ARC Review: Something to Talk About by Meryl Wilsner

3-stars
Overall Rating: 3 Stars
Title: Something to Talk About
Author: Meryl Wilsner
Format: ARC provided by Netgalley in Exchange for an Honest Review

Synopsis:
A showrunner and her assistant give the world something to talk about when they accidentally fuel a ridiculous rumor in this debut romance.

Hollywood powerhouse Jo is photographed making her assistant Emma laugh on the red carpet, and just like that, the tabloids declare them a couple. The so-called scandal couldn’t come at a worse time–threatening Emma’s promotion and Jo’s new movie.

As the gossip spreads, it starts to affect all areas of their lives. Paparazzi are following them outside the office, coworkers are treating them differently, and a “source” is feeding information to the media. But their only comment is “no comment”.

With the launch of Jo’s film project fast approaching, the two women begin to spend even more time together, getting along famously. Emma seems to have a sixth sense for knowing what Jo needs. And Jo, known for being aloof and outwardly cold, opens up to Emma in a way neither of them expects. They begin to realize the rumor might not be so off base after all…but is acting on the spark between them worth fanning the gossip flames?

GOODREADS

Review

This was a pretty highly anticipated release for me, and to be completely honest, I was a little disappointed.

Perhaps it has something to do with the writing style, which seemed a little choppy to me. Or the fact that the slow burn romance was a little TOO slow (something I never thought I’d say) I mean, we didn’t even get a kiss until more than 80% of the way through the book. The chemistry between these two characters built extremely slowly and I’m pretty sure that wasn’t supposed to be the case. I think there was meant to be a lot of tension between these two characters, but instead it just seemed like stilted interactions.

I always appreciate a love interest who comes off as a little standoff-ish, but really they have a heart of gold, and I think that was supposed to be Jo. I almost wish this book was entirely told in Emma’s perspective so that Jo was less mechanical and more mysterious.

All that being said, I had so much appreciation for this book. We need more F/F romances, contemporary and otherwise. I appreciate an excruciatingly slow burn, though perhaps not quite this slow. I love the diversity and how this book brought to light some very timely issues that we have in the entertainment industry.

I think there were some really great elements within this book, though it may not have been my favorite execution of it. I absolutely can see a lot of people enjoying this one, even if I didn’t love it.


Butterfly Rating: 3 Stars

3-stars


Re-read Worthiness: Nah


Bookshelf Placement: Nah


Book Girlfriend Rating: 3 stars

3-stars

 

 

 

ARC Review: Beach Read by Emily Henry

5-stars
Overall Rating: 5 Stars
Title: Beach Read
Author: Emily Henry
Format: ARC received in exchange for an honest review from Netgalley, hardcover purchased from Book of the Month.
Release Date: May 19, 2020

Synopsis:
A romance writer who no longer believes in love and a literary writer stuck in a rut engage in a summer-long challenge that may just upend everything they believe about happily ever afters.

Augustus Everett is an acclaimed author of literary fiction. January Andrews writes bestselling romance. When she pens a happily ever after, he kills off his entire cast.

They’re polar opposites.

In fact, the only thing they have in common is that for the next three months, they’re living in neighboring beach houses, broke, and bogged down with writer’s block.

Until, one hazy evening, one thing leads to another and they strike a deal designed to force them out of their creative ruts: Augustus will spend the summer writing something happy, and January will pen the next Great American Novel. She’ll take him on field trips worthy of any rom-com montage, and he’ll take her to interview surviving members of a backwoods death cult (obviously). Everyone will finish a book and no one will fall in love. Really.

GOODREADS

Review

There are two key indicators that I loved this book:
1. I unconsciously disobeyed the laws of a pandemic and found myself constantly touching my face – pressing my hand over my mouth to hold in gasps of surprise and sighs of happiness.

2. I sat staring blankly at the pages after certain scenes, trying to pinpoint what exactly it was making the butterflies swarm in my belly.

Beach Read, I feel, will be my new recommendation for people who like Women’s Fiction and find they want to get into romance. To me, I think this book could easily be categorized as both.

The “deep dive into everyday, angsty life” aspect felt very Women’s Fiction-y, but the romance was one of the strongest elements of this story… and it helps that it was done really well.

