Tag: Contemporary Romance (Page 1 of 69)

BOOK REVIEW: Love on the Brain by Ali Hazelwood

BOOK REVIEW: Love on the Brain by Ali HazelwoodLove on the Brain Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
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Synopsis:

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Love Hypothesis comes a new STEMinist rom-com in which a scientist is forced to work on a project with her nemesis—with explosive results.

Bee Königswasser lives by a simple code: What would Marie Curie do? If NASA offered her the lead on a neuroengineering project - a literal dream come true - Marie would accept without hesitation. Duh. But the mother of modern physics never had to co-lead with Levi Ward.

Sure, Levi is attractive in a tall, dark, and piercing-eyes kind of way. But Levi made his feelings toward Bee very clear in grad school - archenemies work best employed in their own galaxies far, far away.

But when her equipment starts to go missing and the staff ignore her, Bee could swear she sees Levi softening into an ally, backing her plays, seconding her ideas... devouring her with those eyes. The possibilities have all her neurons firing.

But when it comes time to actually make a move and put her heart on the line, there's only one question that matters: What will Bee Königswasser do?

 

The real villain is love: an unstable isotope, constantly undergoing spontaneous nuclear decay.
And it will forever go unpunished.



The way that this one hurts me to write….look. I really, thoroughly enjoyed this. I did. And, up until a certain point, I was in love-AGAIN. I was trash for Hazelwood’s first novel, and I even went in not expecting much because I HATE when people compare to an author’s first work-it’s not wholly fair. Not all books can be the same, and not all books have to contain that same aesthetic. But, here is the KICKER, we CAN expect to feel the same things. We CAN expect some sort of gravitational pull and we CAN expect to not read the same type of book we read before.

“Anyway, Harry Potter is tainted forever, and I’m not getting a cat.”
“Why?”
“Because it will die in thirteen to seventeen years, based on recent statistical data, and shatter my heart in thirteen to seventeen pieces.”
“Oh, for fuck’s sake.”



LOL! My morbidity and humor all wrapped up into one, this is exactly how I talk ^^^^ (see? I loved so much about this)

I’ll admit time and again that I am an avid serial reader of books that are all similar-but the deal is they have to be just as heart-wrenching and have moments that take my breath away-I don’t care how similar they are. And, honestly, that wasn’t my issue here-if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. But I didn’t even think of similarities when I was reading this-that was what I say to all of those that think this is comparable to TLH-fair. But no, my real issue here is that where book one made science PART of the story and it wasn’t too over the top, here it just…bogged it down. And, besides that point, it wasn’t the science that got to me-nah, I can skim better than anyone and it doesn’t effect my rating- no, when I started to get mad, it was because Bee became a total ASS when she was in the office. This is when my enjoyment faltered and I started to almost detach from the story….I never hated this story. Never. But I did hate Bee.

I frown. He sounds very . . . in charge. Self-assured. Not that he usually doesn’t, but it’s having a new . . . effect on me. Oh my God. Am I a damsel in distress?



I never speak ill of MC’s because an author generally does a great job of centering a book around that MC where we don’t have a right to really fight what’s going on because it just goes. That’s how it’s meant to be. But here…she was just so…angry. Angry at the world. Angry at her field. Angry at Levi. Well…maybe angry isn’t the word. Annoyed? Biased because of some preconceived notions? I don’t know. But it just…it always took me out of reading smoothly. I just wanted to NOT have to hear her repetitive coin phrases and terms applied to men in the field. I think it’s fine that this author has chosen this as her fight when she writes these novels-it’s a real issue and she wants to tackle it-fine. But I DO feel, and I know I am not alone here from what I’ve seen, that if you want to fight these battles….shouldn’t you not be a stereotype yourself? To give into that anger and just make it your absolute life force? I don’t know. I feel she was SO aggressive with it that it was hard to read and even harder to like Bee. We get it. You hate men and you hate how you are treated…so do something about it.

FUN FACT ABOUT me: I am a fairly mellow person, but I happen to have a very violent fantasy life.
Maybe it’s an overactive amygdala. Maybe it’s too much estrogen. Maybe it’s the lack of parental role models in my formative years. I honestly don’t know what the cause is, but the fact remains: I sometimes daydream about murdering people.
By “sometimes,” I mean often.
And by “people,” I mean Levi Ward.



NOW I may get hate about that last comment because I am in no way able to identify with this field nor what these women in STEM go through on a daily basis to earn some recognition. What I will say, however, is that I still believe it just could have been written…better. And, frankly, this flows into how she treats Levi. She treats him like a dog, honestly.

