GENRE: Romance, Spicy
*TW: SA mention*
I had given this book a higher rating but in retrospect, I think I am going to lower it. (for those of you wondering… yes I did). There are a few things I did enjoy about this book. Firstly, that it was a easy read, perfect to have by the beach or by the pool. This was the mindset I had when starting the novel. I knew it wasn’t going to be something super deep. It was going to be a fun fluff romance with some spice. I enjoyed it at first, it was giving “Pretty Woman” meets “Fake Fiance” (that movie with Melissa Joan Hart and Joey Lawrence) with the added forced proximity trope.
Then there were things that really bugged me and I couldn’t ignore them. MC’s sister was CONSTANTLY defending her rich-af-fake-fiance’s behaviour and it really felt like “its fine because he’s rich.” which nope not for me. Another issue is with the spice in the novel. While normally, I would give it a 3/5 because there was a significant amount of spice in the novel… I want to give it a huge ICK/5 and that’s because it glorified SA. There is a scene in the novel where MC initiates sex with her Fake-Fiance WHILE HE IS ASLEEP!!!!! And while his character does say afterwards how much he enjoyed that… it really grossed me out. I think that those are things you and a partner have to discuss beforehand and they absolutely DID NOT in the book. I didn’t like this in 50 Shades of Grey when Christian Grey did it; I do not like it here. I don’t think we should be upholding these toxic types of double standards.
So while I do have another Meghan Quinn book on my TBR (because well I already spent the $) unless it really has a different tune on the SA front, Meghan Quinn will be going on my NEVER authors list.
GENRE: Summer, Romance, Spice
So, I want to start off by saying that I came into this book very negatively. By this I mean, I already had a preconceived notion of my opinions of Elle Kennedy’s writing because I absolutely LOATHED “The Deal” - specifically how the novel addresses SA and being supper abrasive with the language. Someone who has experienced SA would not be so BLANTANT in the language and would not forget to add a trigger warning at the beginning of the novel… that being said… THE SUMMER GIRL was an amazing read. It really changed my opinion of Kennedy as a writer and I am now going to be more open to her works in the future.
While there were a few ICKs at the beginning of the novel (namely Cassie basically admitting to excusing Tate’s repulsive/pervy behaviour because he is attractive).
SIDE NOTE: This book comes out tomorrow (JULY 18, 2023) and I think that it may have been a better option not to use the name TATE for our love interest… no matter what happened all I could picture was Andrew Tate (barf!) As the novel progresses, you forget the unfortunate fact of his name, and his shitty behaviour at the beginning of the novel because Tate becomes overall a very great and fun love interest.
Without giving spoilers here are some aspects of the novel I loved:
If you need something fun and romantic and quick to read this summer, you should definitely pick up THE SUMMER GIRL by ELLE KENNEDY.
***I RECEIVED THIS BOOK FOR FREE ON NETGALLEY IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW***
RATING: -1000000 / 5
GENRE: Erotic Fiction, Science Fiction, Dinosaur Erotica????
I absolutely hated this book. I am so open to reading really weird books, including weird sex books. I am book reviewer, it is what I do! And other than not promoting or sharing content about problematic authors, I try to read everything I can (within reason).
For the most part, if the story is good, I can accept the writing to be lacking. Some storytellers aren’t the best at writing, but that is a skill that improves and honestly I love a good story. When it comes to this monstrosity, not only is the story HORRENDOUS but the writing is so bad, that if you were looking to hate read something this summer this could be a great contender.
I wasn’t in the mood for a HATE-READ session… So this was not it for me, and likely I will never revisit this author or this book.
**I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review***
WATCH MY REVIEW BELOW:
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, Fiction
This novel by Tessa Bailey started off really strong for me, especially after the intense disappointment of “My Killer Vacation”, which I found to have sloppy and inconsistent writing. This novel was definitely a step up from the previous one I read in terms of writing. I was really loving Hallie and Julien’s story, it grappled me from the beginning and maybe I missed it due to listening on an audiobook vs reading… but the older virgin girl trope that Bailey seems to frequently gravitate to really bugs me. Its a trope that just needs to die. The virgin girl and the sexually experienced man. BARF. Once, twice, its enough.
The stakes in this novel were also just bland and unrealistic. The whole concept of the “Secret admirer” was really cute and promising, but it would have been more appropriate for like a post-college storyline… Not for people in their 30s. Like she is worried that he’s going to reject her for being his secret admirer when the chapter before he full on said he was not going back to his job at Stanford to be with her basically. She wrote him like a total of 3 love letters… like c’mon. It was too much… She was missing and like he thought she was dead or kidnapped? like I get he panicked but what a selfish dumb thing to then disappear on her for 17 days and not even answer her phone calls? Nah, I hate it so much. Like I would have given this a solid 3-stars had that not even the resolution conflict at the end of the book. Honestly, this is the 3rd Tessa Bailey novel I’ve read that I absolutely hated. I am so disappointed. I may need to cross her off my list of authors to look out for.
GENRE: RomCom, Plus Size, Holiday
SPICE: 4/5 - lots of sex but nothing k*nky
Heaven, Hell or Vermont?
