Sunday, 31 May 2020

Upcoming June Romance Releases


I honestly can't believe we're in almost in another month! 2020 is definitely flying by and while I'm not at my regular day job, I can honestly say that I'm loving the time that I'm able to spend dedicated to reading and this website!

This month we're getting some incredible releases, and while I've been lucky enough to read a few in advance, I can't wait for the others. Get yourselves ready for these great releases below!

1. Save the Date - Anne Marie Walker (2nd June)
Save The Date by Anne Marie Walker

Rebecca Halstead has never been a bridesmaid, but she can certainly relate to the expression “always a bridesmaid, never a bride.” As one of Chicago’s top wedding planners, Rebecca has had a front row seat to countless ceremonies, yet her own walk down the aisle has started to feel like nothing more than a little girl’s fantasy. She’s the wallflower who, thanks to a clean bill of health from her oncologist, wants to live life to the fullest. If only she knew how.

Brody Dixon hasn’t heard the word “no” since he was drafted by the NFL. With cover model looks and an arm that’s earned him two Super Bowl MVPs, Brody can have his pick of women. But as the next celebrity bachelor on American Sweetheart, both his agent and publicist want him to clean up his image before the show begins. If only he knew how.

Then fate, and an impulsive wager, bring these two opposites together until an unlikely alliance is formed. For the next two months, Brody will get a crash course in romance. In return, he agrees to help Rebecca break out of her carefully constructed shell. On paper it makes perfect sense. But as they struggle to teach each other, Brody and Rebecca just might discover that falling in love is the most important lesson of all.
Click here to purchase from Amazon.

3. Just Friends - Holly McCullogh (11th June)

Just Friends by Holly McCulloch
Bea isn’t happy. Desperate for a change, she looks to her friends for inspiration. Every single one of them is paired off, perhaps that’s what she needs too.
So, she starts dating again. But everywhere she goes – amid the hilarious and scarring dates – there’s Peter. Good old, oddball Peter, her closest friend from university. He’s always been firmly in the friend zone but something’s happened lately – he seems taller, more handsome and suddenly making him smile is Bea’s favourite thing.
But how can Bea possibly risk their friendship? And how do you even go about taking someone out of the friend zone? What if Bea and Peter were only ever meant to be just friends…

Click here to purchase from Amazon.

4. Up Close & Personal - Kathryn Freeman (12th June)
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…
Don't miss my review here, and click here to purchase from Amazon!

5. Take A Hint, Dani Brown - Talia Hibbert (23rd June)
Danika Brown knows what she wants: professional success, academic renown and an occasional roll in the hay to relive all that career-driven tension. But romance? Been there, done that, burned the T-shirt. So Dani asks the universe for the perfect friend-with-benefits...

When brooding security guard Zafir Ansari rescues her from a workplace fire drill gone wrong, it's an obvious sign: PhD student Dani and ex-rugby player Zaf are destined to sleep together. But before she can explain that fact, a video of the heroic rescue goes viral. Now half the internet is shipping #DrRugbae - and Zaf is begging Dani to play along.

Dani's plan is simple: fake a relationship in public, seduce Zaf behind the scenes. But grumpy Zaf is secretly a romantic - and he's determined to corrupt Dani's stone-cold realism. With every fake date and midnight meeting, Dani's easy lay becomes more complex than her thesis. Has her wish backfired?
Or is the universe waiting for her to take a hint?

Click here to purchase from Amazon.
6. Wrong Bed, Right Brother - Rebecca Brooks (15th June)
Wrong Bed, Right Brother by Rebecca Brooks
I’ve been crushing on my coworker for months. And now he’s moving… across the country. I’ve got one shot to make my move. We’re all holed up in this amazing house upstate and tonight I’m going to sneak into his room and finally Make. Something. Happen.

So I go for it. I climb into Luke’s bed and the kissing is so much better than I imagined. Why did we wait so long to feel this? I moan his name and Bam! He jumps out of bed. WTF? It isn’t Luke. It’s his twin, Noah. I don’t even like Noah. And he certainly doesn’t like me.

This will NEVER happen again...until the next day against the barn door. Why can’t I stop seeing him? It will never work. We're complete opposites. Enemies with benefits is a thing, right? But what happens when I start to want more?

