ARC Review: A Change In Tide by Freya Barker

4-stars
Overall Rating: 4 Stars
Title: A Change in Tide
Author: Freya Barker
Series: Northern Lights #1
Format: Audiobook ARC provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Synopsis:
What impact would it have when everything suddenly faded to black?

For Mia, a crowded subway ride changes her entire life. Retreating to the wilderness helps her cope with a world that is suddenly too loud, too turbulent.
Her existence safely contained to the small cottage on the lake, she is unprepared for the neighbor that moves across the bay

A career-ending injury has Jared permanently benched. His reputation as The Enforcer won’t survive the unanticipated responsibilities awaiting him.
Away from the public eye, he adjust to his new reality, under the quiet observation of the intriguing hermit on the other side of the water.

GOODREADS

Review

First of all, the audiobook for this was really, really good. The narrators are new-to-me, but I really liked them. The male narrator had such a nice, deep voice.

While I feel like this story was longer than it needed to be, I did really like it. I especially appreciated that the main character was a midwife who supported the hero’s sister throughout her “4th trimester.” It’s obvious the author has experience with all the nuances that come along with breastfeeding and all the attachment parenting things that I went through as a new mom. I had so many flashbacks to when my girls were newborns reading this book – it even made me nostalgic for those days as hard as they were!

I love this take on the hockey player trope. While it plays a big part in the story, especially toward the end, it’s different since Jared is retired due to an injury.

While I don’t have agoraphobia, the representation of the anxiety part of her disorder was done really well.

I loved how Jared took care of his sister and how well the heroine fit into their little family.

The journalist was incredibly annoying and seemed a bit over the top.

This book definitely made me wish I had a nice, secluded lake house across from a famous hockey player! Lol!


Audiobook Performance: 5 stars

5-stars


Butterfly Rating: 2 Stars

2-stars


Re-read Worthiness: Nah


Bookshelf Placement: No


Book Boyfriend Rating: 4 stars

4-stars

 

 

 

The Marriage Game by Sara Desai

4-stars
Overall Rating: 4 Stars
Title: The Marriage Game
Author: Sara Desai
Format: ARC Received in Exchange for an Honest Review from Netgalley

Synopsis:
A high stakes wager pits an aspiring entrepreneur against a ruthless CEO in this sexy romantic comedy.

After her life falls apart, recruitment consultant Layla Patel returns home to her family in San Francisco. But in the eyes of her father, who runs a Michelin starred restaurant, she can do no wrong. He would do anything to see her smile again. With the best intentions in mind, he offers her the office upstairs to start her new business and creates a profile on an online dating site to find her a man. She doesn’t know he’s arranged a series of blind dates until the first one comes knocking on her door…

As CEO of a corporate downsizing company Sam Mehta is more used to conflict than calm. In search of a quiet new office, he finds the perfect space above a cozy Indian restaurant that smells like home. But when communication goes awry, he’s forced to share his space with the owner’s beautiful yet infuriating daughter Layla, her crazy family, and a parade of hopeful suitors, all of whom threaten to disrupt his carefully ordered life.

As they face off in close quarters, the sarcasm and sparks fly. But when the battle for the office becomes a battle of the heart, Sam and Layla have to decide if this is love or just a game.

GOODREADS

Review

I smiled a lot while I read this book.

This novel is full of heartwarming family dynamics between quirky characters. I loved Layla’s relationship with her huge family, particularly all her aunties, her mother, and especially her father.

I did wonder, though, why she didn’t have a stronger reaction to what happened in the beginning of the book with her father. As someone who is very close to my parents (and someone who has dropped everything to sit with my parents in the hospital for days on several occasions), it almost seemed like it was an afterthought to her, which rubbed me the wrong way a bit. Especially considering how close she is with her family. I would have loved to see that big family rally around him and one another in support as my big family tends to do in similar situations.

Aside from that, I think this is such a fun/funny hate-to-love romance particularly for people who like to see the strong attraction between the love interests despite their frustrations with each other.

For me, I tend to prefer this trope when the couple is so busy loathing the other person, they barely notice their attraction and hardly realize how much passionate frustration and passionate lust have in common. This is why I can’t say that this book is my favorite of the trope, but I can say I expect it will be for many who like to see the chemistry between enemies much more blatantly on page.

