Book Review – Get A Life, Chloe Brown

“You always say such lovely things to me, Red. Do you say them to yourself?” 

Title: Get a Life, Chloe Brown (The Brown Sisters #1)

Author: Talia Hibbert

Publisher: Avon

Publication date: November 5th, 2019

373 pages

4/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

Chloe Brown is a chronically ill computer geek with a goal, a plan, and a list. After almost—but not quite—dying, she’s come up with seven directives to help her “Get a Life”, and she’s already completed the first: finally moving out of her glamorous family’s mansion. The next items?

• Enjoy a drunken night out.
• Ride a motorcycle.
• Go camping.
• Have meaningless but thoroughly enjoyable sex.
• Travel the world with nothing but hand luggage.
• And… do something bad.

But it’s not easy being bad, even when you’ve written step-by-step guidelines on how to do it correctly. What Chloe needs is a teacher, and she knows just the man for the job.

Redford ‘Red’ Morgan is a handyman with tattoos, a motorcycle, and more sex appeal than ten-thousand Hollywood heartthrobs. He’s also an artist who paints at night and hides his work in the light of day, which Chloe knows because she spies on him occasionally. Just the teeniest, tiniest bit.

But when she enlists Red in her mission to rebel, she learns things about him that no spy session could teach her. Like why he clearly resents Chloe’s wealthy background. And why he never shows his art to anyone. And what really lies beneath his rough exterior…

Review

Bravery wasn’t an identity, so much as a choice.

talia hibbert, get a life, chloe brown

Chloe Brown longs for a life of adventure, or at least what she assumed adventure is. After being diagnosed with a chronic pain disorder, she spent several years being sick and accepting it. Now, she wants to stop being safe and start living again. The problem? She doesn’t know how, or even what her definition of “adventure” and “living” is anymore. In comes Red, her apartment handyman who makes her heart beat a bit faster. She feels comfortable with him, so they make a deal. She will help him get his art career back off the ground, if he helps her check off items on her bucket list. Neither of them expect to care for the other, but they seem to understand each other better than they understand themselves.

I read this book all in one sitting (which if you follow my blog reviews can’t be that surprising for you) but I found myself really enjoying this book! I heard some mixed reviews about it, and there are definitely pieces that I will comment on, but I was swept up in Chloe and Red’s world and there are many ways in which I related to Chloe.

To start off, I want to say that I do not have chronic pain and therefore cannot comment on how accurate or representative of that community Chloe’s portrayal is. I will not speak from ignorance, and it’s a topic I do not have experience with. HOWEVER. I love Red’s ability to suss out when Chloe is feeling badly, and the care with which he treats her when she is struggling. It was one of the first endearing parts of him, when he noticed the tiny changes in her facial expressions and knew something was wrong. It made me love him so much more.

I loved the romance portion of this book and the steps both Chloe and Red took to move away from the past and forge ahead into a new future. Shaking off the binds of past expectations and characteristics, while also creating new expectations and characteristics. There really was a good level of character development. And the sex scenes were prime, not going to lie.

I hate the language though. I know this is set in the UK so this word is likely more accepted there but I hate the C word, especially when used in sex terms. Ugh, just hate it so much. I took a whole star away just for that. I hate that word more than any other word!

Thank you for sticking around for this rambling post. I look forward to Take a Hint, Dani Brown which is coming this summer!

Happy reading, folks!

eARC Review – Girl Gone Viral

Title: Girl Gone Viral (Modern Love #2)

Author: Alisha Rai

Publisher: Avon

Publication date: April 21st, 2020

400 pages

3/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

In Alisha Rai’s second novel in her Modern Love series, a live-tweet event goes viral for a camera-shy ex-model, shoving her into the spotlight—and into the arms of the bodyguard she’d been pining for.

OMG! Wouldn’t it be adorable if he’s her soulmate???

I don’t see any wedding rings [eyes emoji]

Breaking: #CafeBae and #CuteCafeGirl went to the bathroom AT THE SAME TIME!!!

