July Wrap Up – 2022 Edition

I spent basically all of July mood reading through Kindle Unlimited and avoiding my blog and bookstagram account. You ever just really need a mental health break? It’s been a long month and something had to give – and that ended up being these accounts. And I have no regrets, it was really needed and it helped me. I’m planning a soft relaunch in August and we’ll see how that goes before I re-evaluate my future on these platforms. After several years of this, maybe it’s time to move onto another hobby.

But that’s a questions for another day. We’re here to discuss the books I read in July and what I thought about them. I read a total of 32 books in July and only one of those was an ARC for Netgalley which is… not a good ratio. Cheers to improving that in August!

EBOOKS

  1. Wicked Beauty, Katee Robert – 5/5 stars
  2. Set on You, Amy Lea – 4/5 stars
  3. Always Hiding (The San Francisco Omegas #3), Calliope Stewart – 4/5 stars
  4. Knot Over You, M.J. Marstens – 4/5 stars
  5. The Off Limits Rule, Sarah Adams – 4/5 stars
  6. The Temporary Roommate, Sarah Adams – 5/5 stars
  7. Hook Shot (Hoops #3), Kennedy Ryan – 5/5 stars
  8. Tied in Knots (Get Knotted! #1), Eve Newton – 3/5 stars
  9. In Knots, Hannah Haze – 3/5 stars
  10. Knot So Perfect Omega (Omega Match #1), Maya Nicole – 4/5 stars
  11. By Any Other Name, Lauren Kate – 1/5 stars DNF
  12. Protector’s Promise (Heat Haven #3), Sarah Blue – 4/5 stars
  13. Last on the List (Wait With Me #5), Amy Daws – 4/5 stars
  14. Puck Me Secretly (Vancouver Wolves Hockey #1), Odette Stone – 4/5 stars
  15. Home Game (Vancouver Wolves Hockey #2), Odette Stone – 4/5 stars
  16. The Penalty Box (Vancouver Wolves Hockey #3), Odette Stone – 4/5 stars
  17. Left in Ruins (Ruined Records #1), Jillian West – 3/5 stars
  18. High Risk Rookie (Vancouver Wolves Hockey #4), Odette Stone – 3/5 stars
  19. Madness (Ruined Records #2), Jillian West – 4/5 stars
  20. 2 Billionaires in Vegas (Love By Numbers #1), Nicole Casey – 3/5 stars
  21. Start a War (Saint View Psychos #1), Elle Thorpe – 5/5 stars
  22. Everything for You (Bergman Brothers #5), Chloe Liese – 5/5 stars
  23. Safe Haven, Jarica James – 4/5 stars
  24. Fat Omega (Omega Girls #1), Juniper Kerry – 3/5 stars
  25. Belle Fury (Manhattan Ten #3), Lola Dodge – 3/5 stars
  26. Angel (Manhattan Ten #4), Lola Dodge – 3/5 stars
  27. Wait With Me (Wait With Me #1), Amy Daws – 4/5 stars
  28. Next in Line (Wait With Me #2), Amy Daws – 4/5 stars
  29. One Moment Please (Wait With Me #3), Amy Daws – 4/5 stars
  30. Take a Number (Wait With Me #4), Amy Daws – 4/5 stars
  31. Sweet Omega Liar, V.C. Luxe – 2/5 stars

ARCS

  1. The Sizzle Paradox, Lily Menon – 4/5 stars

Happy reading, folks!

eARC Review – Long Story Short by Serena Kaylor

Title: Long Story Short

Author: Serena Kaylor

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Publication date: July 26th, 2022

336 pages

5/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

Growing up homeschooled in Berkeley, California, Beatrice Quinn is a statistical genius who has dreamed her whole life of discovering new mathematical challenges at a school like Oxford University. She always thought the hardest part would be getting in, not convincing her parents to let her go. But while math has always made sense to Beatrice, making friends is a problem she hasn’t been able to solve, so her parents are worried about sending her halfway across the world. The compromise: the Connecticut Shakespearean Summer Academy and a detailed list of teenage milestones to check off. She has six weeks to show her parents she can pull off the role of “normal” teenager and won’t spend the rest of her life hiding in a library.

Unfortunately, hearts and hormones don’t follow any rules, and there is no equation for teenage interactions. When she’s adopted by a group of eclectic theater kids, and immediately makes an enemy of the popular—and, annoyingly gorgeous—British son of the camp founders, she realizes that relationships are trickier than calculus. With her future on the line, this girl genius stumbles through illicit parties, double dog dares, and more than your fair share of Shakespeare. But before the final curtain falls, will Beatrice realize that there’s more to life than she can find in the pages of a book?

