Treasure Of The Abyss (The Kraken #1) by Tiffany Roberts ⁣

4-stars

Overall Rating: 4 Stars

Title: Treasure Of The Abyss

Author: Tiffany Roberts ⁣

Series: The Kraken #1

Format: eBook borrowed Kindle Unlimited

GOODREADS


♡ Alien romance
♡ Enemies to lovers
♡ Caretaking

Review

I fully expected this to be a 5 star read for me on the level of the Ice Planet Barbarians and it totally would have if I could’ve gotten past the tentacles. This is totally a personal thing for me, but I’m so skeeved out by all things ocean creatures and it was REALLY hard to get past it despite this acutally being a really good romance.

Ice Planet Barbarians have tales and horns and I’m like, “Let’s do this,” but apparently I hit my limit when it comes to tentacles.

I just kept picturing my trips to the FL Aquarium: how it smells, how the sting rays feel when you pet them, the octopus and their suction cup tentacles and I just…. had a hard time.

Overall, though, again, I really liked the story, but maybe I need to stay away from sea creature romances in the future LOL

Butterfly Rating: 3 Stars

3-stars


Re-read Worthiness: Nah


Bookshelf Placement: Nope


Book Boyfriend Rating: 3 stars

3-stars

 

 

 

Slammer by Tabatha Vargo 

4-stars

Overall Rating: 4 Stars

Title: Slammer

Author: Tabatha Vargo

Format: eBook borrowed from Kindle Unlimited

GOODREADS


♡ Dark & Gritty⁣
♡ Forbidden⁣
♡ Not a romance (no HEA)⁣
♡ Captivating⁣

Review

I… don’t know where to begin with this book. Perhaps with the fact that this is not a romance novel. There is no HEA. Maybe it’s more of a thriller? I’m not sure. Either way, this book is not for those looking for an HEA or HFN or anyone with triggers… like… alllll the triggers. This book is super dark.

But also… I liked it?

I can’t even remember why I added this to my TBR aside from the fact that it is on KU. I think I may have been intrigued by the synopsis and it’s by the author of a book I really liked (Black Sheep). Its’ about a nurse who works in a prison who falls for an inmate who is a violent killer. I mean… we all know if this were realistic it wouldn’t end well, but when you’re going into it thinking it’s a romance like her other book, you are waiting for how it will all be resolved…. and yet…


Trigger Warnings

Because of potential spoilers, trigger warnings are listed in white. Please highlight to see the list of trigger warnings.
abuse, non-consent, assault, blood, serious injury, death


Re-read Worthiness: Nah


Bookshelf Placement: Maybe

 

 

 

New Release! A Taste for Love by Jennifer Yen

4-stars

Overall Rating: 4 Stars

Title: A Taste for Love

Author: Jennifer Yen

Format: ARC received in exchange for an honest review

GOODREADS


♡ YA Contemporary Romance
♡ The Great British Baking Show
♡ Pride and Prejudice reimagining
♡ Yummy recipes

Review

This book was exactly what I needed to get me out of a reading slump. It was light and fun and super cute. And it made me CRAVE boba tea like crazy!

This is a very loose Pride and Prejudice retelling without trying too hard to be exactly like it. The main character has dreams of becoming a baker, but her parents who own a bakery and restaurant want more for her than the grueling hours they work. Her mother also insists that she date a very particular kind of boy (Chinese, pre-med, tall), while her father is a bit more understanding.

I absolutely LOVED her father, by the way. I feel like my grandfather was so similar to his personality, especially the dynamics between him and his wife – it was like my grandmother and grandfather, which warmed me up to both of them. My grandmother always wanted more and my grandfather would do everything he could to give it to her.

If you are a fan of The Great British Baking Show, I have a feeling you’ll love this as the entire contest is based off of this show and there are a lot of references to it. Speaking of references, I loved all the romance novel references in this! It was like a little nod to romance readers since the main character is a romance reader herself.

I’m not a great baker, though I love to cook, and I love seeing step by step instructions within a book, like this one. I could practically smell the scents from the bakery and taste the confections. And what I wouldn’t do to taste some of her dad’s multi-course meals!

