eARC Review – Boss Witch by Ann Aguirre

Title: Boss Witch (Fix-It Witches #2)

Author: Ann Aguirre

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

Publication date: April 5th, 2022

368 pages

4/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

The second in an adorable witchy rom-com series by New York Times bestselling author Ann Aguirre, perfect for fans of:

Ride-or-die female friendships
A bisexual heroine who stubbornly refuses to accept help
A hero with an incredibly pesky moral conscience
A mouse named Benson who may or may not have all the answers to life, magic, and love (Spoiler: he does!)

Clementine Waterhouse is a perfectly logical witch. She doesn’t tumble headlong into love. Rather she weighs the pros and cons and decides if a relationship is worth pursuing. At least that’s always been her modus operandi before. Clem prefers being the one in charge, always the first to walk away when the time is right. Attraction has never struck her like lightning.

Until the witch hunter comes to town.

Gavin Rhys hates being a witch hunter, but his family honor is on the line, and he needs to prove he’s nothing like his grandfather, a traitor who let everyone down. But things in St. Claire aren’t what they seem, and Gavin is distracted from the job immediately by a bewitching brunette with a sexy smile and haunting secrets in her eyes.

Can the bossiest witch in town find a happy ending with the last person she should ever love?

Review

I loved Witch Please for it’s whimsical take on modern witches hiding in society and trying to have love lives with mundanes. The magic system is well fleshed out for it being a mostly romance book, and there is a great level of spice – enough but not too much (by my standards). So I knew I needed to continue this serious. Boss Witch follow Clem as she tries to distract a witch hunter in town from finding Danica as her magic is glitching. Gavin hates his legacy as a witch hunter, but when indoctrinated at a young age and punished when he asked questions – he can’t disobey his dad. He is instantly attracted to Clem but knows it is just a short term romance while he tries to do his job. Little do either of them know that an enemies to lovers romance is one of the best kinds…

Loved it, just like I expected to. Gavin and Clem’s chemistry leaps off the page and they clearly are meant for each other. Clem is high stress and tries to handle so much in this book and her anxiety is so relatable as she gets overwhelmed. And Gavin is a calming force for her unexpectedly, since his whole goal is to take her magic and find her coven. Gavin is clearly hating his job and looking for any excuse to stop hunting witches and he goes through such a journey in this book. Truly, my guy deserves all the awards for what he handled and survived.

Modern day witches make for amazing books and Aguirre succeeds again with Boss Witch. Expect family drama, close calls, spicy romance, and the most adorable mouse named Benson. You won’t regret it.

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

Happy reading, folks!

eARC Review – The Matchbreaker Summer by Annie Rains

Title: The Matchbreaker Summer

Author: Annie Rains

Publisher: Underlined

Publication date: April 5th, 2022

304 pages

3/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

A pitch-perfect summer camp rom-com about two teens with nothing in common who come together to help break up a romance and unexpectedly start one of their own

Sixteen-year-old Paisley Manning has been attending Camp Seabrook since she was a little girl, when her parents ran it together. For the last few years, since her father’s death, she’s been the one helping her mom run the camp behind the scenes. This year, however, will be Camp Seabrook’s last hurrah because Paisley’s mom has met a guy online and they’re getting married.

Enter Hayden Bennett, who is working alongside Paisley. Paisley and Hayden are like oil and water. She follows the rules, and he seems to live to break them all. But when Hayden catches wind of Paisley’s predicament, he has an idea. If a matchmaker in some computer algorithm caused the issue, a couple of real-life matchbreakers can fix it.

As they work to break up the happy couple, Paisley discovers that maybe Hayden’s not so bad after all. Has she met her own perfect match in her fellow matchbreaker?

Underlined is a line of totally addictive romance, thriller, and horror paperback original titles coming to you fast and furious each month. Enjoy everything you want to read the way you want to read it.

Review

I have a soft spot for books set at a summer camp, especially YA contemporary with a splash of romance. Add in opposites attract and a plot to break up a relationship and I knew this was a book I wanted to read. And it was okay. I think a different ending or longer ending would’ve increased my enjoyment of this book enormously. It felt unfinished without an epilogue or a flash forward scene at the end to see where the characters are.

