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BOOK REVIEW: The New Guy by Sarina Bowen

BOOK REVIEW: The New Guy by Sarina BowenThe New Guy by Sarina Bowen
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Add to: Goodreads


My name is Hudson Newgate, but my teammates call me New Guy.

That was my nickname in Chicago, too. And Vancouver. That’s what happens when you keep getting traded. Brooklyn is my last chance, especially after my poor performance last season.

But I can make this work. The new guy knows to keep his head down and shoot the puck. The new guy puts the game first.

What he doesn’t do is hook up with the other new guy—a hot athletic trainer who lives in my building. Gavin needs this job with my team. He’s a single dad with responsibilities.

We can’t be a couple. My arrogant agent–who’s also my father–will lose his mind if I’m dating a dude. And my team needs me to score goals, not whip up a media circus.

Too bad Gavin and I are terrible at resisting each other…


Okayyyyy, Sarina, I see what you did there at the end. *side eye emoji*

Coming back into the world of the Bruisers is like stepping into a hot, steamy shower after an incredibly long day. Relaxing. Rejuvenating. Pure bliss. This one actually felt slightly different but I think that was for two different reasons. One being that Hudson was newly acquired by Brooklyn and is coming in as the “New Guy” and Gavin, a single dad, and an athletic trainer was also newly hired by the organization. They’re not in with all of the other staff and the players like you see in the other books but that’s okay. It honestly adds to their specific story and the conflicts that can be found in this book. The other reason this had a different feeling, to me, was for an intentional reason that you’ll find out when you finish the book!

Now to my favorite part–the romance. Sarina knows just how to match the two perfect characters that have the best chemistry. Every. Single. Time. Even though Gavin and Hudson do have their fair share of difficulties (Hudson isn’t out to the world as bi and his dad, who is also his agent, thinks he should wait until he gets a big contract and Gavin is again, a single dad AND a widow) they just work. Hudson immediately takes to Gavin’s daughter, though it doesn’t hurt that she’s adorable and loves hockey and gets under Gavin’s skin in a way that hasn’t happened since his husband died. Gavin gets Hudson to deviate from his very strict diet and eat his homemade ramen and gives him the best damn massages he’s ever had. See? It just works, LOL. Truly though, this book had a lot of ~real~ issues in it. The fact that it’s still so complicated to be gay in the NHL and how hard it can be to be a single dad, even if you have a stable job and are trying your very best. I think that’s another thing that I love about Bowen’s books. Any number of people can see themselves in her wide selection of characters and feel seen and I absolutely love that.

Huge thanks to Sarina Bowen and Tuxbury Publishing for allowing me to listen to an ALC of this book in exchange for my honest review!♥

Forget Me Not by Julie Soto

Forget Me Not by Julie SotoForget Me Not by Julie Soto
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads


An ambitious wedding planner must work with her grumpy florist ex, whose heart she broke, on the most high-profile wedding of her career, in this spicy and emotional romance from popular fanfic author Julie Soto.

He loves me; he loves me not...

Ama Torres loves being a wedding planner. But with a mother who has been married more times than you can count on your fingers, Ama has decided that marriage is not the route for her. But weddings? Weddings are amazing. As a small business owner, she knows how to match her clients with the perfect vendor to give them the wedding of their dreams. Well, almost perfect…

Elliot hates being a florist, most of the time. When his father left him the flower shop, he considered it a burden, but he’s stuck with it. Just like how he’s stuck with the way he proposed to Ama, his main collaborator and girlfriend (or was she?) two years ago. But flowers have grown on him, just like Ama did. And flowers can’t run off and never speak to him again, like Ama did.

When Ama is hired to plan a celebrity wedding that will bring her business national exposure, there's a catch: Elliot is already contracted to design the flowers. Things are not helped by the two brides, who see the obvious chemistry between Ama and Elliot and are determined to set them up, not knowing their complicated history. Add in a meddling ex-boss, and a reality TV film crew documenting every step of the wedding prep, and Ama and Elliot's hearts are not only in jeopardy again, but this time, their livelihoods are too.


