Tag: Adult (page 1 of 14)

BOOK REVIEW: The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren

BOOK REVIEW: The Soulmate Equation by Christina LaurenThe Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
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Synopsis:

Single mom Jess Davis is a data and statistics wizard, but no amount of number crunching can convince her to step back into the dating world. After all, her father was never around, her hard-partying mother disappeared when she was six, and her ex decided he wasn’t “father material” before her daughter was even born. Jess holds her loved ones close but working constantly to stay afloat is hard...and lonely.

But then Jess hears about GeneticAlly, a buzzy new DNA-based matchmaking company that’s predicted to change dating forever. Finding a soulmate through DNA? The reliability of numbers: This Jess understands.

At least she thought she did, until her test shows an unheard-of 98 percent compatibility with another subject in the database: GeneticAlly’s founder, Dr. River Peña. This is one number she can’t wrap her head around, because she already knows Dr. Peña. The stuck-up, stubborn man is without a doubt not her soulmate. But GeneticAlly has a proposition: Get ‘to know him and we’ll pay you. Jess—who is barely making ends meet—is in no position to turn it down, despite her skepticism about the project and her dislike for River. As the pair are dragged from one event to the next as the “Diamond” pairing that could launch GeneticAlly’s valuation sky-high, Jess begins to realize that there might be more to the scientist—and the science behind a soulmate—than she thought.

Review:

The Soulmate Equation is a book that romance readers should not miss!  If you love moments that give you butterflies, characters that feel like your friends and a story that plays out like a movie, then definitely add this one to your tbr!  This story swept me away and easily landed on my favorites list!

He reached up, running a hand through his hair. “Biological compatibility is independent of whether or not we like each other.”
A horrified laugh ripped out of her. “Is that the company slogan or your best pickup line?”

I loved Jess Davis right away.  She was a single mom who was barely struggling to stay afloat.  Thankfully her life was filled with caring grandparents, an inquisitive and sweet daughter and a romance writing bestie that was like a sister to her.  After submitting her test on a whim, to a dating company called GeneticAlly that matched people through their DNA, Jess found herself in uncharted waters.

Do you actually believe our result could be real? That we could be soulmates? she wanted to ask, but the words felt too enormous to push past her lips.

Jess’s results came back with an unheard 98% match with the founder Dr. River Peña.  River was a guy she saw in passing at the local coffee shop.  He was handsome but he definitely gave off cold vibes.  There was no way they could be that compatible!  But when GeneticAlly made Jess a monetary proposition she couldn’t afford to pass, she pushed her pride aside and started spending more time with River.

Fizzy’s voice glimmered with wonder: “What did you do to him?”
“We did not—”
“He’s smil—”
“I know,” Jess snapped. “It’s weird. Shut up.”
She did not shut up: “When you two actually—”
Leaning in, Jess hissed: “Shhh!”

While Jess had a huge heart, was responsible, focused and logical, River was such an unknown.  He came across as such a cold asshole, albeit a smart one since he was the founder and top scientist at GeneticAlly.  So those that love guys who have a gruff, brooding exterior, you’re going to fall hard for River!  He was dark, mysterious and when he showed that he could have a conversation lol and that there was a heart in there, I was obsessed!

“I’d suspect most people comment on your eyes,” he said quietly, running a fingertip across her collarbone. “That startling, bright blue.”
Surely he could feel her heart scaling her windpipe. He didn’t seem to remember there was anyone else in the room.
“But I prefer your mouth.”
“You do?” Jess managed.
“I do,” he said, and bent, kissing her forehead. “You don’t give those smiles away for free.”

Jess and River had a connection and chemistry that came so easily.  Sparks flared when they were just talking to even when they were at public events for his company *fans face*.  Their build up was deliciously seductive and their interactions were smile and laugh inducing.  The steamy scenes weren’t overly descriptive, but still a lot of fun.  But in the back of Jess’ mind she knew that River had a lot of money to make if their relationship bloomed and that she had a daughter to think about and protect.

Unraveled and bare, Jess knew in her bones that he was her ninety-eight.
“I wanted to see you.”

Jess is easily one of my favorite heroines and River is definitely being added to my book boyfriend list!  And I have to say, I’m not one for books with kids, which is funny since I have two of my own that I love lol.  But Juno, Jess’s daughter, was one of my favorite side characters ever.  Watching her and River interact, OH MY HEART!  I fell for him even harder.