In this sparkling debut from Serena Kaylor, Long Story Short is a YA rom-com about a homeschooled math genius who finds herself out of her element at a theater summer camp and learns that life—and love—can’t be lived by the (text)book.

Review

I want to exist in this book forever. Seriously, I’m in love with Nik and Bea and their theater camp romance and banter and misunderstandings and flirting. I want to be best friends with Mia and Nolan and have them in my corner and teach me how to be a teenager. I want to go to a Shakespeare camp even though I’m not a theater kid or interested in Shakespeare. THAT’S how good this book is, because Serena Kaylor makes you want all of this through an immersive experience.

Bea is a genius, with no social skills – it isn’t confirmed in the book if she has a diagnosis but I would compare it to some presentations of autism. She desperately wants to go to Oxford for college but her parents won’t let her unless she proves she can improve on her social skills and “learn to be a teenager”. Nik initially is a jerk to her, let’s be honest – but quickly makes up for it with well chosen Shakespeare quotes and banter. All of the characters were phenomenal and well written.

I never wanted this to end. I appreciate the growth Bea made, especially with her parents, but I also feel her parent’s needed to budge a bit more to compromise. Yes, Bea’s actions were often selfish and not considering her parent’s wishes, but her mom also continuously tried to force her to be someone she wasn’t and that didn’t so much change by the end. I would’ve liked to see more concessions from her parents.

Anyway, a full 5 stars to this fantastic YA contemporary with an enemies-to-lovers trope.

Thank you to Wednesday Books and Netgalley for an early copy in exchange for an honest review.

Happy reading, folks!

June Wrap Up – 2022 Edition

I did knot read a single physical book this month, and very few ARCs. I was obsessed with Kindle Unlimited selections and just mood read my way through June, much to the dismay of my Netgalley shelf. I have no regrets, but I know I really should buckle down in July and work through more ARCs. I’m getting worried publishers will stop sending them to me since I’m not reading and reviewing them! To be fair, I am about 20 behind in terms of writing the reviews – where I’ve read the book but haven’t posted to Netgalley. I’m working on it!

So, I read 33 books this month – though to be fair several of them were novella length, not novel length. Many of the Hannah Haze OV were like that, very quick, less than 100 pages. Sara Cate continues to do no wrong, and I read the most chaotic series where twins/triplets all dated the same woman. I know, very weird but I couldn’t stop – it was like a train wreck!

So anyway, below are all the books. Let me know in the comments if we read any of the same books or if your rating of a book I read was very different than mine!

ARCS

  1. The Make-Up Test, Jenny L Howe – 3/5 stars
  2. Island Time, Georgia Clark – 3/5 stars
  3. Maggie Moves On, Lucy Score – 5/5 stars
  4. Blaine for the Win, Robbie Couch – 4/5 stars
  5. The Charmed List, Julie Abe – 4/5 stars

EBOOKS

  1. Wrecked (Dirty Air #3), Lauren Asher – 5/5 stars
  2. Pack Bliss (A Blissful Omegaverse #2), Kate King – 3/5 stars
  3. Rocked by the Alpha, Hannah Haze – 3/5 stars
  4. Love and Other Words, Christina Lauren – 5/5 stars
  5. Oxford Heat, Hannah Haze – 3/5 stars
  6. The Casanova (The Miles High Club #3), T.L. Swan – 2/5 stars
  7. Beauty and the Baller (Strangers in Love #1), Ilsa Madden-Mills – 3/5 stars
  8. The Alpha Escort Agency, Hannah Haze – 4/5 stars
  9. Online Heat, Hannah Haze – 3/5 stars
  10. Christmas Heat, Hannah Haze – 3/5 stars
  11. Omega’s Forbidden Heat, Hannah Haze – 3/5 stars
  12. The Omega Chase, Hannah Haze – 3/5 stars
  13. Give Me More (Salacious Player’s Club #3), Sara Cate – 5/5 stars
  14. Stuck With You (The STEMinist Novellas #2), Ali Hazelwood – 5/5 stars
  15. Big 3 (Multiple Love #1), Stephanie Brother – 3/5 stars
  16. Hot 4 (Multiple Love #2), Stephanie Brother – 3/5 stars
  17. Hard 5 (Multiple Love #3), Stephanie Brother – 3/5 stars
  18. To Hate Adam Connor, Ella Maise – 4/5 stars
  19. Deep 6 (Multiple Love #4), Stephanie Brother – 3/5 stars
  20. Steel 7 (Multiple Love #5), Stephanie Brother – 3/5 stars
  21. Inked 8 (Multiple Love #6), Stephanie Brother – 4/5 stars
  22. Twisted Lies (Twisted #4), Ana Huang – 5/5 stars
  23. Block Shot (Hoops #2), Kennedy Ryan – 2/5 stars
  24. Knot Over Me (Omega Love #1), Rory Miles – 4/5 stars

