’d give this a read.
GENRE: Romance, Fantasy, Plus Size
“Lexi Let’s Go” is the latest addition to Mary Warren’s Mystic Falls series. Warren’s series has hands down been one of my favourite series’ in the last year, not only because they are in the romance genre (my fave) but because of their positive plus size representation. As Warren says on her FatGirlsInFiction page, big girls deserve love too.
In this novel, Lexi meets Liam James a pop superstar, who is not only talented and down to earth but super sexy. As with the other two books by Mary Warren, with some divine intervention, the two find themselves. While I don’t think this is who Warren was actually describing, I did find myself picturing a romance between Lexi and Lewis Capaldi (who I have a major crush on). I absolutely loved it.
I also just want to mention… the ice cream scene… OMG gave such Duke from Bridgerton vibes! I loved it so much.
As per usual, if you’re looking for well-written romances featuring plus size babes, Mary Warren should be at the top of your go-to list!
* RECEVIED AS AN ARC FOR AN HONEST REVIEW*
GENRE: Retelling, Greek Myth, Female Lead
This is a very solid Greek myth retelling. If you are someone who enjoyed Circe and Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller, then Atalanta is definitely a great pick for you. I have to say, as far as placing this novel, I would say I preferred it over Circe but it did not hit the same way Song of Achilles did for me. All three have very similar writing styles and tones (which is expected in Greek myth retelling). The reason that Atalanta is just so exceptional compared to Circe, is that she is very relatable. She realizes through her story that she does not need to fit the definition of “HERO” that is attributed to men. She learns that she can fight and find challenges in her name rather than “the name of others”. It would be fair to call this a feminist or female empowering retelling of Atalanta.
*** I RECEIVED THIS NOVEL FROM NETGALLEY IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW***
Genre: Romance, Grumpy X Sunshine
This was a really fun read. Honestly lots of fun and very “Hallmark” but it also really touches on some really great topics. For instance, ageing in the time of social media and how that can affect ones confidence and psyche. The narration was great and the character was super relatable (I am a slow ageing millennial who also makes content on the internet). If you are looking for a solid read this summer that isn’t too heavy check this out.
***I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review***
GENRE: Romance, Contemporary Fiction
This was such a let down for an Emily Henry book. I know shocking coming from me, especially considering I gave this book 4-stars. I want you to know, that I am giving this 4-stars as if it wasn’t written by Emily Henry; if I were to compare this book to her other works, it would probably fall closer to 3-stars. Independently, this is a 4-star read.
Let’s begin with the expectation. This novel is presented as exes falling back together. This is not the case. The premise of the book is more along the lines of two people who have been together so goddamn long and should know each other very well miscommunicated and end a relationship and decide not to tell their friends for MONTHS. Then due to unforeseen circumstances they need to pretend they are still together in front of their friends that they have also not been communicating with. This whole book is just a miscommunication trope. If those don’t annoy you then please pick up this book, if they do, then do yourself a favour and (re)read Book Lovers instead.
slight spoilers below
Now, I do not want to sound like a hater, so let me tell you the things I did enjoy about this book. Firstly I did enjoy the motif of back and forth between reality and their “happy place”. The concept of a Happy Place being moments in the past was beautiful. Emily Henry has a phenomenal style of writing, so this was obviously beautifully written. I also liked that towards the end of the novel, not only are the miscommunication issues addressed in the romance but with the friendships and familial relationships. That whole depth of the novel really beautiful. I also quite enjoyed this idea that you are always able to change your mind. Harriette (our main) is supposed to be a surgeon finishing up her residency but it really is a profession that doesn’t suit her from the get-go. Her being able to just drop everything and try something with less prestige and less stability because it is something she would actually love - chef’s kiss. Honestly, had the book been more focused on the friendships/family stuff I think this would have been a much better book.
Let’s hope Emily Henry switches back to her older style, because this made me sad.
GENRE: Romance, Contemporary, Fiction
This was a solid read, but a bit of a let down in comparison to “A Highlander for Hannah”, which I absolutely loved. Warren has great writing, and is super funny and relatable. I absolutely loved that there’s this little nod to the show Friends (from a popular Tiktok trend) at the beginning of the novel: “Poppy was happy for her best friend. Yes, Happy and not at all jealous.” Of the bat, this novel has me gripped and laughing. With the exception of my personal icks (I fucking hate when men call women ‘Princess’) my only hang up with this the absence of certain scenes.
For instance, we know that Poppy and Josh are in a play together where the two kiss, but in the novel we are never given a glimpse of Poppy and Joshes feelings when they share the stage kiss. I really feel like people who have feelings for each other would feel a spark or even have emotions even from something like a stage kiss. So that kind of bothered me that it wasn’t really addressed. Another example would be when Josh fights that guy from Broadway. We get a quick summary of the moment Josh punches him after the fact. We don’t get a real glimpse at what happened, what exactly was said and what brought that douchebag and Josh together to even have that interaction.
I know it seems like this is a negative review for something I gave 4-stars too, but it is because I know this is a novel many people will enjoy, and preventing people from picking up this book because of my own personal icks, that likely wouldn’t bother anyone else, seems like too much of a shame. The writing is good, the characters are believable and relatable. I love the closeness of the town, and the logistics of Poppy having to deal with a lot of her feelings on her own (Hannah is on her honeymoon!!).
Great book for someone ready for a touch of magic in their romance, some wonderful plus-size representation and all-in-all good fun.
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.
GENRE: Romance, Contemporary
This novel started off strong, and I want to precise STARTED because sadly it did not end on a high note. I am not sure what it is about the last few books I’ve read, they start off strong but fizzle out and eventually leave me annoyed.
Let me start off with the aspects of this book I thoroughly enjoyed. This romance is between Khalil and Vanessa. It is an interracial relationship. Khalil is a white man of Algerian decent and Vanessa is a black woman building a multimillion dollar company (she’s amazing, I love her). The biggest GREEN FLAG for this story is that Khalil is actually impressive. I read a book last year (I don’t want to slander but I’m sure you can find the review on my blog) where the white male love interest was bland and boring and just unremarkable and the main focus/interest is that he was white. In this case, Khalil has a big heart, owns his own business, helps out in the community and deals with very real issues. Vanessa is beautiful, intelligent and caring, and I really like that she approaches her relationship with Khalil with caution. There are culture differences, and different values when two people of different backgrounds come together and it doesn’t just “magically” work.
Now lets get to the stuff that annoyed me and here is the gentle spoiler warning. I love that the book wanted to touch on mental health. What I did not enjoy is how Khalil handles his mental health. I am tired of men who close themselves off when there are issues (in fiction and in my real life). I really hate when men leave relationships because they cant bare to open up to their partners because its “me-strong-man-you-sensitive-weak-woman.” Like the fact that the entire conflict in the relationship is him shutting her out because “he’s supposed to be strong” is realistic but not what I wanted to read in a romantic novel. Also, the OTHER men in the novel are so passive… like Khalil’s twin doesn’t even tell him what’s going on, and how is life is going to shit until it implodes… Khalil’s bestie AND business partner KNOWS there’s something wrong with Khalil and doesn’t take any action whatsoever until Vanessa reaches out to him and takes on the bulk of the emotional labor? This whole thing about men not wanting to be taken care of emotionally but are totally fine with the physical/having maids is annoying.
I know these are my personal icks and if they don’t bother you, then this may be a book you enjoy more than I did. The writing style and structure of the novel was super on point. It had a great pace.