One minute, Katrina King’s enjoying an innocent conversation with a hot guy at a coffee shop; the next, a stranger has live-tweeted the entire episode with a romantic meet-cute spin and #CafeBae is the new hashtag-du-jour. The problem? Katrina craves a low-profile life, and going viral threatens the peaceful world she’s painstakingly built. Besides, #CafeBae isn’t the man she’s hungry for…

He’s got a [peach emoji] to die for.

With the internet on the hunt for the identity of #CuteCafeGirl, Jas Singh, bodyguard, friend, and possessor of the most beautiful eyebrows Katrina’s ever seen, comes to the rescue and whisks her away to his family’s home. Alone in a remote setting with the object of her affections? It’s a recipe for romance. But after a long dating dry spell, Katrina isn’t sure she can trust her instincts when it comes to love—even if Jas’ every look says he wants to be more than just her bodyguard…

Review

**Thank you to Edelweiss, Avon, and Alisha Rai for a copy of this ebook in exchange for an honest review**

Companion novel to The Right Swipe, Girl Gone Viral follows Katrina King as she struggles with her anxiety disorder and finding herself going viral on the internet for a fake relationship with a man she encountered briefly at a coffee shop. Katrina copes with the unwanted attention, and possible increased attention from people in her past, by heading to Northern California with her super hot bodyguard Jas who she just happens to have been panting over for years now…

I found Girl Gone Viral to be a decent adult rom com. I appreciate the mental health representation with Katrina, and the fact that information is shared about her past but the story isn’t completely focused on her trauma. It allows a different perspective than normal because it focuses on dealing with the mental health triggers in her normal life years later.

I enjoyed the relationship progression of Katrina and Jas. It was interesting to read how they were able to go from employer/employee and long time friends to a romantic relationship. They had some serious issues but could talk about them and come to a solution or conclusion. Sometimes it’s nice to just read about functional relationships instead of two people who don’t know how to talk to each other or sort through normal relationship struggles.

One criticism I have is about the romantic, sex scenes. They were, frankly, unrealistic. I have never come across a book that was this unrealistic with how people have sex. It didn’t stop me from reading it, but I got to the first scene and literally stopped, read it to my fiance, and laughed about how that’s not an average take on how sexual experiences look. I think sex scenes are important to adult romance stories and at times it’s hard to create unique scenes – but this was not the solution.

Overall, I’m glad I was able to read Girl Gone Viral early, courtesy of Edelweiss. I read it all in one sitting, and it was an easy and light read. I hope you will check it out when it releases, especially if you enjoyed The Right Swipe!

Happy reading, folks!

Book Review – Love Her or Lose Her

Title: Love Her or Lose Her (Hot & Hammered #2)

Author: Tessa Bailey

Publisher: Avon Books

Publication date: January 14, 2020

352 pages

4.5/5 pages

Goodreads Synopsis

New York Times bestselling author Tessa Bailey returns with a unique, sexy romantic comedy about a young married couple whose rocky relationship needs a serious renovation. 

Rosie and Dominic Vega are the perfect couple: high school sweethearts, best friends, madly in love. Well, they used to be anyway. Now Rosie’s lucky to get a caveman grunt from the ex-soldier every time she walks in the door. Dom is faithful and a great provider, but the man she fell in love with ten years ago is nowhere to be found. When her girlfriends encourage Rosie to demand more out of life and pursue her dream of opening a restaurant, she decides to demand more out of love, too. Three words: marriage boot camp.

Never in a million years did Rosie believe her stoic, too-manly-to-emote husband would actually agree to relationship rehab with a weed-smoking hippy. Dom talking about feelings? Sitting on pillows? Communing with nature? Learning love languages? Nope. But to her surprise, he’s all in, and it forces her to admit her own role in their cracked foundation. As they complete one ridiculous—yet surprisingly helpful—assignment after another, their remodeled relationship gets stronger than ever. Except just as they’re getting back on track, Rosie discovers Dom has a secret… and it could demolish everything.

Review

We follow up with our characters with Rosie leaving Dominic because their marriage has been empty. The story follows them trying to save their marriage and learn how to communicate with each other better. I loved the use of love languages to explain the problems they were having. I fully ascribe to that relationship theory because it has always explained so much to me in my relationships. Rosie and Dominic try counseling, but Dominic has a secret that could change everything.