AUDIO

  1. Party of Two (The Wedding Date #5), Jasmine Guillory – 4/5 stars
  2. While We Were Dating (The Wedding Date #6), Jasmine Guillory – 4/5 stars
  3. The Spanish Love Deception, Elena Armas – 5/5 stars (REREAD)
  4. Four Aunties and a Wedding (Aunties #2), Jesse Q. Sutanto – 4/5 stars

Happy reading, folks!

eARC Review – The Charmed List by Julie Abe

Title: The Charmed List

Author: Julie Abe

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Publication date: July 5th, 2022

304 pages

4/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

After spending most of high school as the quiet girl, Ellie Kobata is ready to take some risks and have a life-changing summer, starting with her Anti-Wallflower List—thirteen items she’s going to check off one by one. She’s looking forward to riding rollercoasters, making her art Instagram public (maybe), and going on an epic road-trip with her best friend Lia.

But when number four on Ellie’s list goes horribly wrong—revenge on Jack Yasuda—she’s certain her summer has gone from charmed to cursed. Instead of a road trip with Lia, Ellie finds herself stuck in a car with Jack driving to a magical convention. But as Ellie and Jack travel down the coast of California, number thirteen on her list—fall in love—may be happening without her realizing it.

In The Charmed List, Julie Abe sweeps readers away to a secret magical world, complete with cupcakes and tea with added sparks of joy, and an enchanted cottage where you can dance under the stars.

Review

I haven’t personally read a YA magical/contemporary romance in a little while, but The Charmed List was a wonderful reintroduction to the genre. This book is a friends to enemies to lovers romance between two magical teens whose parents have competing magical stores in California. They were best friends up until around the age of 12, until our hero drops the FMC like a bad habit with no explanation except public distain. Now, they must work together after breaking the most important magical code – don’t let the non-magical know about the magic. Now they are on a forced road trip and are forced to discuss the last few years.

I thought this was a sweet, younger romance – I think the characters are 16 so we’re not looking at spice or anything here. I didn’t think the explanation and apology from the hero was really good enough for forgiveness but hey, I’m not the one who is forgiving him.

I think the magic world created was interesting but simple – there wasn’t much background given into the magic system but this isn’t really the type of book where that matters much. It was definitely more focused on the contemporary-ish romance than the fantasy nature. The magic was more just a fun twist than a hugely important part of the story.

Overall, really enjoyed for the sweet romance. There is also a lot of page time given to tea and it just constantly made me was to drink the tea they were talking about.

Thank you to Wednesday Books and Netgalley for an early copy in exchange for an honest review.

Happy reading, folks!

eARC Review – The Stand-In by Lily Chu

Title: The Stand-In

Author: Lily Chu

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

Publication date: May 3rd, 2022

384 pages

5/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

Gracie Reed is doing just fine. Sure, she was fired by her overly “friendly” boss, and yes she still hasn’t gotten her mother into the nursing home of their dreams, but she’s healthy, she’s (somewhat) happy, and she’s (mostly) holding it all together.

But when a mysterious SUV pulls up beside her, revealing Chinese cinema’s golden couple Wei Fangli and Sam Yao, Gracie’s world is turned on its head. The famous actress has a proposition: due to their uncanny resemblance, Fangli wants Gracie to be her stand-in. The catch? Gracie will have to be escorted by Sam, the most attractive—and infuriating—man Gracie’s ever met.

If it means getting the money she needs for her mother, Gracie’s in. Soon Gracie moves into a world of luxury she never knew existed. But resisting Sam, and playing the role of an elegant movie star, proves more difficult than she ever imagined—especially when she learns the real reason Fangli so desperately needs her help. In the end all the lists in the world won’t be able to help Gracie keep up this elaborate ruse without losing herself…and her heart.

Review

Crazy Rich Asians meets The Princess Switch in this new rom com from Lily Chu that I really loved reading. It is a great mix of light banter and serious conversations about mental health and dementia. A regular, planner obsessed woman is fired from her job after being photographed and mistaken for an actor – and they do look uncannily alike. So the actress makes her a deal, she works as a stand in for her at events when she isn’t up to attending.