Because this is Julie’s FIRST EVER PUBLISHED BOOK(!!!!) I’m going to try to keep my flailing about her as a person to a minimum and stick to the actual book so give me until the end of this paragraph and then I’ll get into the actual review, lol. I was introduced to Dramione fanfiction in April of 2021 and Julie’s (or better known in that fandom as lovesbitca8) Rights and Wrongs series was the 2-4th fics I had ever read. When I tell you that the quality of these first few fics blew me away and were better than over half of the published books I read that year, I’m being 100% serious. As I continued to become more ingrained in that fandom, interacting with authors (Julie herself included) in comments, Facebook groups, and the RoR discord, I told myself that if any of them ever wrote original material, I would (if possible) snatch up any and all ARCs that my librarian powers tend to provide me with and book talk the ever living SHIT out of them to promote them in all the ways I know how to as many people as I can. So here I am, doing just that. I feel so lucky to have snagged a copy of this and I WILL be reading this again before it comes out. (See there, I didn’t go too crazy, did I?!)

Alright, y’all let’s do this. Let’s get into why I am so utterly obsessed with this book that I’ll probably end up buying a ton of copies and making sure every acquaintance, friend, and library patron who asks me for a romance recommendation knows about this book. #1 is obviously the writing. I went into this very curious to see if I could recognize her style from what she’s done in fanfiction to a traditionally published work and I think her voice still shines through. Julie has a very specific brand of witty, hilarious banter, main characters that always seem to develop such DELICIOUS but also AGONIZING tension between them, a great supporting cast, and writing that quite honestly has the ability to take your breath away. I highlighted a ton of lines that I will probably wait to share until the book is actually published but just know..there are some real treasures in here.

Second reason why I loved this book so much? Ama and Elliot. Naturally. They both might be flawed, as normal human beings are and especially those that have unusual upbringings in the form of your mom being married and divorced over 10 times. I thought that Ama was a super relatable character, one that any number of readers could see themselves in, for so many different reasons. Elliot was indeed a grump but a sweet, caring grump that made the most beautiful structures and creations with flowers and got tattoos of the ones that are rare. I loved seeing their interactions from the past through Elliot’s eyes and I actually thought was genius that we got his POV from before and Ama’s while in the present. Most of all I loved how the two of them worked together and in working together, they brought out the best in the other person. If that’s not romantic as hell, I don’t know what is.

To wrap this review up, I will say that if you ARE a Dramione fan reading this, especially one who has read Rights and Wrongs and has listened to the podcast and been around on discord or the Facebook group–so basically DEEP in this world with Juls, Mar, and Cat, there will be a few little things that will make you snicker bc they will remind you of things that have been said or joked about before and that made this story all the more special to me, honestly. I am SO, so happy that Julie was able to publish original work that we can actually pay her for and I hope that she continues on to give us so much more. HIGHLY recommend this one.

Huge thanks to Edelweiss and Forever for a copy of this eARC in exchange for my honest review!♥

BOOK REVIEW: The Curse of Ophelia (The Curse of Ophelia #1) by Nicole Platania

BOOK REVIEW: The Curse of Ophelia (The Curse of Ophelia #1) by Nicole PlataniaThe Curse of Ophelia (The Curse of Ophelia #1)
by Nicole Platania
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads


The war is over.
The curse is lifted.
Malakai is gone.

It’s been two years since Ophelia has seen the boy she loves. When a treaty was signed ending the war and lifting the curse on Mystique Warriors, Malakai left to attempt the sacred ritual known as the Undertaking.

He never returned, and the Undertaking was forbidden. Ophelia’s world crumbled around her.

Since then, she has pursued a fruitless search for answers. When the deadly curse resurfaces only on her, Ophelia finds solace in the idea that when she dies, she may finally be reunited with her lost love. Then, a messenger appears, telling her that she alone may be the one to save her people.