I pre-ordered Love Her or Lose Her after reading Fix Her Up and loving it. I loved the family and group of friends that Tessa Bailey has created, and I figured there would be one or two companion novels with it. As much as I loved Fix Her Up, Love Her or Lose Her was not quite as good.

Fix Her Up got a lot of critiques for the gratuitous use of ‘baby girl’ and the weird sex scenes. I didn’t agree with those and felt like the sex scenes were well done and I’ve never minded the term baby girl. HOWEVER, Bailey is back in this one with a new pet name and *gag* nope wasn’t for me. Used far too frequently. Also, the sex scenes seemed off to me, there was a level of ‘force’ to them that left me uncomfortable at times. Dominic seemed to be trying too hard to seduce and convince Rosie to do more than she wanted to.

I missed Georgie and Travis. Of course they are in the book, but barely. I think it says something that I’m reading about other characters and wishing for the story to be about someone else. I just didn’t connect as much with Rosie and Dominic’s relationship as I did with Georgie and Travis.

At the very end we find out that we are getting a Bethany book in the Fall!! I’m super excited! Even though Love Her or Lose Her wasn’t as great in my eyes, I still love Tessa Bailey’s writing and it is so easy to get through. I want to finish the stories of these characters so you know I’ll be back with that review quickly after it is released!

Happy reading, folks!

Book Review – The Right Swipe

Title: The Right Swipe (Modern Love #1)

Author: Alisha Rai

Publisher: Avon Books

Publication date: August 6th, 2019

387 pages

4/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

Alisha Rai returns with the first book in her sizzling new Modern Love series, in which two rival dating app creators find themselves at odds in the boardroom but in sync in the bedroom.

Rhiannon Hunter may have revolutionized romance in the digital world, but in real life she only swipes right on her career—and the occasional hookup. The cynical dating app creator controls her love life with a few key rules:

– Nude pics are by invitation only

– If someone stands you up, block them with extreme prejudice

– Protect your heart

Only there aren’t any rules to govern her attraction to her newest match, former pro-football player Samson Lima. The sexy and seemingly sweet hunk woos her one magical night… and disappears.

Rhi thought she’d buried her hurt over Samson ghosting her, until he suddenly surfaces months later, still big, still beautiful—and in league with a business rival. He says he won’t fumble their second chance, but she’s wary. A temporary physical partnership is one thing, but a merger of hearts? Surely that’s too high a risk…

Review

Every time you hurt someone, you break off a little piece of them. Not only do they have to live with that broken piece, then the next person who comes along has to figure out a way to spackle that spot. Your behavior has ripple effects.

Alisha rai, The Right Swipe

Rhi is exactly where she wants to be in life and she worked damn hard to get there, and she’s not about to waste her life on a relationship. Especially after her one night stand that she decided to bend her rules for, ghosted her… Everything was fine until he showed up on stage at a work event, working for her competition. See Rhi is the CEO and founder of a dating app and she has two main competitors. One is her manipulative ex-boyfriend who drove her out of the company, and the other is a site that’s so far behind the times it barely counts as competition. She wants to buy the site to finally get a win against her ex. The problem is… it’s the site her ghoster is working for…

The Right Swipe follows Rhi as she tries to navigate her relationship with the man who ghosted her, Samson. There is still an intense connection between them, but she has to decide if she wants to give him a second chance. It also follows her journey in trying to build her business even high and acquire her competitor.

Rhi is a strong, independent woman who knows exactly what she wants, and it is so good to read a romance novel where the woman has her own life outside of the main love interest. Without Samson, she is still a strong, independent woma.

There are some smutty, love scenes – but nothing over the top or graphic. Some details and explanations but it’s not the new Fifty Shades. Mild trigger warning for sexual harassment and the blow back of accusing your abuser. There is always mention of mental health in the form of social anxiety by Rhi’s best friend, Katrina.

The Right Swipe is the first in a new series by Alisha Rai. The next book, Girl Gone Viral, is releasing in April 2020. If you are a fan of Contemporary Romance or Tessa Bailey, this book will be for you.

Happy reading, bookish friends! 🙂