Don't miss my review here, and click here to purchase from Amazon!
 
7. A Royal Second Chance Summer Romance - Viv Royce (22nd June)

A Royal Second Chance Summer by Viv Royce
Prince Nicolas is looking for a priceless royal heirloom. Trying to stay under the radar, he keeps that he’s a prince secret—especially from the cute antiques dealer he asks to help him. The longer it takes, the more time they get to spend together, though no matter how attracted he is to Lizzie, love is certainly not an option for the heir to the crown of Belfort.

Lizzie Cates fled her family’s new-found fame and fortune because life in the spotlight wasn’t for her. She loves her small town, where the most exciting thing on the schedule is the car parade for the Fourth of July. That’s just how she likes it, until Nicolas comes along. Lizzie finds herself falling for the caring man who craves the country and small-town life as much as she does.

Except Nicolas has a secret that will shatter both their dreams...

8. Royal Bastard - Avery Flynn (8th June)

Royal Bastard by Avery Flynn
Brooke Chapman-Powell takes her position as the Earl of Englefield’s personal secretary very seriously. This job is what keeps her sister in her university for the deaf and the town from completely shutting down. But the earl’s dying, and they have only one hope. An American. From some place called Salvation, Virginia.

Now she’ll have to teach the in-all-likelihood-uncouth-and-lazy half American how to be a proper earl if they hope to save the village. God help them all.

Nick Vane has about two gazillion things that land higher on his to-do list than becoming an English earl. Things like naps. Hosting poker nights. Oh, and raking in the profits from his latest invention. Accepting the title his grandfather has denied him since birth? Doesn’t. Even. Register. But Miss Prim and Proper won’t give up, and before he knows what’s what, he’s on a plane to London.


He’s got too much pride to go down easily, and she’s got too much propriety to ever break the rules. They are as different as a cocktail fork and a bread knife...and the clash between them lands these two in the most unexpected positions.

Click here to purchase from Amazon.

Don't miss my review here, and click here to purchase from Amazon!

What are you waiting to read this month? Drop a comment and let us know!

Friday, 29 May 2020

Weekly Round-Up

Happy Friday everyone! I can't believe yet another week has gone by. Things are slowly returning to normal in some areas and I'm hearing more about life slowly returning to normal, let's cross our fingers it happens sooner than later!

I've read some fantastic books this week, check out my reviews by clicking on the pictures below:

                 Wrong Bed, Right Brother by Rebecca Brooks            Dirty Charmer by Emma Chase

Plus, don't miss out on my six favourite laugh out loud romance novels here! Find out which romance books and authors make me laugh (to the point where I did have a few awkward questions asked) out loud.

Next week I'll be reviewing some more fantastic books including All Stirred Up by Brianna Moore, scheduled for release 8th September 2020.

All Stirred Up by Brianna Moore
Susan Napier's family once lived on the success of the high-end restaurants founded by her late grandfather. But bad luck and worse management has brought the business to the edge of financial ruin. Now it's up to Susan to save the last remaining restaurant: Elliot's, the flagship in Edinburgh.

But what awaits Susan in the charming city of Auld Reekie is more than she bargained for. Chris Baker, her grandfather's former protégé--and her ex-boyfriend--is also heading to the Scottish capital. After finding fame in New York as a chef and judge of a popular TV cooking competition, Chris is returning to his native Scotland to open his own restaurant. Although the storms have cleared after their intense and rocky breakup, Susan and Chris are re-drawn into each other's orbit--and their simmering attraction inevitably boils over.

As Chris's restaurant opens to great acclaim and Susan tries to haul Elliot's back from the brink, the future brims with new promise. But darkness looms as they find themselves in the crosshairs of a gossip blogger eager for a juicy story--and willing to do anything to get it. Can Susan and Chris reclaim their lost love, or will the tangled past ruin their last hope for happiness?


Finally, don't miss out on Harlequin's sale this weekend, buy two books, get two free!

What are you reading this weekend? Drop us a comment and let us know! Valid from 29th May 12:00am-31st May 11:59pm ET using the code MAYB2G2.