With her closest friends by her side, Ophelia embarks on a race against death—one that will not only challenge her physically, but make her question the Mystique leaders, the Angels, and her belief in love.

Can she win the fight against fate before the curse takes her life, or will the betrayals exposed along the way kill her first?

With influence from Greek Mythology, this debut is the first in a New Adult Fantasy Romance series full of heart-wrenching love, shattering betrayals, and fighting for what you believe in. Fans of Throne of Glass, From Blood and Ash, and The Bridge Kingdom will love it.


I’m back and ready to flail. As most of you know I have been reading Dramione NONSTOP for the past, ohhhhh, year and a half now. For all of December and the first half of this month I have been back to actual books and I am not stopping any time soon. I forgot how much I missed walking in the shoes of all of these different characters in all of these other worlds, so, so much. This book was no exception.

As the first of a series, I was gladly thrust into an entirely new world full of complex governing structures, territories where people excelled at different things, and even other kinds of beings. Honestly there’s still a bit I don’t quite understand in the bigger scheme of things but I think that was intentional as the journey we went on with our main group of characters was to a specific place with a specific purpose. I have a feeling that we’ll be seeing other lands and many more new characters as the series progresses.

Speaking of, while this story as a whole was a great balance of both plot and character-driven, I think the characters were my favorite part. I have always been that way. Obviously, a unique and well-developed plot (which this book definitely has) is very important but to me, having characters who are easy to relate to or even easy to love and hate is super important–always has been and always will be. Ophelia, our main character here is perfectly imperfect. She is a warrior at heart and because of that, she can be hot-headed and stubborn to a fault. Because she is still in a state of grief and mourning (a few different things) for the majority of this book, we get to see her as more than a larger-than-life Warrior figure–we see her humanity. We see her friends surrounding her, trying to help her and keep her sane. Cyph, Tolek, Rina, and even her sister Jezebel each play different roles in her life and keep her from breaking as best as they can. The found family trope is something that has always appealed to me because it means that these characters have CHOSEN to be a family. They don’t feel obligated because they are blood-related. they want to be there because…they just want to. I feel like I’m getting too deep into this but I just really love these characters so much, lol.

Anywayyyy this book has it all. Badass characters, romance that will make you ache, writing that I can’t believe came from a debut author, and a plot that I’m dying for more of. You won’t want to miss out on this one!

Huge thank you to Nicole Platania for allowing me to read an e-ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review!♥

BOOK REVIEW: The Unmarked Witch by Miranda Lyn

BOOK REVIEW: The Unmarked Witch by Miranda LynThe Unmarked Witch by Miranda Lyn
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads



A land where witches wear their spells like tattoos is no place for a woman without a single magical mark—except for Raven, whose unblemished skin contradicts the truth of her power. Surviving under the scowls of her fellow witches has carved indelible scars into her mind over the years—just as the day she watched the Dark King's men murder her grandmother in cold blood.

But the Dark King's reign of terror is far-reaching, and Raven's grandmother won't be the last witch to die under his rule. After the death of a coven leader heralds the start of the infamous Witch Trials, Raven finds herself dodging death to triumph. The journey quickly descends into perils far greater than she'd ever imagined, including a war on her heart from a man she’d only ever known as a villain.

Still, trust is always fragile in kingdoms ruled by magic, especially when love enters the fold. Yet, something else is awry in the land of spells and shadows and Raven must decide whether she trusts her gut or her heart.

The Unmarked Witch is the first gripping book in the seductive and intriguing duology,Unmarked.

From the author of the heart-pounding fantasy series, Fae Rising comes this new darkly ambitious tale.


This book….was so much more than I could have ever anticipated. Because I have been reading fanfic nonstop since, oh, about last May, I have barely made time for new authors that I’m not familiar with unless someone I know has read it first and “pushed” it on me. Luckily that happened to me here!