“I want to be here to bring you coffee. I want to take you out to dinner and order the same food and hear you recite the odds that we would have met. I want to hate-attend fancy social events together.” Jess laughed, a surprised burst of sound, and his tone softened. “I want you to call me for help—without an apology already on the tip of your tongue. I want to feel like I can kiss you again by your car at the end of the night.” He swallowed. “I want you in my bed.”

The Soulmate Equation captured my heart so easily!  With characters that shined so brightly and a storyline that was a ton of fun, I’ve already read this book twice so far.  Seriously lol.  I wanted to go through the laughter, sighing, heartfelt moments and tears all over again and it was just as fabulous the second time around!

“You have to admit you don’t look at Dr. River Peña and think, ‘Now, there’s a romantic soul.’ ”
“No,” Fizz conceded, “but I do look at him and think, ‘I bet he’s got a fantastic penis.’ Did you see the size of his hands? He could carry me by the head, like a basketball.”
A throat cleared, and they looked up to find River Peña standing not two feet away. “Well, you two sure didn’t waste any time.”
Jess’s stomach fell through the floor, and the words creaked out of her: “Oh shit.”
“Did you hear what I just said?” Fizzy asked.
He let out a slow, controlled exhale. He’d totally heard. “Hear what?” he managed, finally.
Fizzy stood, pulling Jess up with her. “Excellent.” She gave River a dainty curtsy. “Take us away.”

PS I loved Jess’ bestie Fizzy!  She was absolutely hilarious and had such a way with words.  I loved how she was such a good friend and supported and cheered Jess on.  And the fact that she wrote down things, to use in her stories, that played out between Jess and River had me laughing so hard!

BOOK REVIEW: Forever Starts Now by Stefanie London

BOOK REVIEW: Forever Starts Now by Stefanie London Forever Starts Now by Stefanie London
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
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Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

What happens when two people who’ve given up on forever find it in each other…?

Single men are as scarce in Forever Falls as a vegetarian at a barbecue. That is, until Ethan Hammersmith moves in. After his fiancée gave him an ultimatum, he left Australia and never looked back. He isn’t in America to find a new girlfriend, though. He’s searching for the father he never knew. But now it’s like he has a flashing sign above his head that says “available.” Thankfully, the manager of the local diner is willing to give him cover―if only she weren’t so distractingly adorable.

Monroe Roberts, town misanthrope and divorcée, knocked “forever” permanently off her wish list ever since the love of her life skipped town with the cliché yoga instructor. And good riddance. She’s got this struggling diner to keep her busy, trying anything to boost sales…until a hot Australian strolls in and changes everything. Monroe’s restaurant is packed full of women who aren’t there to order food, unless Ethan is on the menu. This could sink her business faster than ever. So―light bulb―what if they pretend to be together?

It sounds like the perfect plan. Until they realize there is some very real chemistry in this fake relationship. But is it enough to heal two hearts that have been so deeply wounded?

Review:

“Sometimes it takes the right person to shine a light on us so we can see who we’ve become.”

Forever Starts Now was a heartwarming tale of love and finding your way in life.  I absolutely loved the romance and the small town this story took place.  With a story line and characters that quickly hooked me, I couldn’t stop smiling.  If you’re a fan of the fake dating trope, which is one of my favorites!, then you definitely need to add this one to your tbr.

“I know you said I wasn’t your type, but maybe you could fake being attracted to me.”
If only he wasn’t her type. Hell, Monroe would chance it and say that Ethan might be the “type” of every living being with a pulse and a preference for men. Universal hotness, at its finest.

While Monroe Roberts worked at the local Sunshine Diner, her true passion in life was baking.  She had even won a national tv show baking competition.   But with a jaded past involving an ex-husband, trying to help a struggling diner and caring for her dad, Monroe never got to put herself first.  When a stranger walked into town that looked like Chris Hemsworth, her life got even busier.  With women stealing spots at her diner to catch a glance of the movie star doppelganger, and not ordering meals, the diner seemed to struggle even more.

“You’re a little too good at this, you know. Am I your first fake girlfriend? Be honest now.”
His smile was pure sunshine and warmth. Damn.

I heart Ethan Hammersmith.  He was sexy, kind, honest and when he opened up, it was impossible not to fall completely head over heels in love with him.  He too came from a jaded past, and his was filled with lies.  Ethan had been searching the U.S. for the dead father he never knew existed until now.  But with everyone trying to get up in his business or capture a date with the new bachelor, he wasn’t able to discreetly dig for info on his father.  So when Ethan suggested to Monroe that they fake date, so the diner could thrive and he could stop being bothered, I was utterly giddy!