Thursday, 28 May 2020

Top 6 Comedy Romance Novels


One of the things that I absolutely love about romance novels is how diverse the genre is. Do I want to read a romantic book written through text messages? Do I want to read a romance novel about a hockey player being set up by his mum on a dating site? Do I want to read a romance novel about two co-workers who hate each other? The answer is yes, and even better than that, there are books that fit those criteria perfectly!
I've read many romance novels but here are some of the ones that absolutely made me laugh out loud, and cause some awkward questions about what exactly I was reading. What are your favourite comedic romance novels?


1. The Hating Game - Sally Thorne

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne
Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman sit across from each other every day . . . and they hate each other.
Not dislike. Not begrudgingly tolerate. HATE. Lucy can't understand Joshua's joyless, uptight approach to his job and refusal to smile. Joshua is clearly baffled by Lucy's overly bright clothes, quirkiness, and desire to be liked.
Now they're up for the same promotion and Lucy, usually a determined people-pleaser, has had enough: it's time to take him down. But as the tension between Lucy and Joshua reaches its boiling point, it's clear that the real battle has only just begun . . .
Click here to purchase from Amazon.


2. The Unhoneymooners - Christina Lauren

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
Olive is always unlucky; her identical twin sister Ami, on the other hand, is probably the luckiest person in the world. While she's about to marry her dream man, Olive is forced to play nice with her nemesis: the best man, Ethan.
Yet Olive's luck may be on the turn . . . When the entire wedding - except for Olive and Ethan - gets food poisoning, there's an all-expenses-paid honeymoon in Hawaii up for grabs. Putting their mutual hatred aside, Olive and Ethan head for paradise. But when Olive runs into her future boss, the little white lie she tells him spirals out of control.
Forced to play loving newlyweds, she and Ethan find themselves in closer proximity than they ever expected. Soon, Olive finds that maybe she doesn't mind pretending. In fact, she's beginning to feel kind of . . . lucky.
Click here to purchase from Amazon.


3. Every Boy's Got One - Meg Cabot

Cartoonist Jane Harris is delighted by the prospect of her first-ever trip to Europe. But it's hate at first sight for Jane and Cal Langdon, and neither is too happy at the prospect of sharing a villa with one another for a week—not even in the beautiful and picturesque Marches countryside. But when Holly and Mark's wedding plans hit a major snag that only Jane and Cal can repair, the two find themselves having to put aside their mutual dislike for one another in order to get their best friends on the road to wedded bliss—and end up on a road themselves ... one neither of them ever expected.

Click here to purchase from Amazon.

4. The Foxe & The Hound - R.S. Grey

When your life is a hot mess at twenty, it’s cute. At twenty-seven…well, not so much. It’s just that my lofty dreams—making it as a real estate agent, paying rent on time, showering daily—have stayed just that: dreams. Oh, and love? I’ve decided love might be a little ambitious for me at the moment. Instead, I’ve settled for the two guys who will never leave me: Ben & Jerry.

That is, until Dr. Adam Foxe takes up residence as the town’s new vet. With his strong jaw, easy confidence, and form-fitting scrubs, it’s not long before every housewife in Hamilton is dragging neglected tomcats in for weekly checkups. Like everyone else, I’m intrigued. Even after I spoil my chance at a good first impression, he still offers me a proposition I can’t refuse: play his girlfriend at a family function and he’ll hire me as his real estate agent. Welcome to love in the 21st century.


Click here to purchase from Amazon.

5. Parental Guidance - Avery Flynn

It wasn't me. It was my team. But as almost co-captain I raised my hand to fix it. Never imagined they'd arrange a PR stunt to make me look like Mr. Right to someone my mom picks out on some new dating app. Then my salvation walks into the restaurant. Zara Ambrose. The five-foot-nothing redhead with more freckles than inches that I convinced to go on five dates with me for all the world to see.
She's got her own reasons for our set up--and her own rules. But somewhere between the couples' obstacle course, wrestling matches with her Great Dane, and fights over mashed potatoes, Zara went from means-to-an-end to something so much more. What happens when you start to fall for the one girl you can't have...on live TV?

Click here to purchase from Amazon.

