This one wasn’t my cup of a tea, so it’s a little tough for me to review.
I love a good dual-POV romance, and I loved Legally Blonde, so I thought this would be a good fit. Piper is definitely your “Legally Blonde” type, but I don’t think she’s quite as lovable or redeeming as Elle Woods. She comes a long way though, and I was definitely cheering for her at the end.
Meanwhile, Brendan is kind of your standard brooding, romance hero / sea captain, but their relationship seems to be based on 90% physical attraction. Which I think I could have rolled with, but there is a *lot* of smut in this book. Like I felt like most of the second half is just smut… which, personally, kind of bores me when it doesn’t advance the plot in any way. I once heard someone use the term anatomy-level smut, and that seems pretty accurate for this book. Plus there’s also a lot of dirty talk, which for me, is kind of like including original song lyrics in a book. They don’t seem to ever come across the page right, and it just comes out cringe. Or maybe that’s because I was listening to the audiobook?
Either way, the ratio of smut to plot was too high for me, but if you’re into all that though, this could definitely be the book for you!
Five glowing stars. This is one of the audiobooks that made me HAPPY to get stuck in traffic. Officially a Abby Jimenez fan.
Okay so I read Jimenez’s The Friend Zone #1, and I liked it well enough, but I *loved* this book. The premise was thought-provoking, the characters are so loveable and grow so much, and Jimenez’s writing style and dual-POV voices are incredibly fun. I was SO worried how this book was going to end, and the pay off (while maybe a tad convenient) was amazing. The only thing I’m extremely concerned about it is that there are currently only 5 Abby Jimenez books in the world right now and that is not NEARLY enough. The audiobook is excellent, but PLEASE, someone make this movie.
(Also this book totally stands alone. I’ve read #1, but haven’t read #2 yet.)
Loved this one! Totally sucked me in. The voice is fun and light, and I loved the main characters, Jess and River. Their romance unfolds naturally, and the premise of the science-based matchmaking company added with the fake-dating trope was so fun. I saw the twist coming from a mile away, but it does pose an interesting question that got me thinking and the ending was capital-A Adorable. I liked (but not loved) some of Christina Lauren’s other books (like the Unhoneymooners and Josh & Hazel) but this has by far been my favorite, and had me scrambling for more books by her. 100% recommend to anyone looking for a cute romcom, and I’m SO here for a movie adaption – just saying.
So after loving The Soulmate Equation, I jumped for more Christina Lauren audiobooks at the library. This second-chance romance didn’t really do it for me though. The characters were cute, but the circumstances of their initial parting were very convenient. Everything just felt a little to cliché for me, and I feel like the big reveal at the end wasn’t as satisfying as I would’ve liked. Overall, a decent listen to pass the time, and if you enjoy western adventure vibes in your romances, you might want to give this one a try, but it felt like there wasn’t a whole lot that set this one apart.
It’s been a while since I’ve read the Truly Devious trilogy, but I remember liking it (except maybe one thing… but I can’t remember what it was—oh well) so when I saw the audiobook pop up in the library, I picked it up. And for the first 50% I was so thrilled with it! Stevie is fun, Nate is my favorite EVER, the writing is voicey and FANTASTIC, and I love the way the present and past intertwine to build the mystery of the cold case.
Then at around 75% I remembered EXACTLY what I didn’t like about the first trilogy, and his name is DAVID. Ugh. While I don’t exactly hate David, I hate how Stevie acts when she’s around him, and honestly I think they make each other worse. The conflict between them seemed a little manufactured, and then I feel like we really didn’t have a resolution to their relationship plotline. Blah.
BUT! Everything else was still excellent. So while I won’t be picking up book 5 (because, ew, David) I’ll definitely be looking into what Maureen Johnson writes next, and I’d still recommend this to fans of the first three books (especially if you don’t mind David.)
I’m not going to lie. I was scared to read this book, because I don’t trust sequels. I loved Defy the Night SO much, I was so scared the sequel wouldn’t live up to it. But, it did NOT disappoint. Tessa and Corrick are back and facing new troubles in both the kingdom and their relationship that flow well from the first book and make a lot of sense. The new adventure takes us onto a ship (which I love) with a dashing captain (who I also love), and intrigue and twists to spare. The only two things that fell a little flat for me were the third POV (which I won’t spoil) and I did wish that Tessa had more of a stronger role in this book. I felt like she played more of a supporting/pawn role here than in the first book, but I think it’s set up perfectly for her to come into her own big time in book 3. I also loved the narration of the audiobook—couldn’t put it down—and look forward to the third!
Okay. THIS BOOK. This was another one that I came into with big expectations. The hype has been CRAZY, and I loved Beach Read (though not People We Meet on Vacation, so this was an Emily Henry tiebreaker for me.)
And boy, did she deliver. The characters are likable and relatable, they had great chemistry, the concept is fun, and the twists fit perfectly like missing puzzle pieces. One thing I love about this book and Beach Read is that while it is, at its core, a romance, it goes so much deeper than just the relationship and I love the growth her characters undergo in her novels. Her writing is beautiful as she peels back the onion layers of her characters, and I am so here for every word. Also the audiobook narration is fantastic. There is some steam and language so if you’re not into that, beware, but otherwise, I’m recommending this one to all romance fans, and I’ll definitely be picking up Emily Henry’s next book, whatever it is.
My favorite read of the year so far. Five glittering stars.
Okay, so I feel like this book has been crazy hyped, and I loved Ashley Poston’s Geekerella so it’s important to know I came in with some INTENSE expectations. Which were… mostly met. This book is basically like Just Like Heaven (romcom with Mark Ruffalo and Reese Witherspoon—if you haven’t seen it, you should) meets The Adams Family. While the story was charming, the writing is fun, and the characters were likable, the chemistry between them just wasn’t quite there for me, and I knew immediately what the twist was. Still a really solid read I would recommend to all romcom fans out there, but I’m not sure it quite lives up to the super intense hype.
Marigolds for Malice has many of the same charms as the first two books, but in this one it seems to come off a little more forced or formulaic. It’s still a cozy and charming mystery with feel-good vibes, cute characters, and a sprinkle of magic, but I didn’t find the case or the stakes quite as high here for Elliana. I think probably most of the problem lies in that the love interest is back, and he seems very… lukewarm. Like, it actually occurred to me that the characters could amicably part ways, and I’d be totally fine with it. Still, though, after reading a few gritty thrillers, this one was a pleasant listen, and I’d still recommend to fans of the first two.
Nightshade for Warning basically has most of what made the first entry in the series so charming- cute town, fun characters, interesting light paranormal aspects. Once again, Elliana is forced to help solve another mystery that hits a little too close to home for comfort, and overall I just found this to be a relaxing, enjoyable read – another cozy mystery that plays on the olfactory senses and a subtle type of magic.
However, in book 2, the love interest is pretty much out of the picture, so I missed the sweet romance from the first book. So, maybe not quite as good as book 1, but would still definitely recommend to readers of the first entry.