“You’re beautiful,” he said quietly. There was something about the way he said it, low enough that maybe it wasn’t for show. For their act. Or maybe it was the way he looked at her— like he really saw who she was underneath it all. “Inside and out.”

 The story alternated between Monroe and Ethan and they had so much in common.  And from the moment they were near one another, there was instant chemistry.  Flirting and banter was so seamless between them.  So when they started to pretend dating, of course that electricity was still there.  With touches, whispering secret words to each other and even kissing…..this book was SO much fun!  Some of their moments together were hot and I couldn’t get enough of it!  All the while they were fake dating, it sure didn’t look or feel like it!

“For something that’s supposed to be fake, I’m having a hard time drawing a line in my head.”
Her breath caught in her throat.

Forever Starts Now was a sexy and sweet story that was so easy to devour!  With a story line that flowed effortlessly and characters that were a piece of cake to adore, I loved this story!  There were also side characters that felt so real to me!  So if you’re a fan of romance or the fake dating trope, then I can’t recommend this one enough!  Now I need to go check out London’s other books ♥.

*I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book, provided by the publisher. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

 

BOOK REVIEW: Arsenic and Adobo (Tita Rosie’s Kitchen Mystery #1) by Mia P. Manansala

BOOK REVIEW: Arsenic and Adobo (Tita Rosie’s Kitchen Mystery #1) by Mia P. ManansalaArsenic and Adobo (Tita Rosie's Kitchen Mystery #1)
by Mia P. Manansala
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
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Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

The first book in a new culinary cozy series full of sharp humor and delectable dishes—one that might just be killer....

When Lila Macapagal moves back home to recover from a horrible breakup, her life seems to be following all the typical rom-com tropes. She's tasked with saving her Tita Rosie's failing restaurant, and she has to deal with a group of matchmaking aunties who shower her with love and judgment. But when a notoriously nasty food critic (who happens to be her ex-boyfriend) drops dead moments after a confrontation with Lila, her life quickly swerves from a Nora Ephron romp to an Agatha Christie case.

With the cops treating her like she's the one and only suspect, and the shady landlord looking to finally kick the Macapagal family out and resell the storefront, Lila's left with no choice but to conduct her own investigation. Armed with the nosy auntie network, her barista best bud, and her trusted Dachshund, Longanisa, Lila takes on this tasty, twisted case and soon finds her own neck on the chopping block…

Review:

Arsenic and Adobo was a fun cozy mystery that I adored. With heartwarming characters and a mystery that kept me on my toes, this book was definitely entertaining. If you enjoy stories about family, friendship and putting clues together, then you will want to add this one to your tbr!

I grinned as he seemed to squirm with delight. “Good, huh?”
He let out a long, drawn-out sigh but didn’t answer.
I put my hands on my hips. “Oh, come on. Would it kill you to say something nice for a change?”
He responded by convulsing violently, then face-planting right into the dish.

Lila Macapagal moved back home to help her family’s restaurant, since they were struggling.  Right off the bat we got to meet her ex, Derek. He was a local food blogger and critic who never had anything positive to say, yet he still dined at their restaurant.  This day he brought his stepfather with him, who was also their landlord. But during Derek’s meal, he died face first into his food.  With their landlord pointing the finger at them, Lila found herself being accused of poisoning her ex by the police!  What’s a girl to do?

We’ll be fine, I told myself. We didn’t do anything, so they couldn’t possibly find anything on us. Right? Right.
I sure hate it when I’m wrong.

Two of my favorite things about this story were the characters and the food!  One of my besties is Filipino, so while I’ve had a few of the meals mentioned (lumpia being my favorite that she cooks!), there were sooo many more that I desperately need to try!  The food sounded absolutely delicious, so be prepared for this book to make you hungry.  And much to my surprise and happiness, there were some of the recipes in the back of the book.  Loved it!

He squeezed my hand and leaned forward, eyes burning with conviction. “I swear to you, I will fix this. Just trust me, OK? Everything will be fine.”

Not only did I enjoy our main character, Lila, but everyone she surrounded herself with too.  There was her eccentric Grandmother and her Tita Rosie who I just wanted to hug and hang out in the kitchen with!  I wanted to go have a cup of coffee with her bestie Adeena and steal away Adeea’s very sexy brother, Amir.  I was kinda obsessed with him.  Amir’s a lawyer who helped Lila and her family out time and again.  There were definitely sparks there, but there was another guy in the picture too.  So while there were little hints of romance here and there, it never overshadowed the story.  And I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we’ll find out who Lila chooses in the next book.