6. Princess Diaries - Meg Cabot

Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot
'You're not Mia Thermopolis any more, honey,' Dad said. 'You're Amelia Mignonette Grimaldi Thermopolis Renaldo. Princess of Genovia.'
A PRINCESS?? ME??? Yeah. Right.
One minute Mia's a totally normal Manhattan fourteen-year-old. Next minute she's heir to the throne of Genovia, being trailed by a bodyguard, taking princess lessons with her uncontrollable old grandmere, and having a makeover with someone called Paolo. Well, her dad can lecture her till he's royal blue in the face, but no way is Mia going to turn herself into a style-queen. And they think she's moving to Genovia? Er, hello?
Click here to purchase from Amazon.

What are your favourite romance novels that make you laugh out loud? Drop a comment and let us know!

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Dirty Charmer by Emma Chase


Dirty Charmer by Emma Chase
Abigail Haddock is stunning, sensible, and some would say…stuffy. But it’s not really her fault. She was raised in one of Wessco’s oldest, most affluent, aristocratic families—“stuffy” is their middle name. So is successful. Abby’s working overtime to distinguish herself as a top-notch physician, just as her family legacy demands. She doesn’t have time for nonsense.

Tommy Sullivan’s all about nonsense. Sure, he’s an elite bodyguard with lethal skills and co-owner of the renowned, S&S Securities Firm—protector of the wealthy and titled. But he’s also rowdy, fun and thoroughly irresistible. Tommy knows how to have a good time, and he’s never seen someone more in need of a good time than Abby. The lass needs long, wet, filthy kisses—STAT—and he’s just the man for the job.

It doesn’t take long for a wildly sexy, sinfully satisfying, no-strings attached arrangement to turn into something more. Something sweet and addictive and real. But Tommy and Abby are too royally stubborn to admit it. Opposites attract, everyone knows that. But can their red-hot relationship last—can they love…for forever?

I first read Ms. Chase's novels on a 23+ hour plane journey, and it definitely clicked with me that if I was staying up reading her novels instead of falling asleep, there was something great about them. Since then, I have read through most of her series and thoroughly enjoyed all of them (although I will confess that I still haven’t made it through Tangled, something that is on my to-read list).

We've been seeing previews for Dirty Charmer for some time and I couldn't wait to read this as soon as it launched. I practiced excellent self-patience however, and finished the novel I was currently reading (Up Close & Personal), but couldn't resist and jumped into this straight after at 1:03am, and finished about 2:35am - I tried many times to put it down and go to sleep, but, I couldn't resist.

We've met Tommy, our male-lead before in the other Wessco novels, and the great thing about the way Ms. Chase writes her series, she also includes her secondary cast to the point that you're excited to read their story - these characters aren't just popping out of the blue, you're already invested in them. To this point, I was already excited to read Tommy's story and when it was finally in my hands, I just couldn't put it down.

While I loved reading the novel and finished it in a record amount of time, I don't think this one was my favourite in the series. Don't get me wrong, it was a great novel, but it just didn't quite resonate with me. It was a steamy, fantastically-flowing read, but aside from Tommy's sexual charisma and charm, I didn't feel like we had too much substance to him other than that. While there was love for his family and his sense of honour and duty to protect, and he's already been written as a good guy, it just felt like there was something more lacking, and similarly with Abigail. Both are written as interesting characters, but I didn't fall in love with either of them. Plus, I felt that most of the novel was written focusing on their incredible chemistry, and their romance was introduced late in the novel.

This was still a great read and a book that I did thoroughly enjoy, and one that I would recommend as a steamy summer read.

Rating: 3.5/5

Click here to purchase from Amazon.

Monday, 25 May 2020

(ARC) Wrong Bed, Right Brother - Rebecca Brooks

Wrong Bed, Right Brother by Rebecca Brooks
I’ve been crushing on my coworker for months. And now he’s moving… across the country. I’ve got one shot to make my move. We’re all holed up in this amazing house upstate and tonight I’m going to sneak into his room and finally Make. Something. Happen.

So I go for it. I climb into Luke’s bed and the kissing is so much better than I imagined. Why did we wait so long to feel this? I moan his name and Bam! He jumps out of bed. WTF? It isn’t Luke. It’s his twin, Noah. I don’t even like Noah. And he certainly doesn’t like me.

This will NEVER happen again...until the next day against the barn door. Why can’t I stop seeing him? It will never work. We're complete opposites. Enemies with benefits is a thing, right?

But what happens when I start to want more?