I did feel like the conflict at the end got a little convoluted and overdramatic, but that didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the book.

Overall, this book was immersive, it made me hungry, it got me over my slump, and all of the relationships in this book were so sweet.


Representation

Characters: Asian cast
Author: OWNvoices Asian rep


Trigger Warnings

Because of potential spoilers, trigger warnings are listed in white. Please highlight to see the list of trigger warnings.
Racism, toxic relationship


Butterfly Rating: 4 Stars

4-stars


Re-read Worthiness: Maybe!


Bookshelf Placement: Already there!


Book Boyfriend Rating: 4 stars

4-stars

 

 

 

Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett

4-stars

Overall Rating: 4 Stars

Title: Serious Moonlight

Author: Jenn Bennett

Format: Physical Book

GOODREADS

Review

I’ve read two other books by Jenn Bennett previously and while I liked the others a lot more, I still enjoyed this one.

The heroine in this story is obsessed with true crime and Sherlock Holmes, so I appreciated how she assessed nearly every character she came across by giving them a suspect profile. I thought that was a really cool way to expand on characters without being info-dumpy. The heroine randomly hooks up with this guy that she meets at a cafe, but freaks out and ends up leaving him before they can talk afterward. She thinks she’s never going to see him again, until she gets a job during the late night shift at this sketchy hotel and he happens to work there, too. Meanwhile, he’s been searching for her and even put an ad in the missed-connections personals looking for her.

I had fun reading about their reluctant relationship and I learned a bit about narcolepsy that I didn’t know before, but ultimately I found a good portion of this book a little boring. My mind kept wandering and when I tuned back in, I didn’t really miss too much. I can’t really put my finger on why because the characters were interesting and had great chemistry, but I just wasn’t that invested in the story.

Overall, this is my least favorite Jenn Bennett, but I still plan on reading the rest of her backlist because I really liked her other two novels that I’ve read (Alex, Approximately and Starry Eyes)


Representation

Characters: BIPOC hero


Trigger Warnings

Because of potential spoilers, trigger warnings are listed in white. Please highlight to see the list of trigger warnings.
Medical issues, death of a loved one


Audiobook Performance: 5 stars

5-stars


Butterfly Rating: 3 Stars

3-stars


Re-read Worthiness: Nah


Bookshelf Placement: Already there!


Book Boyfriend Rating: 4 stars

4-stars

 

 

 

Breaking Gravity (Fall Back #2) by Autumn Grey

4-stars
Overall Rating: 4 Stars
Title: Breaking Gravity
Author: Fall Back #2
Series: Autumn Grey
Format: Physical book purchased from the author

GOODREADS

Review

We all know. I love Autumn Grey and that hasn’t changed with this book. While I don’t know that another book can quite live up to Fall Back Skyward, I still really liked this book.

It’s an age-gap, student/professor relationship between the sister of the heroine from Fall Back Skyward and this famous cellist who can no longer play due to a serious injury to his shoulder. Instead, he is subbing for the heroine’s teacher who she also happened to be a Teacher’s Assistant for. So… a lot of forced proximity.

The only downside to this book was that I was getting so much anxiety over how risky these two characters were being – especially when the stakes were so high! She could get kicked out and he could lose his job, but there is just something about how Autumn writes her heroes that gets me every time.

She writes forbidden romances SO well. The things he would say to the heroine had me swooning all over the place. I literally gasped and clutched my chest several times while reading. It helps that I’m such a big fan of non-rockstar musicians in romance novels.

Also, getting to see peeks of the characters from Fall Back Skyward was so nice. This story overlaps with that one, so it was very interesting seeing what happens in that novel from this heroine’s perspective. It definitely made me want to do a reread of FBS!


Representation

Author: BIPOC


Trigger Warnings

Because of potential spoilers, trigger warnings are listed in white. Please highlight to see the list of trigger warnings.
Talk of past abuse, death of a loved one, age gap romance, teacher/student relationship, car accident, serious illness (side character), talk of self harm (side character)


Butterfly Rating: 4 Stars

4-stars


Re-read Worthiness: Maybe


Bookshelf Placement: Already there!


Book Boyfriend Rating: 4 stars

4-stars

 

 

 

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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