I needed to figure out who killed Derek Winter.

As the story progressed, it seemed as though Lila was framed and setup time and again.   It didn’t help that Lila kept stumbling upon dead bodies.  She held it together for the most part, which was impressive because I would have lost it lol.  I truly didn’t know how it would all be fixed. So when Lila started investigating on her own, I was cheering for her every step of the way!  Arsenic and Adobo was an entertaining tale that was a delightful read!  I don’t reach for cozy mysteries near enough, but I definitely need to in the future!

*I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book, provided by the publisher. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

BOOK REVIEW: A Wicked and Beautiful Garden (Witches of the Island #1) by Katie McGarry

BOOK REVIEW: A Wicked and Beautiful Garden (Witches of the Island #1) by Katie McGarryA Wicked and Beautiful Garden (Witches of the Island #1)
by Katie McGarry
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Twenty-eight year-old Cassie Strega can’t escape fate.

All she wants is to live a normal, quiet life delivering the babies in her small town. But when she discovers she comes from a lineage of witches, her life becomes extraordinary—in the gravely dangerous type of way.

Then, she’s reunited with her first love.

Orion, the sultry Fae warrior who broke her heart years before, is searching for a baby. Not just any baby, but the queen of the Fae who will one day lead them in their final battle against the demons determined to rule the world. The same baby who has been calling to Cassie for help in her dreams.

Fighting the intense attraction of their former blood bond, Cassie and Orion work together to find the child. But when the heartbreak that nearly destroyed Cassie nine years before looms once more, she’ll have to decide whether getting involved in the supernatural war is worth losing everything, including her life.

Review:

A Wicked and Beautiful Garden was an enchanting tale that will sweep you away!  With magic, questions and the unknown swirling around, it made this book impossible to put down.  If you’re a fan of fantasy or urban fantasy, then you’ll definitely want this one on your tbr!

Once upon a time, I had fallen in love with him, and to him, I was nothing more than a momentary distraction.

Cassie Strega was kind, caring and felt so much around her.  She loved her job of delivering babies and living in her quiet, little town.  So when her ex walked back into her life, everything changed.  The loss of Orion had devastated Cassie years ago.  Little did she know that she would need his help soon.  The world was about to wake up knowing that witches exist, and Cassie was one of them.  But he needed her help too.  Orion, who was Fae, was searching for a baby.  She was their queen who was to lead them into battle against the demons.  And that same baby had been calling to Cassie.  With so much at stake and up in the air, their fates were irrevocably tied together…for now.

“Take what you need from me, Cass.” His hot breath tickled my ear. “Take everything and all you need. I’m yours.”

I wasn’t sure what to think of Orion MacAleese at first.  He was a warrior Fae that was tasked with finding their queen.  And while he didn’t always play by the rules, it was obvious that he still cared for Cassie.  Fiercely.  He would do anything to protect her and he showed her time and again exactly that with his actions and words.  While Orion could be thoughtful and caring, he also had kept many secrets from Cassie.  And Cassie struggled with his deception and secrets, while trying to ignore the passion that was running between them.

Making the strands a rugged mess, Orion shoved a frustrated hand through his hair. “What do you want me to say?”
I slapped my palm against the table. “I want the truth!” I whisper-shouted . “I want this black hole in my brain to be gone. I want to know what happened to us!”

I loved learning about Cassie’s powers right along with her.  She had always been able to read human’s emotions, but as she learned about controlling the elements I was fascinated.   I also loved watching what Orion was capable of, I was jealous of his transporting skills!  But with life and death situations surrounding them, and fate constantly pushing them together, it was hard to ignore all of the emotions there.  Cassie tried her best to keep Orion at an arm’s length away, but as we got peaks into their past it was so obvious how wonderful they were together.  As they continued to work on their common goal, to find the baby, it became harder to ignore that they belonged together.  And the chemistry, lust and love that swirled around them.

“Heaven, hell and earth, Cassie. I will move each and every single one for you.”

A Wicked and Beautiful Garden will keep readers hooked from beginning to end!  I’m so happy that the ending was the perfect stopping spot!  We got to breathe for a moment and even got a few answers, but there are still so many unanswered questions.  From how their world worked, to those around Cassie, to even her past, I can’t wait to learn it all!  If you’re a fan of JLA, I think there may be a good chance you’ll enjoy this book!  There were quite a few elements in this series that reminded me of a few of JLA’s series, so if you like her stories then I think you’ll like this one too!  I can’t wait for that next book!