If you’re looking for an OWN voices, match-making, enemies-to-lovers romance filled with banter and big families, with just enough drama and angst, then I’m sure you’ll enjoy this book.


Butterfly Rating: 2 Stars

2-stars


Re-read Worthiness: Maybe


Bookshelf Placement: Maybe

I do love the cover of this!


Book Boyfriend Rating: 3 stars

3-stars

 

 

 

Shadow and Bone (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy #1) by Leigh Bardugo

4-stars
Overall Rating: 4 Stars
Title: Shadow and Bone
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Series: The Shadow and Bone Trilogy #1
Format: Audiobook purchased from Audible

Synopsis:
Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.

GOODREADS

Review

So… I actually wrote this review a looong time ago when I first read this book, but somehow I forgot to post it!

It’s been awhile since I’ve been in the mood for a fantasy novel, but it’s been even longer since I’ve heard about this book.

I’ve seen bits and pieces of the fandom, and I’ve been wanting to read the book for awhile, but I definitely need to be in the mood for fantasy (unless it’s a series I’ve read before and enjoyed.)

Well, I finally decided to give it a try and I’m glad I did.

I’ve started and stopped Six of Crows about a zillion times. For some reason, I haven’t been able to get past the first chapter. I couldn’t seem to keep track of the characters or what was going on and I was a little worried that it would be the same for Shadow and Bone (since they both take place in the same universe.)

But, it wasn’t.

I was sucked into the story right away and it held onto me until the very end. I think the best part of this novel was the fact that I didn’t find it predictable at all.

Now, to be fair, that isn’t saying much because I make it a point to try not to envision what is going to happen next, I like to be surprised.

I think the only downside of this book, for me, was I had high expectations for the romance in this book and I was a bit disappointed. As a self-proclaimed romance wh*re, the thing I love most about fantasy or paranormal novels, is that a lot of the time if there is a romance storyline, it’s epic in a way that contemporary books just cannot be. When you throw in magic or supernatural situations into a romance – you have endless opportunities to make it amazing.

The romance in this book fell a little flat for me.

Since I’m not a huge fantasy reader unless there is a good romance subplot in it, this book wasn’t a five star read, however I truly did appreciate the story.


Audiobook Performance: 4 stars

4-stars


Butterfly Rating: 1 Star

1-star


Re-read Worthiness: Yes


Bookshelf Placement: Yes


Book Boyfriend Rating: 2 stars

2-stars

 

 

 

4 Star Mini-Reviews: Misadventures on a Night Shift, The Silent Patient, Playing for Keeps, Special Delivery, & The Virgin Gift

Happy weekend, book lovers!

Anyone else want to spend the entire weekend watching and re-watching To All the Boys & PS I Still Love You?

#TeamJohnAmbroseFOREVER

Anyway, that was entirely unrelated to this post.

I thought I’d share some mini reviews with you today. These are books that I’ve read within the last few months – all of which just happen to be rated 4 stars.

 

Misadventures on a Night Shift by Lauren Rowe

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★★★★
My favorite Lauren Rowe book is another book that she wrote for the Misadventures series called Misadventures of a College Girl. So when I saw that she wrote another book for it, I was really excited to read it. I didn’t even read the synopsis, I just went in blind. Which is typically what I do for her books in any case, because I’ll read anything she writes.

This book gave me everything I expect from Lauren Rowe: Great banter, steamy chemistry, laughs, but it didn’t quite reach epic levels like some of her books do. While she is the queen of instalove – one of the only authors who can pull it off, in my opinion – I wasn’t quite feeling it in this one.

If you like rockstar romances, though, this is a really great take on one involving a rockstar who is staying at the same hotel his romantic interest works at.

Goodreads

 

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides


★★★★
In my attempt to read more thrillers (and also my botched attempt at reading all the 2019 Goodreads Choice Awards winners) I picked this book up. I’ve heard a lot about it on Booktube and in the Book Blogosphere as well.

I should preface this by saying, I very rarely read thrillers and mysteries, so it doesn’t take much to shock me or throw me off. I’m not privy to the “typical” devices these types of novels have because I simply don’t read many, so despite being pretty bored through the majority of this book, when the twist hit, it hit me hard.

I did not see the big reveal coming and it took this book from a 2-3 star rating to a 4 star rating.