It’s just so so so so clear he’s more than into her, and even after a certain point when he states that he does not, in fact, hate her, she still says so many phrases-repeatedly-like ‘well I know you’d rather not be hanging out with someone you despise’…girl. Like…chill. Every page. Every chapter. Your arch nemesis does NOT drop everything to come help you because he loathes you. Even as a dumb teenager I’d have understood what THAT is about. Her maturity level? It’s the size of a gnat.

I guess this is it—being in love. Truly in love. Lots and lots of horrible, wondrous, violent emotions. It doesn’t suit me.



My Sarah Hogle humor at play again ^^

But Levi…ohhhh my Levi. Much like Adam (who is still my fav because… Adam) he just is so sweet beyond words. Silently volleying for your success….would do ANYTHING to help you or just be there for you. One thing Ali does is just create the most amazing men that make me unable to breathe. Adam and Olive literally knocked me out of my seat, and I wish I would have had a duo to support rather than just Levi in LOTB. I just could not get behind Bee in any way, even though she has the most hilarious Sarah Hogle-esque inner monologue. I am TRASH for Sarah Hogle, so I held onto Bee a long time before I gave up on her because she just has the funniest way of saying things. And, even after I decided I wasn’t a fan, she still made me laugh and smile occasionally.

That all being said, this was an honest to God adorable feel-good book ripe with loads of snarky humor (which I live for). I just wish that I hadn’t felt so…disconnected sometimes while reading. It was just too much in this one, and I legitimately *felt* the agenda while reading. Again, I will likely be fought on that point, but I do not care. I loved so much about this novel, I still have a couple editions in the mail I can’t wait to receive but, other than that, I think I’ll just longingly gaze at my Levi and Bee art print (and cherish it because I am OBSESSED WITH IT) and pine for the love of that art print to manifest into all-consuming love for this story. Levi deserved better, period. He was the kindest, most longing, most loyal man, and he deserved better than that jerk. I guess we just love who we love. And sorry-I’m not afraid to say it.



******

AGHH THE WAY I AM SO EXCITED FOR THIS!

Let’s get it, Bestie! TO THE BATMOBILE! We riddddeeeee!

(Yes, you, Arielle. Get in the damn car)

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BOOK REVIEW: Just Like Magic by Sarah Hogle

BOOK REVIEW: Just Like Magic by Sarah HogleJust Like Magic by Sarah Hogle
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
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Synopsis:

From the author of Twice Shy comes a sprightly Christmas novel, a rollicking romp through the absurdity of family holidays and the hope of new love.

Bettie Hughes once knew the comfort of luxury, flaunting a ridiculous collection of designer shoes and a stealthy addiction to CBD oils. That is, until her parents snipped her purse strings. Long obsessed with her public image, Bettie boasts an extravagant lifestyle on social media. But the reality is: Bettie is broke and squatting in Colorado, and her family has no idea.

Christmas, with its pressure to meet familial expectations, is looming when a drunk Bettie plays a vinyl record of “All I Want for Christmas Is You” backwards and accidentally conjures Hall, an unexpectedly charming Holiday Spirit in the form of a man. Once the shock wears off, Bettie knows she’s stumbled upon the greatest gift: a chance to make all her holiday wishes come true, plus a ready-made fiancé.

But as the wiles of magic lose their charm, Bettie finds herself set off-kilter by Hall’s sweet gestures. Suddenly, Bettie is finding her heart merry and light. But the happier she gets, the shorter Hall’s time on earth grows. Can Bettie channel the Christmas spirit and learn to live with goodwill toward all men? Or will her selfish ways come back as soon as the holidays are over?


*ARC provided by Penguin Group Putnam in exchange for an honest review*

It’s taken my whole life to realize that not being the center of attention isn’t the same thing as being ignored.
Is this growth? I don’t care for it.

I will admit this book made me feel many things…and anger was one of them, to start. It’s rare I pick up a book by a beloved author and feel anything other than-at minimum-happy. I’ll also admit, before going farther down the rabbit hole, that I did NOT know this was a Christmas book when I requested it. It’s simple, really-I saw Sarah Hogle and I clicked ‘Request’. I do not question a single thing when I see that name, and I never will-even after this tremulous start. BUT I DIGRESS. I picked this story up and it was nothing short of…well…just as she described it: Chaos [goblin].