*I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book, provided by the author. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

BOOK REVIEW: The Seat Filler by Sariah Wilson

BOOK REVIEW: The Seat Filler by Sariah WilsonThe Seat Filler by Sariah Wilson
Purchase on: Amazon
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

The movie star and the dog groomer are one kiss away from the perfect love story. That’s the hiccup in a warm and witty romance by the bestselling author of Roommaid.

The meet-cute award goes to dog groomer Juliet Nolan. It’s one of Hollywood’s biggest nights when she volunteers as a seat filler and winds up next to movie heartthrob Noah freaking Douglas. Tongue tied and toes curling in her pink Converse, she pretends that she doesn’t have a clue who he is. It’s the only way to keep from swooning.

She’s pretty and unpretentious, loves his dog, and is not a worshipping fan. No way Noah’s giving up on her, even if his affectionate pursuit comes with a bump: Juliet has a pathological fear of kissing and the disappointments that follow. What odds does romance have without that momentous, stupendous, once-in-a-lifetime first smooch? Patient, empathetic, and carrying personal burdens of his own, Noah suggests a remedy: they rehearse.

The lessons begin. The guards come down. But there’s another hitch they weren’t betting on. As for that cue-the-orchestra-and-roll-credits happy ending? It might take more than practice to make it perfect.

Review:

The Seat Filler was a delightful romance that kept a smile on my face!  If you’re looking for a story that will make your heart happy, have a fabulous romance and the most wonderful happily ever after then this is your book!  This was my first time reading anything by Sariah Wilson, and I’m definitely looking forward to devouring her backlist!

Noah still wore his smirk and he was just…staring at me. Like he was trying to memorize my facial features for the police report he probably planned on filing.

The first chapter alone was so much fun, I was hooked right away!  Juliet Nolan was helping her best friend, Shelby, be a seat filler at an awards show.  And who was Juliet placed next to?  None other than the Noah Douglas.  Noah was a movie star who she had followed and been obsessed with since she was a kid.  But their first interactions went a little off kilter, so Juliet pretended to have no clue who Noah was.  With the banter between them so seamless, this book had one of the most hilarious meet cutes I’ve ever read!

I actually pressed my phone to my chest, squealed, and spun around. I never thought this would happen to me, and not even in my wildest daydreams did I ever imagine that it would be with Noah Douglas.

Juliet was someone I wanted to be friends with!  She was absolutely hilarious and I loved her thoughts!  Whether it was her interactions with Noah, to her friendship with Shelby, to even her passion working as a dog groomer, there was so much to love about Juliet!  And once we got a little further into the story, we got to see her struggles.  I’ve never heard about someone who was extremely fearful of being kissed, but her description of the panic afterwards reminded me so much of my own panic attacks during certain medical procedures.  My heart felt a kinship and hurt for her.  So I was keeping my fingers crossed that Noah and Juliet would work out.  Because while there was definitely a spark between them, could a dog groomer and a movie star truly work?

“You are one dirty boy,” I told him.
“I am,” Noah agreed as he brushed some soil off his pants.
My cheeks flushed and I said, “I was talking to your dog.”
“I know.” Then he winked at me and all the blood drained from my brain.

Noah Douglas was charming, sweet, caring and swoon worthy!  I loved that he was down to earth, hardworking, and such a good man.  He snagged me from that very first chapter and the more we got to learn about Noah, the harder I fell for him.  Even though he was Hollywood royalty, I loved how much he loved his dog, wasn’t superficial and had such a good heart.  And when Noah learned about Juliet’s kissing phobia, the care he took towards that situation, he continued to melt my heart!  Plus I loved every moment he was around Juliet, especially since you could feel the chemistry.  But happily ever afters aren’t always easy, so I kept my fingers crossed that they would eventually get theirs.  It was so deserved!

He wrapped his long fingers around my wrist and pulled my hand to his chest, placing it over his heart. It was beating fast. “You’re not the only one affected.”

Romance lovers will enjoy how easy it is to devour The Seat Filler!  I laughed and smiled through the beginning, my heart got pulled in different ways through the middle and the end had the most wonderful happily ever afters!  If you’re a fan of adult romance that is sweet and fun, then definitely add this one to your list!

*I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book, provided by the publisher. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

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