One thing that I feel pretty well versed in when it comes to fantasy is magic. I have always loved books with any kind of magic and I have very strong opinions on what I think works and doesn’t work within a given fantasy world. I thought Lyn crafted SUCH a unique system in this where witches can receive spells throughout their life and afterwards they are inked on their skin. More powerful witches are obviously then more marked and they can call upon any number of marks at any time.

The only witch to NOT receive any markings despite having numerous spells in her arsenal is, you guessed it, our main character, Raven. I LOOOVED Raven. She was such a real character who always tried to stay true to herself and would do anything for the people she loved. I am so excited to learn more about her magic in book two and hopefully to find out why she is unmarked!

Honestly every single character in this book was excellently crafted. Easy to love and easy to hate which to me usually is a great indicator of a talented writer because who wants to read about characters that you don’t care about? Kirsi was an obvious favorite and I can’t wait to see more of her in book two *side eyes emoji* LOL. Bastian….I could go on and on but I will keep my lips zipped other than to say two words–THE CHEMISTRY!!!!!!!!!!!!! GAHH!!!!! And Grey. I am a sucker for Grey-like characters so I’m very intrigued where his storyline will go in book two as well.

This book made me feel a lot of things and the biggest feeling I have to express right at this second is that I NEED BOOK TWO LIKE YESTERDAY! I highly recommend to anyone who loves magic, witches, fantasy, a gripping romance, and a twisty plot.

BOOK REVIEW: A Little too Late (Madigan Mountain) by Sarina Bowen

BOOK REVIEW: A Little too Late (Madigan Mountain) by Sarina BowenA Little Too Late (Madigan Mountain)
by Sarina Bowen
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Add to: Goodreads


New from twenty-time USA Today bestseller Sarina Bowen!

How to behave when the guy who broke your heart two thousand miles away turns up in your office:

One: Don’t drop your lucky coffee cup in shock, even though it’s been ten years.

Two: Don’t get defensive when he asks how you ended up working his family’s ski mountain… and why you kept it a secret.

Three: Give him the worst room in the resort. He deserves it for suddenly waltzing back in like he owns the place. (Which he kind of does.)

Four, five, six, seven, eight and nine: Do not kiss him in the hot tub.

Ten: Try to keep your heart intact after you break all of your rules.

Because Reed is leaving again. Hate can't turn back into love. And it’s a little too late


After being immersed in the World of True North for the past month it was fun to venture out into the mountains of Colorado with new characters. I am really excited to get more of the Madigan family after this, too, because like Reed, the two other brothers definitely have a lot to come to terms with in regards to their family dynamic.

This was honestly the perfect amount of angst for me. The topic of miscarriage and how that can cause the implosion of a relationship can make me nervous in a plot but the way that we were getting the present reconnection of Ava and Reed while also getting snippets into their past and what happened, was a balance that just worked for me. The way that both of them were still in such pain even after moving on with their lives the best that they could…sigh. I can’t even imagine the extent of Ava’s panic and depth of feelings when Reed walked into that office and she had no idea he was coming…I would have passed out I think, lol.

I loved every second of them being together in the present and how Reed kept realizing just how lonely and sad life was without Ava in it and had been since he left her. The scenes in which he apologized and explained to her what he was feeling and why he did what he thought he had to do were satisfying and just…all of it made me happy. There were some serious issues that multiple characters within this story dealt with throughout the course of this book and I really appreciated how all of it went down. Reed and his dad finally speaking about things, Reed learning more about his mom and her art, Ava and Reed talking about the past, Reed’s dad finding out about his and Ava’s past. My heart may have ached on several different occasions while reading this but overall I loved how everything was tied up within Reed and Ava’s story and I will definitely be coming back to read Yarros and Perry’s books, too.

P.s. I had an ALC of this and Andi Arndt and Sebastian York hit the narration out of the park, per usual!

Huge thanks to Tuxbury Publishing LLC for allowing me to listen to a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review!

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