I've always been a big fan of Entangled Publishing and am always eager to read their new releases, and this was no exception. Thanks to NetGalley and Entangled Publishing, I did receive an Advanced Reading Copy of Ms. Brooks Wrong Bed, Right Brother, the fourth in the Accidental Love series, and all thoughts and opinions are my own.

I can't really recall reading a book like this before where we're so quickly launched into the story, and the instant heat between two characters, but it worked really well. Accidentally ending up in the wrong bed of the twin brother that she wanted to seduce, we're quickly brought into the simmering attraction between Amanda and Noah, and it is steamy.

I will say that both characters react rather well to finding the wrong person, and then coming back from the attraction, the romance is then built between our leads. I do feel that our female character did more growing than our male lead, and she probably gave him a few more opportunities than I would have done (especially after a certain text was sent), but life isn't perfect. I was intrigued to see some life lessons included in the novel and definite character growth - however I will say that despite our hero and heroine's change of mind at the end, I still don't like his twin, Luke. Some things can't be unsaid.

I did like the character growth that our leads went through, but I think we saw that more for our heroine than our hero. I would have liked to have seen more information about the relationship Amanda had with her mother, and Noah had with his (due to some mentions in the story), but it was still full without.

A definite steamy interesting plotline, and a great summer read!

Rating: 3/5

Click here to purchase from Amazon, available 15th June.

Saturday, 23 May 2020

(ARC) A Royal Second Chance Summer - Viv Royce


A Royal Second Chance Summer by Viv Royce Prince Nicolas is looking for a priceless royal heirloom. Trying to stay under the radar, he keeps that he’s a prince secret—especially from the cute antiques dealer he asks to help him. The longer it takes, the more time they get to spend together, though no matter how attracted he is to Lizzie, love is certainly not an option for the heir to the crown of Belfort.

Lizzie Cates fled her family’s new-found fame and fortune because life in the spotlight wasn’t for her. She loves her small town, where the most exciting thing on the schedule is the car parade for the Fourth of July. That’s just how she likes it, until Nicolas comes along. Lizzie finds herself falling for the caring man who craves the country and small-town life as much as she does.

Except Nicolas has a secret that will shatter both their dreams...

I was lucky enough to receive an Advanced Reading Copy of Viv Royce's A Royal Second Chance Summer thanks to NetGalley and Entangled Publishing, scheduled for release June 2020. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

I've started reading more and more books from Entangled Publishing, as I find they manage to perfectly hit the note between romance, plot, characters and storyline and fit exactly what I'm looking for, and this was no exception. I do also have to give a special nod to the fact that unlike most other romances I've read lately, this is actually written in the third person, something I am a strong fan of (it takes a great book for me to be able to read it in first-hand view)

This was the first time I've read one of Ms. Royce's books, and this particular is the third in this series, and I am intrigued to see the others. I've kept on having to re-write this review as I can't accurately describe what I'm feeling about this book, but what I can say is that it was just perfectly lyrical and smooth. Now, lyrical. What do I mean by that? It just flowed so smoothly. I never felt that I was being blindsided or interrupted by events in the story, it just happened so fluidly and naturally and there was no doubt in my mind that what was going to happen actually did happen.

We're quickly introduced to our leads, and while our heroine was definitely likeable and hit all the right notes, I think our hero didn't hit all those right notes. There were a few moments where I was giving a "Really?" to some of his actions, and willing him to be better. While this was a great novel, I was a little underwhelmed by the romance between our leads, quickly coming on without much interaction, but this was completely saved by the romance between the secondary characters.

I did really enjoy the story as a whole, but I did feel the leading romance to be a little light, and the ending a little bit too quick, but as I mention earlier, it just flowed so smoothly that it wasn't really a detraction. I felt like I was reading a slightly more adult version of the Harlequin teen novels published back in the day, and I didn't want to stop reading. The plotline was quite unique in a sense, and I wish the novel had been slightly longer to explore our heroine's family and her relationship with them a little more, as well as the leading romance.

Overall, a very interesting read and one of the smoothest flowing books I've read in a long time. A thoroughly enjoyable light-hearted read and perfect for summer.

Rating: 3.5/5

Click here to purchase from Amazon, available 22nd June 2020.