Goodreads

 

Playing for Keeps by Kendall Ryan


★★★★
Kendall Ryan is a romance author whose backlist I am determined to get through for many reasons. She is beloved in the romance community – and for good reason. When I saw that this book was available on Audible Escape and I read the synopsis, I knew I had to pick it up.

It’s a hockey romance, second chance romance, brother’s friend romance, forbidden romance… all the great tropes rolled into one.

While this didn’t quite compare to some of the other hockey romances I’ve read and loved (Pucked, Him/Us Duet) it still is up there on the list.

Goodreads

 

Special Delivery by Lauren Blakely


★★★★
This was an audiobook that I listened to around Christmastime. It was short and sweet, and I knew it would be refreshing because that’s what Lauren Blakely books are to me. They’re a nice palette cleanser.

This book started off so strong. The chemistry and banter between the two main characters (both of whom have sworn off relationships of any sort) was so on point. I was immediately shipping them.

I don’t typically like Christmasy books, but I was really enjoying this one. Until the end. To be fair, I should’ve known that this was going to be a trope that I don’t like simply by the title, but somehow it went completely over my head.

Goodreads

 

The Virgin Gift by Lauren Blakely


★★★★
This is another book I probably shouldn’t have picked up because I’m not a fan of the virginal heroine. I get easily annoyed by a goody-two-shoes heroine, however, the premise of this one sounded intriguing and it was on Audible Escape and super short, so I dove in.

And I was pleasantly surprised!

The story involves neighbors who have had a platonic relationship up until the hero discovers the heroine’s sexy to do list/wishlist and the thought of some douchebag doing these things with her – taking her virginity – worries him, so he offers. I ADORED the concept.

And the virginal heroine was tolerable mostly because she wasn’t the picture of pure innocence, I mean, she made the list afterall. If anything she was empowered by her sexuality, even though she’d never actually done any of the things she listed. I really, really appreciated that.

Goodreads

American King (New Camelot #3) by Sierra Simone

4-stars
Overall Rating: 4 Stars
Title: American King
Author: Sierra Simone
Series: New Camelot #3
Format: Audiobook purchased from Audible

Synopsis:
They say that every tragic hero has a fatal flaw, a secret sin, a tiny stitch sewn into his future since birth. And here I am. My sins are no longer secret. My flaws have never been more fatal. And I’ve never been closer to tragedy than I am now.

I am a man who loves, a man whose love demands much in return. I am a king, a king who was foolish enough to build a kingdom on the bones of the past. I am a husband and a lover and a soldier and a father and a president.
And I will survive this.

Long live the king.

GOODREADS

Review

I started reading this series a couple of years ago and have re-read the first book in it, American Queen, a few times.

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Rookie Move (Brooklyn Bruisers #1) by Sarina Bowen

4-stars
Overall Rating: 4 Stars
Title: Rookie Move
Author: Sarina Bowen
Series: Brooklyn Bruisers #1
Format: Audiobook purchased from Audible

Synopsis:
The first novel in a sexy new series featuring the hockey players of the Brooklyn Bruisers and the women who win their hearts—from the USA Today bestselling author of the Ivy Years series.

In high school they were the perfect couple—until the day Georgia left Leo in the cold…

Hockey player Leo Trevi has spent the last six years trying to do two things: get over the girl who broke his heart, and succeed in the NHL. But on the first day he’s called up to the newly franchised Brooklyn Bruisers, Leo gets checked on both sides, first by the team’s coach—who has a long simmering grudge, and then by the Bruisers’ sexy, icy publicist—his former girlfriend Georgia Worthington.

Saying goodbye to Leo was one of the hardest things Georgia ever had to do—and saying hello again isn’t much easier. Georgia is determined to keep their relationship strictly professional, but when a press conference microphone catches Leo declaring his feelings for her, things get really personal, really fast….

GOODREADS

Review

I started reading this series because I adore the True North series by Sarina Bowen and there is a crossover book between this series and that one.

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Regretting You by Colleen Hoover

4-stars
Overall Rating: 4 Stars
Title: Regretting You
Author: Colleen Hoover
Format: Audiobook purchased from Audible {Audible Escape}

Synopsis:
From #1 New York Times bestselling author of It Ends with Us comes a poignant novel about family, first love, grief, and betrayal that will touch the hearts of both mothers and daughters.