This is definitely a younger YA book. The characters are 15-16 and more immature, exactly what you would expect from the age range. I don’t say this as a negative, it isn’t. I just think it’s an important distinction as there are a lot of books with 17-18 year old characters that are much more mature. What you see if what you get with this one. I loved the summer camp setting, the emotionality of the characters with their backgrounds and the loss they experienced. Paisley is dealing with her mom moving on with another man after her father dies and wants to move and sell the summer camp that was the lifeblood of the family. Hayden is dealing with his brother’s death and probably some sort of ADHD symptoms that weren’t being managed well.

Again, I go back to needing more from the ending. I would’ve rated this higher if the ending was more explanatory, it just felt like it ended prematurely for the story line.

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

Happy reading, folks!

eARC Review – Reputation by Lex Croucher

Title: Reputation

Author: Lex Croucher

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

Publication date: April 5th, 2022

336 pages

4/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

The hilarious debut novel from Lex Croucher. A classic romcom with a Regency-era twist, for fans of Mean Girls and/or Jane Austen.

Abandoned by her parents, middle-class Georgiana Ellers has moved to a new town to live with her dreary aunt and uncle. At a particularly dull party, she meets the enigmatic Frances Campbell, a wealthy member of the in-crowd who lives a life Georgiana couldn’t have imagined in her wildest dreams.

Lonely and vulnerable, Georgiana falls in with Frances and her unfathomably rich, deeply improper friends. Georgiana is introduced to a new world: drunken debauchery, mysterious young men with strangely arresting hands, and the upper echelons of Regency society.

But the price of entry to high society might just be higher than Georgiana is willing to pay …

Review

Fans of Mean Girls and regency/historicals – rejoice. Because Reputation is the perfect crossover of those two ideas. Georgiana is abandoned by her parents and forced to live with an aunt and uncle. They are not particularly wealthy or high up in society and are frankly, boring. Georgiana needs to make friends, so when Lady Frances Campbell takes an interest in her – Georgiana will do anything to keep Frances’ attention and regard. Even immoral, illegal, and possibly ruinous things that could take her down a very dark road. Add in a mysterious youn man and it’s about to get interesting…

I want to start off this review with a trigger warning for SA and attempted SA. I didn’t realize going in and got kind of slapped in the face by it so I wanted to make sure it is well known for anyone else picking up this book based on my review. Now, I found this book to be wildly entertaining – it is very much like Mean Girls if you picture Frances and Regina George and Georgiana as Cady. Add in some forbidden LGBTQ romance and drugs/alcohol/reckless behavior and you have Reputation.

I loved the romance portion of this book as Georgiana meets her man. She is clearly caught between him and Frances’ group and wants to have both. She makes some really bad decisions but by the end is a great character. The ending and epilogue are very satisfying as well – but again, make sure to pay attention to triggers because it isn’t something that I saw coming.

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press and Netgalley for an early copy in exchange for an honest review.

Happy reading, folks!

eARC Review – To Marry and to Meddle by Martha Waters

Title: To Marry and to Meddle (The Regency Vows #3)

Author: Martha Waters

Publisher: Atria Books

Publication date: April 5th, 2022

336 pages

5/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

The “sweet, sexy, and utterly fun” (Emily Henry, author of The People We Meet on Vacation) Regency Vows series continues with a witty, charming, and joyful novel following a seasoned debutante and a rakish theater owner as they navigate a complicated marriage of convenience.

Lady Emily Turner has been a debutante for six seasons now and should have long settled into a suitable marriage. However, due to her father’s large debts, her only suitor is the persistent and odious owner of her father’s favorite gambling house. Meanwhile, Lord Julian Belfry, the second son of a marquess, has scandalized society as an actor and owner of a theater—the kind of establishment where men take their mistresses, but not their wives. When their lives intersect at a house party, Lord Julian hatches a plan to benefit them both.