Friday, 22 May 2020

Weekly Round-Up

Happy Friday everyone! I'll admit, it's very hard for me to keep track of the days at the moment, but I'm trying.

I've read some fantastic books this week and can't wait to share my opinions with you. If you've missed them, check them out below!

The Plus One Pact by Portia MacIntosh  Up Close and Personal by Kathryn Freeman   Shy Queen In The Royal Spotlight by Natalie Anderson

This weekend I'll be reviewing Emma Chase's Dirty Charmer, and I've got two new books ready to share with you next week from Entangled Publishing, coming out in June and I can't wait to read!

                           Wrong Bed, Right Brother by Rebecca Brooks           A Royal Second Chance Summer by Viv Royce  


Plus, to celebrate the weekend, Harlequin is offering a special Memorial Day saving, offering 40% off when you buy 3 books or more, using the code MAYSAVE40 (offer valid 22nd May 12:00am until 25th May 2020 11:59pm E.T).

What are you reading this weekend?

(ARC) - Shy Queen in The Royal Spotlight - Natalie Anderson


She didn’t see her own beauty…

Then he unmasked it!

Royal assistant Hester knows playboy Prince Alek is totally out of her league. Shockingly, out of the blue, he proposes a marriage of convenience! In return, she’ll have millions to help disadvantaged women. Warily, Hester agrees…

To retain the throne he’s sacrificed everything for, Alek must choose a bride. It’s Hester’s quiet discretion that catches his attention…until their unstoppable chemistry reveals her startling beauty and inner fire. Alek sees the queen that Hester could truly become—but the real question is, can she?

Thanks to NetGalley and Harlequin Romance, I received this novel the day after it came out (19th May release date) and all thoughts and opinions are my own.

One of my first forays into the world of romance novels was the Harlequin Presents series, started when I was 16 or so, and quickly fell in love. I tend to find that now, I either read 10 day after day and nothing else, or leave them for a few months and come back to them, and Natalie Anderson has always been one of my favourites.

We're quickly thrown into the plotline and characters, and some familiar tropes, but dissimilar enough to not make me feel like I'm reading the same book again. I found the line that our male-lead straddled intriguing with his internal reflection over whether the makeover the female-lead goes through is what results in his attraction, or is it something more. I was a bit underwhelmed by our heroine's changes of heart throughout, it didn't seem quite enough build-up, but it was interesting.

I do usually really like Harlequin novels, but I did find this one just a little sad for my liking. I usually like my romance novels to be overwhelmingly happy, and yes, there are obstacles to overcome, but nothing that really detracts from the happy arc. With this novel, I felt that the sadness that the characters both bring detracted from my enjoyment of the book and did make me a little sad.

Overall, an interesting novel and a good read that flowed, but just a little sad for my liking.

Rating: 3/5

Click here to purchase from Amazon, available 28th May.

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

(ARC) Up Close & Personal - Kathryn Freeman


Up Close & Personal - Kathryn Freeman
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…

I was lucky enough to receive an Advanced Reading Copy (ARC) of this novel, with thanks to NetGalley and HarperCollins UK. Scheduled for release on 12 June 2020, watch for it coming to a bookstore near you soon!

If you read my last review, I laid out two tests that a book has to pass - does the cover appeal, and does the inside live up to the cover? I've added one more with this novel - is it formatted correctly? Test one - I like the cover, it's appealing, cute, and sets me in mind for a light-hearted novel with a generally used trope being gender-swapped, which is always interesting to read.

Test two - does the inside live up to the cover? I'm going to say not quite on this one - but not in a bad way, just, not what I was expecting. The categories for this novel are General Fiction (Adult), and Romance. Reading the blurb and seeing the cover, I would have expected this to be mainly romance, with a bit of mystery thrown in. However, I'll confess I couldn't read this late at night because I was getting so wound up with the suspense and mystery, and I honestly found it a bit spooky. That could be because I'm a gigantic fraidy-cat, I'll own up to that, but this book was suspenseful. Yes, there was romance added in, but rather than it being a usual 80% romance, 20% suspense (or something close to that) split, I found it was more 50-50, and as mentioned, I had a hard time reading this late at night as it was making me slightly unnerved.