Also… the humor in this had me snorting out loud so many times. The one-liners in this book were on point. I had to keep a pen with me anytime I picked up this book so that I could underline my favorite parts.

Let’s talk about the romance because I realized a few things.

This book had two key elements that many of my favorite romance novels have: pining and longing. Extra points for when one of the love interests has no idea those two things are going on.

This. This is exactly how I want to feel when I read a romance novel. I want to feel giddy and excited and hopeful. I also like feeling as though I went through something to get there. That I earned it.

Beach Read was all of those things. The hype surrounding this book is well deserved.


Butterfly Rating: 4 Stars

4-stars


Re-read Worthiness: Yes!


Bookshelf Placement: Yes!


Book Boyfriend Rating: 4 stars

4-stars

 

 

 

ARC Review: By the Book by Amanda Sellet

5-stars
Overall Rating: 5 Stars
Title: By the Book
Author: Amanda Sellet
Format: eARC provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
Synopsis:
As a devotee of classic novels, Mary Porter-Malcolm knows all about Mistakes That Have Been Made, especially by impressionable young women. So when a girl at her new high school nearly succumbs to the wiles of a notorious cad, Mary starts compiling the Scoundrel Survival Guide, a rundown of literary types to be avoided at all costs.

Unfortunately, Mary is better at dishing out advice than taking it—and the number one bad boy on her list is terribly debonair. As her best intentions go up in flames, Mary discovers life doesn’t follow the same rules as fiction. If she wants a happy ending IRL, she’ll have to write it herself.

 

GOODREADS

Review

A personal anecdote for you that, I swear, relates to this book: I work with a lot of ivy league graduates of the scholarly nature and our main character, Mary’s parents are so painfully, triggeringly, pin-point-perfectly depictive of those types of people.

I truly wondered if I would make it through this book with all the eye-twitching I had going on any time her parents spoke.

Mary’s parents have the uncanny ability to overcomplicate when communicating and they are in need of constant validation and awe with their usage of SAT words in normal conversation.

Honestly, that goes for everyone in Mary’s family. Including our narrator. I tolerated it because her voice makes total sense given her upbringing and obsession with classic novels.

The narrator honest-to-goodness threw in the word “erstwhile.” As soon as I read that, my eye started twitching because I have a vivid experience at work in which my boss’s boss tried to come at us with an email communication to the community using that word, and we (in the marketing/communications department) immediately vetoed it.

As I hit the 50% mark, I began to find Mary charming, funny, and observant, which made for a great reading experience and I fell more and more in love with her big, quirky family. Yes, even her parents whose arms must hurt from all the self back-patting.

I grew up in a big family (3 siblings, lots of cousins) and seeing it depicted in books and movies always warms my heart – especially when done well. It’s why I tear up watching Little Women and why I adored To All the Boys I Loved Before. This was no different.

I say the following with both praise and warning:
The writing style is very nobody-talks-like-that-but-we-love-to-see-it Dawson’s Creek meets SAT prep with a lot of Gilmore Girls, but with classic literature references instead of pop culture references. There is even a glossary of literature references made at the end of the book.

You know how there is a Rory Gilmore reading challenge? I totally could see a Mary Porter-Malcom reading challenge stemming from this book.

All that being said, I think this book is very self-aware. I believe (and hope) that it is meant to be tongue-in-cheek, in which case, it is done incredibly well.

And now, I shall gush, because it’s what I do best:

I loved seeing how Mary’s world clashed with contemporary high school – how she interpreted everyday high school drama and how everyday high schoolers interpreted her.

The friend group in this was so, so refreshing. All three girls have such vivid personalities with little focus on looks, which I so appreciated. I seriously WISH I had friends like those in high school. I’m many, MANY years out of high school and I even wanted to hang out with them.

And who would I be if I didn’t talk about the romance in this book?

YA romances can be pretty predictable, but I’m going to be honest, this one wasn’t nearly as predictable as most YA novels I read. There were SO many sweet, swoony moments. The type of tiny moments that are significant simply because of the build-up.

The inclusion of Mary’s diary entries were not extra fluff. They directed the story in significant, but subtle ways. They weren’t boringly long, they were short and sweet, but packed a punch.