With a marriage of convenience, Emily will use her society connections to promote the theater to a more respectable clientele and Julian will take her out from under the shadows of her father’s unsavory associates. But they soon realize they have very different plans for their marriage—Julian wants Emily to remain a society wife, while Emily discovers an interest in the theater. But when a fleeing actress, murderous kitten, and meddlesome friends enter the fray, Emily and Julian will have to confront the fact that their marriage of convenience comes with rather inconvenient feelings.

With “an arch sense of humor and a marvelously witty voice that rivals the best of the Regency authors” (Entertainment Weekly), Martha Waters crafts another fresh romantic comedy that for fans of Julia Quinn and Evie Dunmore.

Review

The Regency Vows is a super solid regency romance series following a group of society ladies and their romantic endeavors. To Marry and to Meddle is the third book and follows Lady Emily Turner, the picture perfect lady on the ton. Emily must be perfect in order to balance out her father’s scandalous behavior with his debts to a less than reputable business man. Emily has been forced to court her father’s debtor for several Seasons and is ready to be out from under her parent’s rule. Lord Julian needs to fix the reputation of his theater to prove it’s worth to his estranged father. Together, they decide to enter a marriage of convenience to achieve both of their goals.

I adore marriage of convenience that turns into true love. It’s a beautiful trope, especially suited for regency romance because there were more reasons at that time to need a marriage of convenience than there is in current times. I love how Emily grows and changes as she is finally able to be herself instead of the perfect lady of the ton her family needs her to be. She has such a thick skin and it’s completely clear why Julian falls for her. Emily and Julian are my favorite couple of this series hands down so far.

I give this a 5 star because I enjoyed every single minute of the book. I don’t have any critiques or downsides to give. I just can’t wait for the next one!

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

Happy reading, folks!

eARC Review – The Wedding Crasher by Mia Sosa

Title: The Wedding Crasher

Author: Mia Sosa

Publisher: Avon

Publication date: April 5th, 2022

320 pages

4/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

The USA Today bestselling author of The Worst Best Man is back with another hilarious rom-com about two strangers who get trapped in a lie and have to fake date their way out of it…

Just weeks away from ditching DC for greener pastures, Solange Pereira is roped into helping her wedding planner cousin on a random couple’s big day. It’s an easy gig… until she stumbles upon a situation that convinces her the pair isn’t meant to be. What’s a true-blue romantic to do? Crash the wedding, of course. And ensure the unsuspecting groom doesn’t make the biggest mistake of his life.

Dean Chapman had his future all mapped out. He was about to check off “start a family” and on track to “make partner” when his modern day marriage of convenience went up in smoke. Then he learns he might not land an assignment that could be his ticket to a promotion unless he has a significant other and, in a moment of panic, Dean claims to be in love with the woman who crashed his wedding. Oops.

Now Dean has a whole new item on his to-do list: beg Solange to be his pretend girlfriend. Solange feels a tiny bit bad about ruining Dean’s wedding, so she agrees to play along. Yet as they fake-date their way around town, what started as a performance for Dean’s colleagues turns into a connection that neither he nor Solange can deny. Their entire romance is a sham… there’s no way these polar opposites could fall in love for real, right?

Review

The Worst Best Man was an average read at best for me – but I wanted to give Mia Sosa’s writing another chance and I’m so glad that I did. I loved The Wedding Crasher – it is the perfect fake dating trope where the main characters end up faking it for both of their gains instead of just one of them. There’s drama, difficult conversations, family struggles, and one very intensely sexual scene at a group sex party.

Yeah, you read that correctly.

From the start I loved Solange right when she interrupted Dean’s wedding to object. That takes some serious lady balls to do, especially for two people you don’t even know. But, it was the right decision and it changed Dean’s life for the better. Dean and Solange both needed a shake up in their life goals and routines – and neither of them really knew it. It might have been an odd pairing to start with but the feelings grew and showed what they both were missing out of life.

I liked seeing Lina and Max as well, in the background, even if I wasn’t a huge fan of their book. So I do recommend reading this book, even if you’re like me and The Worst Best Man wasn’t your favorite rom com of all time. The Wedding Crasher made up for it in my opinion.

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

Happy reading, folks!