Test three - unfortunately this book had a few formatting errors in a few chapters that were quite noticeable and quite detracting. I'm sure this will be corrected for the final release, but unfortunately it did affect the flow in those chapters and made it difficult to keep track of what was going on, and keep absorbed in the novel.

Our characters are both quite likeable people, and both have emotional baggage that they bring to this relationship, bringing interesting, and sad, twists and turns. It was a great plot, cleverly done, and the characters were flawed, adding a great sense of realism to the novel. As mentioned above, I would note this as a 50-50 suspense/mystery/romance (although again, please note that I am a self-confessed fraidy-cat), but still a great and interesting read.

Rating: 3.5/5

Click here to purchase from Amazon (available 12th June 2020).

Monday, 18 May 2020

Happy Monday!

I can't believe it's Monday again, but here we are! Hope you all had a fantastic weekend, and let's see what's upcoming for us this week. We've got some new releases coming this week:

                                          

And, the merchandise store has officially launched, thanks to teespring! Get some great new products with the official logo and spread your love of romance novels with choices from tote bags, mugs, stickers, fleece blankets and more. Find it either through the link above, or click the new Shop page in the menu. Let me know what new products you'd like to see!

Sunday, 17 May 2020

(ARC) The Plus One Pact by Portia MacIntosh


What if your plus one could be the one...?

Cara has officially run out of men. Her most recent dates have gone from bad to worse, and when her dating app informs her there is no one left in her area to choose from, she is at a dead end.

But with a summer of events ahead of her, she needs to find a solution, fast; someone to keep her company at the never-ending weddings, family gatherings and gender reveal parties that she can’t face going to alone. So when she meets handsome, confident, Millsy on a night out she may be in luck. They could not be more different in personality, but he too has a summer of events ahead and is desperate to get his family off his back about finding a ‘nice girl’. What if they made a pact to help each other out and be a plus one for the summer? Just as friends of course...? 

I was lucky enough to receive an Advanced Reading Copy (ARC) of this novel, with thanks to NetGalley and Boldwood Books. After receiving it yesterday morning, it was promptly finished this morning at 1:21am (to be precise), because it had such a good flow and kept me guessing, that I didn't want to put it down.

Before requesting any ARC, my first test is the cover, does it appeal to me? I know you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but honestly, in the book world (but not in real life, definitely don't judge a book by its cover then), the cover tells you a lot about how good the book is. This novel had a very appealing cover, and thankfully the story inside lived up to the expectations.

The second test is the rest of it, and that's simply the novel itself. The notion of being a plus one to important events as friends has been around for some time, in both novels and films, but this one stood out by itself simply due to the fact that it wasn't a cookie-cutter plot-lift. Reading from one chapter to the next, I honestly couldn't figure out for some time who our leading lady was going to end up with. While typically in a romance novel the two characters mentioned on the blurb are going to end up together, there were so many side-twists and new information revealed that honestly, until about the last five or six chapters, who Cara was going to end up with wasn't clear, and I thoroughly enjoyed that.

While this is a light-hearted novel, it does cover some deeper subject matter, including the leading lady's concern about her appearance and her reasons for changing it, combined with her desire to find a partner, but not settle. Cara is a likeable character, but I found that the book was a little lighter on character development, but stronger in plot points. I would have liked to seen more character development of both our leading lady and man, rather than the realizations that occurred, which we're not always privy to prior to the change, but this is not done in a way that is overly distracting, just more of a niggle.

(Spoilers briefly ahead)
I was also a little perturbed with our leading lady's family decision to not only invite her ex-boyfriend to stay with them, but to stay in her old bedroom. The old relationship wasn't a good one, and I would hope that my family would have respected me enough not to do that. Neither of our families seemed to be perfectly on the ball, and that is real life, it's not always going to be perfect, which did add a good sense of realism here.

Overall, this was a light-hearted, fluffy romance that is perfect for a summer escape. Nothing too serious, and not simply a re-used plotline with different characters, this novel did keep me on my toes, guessing until the last quarter or less, who Cara was going to end up with. I do have to note as well that I did love the light nod to Bridget Jones, along with a few favorite tropes being utilized in a clever way. A poignant novel in parts, leading to some excellent quotes ready to go on my board, this was a great, light-hearted summer read.

Rating: 3.5/5

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