So prior to writing my own review, after excitedly finishing this book, I mistakenly decided to go through Goodreads and see what others had said about this novel. This book, like every book, is not for everyone. If you watch Dumplin’ on Netflix and didn’t relate, understand or appreciate the film, you quite likely will not love this book as much as I did… which to be clear I ABSOLUTELY loved. I am really stingy on what books get 5 stars, and maybe because December is a happy month and my last 3 books have been 5-stars, maybe I am wrong… but I quite doubt it.
Conceptually this novel is amazing. The premise is original and hilarious. How would you feel if your favourite boy-band hunk you’ve been crushing on since your teens is now your co-star on a Hallmark-esk film set? How would you feel if that crush had been subscribed to your “Only Fans” (its got another name in the book) for the last 6 years and has a crush on you? That you mistakenly get selected to be the lead in this wholesome Christmas movie and have to hide that you have a very successful film career already! A porn film career that is! This novel really straddled the line between unrealistic Hallmark-wholesome and realistic and down to earth, which is very hard to do.
Let’s talk about the characters. Firstly, Nolan, our hunky ex-boyband now turned new-wholesome-film-star was a great character filled with depth and understanding. One of my primary issues when reading novels with male perspectives is that sometimes men don’t feel like men. What I mean by this is, that the women writing the novels are writing what women want without really keeping in mind generally how men are. What I mean by this is, at times, considering the men I have in my life and the things they say, the thoughts they share, etc. it will at times feel like something this character wouldn’t REALLY say but rather what the reader/author would WANT them to say. I am not sure if that makes sense, but I will carry on. I do see some criticism about how Nolan’s character describes his love interest Bee, and his sexual thoughts. I think all criticism is fair but I love when my partner and I talk to each other and “objectify” one and other. In Nolan’s context, it isn’t creepy but just a man looking out for the woman he is enamored with.
Bree’s character was perfect. No notes. We love a bisexual, plus size, babe who loves her body and knows what she wants in life and doesn’t take “NO” for an answer. There is a moment in the novel, where Bree is given a big choice, be with the man of her dreams in private or not at all. As a big girl, this is something I have experienced and struggled with before. Often I have found myself in situations where I am told I am beautiful, funny and amazing; that all they want to do is spend time with me, but the moment when it’s time to let people outside of our bubble know… The bubble pops. Gone. And then I am left alone once again, picking up the pieces of myself. This scene in the novel… BROKE ME. I do not want to give anymore away, so I’ll leave it there.
Let’s talk about SPICE baby… So I gave this a 4/5 stars, because while YES Bee is a porn star and there is a significant amount of sex in the novel… There was nothing kinky or triggering about it to give it a 5 star rating. So if you’re ok with mostly vanilla sex and it happening frequently through the novel, there is no need to shy away from this novel. Granted… chapter 13 is… HOT and also… there is a sex scene in a church so if that is something “problematic” for you… you have been warned.
I am not usually someone who reads holiday novels. I actually tried last Christmas to read one, and it remains dust-covered on my TBR, but if you are looking for a nice holiday read to pick up before you’re snowed in for the holidays, I recommend picking up this book.
GENRE: Plus-Size, Witchy, Romance
RELEASE DATE : February 7, 2023
In the second novel featuring the Maxwell sisters, we are focused on Rose, the former Prima now witch-trying-to-find-herself-in-this-really-weird-world, a feeling man of us I think can relate to. If you loved April Asher’s first installment of this series, then you will absolutely adore this one. Especially since it features Damian, the sexy grump veterinarian half-demon. He is so dreamy. I thought I couldn’t like a male lead more than I liked Lincoln in “Not the Witch You Wed” but Damian really ups the ante. He is tough with a big heart running an animal sanctuary. Rose and Damian have such amazing chemistry, it’s almost hard to believe I was reading a book and not watching a film! I would pay my good well-earned money to see these books as a TV series or film series.
Asher does it again with this witchy romance, that not only leaves you utterly satisfied, but wanting more. It is witty, funny and filled with pop-culture and witch references that makes Asher a “instant-read” author for me.
**Note: I received this novel for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**
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!
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.
GENRE: Mafia, Romance, Spicy, Erotic, Greek Mythology
This was a decent read. It is important to note that the plot is meh, but like EVERY interaction between Kal and Elena ends in some sort of sexual encounter, so I give this 4/5 peppers in the spice category. If youre looking for something erotic without a crazy intense plot go for it.
Although... the amount of times Elena refers to herself as a "Mafia Princess" is way too many.
The dark tones seem a little forced, but honestly fine.
I feel like the underline language and allusions to Persephone and Hades could have been skipped and would have been way better tbh, the story stood better without them.
There really isn’t much I want to say about this novel, other than this is really an erotic piece of fiction with some light Hades and Persephone elements sprinkled in, in an awkward way. Every interaction between Elena and Kal ends in some sexual way. That or Kal just talks about how hard is dick is just seeing her exist. If you are looking for an erotic mafia vibe fiction with some Hades commentary thrown in, this is for you.