April TBR – 2022 Edition

Happy April friends! I don’t know about you, but Baltimore is already taking ‘April showers bring May flowers’ to heart. I have big plans for reading this month – remember when I said I was going to focus less on a TBR and just mood read?? Yeah, who was she because that’s over. I have so many Netgalley arcs to read that I’m so behind and my anal self just can’t handle that. I need to spend April catching up on these arcs, so I have more planned than I normally would. Thankfully work is fairly slow so I have a lot of time for reading!

I didn’t want to just read arcs this month so I did add a bunch of other books I want to read – which led to a truly crazy amount of books I have planned for April. But you know what they say – shoot for the moon and you’ll land among the stars. I already can’t wait to see how many of the below books I actually am able to read in April and if I manage to even catch up on arcs!

ARCS

  1. To Marry and to Meddle (The Regency Vows #3), Martha Waters
  2. A Forgery of Roses, Jessica S. Olson
  3. Reputation, Lex Croucher
  4. The Matchbreaker Summer, Annie Rains
  5. Boss Witch (Fix-It Witches #2), Anne Aguirre
  6. The Sign for Home, Blair Fells
  7. Blaine for the Win, Robbie Couch
  8. This May End Badly, Samantha Markum
  9. Say You’ll Be My Lady (The Unconventional Ladies of Mayfair #2), Kate Pembrooke
  10. Mother of All (Women’s War #3), Jenna Glass
  11. The Discord of Gods (A Chorus of Dragons #5), Jenn Lyons
  12. Blame it on the Brontes, Annie Sereno
  13. Chef’s Kiss, TJ Alexander
  14. I Kissed Shara Wheeler, Casey McQuiston
  15. The Wedding Season, Katy Birchall
  16. The Unplanned Life of Josie Hale, Stephanie Eding
  17. The Stand-In, Lily Chu
  18. The Younger Wife, Sally Hepworth
  19. Always Jane, Jenn Bennett

PHYSICAL

  1. Not the Kind of Earl You Marry (The Unconventional Ladies of Mayfair #1), Kate Pembrooke
  2. One Last Stop, Casey McQuiston
  3. Always Only You (Bergman Brothers #2), Chloe Liese
  4. Ever After Always (Bergman Brothers #3), Chloe Liese
  5. With You Forever (Bergman Brothers #4), Chloe Liese
  6. The Deal (Off-Campus #1), Elle Kennedy
  7. The Sky Blues, Robbie Couch

EBOOKS

  1. From Dust, a Flame, Rebecca Podos
  2. Love, Chai, and Other Four Letter Words (Chai Masala Club #1), Annika Sharma
  3. Omens (The Triad #3), Dana Isaly
  4. Dead Drop (The Guild #2), Tate James
  5. Counting Down With You, Tashie Bhuiyan
  6. When You Get the Chance, Emma Lord

AUDIO

  1. Royal Holiday (The Wedding Date #4), Jasmine Guillory
  2. The Final Girl Support Group, Grady Hendrix
  3. Delilah Green Doesn’t Care (Bright Falls #1), Ashley Herring Blake
  4. Party of Two (The Wedding Date #5), Jasmine Guillory

Happy reading, folks!

March Wrap Up – 2022 Edition

Already moving into April! I actually did a great job on my TBR for this month, specifically around the ARCs I wanted to read. I didn’t get through everything because my brain kept getting distracted by dark/smutty romance/reverse harems as you can probably tell but I am still proud of the books I was able to get through this month. I also had a lot of 5 stars reads this month which just further shows how great this month was for my reading.

I really got into an audiobook groove as well with mysteries/thrillers! I have been working for month on my ability to read audiobooks and I weirdly connect best with this genre in audio compared to anything else! I think it will really help me diversify my reading in terms of genre because I am much more interested in the genre when listening to it rather than ebook or physical. Don’t ask me why, I have no idea – but I’m just rolling with it. I can still read romance on audio but mysteries/thrillers really hit that sweet spot for me.

I also read some regency romances this month and that is generally not a preferred sub-genre of romance but I was sent some by publishers so I kind of had to. And I loved them. I think the more I read of them the more I connect with the story and can ignore the required sexism due to historical accuracy.