When I closed this book (figuratively speaking because I read the eARC for this), I felt exactly how I hope to feel every time I open one… a little giddy, a little nostalgic, and a lot satisfied.


Butterfly Rating: 4 Stars

4-stars


Re-read Worthiness: Maybe


Bookshelf Placement: Yes

I love the cover!


Book Boyfriend Rating: 5 stars

5-stars

 

 

 

ARC Review: Undercover Bromance (Bromance Book Club #2) by Lyssa Kay Adams *NEW FAVORITE*

5-stars
Overall Rating: 5 Stars
Title: Undercover Bromance
Author: Lyssa Kay Adams
Series: Bromance Book Club #2
Format: ARC provided by Netgalley in Exchange for an Honest Review

Synopsis:
Braden Mack thinks reading romance novels makes him an expert in love, but he’ll soon discover that real life is better than fiction.

Liv Papandreas has a dream job as a sous chef at Nashville’s hottest restaurant. Too bad the celebrity chef owner is less than charming behind kitchen doors. After she catches him harassing a young hostess, she confronts him and gets fired. Liv vows revenge, but she’ll need assistance to take on the powerful chef.

Unfortunately, that means turning to Braden Mack. When Liv’s blackballed from the restaurant scene, the charismatic nightclub entrepreneur offers to help expose her ex-boss, but she is suspicious of his motives. He’ll need to call in reinforcements: the Bromance Book Club.

Inspired by the romantic suspense novel they’re reading, the book club assists Liv in setting up a sting operation to take down the chef. But they’re just as eager to help Mack figure out the way to Liv’s heart… even though she’s determined to squelch the sparks between them before she gets burned.

GOODREADS

Review

I don’t often laugh out loud while reading books, certainly not nearly as much as I did while reading this book.

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The Harvest by K.B. Benson (Call of the Sirens #1) {Review by Kayla}

Review by Kayla, In Love & Words Teen Reader

4-stars
Overall Rating: 4 Stars
Title: The Harvest
Author: K.B. Benson
Series: Call of the Sirens #1
ARC received for an honest review:

Synopsis:
Sometimes the most beautiful things grow in darkness.

Iris never expected to live her life trapped on land. Nor was she prepared for what she would find there. A siren isn’t supposed to fall in love with her prey.

When Jace moved to Santa Cruz, he never imagined he’d risk his life to protect a monster. He soon finds that ancient myth has become reality. And not every pretty face is what it seems.

After Iris sings her siren’s song to Jace — a hypnotic melody that leads men to death beneath the waves — both of their worlds are turned upside down. Will Iris give in to her bloodlust or will she turn her back on everything she’s ever known?

As the tide runs red with the blood of the Harvest, Iris must choose: save the life of the human boy she loves or sacrifice her chance at humanity forever.

GOODREADS

 

Review

This book was amazing and right up my ally!

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Misadventures on the Rebound (Misadventures #18) by Lauren Rowe

5-stars
Overall Rating: 5 Stars
Title: Misadventures on the Rebound
Author: Lauren Rowe
Series: Misadventures #18
Format: Hard Copy ARC from Author
Synopsis:
***MISADVENTURES ARE STANDALONE ROMANCES THAT CAN BE READ IN ANY ORDER***

After getting canned from her dream job this morning and played in spectacular fashion by her boyfriend this afternoon, Savannah “Savvy” Valentine is having a truly awful day. Which is why she’s currently drowning her sorrows in whiskey and self-pity in a shabby bar along the route to Las Vegas.

In light of today’s double whammy, Savvy isn’t sure why she’s still heading in the direction of her five-year high school reunion. The only reason she’d wanted to attend the reunion in Vegas in the first place was to show the captain of the football team, the guy who took her virginity and then promptly rejected her, that the captain of the math team grew up to have all enviable hot things: hot body, hot boyfriend, and hot career. Now, the only “hot” thing about Savvy Valentine is her mess.

But when a gorgeous stranger with sandy hair, a leather jacket, and motorcycle helmet walks into the bar, Savvy’s awful day suddenly looks a whole lot brighter. The man is perfection. Sexy and mysterious. And he’s heading to Las Vegas, too.

