eARC Review – Up Close and Personal

Title: Up Close & Personal

Author: Kathryn Freeman

Publisher: One More Chapter

Publication date: June 12th, 2020

??? pages

3.5/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

Sizzling chemistry, a page-turning will they/won’t they romance and the hottest twist on one of your favourite movies…

British actor Zac Edwards is the latest heartthrob to hit the red carpets. Hot, talented and rich, he sends women wild…all except one.

Close protection officer Kat Parker hasn’t got time to play celebrity games. She has one job: to protect Zac from the stalker that seems to be dogging his every move.

Zac might get her hot under her very starched collar, but Kat’s a professional – and sleeping with Zac is no way part of her remit…

Review

**Thank you to One More Chapter, Netgalley, and Kathryn Freeman for an early copy of this ebook in exchange for an honest review**

Up Close and Personal follows Zac Edwards, new movie star being stalked and harassed by a female fan, and Kat Parker, his new bodyguard hired by the production company of the film he is shooting. The problem? Zac and Kat are hopelessly attracted to each other and have giant personal secrets that they won’t share with the other. It’s a story full of push and pull in this relationship, made more complicated by someone trying to kill Zac…

I really enjoyed this book, which didn’t surprise me because I also really enjoyed Kathryn’s most recent book as well. The characters had a great rapport and dialogue from the beginning, and I enjoy a forbidden romance. Both Kat and Zac have their demons that affect them but also have a lot to do with their character development and in their future relationship development. The plot was intense and incorporated a realistic kind of villain.

In some parts of the book the relationship super dragged. I get why because it was forbidden, but I think it could have been more interesting if more happened when it was still forbidden. Also, there was a sub plot that really wasn’t followed up on, and I have questions about it.

Up Close and Personal was a cute, easy to read, romance that included forbidden love, emotional baggage, and a crazy stalker. It is also mostly clean for those who aren’t interested in a lot of smut in their romance books.

Happy reading, folks!

Novella Review – Quarantined by Love

Title: Quarantined by Love

Author: Hilari T. Cohen

Publisher: Self-Published

Publication date: April 27th, 2020

82 pages

4/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

Tim has no time for anything other than his work as an ER doctor, especially during the all-consuming global pandemic that has leveled his city. But when he sees a beautiful stranger dancing on the rooftop of her building he immediately knows that he must somehow meet her, so he devises a crazy plan…


Lola’s first major role on a Broadway stage is stalled due to a deadly virus that has forced the world indoors, but she can’t sit still. She sneaks outside to dance and is surprised to have a drone with a phone number land at her feet. Who is this mysterious sender? And was her broken heart ready to take another chance?

Can two strangers find virtual love in a time of social distancing? Will Tim and Lola be Quarantined By Love? There’s only one way to find out…

This is a novella with no cliffhanger and a happy ending!

Review

**Thank you to Hilari T. Cohen for sending me a copy of this ebook in exchange for an honest review**

In a novelle length book, Cohen writes of the current global pandemic and how it changed the way you date & meet people. Tim is a doctor on the front lines fighting the pandemic. One night, he looks out the window to see a woman dancing on her rooftop and he is immediately interested. He wants to get to know her, but how? He grabs his drone and sends her a note with his phone number. Lola receives the note & humors him – even though she is still dealing with the demise of her previous relationship.

This story is short, cute, and romantic. I think if I were single during this pandemic, this is how I would want to meet someone. It’s the modern “their eyes locked from across the bar”! Seriously though, the dating was cute and for a short story, you get a decent amount of character background for Tim and Lola.

The romance trope is insta-love, obviously because it’s a novella and barely longer than 80 pages. If this is the trope for you, maybe this won’t be the novella for you. But the few days of dates and getting to know each other are super cute & it’s clear how deeply Tim and Lola connect.

Overall, I think this was a sweet read that was worth it.

Happy reading, folks!

June TBR!

Happy (or frankly, not so happy as the protests continue) June! I am filled with hope for this month. I hope for freedoms to be given and change to be in the air. I hope for lives to be spared and differences to be made for POC across the world. In less serious terms, I also hope I read another ridiculously large stack of books.

For this month, I have planned 22 books to be read. This is indeed fewer than I read last month for those of you who are playing along at home. However, I feel like last month was largely a fluke and won’t be replicated for another hundred years. So, I will continue to prioritize my Netgalley list and continue working on getting those numbers down. I’m currently at ~87% ratio, and have many books planned for this month!