Tune in tomorrow for my April TBR!

  1. Solitary Sinners (Saint View Prison #2), Elle Thorpe – 4/5 stars
  2. Fatal Felons (Saint View Prison #3), Elle Thorpe – 4/5 stars
  3. Only When It’s Us (Bergman Brothers #1), Chloe Liese – 4/5 stars
  4. Twisted Games (Boys of Briar Hall #3), Elena Lawson – 4/5 stars
  5. Lock Every Door, Riley Sager – 4/5 stars
  6. A Far Wilder Magic, Allison Saft – 3/5 stars
  7. The Suite Spot, Trish Doller – 5/5 stars
  8. Reckless Girls, Rachel Hawkins – 3/5 stars
  9. Kamila Knows Best, Farah Heron – 3/5 stars
  10. Daughter, Kate McLaughlin – 5/5 stars
  11. Blood Scion (Blood Scion #1), Deborah Falaye – 5/5 stars
  12. Credence, Penelope Douglas – 3/5 stars
  13. Getting Clean with Stevie Green, Swan Huntley – 3/5 stars
  14. Lyric & the Heartbeats (Sweetverse #4), Lana Kole – 4/5 stars
  15. Triple Duty Bodyguards, Lily Gold – 4/5 stars
  16. Nanny for the Neighbors, Lily Gold – 4/5 stars
  17. Shared by the Billionaires, Cassie Cole – 3/5 stars
  18. A River Enchanted (Elements of Cadence #1), Rebecca Ross – 4/5 stars
  19. The Wedding Crasher, Mia Sosa – 4/5 stars
  20. Remember Me, Estelle Laure – 3/5 stars
  21. The One True Me and You, Remi K. England – 5/5 stars
  22. Final Girls, Riley Sager – 4/5 stars
  23. How to Survive a Scandal (Rebels with a Cause #1), Samara Parish – 4/5 stars
  24. How to Deceive a Duke (Rebels with a Cause #2), Samara Parish – 4/5 stars
  25. The House on Sunshine Corner (The Sunshine Corner #1), Phoebe Mills – 5/5 stars
  26. Sing Me Forgotten, Jessica S. Olson – 3/5 stars
  27. A Wedding on Sunshine Corner (The Sunshine Corner #2), Phoebe Mills – 5/5 stars
  28. A Flicker in the Dark, Stacy Willingham – 5/5 stars

Happy reading, folks!

March Haul – 2022 Edition

It’s been a few months since I did a haul post, mostly because I’ve been really inconsistent with posting on this blog in any way. But I really am working hard on coming back into this space so I need to get back into the groove. So I don’t really have much to say for this haul, except a lot of the books were provided by publishers for review.

BOOK OF THE MONTH

  1. Dating Dr. Dil (If Shakespeare Was an Auntie #1), Nisha Sharma

PUBLISHERS

  1. All Fired Up, Dylan Newton
  2. Falling For You (Sapphire Springs #3), Barb Curtis
  3. Summer’s Edge, Dana Mele
  4. The Younger Wife, Sally Hepworth

I don’t really buy books much anymore because a huge goal of mine for this year was to spend less on books and utilize the library more. So many of my reads are using Libby or borrowing physical and audio books from the library!

Happy reading, folks!

eARC Review – A Forgery of Roses by Jessica S. Olson

Title: A Forgery of Roses

Author: Jessica S. Olson

Publisher: Inkyard Press

Publication date: March 29th, 2022

368 pages

4/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

Myra Whitlock has a gift. One many would kill for.

She’s an artist whose portraits alter people’s real-life bodies, a talent she must hide from those who would kidnap, blackmail, and worse in order to control it. Guarding that secret is the only way to keep her younger sister safe now that their parents are gone.

But one frigid night, the governor’s wife discovers the truth and threatens to expose Myra if she does not complete a special portrait that would resurrect the governor’s dead son. Desperate, Myra ventures to his legendary stone mansion.

Once she arrives, however, it becomes clear the boy’s death was no accident. Someone dangerous lurks within these glittering halls. Someone harboring a disturbing obsession with portrait magic.