There is a good conversation around depression and anxiety in this book, especially rooted in the Asian culture. The romance is amazing hate to love between the actress’ best friend and costar, and the stand in. The two women couldn’t be more opposite, but our hero just can’t resist Gracie and her quirks. I also so loved the obsession Gracie has with planners and bullet journals to organize her life and the struggle to find the perfect one – I felt SO seen!

Overall a solid romance with an adorable, cartoon cover – but one that I will likely forget quickly and move on from. It didn’t burrow itself into my brain and demand that I reread it sometime in the future. And that’s okay, I had a great time reading it and have no regrets.

Thank you to Sourcebooks Casablanca and Netgalley for an early copy in exchange for an honest review.

Happy reading, folks!

eARC Review – Blame It on the Brontes by Annie Sereno

Title: Blame It on the Brontes

Author: Annie Sereno

Publisher: Forever

Publication date: May 3rd, 2022

384 pages

3/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

She’s going to write her own happy ending.

English professor Athena Murphy is an authority on the novels of the Brontë sisters. But as they say in academia, publish or perish. To save her job, Athena decides to write a biography of C.L. Garland, the author heating up bestseller lists with spicy retellings of classic literature. Tracking down the reclusive writer and uncovering her secret identity, though, means Athena must return to her small midwestern hometown where Garland—and her ex-boyfriend, Thorne Kent—live.

Seeing Thorne again reminds Athena that real life never lives up to fiction. He was the Heathcliff to her Catherine, the Mr. Rochester to her Jane. Not only did their college breakup shatter that illusion, but they also broke each other’s hearts again a second time. Now she has to see him nearly every…single…day.

The only solution is to find C.L. Garland as quickly as possible, write the book, and get the heck out of town. As her deadline looms and the list of potential C.L. Garlands dwindles, Athena and Thorne bicker and banter their way back to friendship. Could it really be true that the third time’s a charm?

Athena and Thorne have a love story only a Brontë could write, and the chance for their own happily-ever-after, but first, they’ll need to forgive the mistakes of the past.

Review

Blame it on the Bronte’s is a second chance romance with college lovers who broke up in dramatic fashion when neither would change their academic goals for each other. They meet up again in their hometown when the FMC is on sabbatical to write a book, and she needs to research a reclusive and unknown bestselling author who is rumored to be from the same town – in order to save her career. She doesn’t expect to run into her ex, who she hasn’t seen in many years.

I don’t have much good to say regarding this book, except that it was well written. There is a minor level of spice but this is less a romance novel and more women’s fiction with a side helping of romance.

I think I need to stop trying to make myself like Bronte retellings because I almost never enjoy them. The MC in this book is like my least favorite kind of smart, educated female in academia. Everything about this character annoyed me throughout the book, and the hero wasn’t much better to be honest. They both moved through the world as if they were martyrs and the weight of the world was on their shoulders – for no good reason really. They weren’t nice to each other, their friends, or even people they didn’t know. They were both users and were nice to others for their own gain.

Maybe they deserved each other, I don’t know, but this book was not at all for me and I got very little enjoyment out of it.

Thank you to Forever and Netgalley for an early copy in exchange for an honest review.

Happy reading, folks!

eARC Review – Chef’s Kiss by T.J. Alexander

Title: Chef’s Kiss

Author: T.J. Alexander

Publisher: Atria Books

Publication date: May 3rd, 2022

320 pages

4/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

A high-strung pastry chef’s professional goals are interrupted by an unexpected career transition and the introduction of her wildly attractive nonbinary kitchen manager in this deliciously fresh and witty queer rom-com.

Simone Larkspur is a perfectionist pastry expert with a dream job at The Discerning Chef, a venerable cookbook publisher in New York City. All she wants to do is create the perfect loaf of sourdough and develop recipes, but when The Discerning Chef decides to bring their brand into the 21st century by pivoting to video, Simone is thrust into the spotlight and finds herself failing at something for the first time in her life.

To make matters worse, Simone has to deal with Ray Lyton, the new test kitchen manager, whose obnoxious cheer and outgoing personality are like oil to Simone’s water. When Ray accidentally becomes a viral YouTube sensation with a series of homebrewing videos, their eccentric editor in chief forces Simone to work alongside the chipper upstart or else risk her beloved job. But the more they work together, the more Simone realizes her heart may be softening like butter for Ray.