Can one wild night with a sexy stranger in the middle of nowhere lead a girl to fall desperately and deeply in love in Las Vegas? Savvy Valentine is about to find out.

 

GOODREAD

Review

To be completely honest, I didn’t really know much about this book before I got it. I knew it was in the works, but I also knew that if I read the synopsis before it came out, I’d become ridiculously impatient for its release… so I just added it to my TBR and tried to forget about it until release day to save myself from suffering.

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Wish You Were Here by Renee Carlino

book review

Overall Rating: 2 Stars

2-stars

Wish You Were Here by Renee Carlino

[ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review]

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Charlotte has spent her twenties adrift, floating from interest to interest, job to job, and guy to guy, searching for a spark but never quite finding it. All she knows is that she won’t discover it working as a waitress at a pies-and-fries joint in Los Angeles or living with her fun but aimless best friend in a tiny apartment in the Arts District.

Then Charlotte collides with Adam, a gorgeous and soulful painter who seems just as lost as she feels. Their instant connection turns into a midnight drink… and a whirlwind night of champagne, Chinese food, and the kind of conversation that only happens in romantic comedies. But the next morning, Adam gives Charlotte the cold shoulder, leaving her confused and hurt—and wondering if the few odd moments between them the night before were red flags in disguise.

Months later, Charlotte hasn’t been able to shake Adam, so she decides to find out what happened the morning after their magical night together. This fateful decision rewrites their wild love story, but what Charlotte doesn’t know yet is that the ending has already been written.

Synopsis from Goodreads.

 

Review

I wanted to like this book. Really, I did. Even when I started to have my doubts, I kept waiting for the characters and the story to be redeemed, but alas, that never happened.

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Forget Me Not by Em Shotwell [ARC Review]

book review

Overall Rating: 4 Stars

4-stars

Forget Me Not by Em Shotwell

[eBook Arc Provided by Netgalley]

Goodreads synopsis:

Maybe falling for the good guy, isn’t so bad.

When Rex Somersby’s family matchmaker sets him up with the famous Evelyn Cadeau, he can’t believe his luck. Evelyn is the woman with the perfect Gift—the woman every man wants—while Rex’s own magical ability leaves much to be desired. He travels from Missouri to meet his dream girl in her rural Mississippi home, where Evelyn makes it clear that winning her heart won’t be an easy task. Good thing farm-boy Rex has never been afraid of a little hard work.

Evelyn Cadeau is used to getting her way. As the woman with the most powerful Gift, she knows she can have her pick of anyone she wants. And who she wants is slick, handsome, and off-limits Guy McCallister—not gawky, buttoned-up Rex Somersby. Yet, after an arranged date with Rex takes a dramatic turn, leading to a bottle of wine and sneaking to the creek for a late night skinny dip, she realizes there may be more to by-the-rules Rex than meets the eye.

Just as the young couple start to think their family’s tradition of matchmaking isn’t quite so backward, Rex is drafted to Vietnam. With war threatening to tear them apart, will love be able to save them? Or will it take a bit of magic?

Full book details here.

 

Review

Forget Me Not mixed reality with just a touch of magic and it was beautiful. I think my favorite thing about this novel, aside from the healing romance, was how delicate the fantasy element was woven into the story.

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Tapped by Liz Crowe

book review

Overall Rating: 2 Stars

2-stars

Tapped by Liz Crowe

[ARC from Netgalley]

Tapped

Goodreads synopsis:

When wealthy brewery owner Austin Fitzgerald meets sexy saleswoman Evelyn Benedict, angry sparks fly. They seem destined to clash, until a hot hook-up in a cold beer cooler changes everything.

For Austin, it’s a life-altering moment that sets him on a path away from his birthright, while Evelyn must face her fears about committing to a man considered the playboy of the micro-brewing world.

The power of preconceived notions nearly tears them apart—until they meet up with brew master Ross, who opens their eyes to a deeper, even more erotic connection.

But three strong personalities don’t always make for the best emotional mix and when a simple misunderstanding causes chaos, it’s up to Ross to repair the tattered shreds of their relationship.

Full book details here.

 

Review

I’m going to preface this review by saying that the first two words out of my mouth when I finished this novel were, “Stop. No.” And I said those two words a lot as I read this novel.

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