Myra cannot do the painting until she knows what really happened, so she turns to the governor’s older son, a captivating redheaded poet. Together, they delve into the family’s most shadowed affairs, racing to uncover the truth before the secret Myra spent her life concealing makes her the killer’s next victim.

From Sing Me Forgotten author Jessica S. Olson comes a gothic fantasy murder mystery perfect for fans of Kerri Maniscalco and Erin A. Craig.

Review

A PORTRAIT IS WORTH A THOUSAND LIES

I wasn’t thrilled with Olson’s first book – but A Forgery of Roses was worth giving her writing another try. Olson is fantastic with unique magic systems, A Forgery of Roses includes Prodigies – artists who can paint and change the object of their painting’s physical characteristics. This could be for disguise, healing, or malicious intent. They are viewed by the majority of society as dangerous and would be killed or arrested if found so they must hide their talents.

Myra Whitlock is a Prodigy and orphan trying to take care of her younger sister who suffers from a GI condition they can’t afford to treat. She is just trying to keep her head over water when the governor’s wife comes in for a portrait and notices her magic. Myra’s given no choice but to complete the task she is charged with, otherwise her and her sister’s lives are in danger. But what she doesn’t expect is to find a murder mystery in the governor’s house and a handsome yet quiet boy who could be the best or worst thing that ever happens to her.

This book really was a ride the whole way. The fantasy mystery combination isn’t one I see often but I really enjoyed trying to figure out what was happening. I wasn’t really able to predict the events in this book which is always a great sign. I got the ending I was missing in her first book and was so proud of the characters by the end. I also sense a possibility of a sequel or companion novel and am hopeful that happens! I really enjoyed the experience of this book, definitely recommend.

Thank you to Inkyard Press and Netgalley for an early copy in exchange for an honest review

Happy reading, folks!

eARC Review – A Wedding on Sunshine Corner by Phoebe Mills

Title: A Wedding on Sunshine Corner (The Sunshine Corner #2)

Author: Phoebe Mills

Publisher: Forever

Publication date: March 29th, 2022

349 pages

5/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

A delightful small-town romance between a daycare teacher and single dad who must overcome their differences to help plan the ultimate wedding.

They’ve driven each other crazy for years, but were they fighting each other—or the chemistry between them?

As the youngest in her loving, overprotective family, Savannah Lowe has always gone with the flow instead of going out on a limb…until now. Her new job running a preschool requires her to be all in. If only the father of one of her students wasn’t her brother’s incredibly infuriating, impossibly attractive best friend. Savannah has no clue what she ever did to make him dislike her, and now they’re stuck spending even more time together planning her brother’s wedding.

Single father Noah Adams has his hands full between his job as a paramedic and caring for his young daughter. The last thing he needs is a complication like Savannah in his life—a girl he remembers being constantly pampered by her family. But the more he gets to know her, the more he sees how kind and compassionate she really is. Now their long-ignored, off-the-charts chemistry has them on a collision course…with each other. 

Review

I am obsessed with the covers for this series. They literally make me so happy, just as much as the books do. I was obsessed with The House on Sunshine Corner so I had high hopes for this one – and it DELIVERED. Truly an enemies to lovers romance, Savannah and Noah have known each other since childhood and have never gotten along. Noah thinks she is a spoiled princess and makes no secret of it, which in turn means Savannah doesn’t like Noah due to the insults flung for years. But when Savannah’s brother and Noah’s best friend announces he’s engaged and wants them to plan the wedding, they must come to a truce and start to see eye to eye. And when they do… man the sparks fly.

Obsessed is the best word to describe my feelings for this book. I can’t pick a favorite between the two in the Sunshine Corner series, you can’t make me. I love enemies to lovers with loads of sexual tension. It has dual POVs so you get to see both characters start to let down their guard and fall in love with the other, it’s just my favorite kind of book hands down. They also help each other grow so much in their insecurities and bad behaviors, I was cheering for them both the whole way through.

There is a bit more spice in this one than the previous book (no complaints here). I would read a million more book set in this small town and Phoebe Mills is a new author I will need to keep an eye on for more books.

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

Happy reading, folks!