Things get even more complicated when Ray comes out at work as nonbinary to mixed reactions—and Simone must choose between the career she fought so hard for and the person who just might take the cake (and her heart).

Review

The opposite’s attract adage fits well for this book, Chef’s Kiss stars a very type A, meticulous pastry chef and a perky, optimistic, expressive new kitchen manager. I wouldn’t exactly call this grumpy/sunshine – Simone isn’t so much grumpy as she is set in her ways and liking control in all things. Ray enters the scene and successfully shakes up Simone’s orderly, routine life. Plus changes to her job description, like starring in cooking YouTube videos when all she wants to do is cook and bake.

Ray is a non-binary character, and there is a story line regarding their coming out at work and the affect it had on their relationships and work life. Simone is also queer, but this isn’t known to Ray for much of the book. This definitely classifies as a slow burn, the two don’t get together until close to the end of the book after having some intense moments over the course of the plot.

Overall I found this book to be enjoyable as well as educational on the greater conversations around gender identity discrimination in the workplace and how non-binary folx are treated when they come out and ask to be referred to by different pronouns.

Also, maybe try not to read this one an empty stomach, there are a lot of food descriptions in here as they cook and bake for their work!

Thank you to Atria Books and Netgalley for an early copy in exchange for an honest review.

Happy reading, folks!

eARC Review – Say You’ll Be My Lady by Kate Pembrooke

Title: Say You’ll Be My Lady (The Unconventional Ladies of Mayfair #2)

Author: Kate Pembrooke

Publisher: Forever

Publication date: February 22nd, 2022

334 pages

4/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

Opposites attract in this irresistible Regency romance, where a proper gentleman who lives by the ton‘s rules and a lady who lives to break them try to resist one another—perfect for fans of Netflix’s Bridgerton series.

Lady Serena Wynter doesn’t mind flirting with a bit of scandal—she’s determined to ignore society’s strictures and live life on her own fiercely independent terms. These days, she chooses to pour her passions into charitable causes with the vibrant group of ladies in her Wednesday Afternoon Social Club. But there is one man who stirs Serena’s deepest emotions, one who’s irresistibly handsome, infuriatingly circumspect, and too honorable for his own good…

Charles Townshend, former boxer and consummate gentleman, worries Serena’s reckless nature will earn her the ton’s scorn…or put her in serious danger. Though Charles isn’t immune to the attraction between them, a shocking family secret prevents him from ever acting on his desires. But it seems Lady Serena doesn’t intend to let his penchant for propriety stand in the way of a mutually satisfying dalliance.

Review

Serena and Charles definitely caught my eye when I was reading Not the Kind of Earl You Marry – so I was gleeful to see the next book would follow their love story. You could just tell these two were kindred souls who felt they didn’t deserve a happy ever after no matter what they wanted. Reading their love story was beautiful and a lesson in second chances and deserving good things in life no matter your past.

Serena and Charles have such a contentious friendship, where Charles just wants to protect her and gets upset when she puts herself at risk – whereas Serena just wants to be her own person outside the confines of the ton. This causes a few dustups, but after a few run-ins they start to see those passionate feelings are good for them and could be an interesting arrangement.

However they both are harboring secrets in their pasts, one’s that stand to change everything for them. Serena’s past broke my heart but her second chance at love was so very beautiful. And the child they adopted was just adorable and completely stole the show.

Very excited for the third book in this series, and will definitely continue to read Pembrooke’s regencies.

Thank you to Forever and Netgalley for an early copy in exchange for an honest review.

Happy reading, folks!

eARC Review – Maggie Moves On by Lucy Score

Title: Maggie Moves On

Author: Lucy Score

Publisher: Forever

Publication date: June 21st, 2022

416 pages

5/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

Can these opposites turn up the heat… without burning down the house?

House-flipping sensation and YouTube star Maggie Nichols can’t wait to dig into her next challenge. Arriving in tiny Kinship, Idaho, with only a cot and a coffeemaker, Maggie is prepared to restore a crumbling Victorian mansion in four months or less. She has her to-do lists, her blueprints, and her team. What she doesn’t have is time for sexy, laid-back landscaper Silas Wright.

The man takes flirtation to a whole new level. And he does it shirtless…sometimes pants-less. He and his service school-dropout dog are impressively persistent. But she’s not interested in putting down roots. Not when fans tune in to watch her travel the country turning dilapidated houses into dream homes. A short-term fling on the other hand could fit nicely into her calendar. After all, Maggie remembers what fun is like. Vaguely.