Morgan Grant and her sixteen-year-old daughter, Clara, would like nothing more than to be nothing alike.

Morgan is determined to prevent her daughter from making the same mistakes she did. By getting pregnant and married way too young, Morgan put her own dreams on hold. Clara doesn’t want to follow in her mother’s footsteps. Her predictable mother doesn’t have a spontaneous bone in her body.

With warring personalities and conflicting goals, Morgan and Clara find it increasingly difficult to coexist. The only person who can bring peace to the household is Chris—Morgan’s husband, Clara’s father, and the family anchor. But that peace is shattered when Chris is involved in a tragic and questionable accident. The heartbreaking and long-lasting consequences will reach far beyond just Morgan and Clara.

While struggling to rebuild everything that crashed around them, Morgan finds comfort in the last person she expects to, and Clara turns to the one boy she’s been forbidden to see. With each passing day, new secrets, resentment, and misunderstandings make mother and daughter fall further apart. So far apart, it might be impossible for them to ever fall back together.

GOODREADS

Review

Though this wasn’t my favorite Colleen Hoover novel (that award goes to Maybe Someday), I still really enjoyed this one.

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Meet Cute by Helena Hunting

4-stars
Overall Rating: 4 Stars
Title: Meet Cute
Author: Helena Hunting
Format: eBook purchased from Amazon

Synopsis:
Talk about an embarrassing introduction. On her first day of law school, Kailyn ran – quite literally – into the actor she crushed on as a teenager, ending with him sprawled on top of her. Mortified to discover the Daxton Hughes was also a student in her class, her embarrassment over their meet-cute quickly turned into a friendship she never expected. Of course, she never saw his betrayal coming either…

Now, eight years later, Dax is in her office asking for legal advice. Despite her anger, Kailyn can’t help feeling sorry for the devastated man who just became sole guardian to his thirteen-year-old sister. But when her boss gets wind of Kailyn’s new celebrity client, there’s even more at stake than Dax’s custody issues: if she gets Dax to work at their firm, she’ll be promoted to partner.

The more time Kailyn spends with Dax and his sister, the more she starts to feel like a family, and the more she realizes the chemistry they had all those years ago is as fresh as ever. But will they be able to forgive the mistakes of the past, or will one betrayal lead to another?

GOODREADS

Review

This was a classic case of perfect timing.

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Savaged by Mia Sheridan

4-stars
Overall Rating: 4 Stars
Title: Savaged
Author: Mia Sheridan
Format: Audiobook purchased from Audible

Synopsis:
When wilderness guide, Harper Ward, is summoned to the small town sheriff’s office in Helena Springs, Montana, to provide assistance on a case, she is shocked to find that their only suspect in the double murder investigation is a man described as a savage.

But the longer she watches the man known only as Lucas, on the station surveillance camera, the more intrigued she becomes. He certainly looks primitive with his unkempt appearance and animal skin attire, but she also sees intelligence in his eyes, sensitivity in his expression. Who is he? And how is it possible that he’s lived alone in the forest since he was a small child?

As secrets begin to emerge, Harper is thrust into something bigger and more diabolical than she ever could have imagined. And standing right at the center of it all, is Lucas. But is he truly the wild man he appears to be? A cold blooded killer? An innocent victim? Or a perplexing mix of all three?

Harper must find out the answers to these questions because the more time she spends with him, the more she risks losing her heart.

GOODREADS

Review

Oh boy. This book was much more intense than I expected it to be.

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The Dating Dare by A.R. Perry {Review by Kayla}

Review by Kayla, In Love & Words Teen Reader

4-stars
Overall Rating: 4 Stars
Title: The Dating Dare
Author: A.R. Perry

Synopsis:
No one gets under Lily Holladay’s skin quicker than her ex-best friend Parker Hayes. Popular and completely full of himself, he goes out of his way to make her life miserable. Too bad he lives right next door making avoiding him near impossible.

Parker Hayes can’t stand Lily Holladay, but not for the reasons she thinks. He made a huge mistake when he pushed her away the summer his family life shattered. Four years later, he has no idea how to fix their relationship.

Their balancing act of avoidance and aversion implodes when they are dared to date each other for the summer. With their friends shoving them together and an impromptu trip to a childhood lake house, they may very well discover that strong feelings of dislike are masking something deeper.

GOODREADS

 

Review

I finished this book in one day!

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