PHYSICAL BOOKS

  1. Escaping from Houdini (Stalking Jack the Ripper #3), Kerri Maniscalco
  2. Capturing the Devil (Stalking Jack the Ripper #4), Kerri Maniscalco
  3. The Bone Houses, Emily Lloyd-Jones
  4. Beyond a Darkened Shore, Jessica Leake
  5. Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2), Sarah J. Maas
  6. The Beholder (The Beholder #1), Anna Bright
  7. The Boundless (The Beholder #2), Anna Bright
  8. DEVIATE (LIFELIKE #2), Jay Kristoff

LIBRARY EBOOKS

  1. Mirage (Mirage #1), Somaiya Daud
  2. Mortal Heart (His Fair Assassin #3), Robin LaFevers
  3. Courting Darkness (Courting Darkness #1), Robin LaFevers
  4. Smoke in the Sun (Flame in the Mist #1), Renee Ahdieh
  5. Ninth House (Alex Stern #1), Leigh Bardugo
  6. If I Never Met You, Mhairi MacFarlane
  7. The Ruin of Kings (A Chorus of Dragons #1), Jenn Lyons
  8. The Name of All Things (A Chorus of Dragons #2), Jenn Lyons

NETGALLEY EARCS

  1. Just Saying, Sophie Ranald
  2. Court of Lions (Mirage #2), Somaiya Daud
  3. Ever Cursed, Corey Ann Haydu
  4. These Vengeful Hearts, Katherine Laurin
  5. The Memory of Souls (A Chorus of Dragons #3), Jenn Lyons
  6. Igniting Darkness (Courting Darkness #2), Robin LaFevers – sampler

What books are you planning to read this month?

Happy reading, folks!

Book Review – The Bromance Book Club

“That’s why fiction resonates with people. It speaks to universal truths.”

Title: The Bromance Book Club (Bromance Book Club #1)

Author: Lyssy Kay Adams

Publisher: Berkley

Publication date: November 5th, 2019

352 pages

4.5/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

The first rule of book club: You don’t talk about book club.

Nashville Legends second baseman Gavin Scott’s marriage is in major league trouble. He’s recently discovered a humiliating secret: his wife Thea has always faked the Big O. When he loses his cool at the revelation, it’s the final straw on their already strained relationship. Thea asks for a divorce, and Gavin realizes he’s let his pride and fear get the better of him. 

Welcome to the Bromance Book Club.

Distraught and desperate, Gavin finds help from an unlikely source: a secret romance book club made up of Nashville’s top alpha men. With the help of their current read, a steamy Regency titled Courting the Countess, the guys coach Gavin on saving his marriage. But it’ll take a lot more than flowery words and grand gestures for this hapless Romeo to find his inner hero and win back the trust of his wife.

Review

“Book club isn’t just about books.”

Lyssy Kay Adams, The Bromance Book Club

The Bromance Book Club stars baseball hotshot Gavin Scott and his wife Thea. Currently, they are separated after having a huge fight revolving around faked orgasms and lying. Gavin moves out and Thea asks for a divorce. In comes Gavin’s good friend and teammate Del who introduces him to a book club run by some of Nashville’s biggest male sports star or celebrities. They read romance novels in secret in order to fix their love lives and relationships. Gavin has to do whatever it takes to fix things with Thea or he will lose her forever.

I have many thoughts about this book. First off I loved the idea of a “bromance book club”. What lady doesn’t like the idea of her man (or woman) doing research on the best way to communicate and love her? I’d personally be very happy if my fiance chose to do this, but alas it would never happen. Moving right along, like I said – love this unique concept in a romance novel.

However. Gavin and Thea are not great characters. Even Liz, a side character, is decidedly terrible (which is likely the point). These characters have a long way to go to be likable, and let’s be real Braden Mack seriously stole the whole book. I just don’t think a side character with only a few lines should be the best character in the whole book. Also, I just generally tend to like romance books featuring a new relationship compared to fixing a broken one. But that’s just me!

The Bromance Book Club is very easy to read, and outside of what I mentioned above it is well written and quite good. I had a hard time rating it, because in the initial aftermath of finishing the book I enjoyed it a lot more than when I sat down and thought about it and wrote this review.

Check back soon as I will be posting my review for the sequel, Undercover Bromance where my fave Braden will get his story!

Happy reading, folks!