As their summer gets downright steamy, Silas manages to demolish the emotional walls she’s spent years building, sending Maggie into a panic. He’s the wrench in her carefully constructed plans. With the end of the project looming, she has a decision to make. But how can she stay when her entire career is built on moving on?

Review

House flipping isn’t something that holds a lot of interest for me, and neither do YouTube shows or insta-love. Maggie Moves On has 3/3 – but I absolutely loved it and will spend the rest of the review raving about it.

First off, the insta-love was very different from the usual. Our hero, Silas, is immediately attracted to Maggie and has no qualms about sharing it, in joking statements about falling in love and being together forever on the first day they meet. It just FIT with his personality instead of screaming gross like it normally does to me. It definitely helps that it is dual POV so you can get Silas’ perspective – it’s really just that every little fact he learns about Maggie seems perfectly formed to call to him and he is just so easy-going. And Maggie handles it so well, giving it back to him just as much.

So Maggie is in Idaho to flip a big, old, historic house for her YouTube show before she moves onto the next project, as she’s been for ages now. But this house feels different, it quickly starts to feel like home. Especially when she grows more and more fond of Silas, makes friends, and basically adopts a wayward teenager to make sure he does his math homework and doesn’t fall in with the wrong crowd. Outside of her trauma and insecurities, she’s basically perfect and frankly I would date her.

Maggie Moves on has everything, a stellar romance (with some spice), a plot line that includes a treasure hunt, historical investigations, and house flipping, a secondary romance between two side characters that is utterly sweet and very gay, and amazing friendship and parenting. It’s about finding exactly what you’re looking for in the places you least expect and making your own type of family. It was amazing and I hope everyone loves it.

Thank you to Forever and Netgalley for an early copy in exchange for an honest review.

Happy reading, folks!

eARC Review – As Seen on TV by Meredith Schorr

Title: As Seen on TV

Author: Meredith Schorr

Publisher: Forever

Publication date: June 7th, 2022

352 pages

3/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

Fans of the Hallmark Channel and Gilmore Girls will adore this delightful rom‑com about a city girl who goes in search of small-town happiness, only to discover life—and love—are nothing like the TV movies.

Emerging journalist Adina Gellar is done with dating in New York City. If she’s learned anything from made-for-TV romance movies, it’s that she’ll find love in a small town—the kind with harvest festivals, delightful but quirky characters, and scores of delectable single dudes. So when a big-city real estate magnate targets tiny Pleasant Hollow for development, Adi knows she’s found the perfect story—one that will earn her a position at a coveted online magazine, so she can finally start adulting for real . . . and maybe even find her dream man in the process. 

Only Pleasant Hollow isn’t exactly “pleasant.” There’s no charming bakery, no quaint seasonal festivals, and the residents are more ambivalent than welcoming. The only upside is Finn Adams, who’s more mouthwatering than the homemade cherry pie Adi can’t seem to find—even if he does work for the company she’d hoped to bring down. Suddenly Adi has to wonder if maybe TV got it all wrong after all. But will following her heart mean losing her chance to break into the big time?

Review

As Seen on TV is a Hallmark style romance where the main character visits a small town in an attempt to take down the large real estate company buying up land to build on, and also to maybe find love. Adina needs a win, she needs to write a story to solidify a permanent job with the magazine she is working for. But when she gets to Pleasant Hollow, it has none of the aspects of a stereotypical Hallmark movie. Most people aren’t friendly, the stores are not cute or quaint, and there’s no pie to be found. And the only eligible man is the developer she’s come to take down – but she can’t seem to stay away.

Maybe I would’ve had more fun with this one if I was a fan of Hallmark movies – but the whole concept seemed very contrived and Adina just refused to be flexible and she tried to force this town into being something it isn’t. And she wasn’t always very nice about it. I did appreciate the Jewish representation and the idea that not every small town is this idyllic place made of rainbows and unicorns but that doesn’t mean the town isn’t fine just the way it is.

Trigger warning for alcoholism and verbal abuse in parts of the book. The hero is dealing with some demons and is the typical “I can only do casual because I’m too broken for a relationship” and Adina is the typical “I can’t do casual but will because I hope you will change”. Because that ALWAYS works out well?? I don’t know, it seemed way too trope-y even for me and I just didn’t have a great time with it.

However, if Hallmark movies are your jam – definitely check out this book. Just because it wasn’t for me doesn’t mean it won’t be great for someone else.

Thank you to Forever and Netgalley for an early copy in exchange for an honest review.

Happy reading, folks!