It feels wrong to find him attractive, so I’m trying not to. It’s like eyeing a Keebler elf with seductive intentions. He’s so nice and so pure, a glowing unicorn untainted by all that is crass and vulgar about the world.

And I realize some people didn’t just fall head over heels immediately for Twice Shy (I loved it from page one, but we are all different, I suppose! And I GET IT.), but this was a whole different beast, in my opinion. I think we were thrown in rather quickly, deep into our MC’s story without much to ground us. Then, all of a sudden, this bitter girl [with so many pop culture references to start out that my head was spinning and I couldn’t keep up?] has this super happy, almost Elf-like guy landing in her living room and to say I was utterly confused would be an absolute understatement.

His face is scarlet. “The Grinch is to me what polka dots are to you.”
“I’ve never met anyone who hates the Grinch.”
“I don’t! I can’t possibly hate anything. But he’s terrible, Bettie. All the Whos wanted was to eat their roast beast and sing. They just wanted to celebrate. That’s all they wanted! I don’t understand why the cable network Freeform includes this insult to the holiday spirit in their Twenty-Five Days of Christmas lineup.”

Now-listen-I am fair and I don’t judge immediately…but wow. I say this with my WHOLE heart-I have never been so shocked and flabbergasted by a book in my whole entire existence. What. Even. WAS. This??? To say it took me a VERY long time to even want to turn the pages is a nice way of saying this was a struggle, to a certain point. And okay, I really am not selling this well, but I’m not trying to. This book, at first, will turn many people away. I just know it. But then…then. Even though I am of the more broody type of male, as of late….Hall just…he became this person that wholly changed the trajectory of this story.

I’m practically a demon in comparison, which you’d think would prompt me to take it easy on him. But instead, it’s really bringing out the demon. I find myself wanting to say inappropriate things just to see what his expression will do. All of my worst impulses are running amok.
Maybe I can see how my spirit might be a one point five.

No longer was his silliness the forefront, but something that enhanced every single moment, every single scene, every single event that would have normally caused Bettie strife or heartache. He was an anchor, an outside view, someone who aided everyone to see that they were all viewing things in an entirely incorrect or slewed perspective and just…all of a sudden this jumbled, unbelievable, crazy mess of utter destruction and mayhem became something deeper, sounder, something that lived with a slowly beating heart, suddenly gaining a pulse whereas, before, it was filler and silly and lacking the depth of a puddle.

“Is this tap water?”
He blinks. “Uhh. I don’t know.”
“I only . . .” I slump onto my side upon the unforgiving floor, eyes clenched tight, dying of thirst. “. . . drink . . . Evian.”
He tips the cup against my lips, confirming my worst fears about the source of this water. It’s inhumane, the atrocities I have endured today.

And isn’t that just the kicker? I was all of sudden transported to thoughts such as ‘well, okay, that stuff wasn’t that silly’ or ‘man those moments of such exaggerated spoof have kind of enhanced the story now that we look back, haven’t they?’, to ‘okay but all those moments the magic annoyed me and I didn’t think it could possibly be redeemed after such silliness now seem so much cuter *imagining Hall frantically trying fulfill Bettie’s wishes running around behind her while she stands there frothing and smiling maniacally* it hits different and I now smile fondly’ (seriously, I, at one point, was genuinely like WTF?!) and, ultimately, ‘Hall is literally the kindest person and he helps Bettie to see herself for who she could be, and isn’t he just becoming so much sweeter and down to earth? More human?’

Are you going to intervene?” I ask Hall.
“Can’t. Duels are protected from magical interference. It’s all in the legislation.”
“I would like to see this legislation.”
“There is legislation that prevents you from seeing the legislation. Your eyes are too mortal.”
Naturally.

I can’t explain how all of a sudden a literal OVERLY SWEET, CANDY BOX type of guy became someone I bawled over, but here we are. And here I am. And that just goes to show how great of a writer my Sarah is, because even though I thought she made Bettie just…too much…she made me-ultimately-care for her. She made me see myself in her. She made me FEEL things with how I am bitter and angry and how I, too, would love to shove it to those who wrong me daily, yet I won’t, I don’t, and I deserve more. I deserve to think better of myself, to hold myself in a higher regard and to just…let that evil go. Let those PEOPLE go. And I just love this author, absolutely ADORE this crazy woman, for always creating the Naomi’s and Betties that are-yes, sometimes hard-edged and perhaps sometimes cruel-so relatable and [even though Bettie was WAY over the top] palatable and….people who I saw my mirror image self in.

But I’ll never be sufficiently holiday-cheered, which means that he’s wrong, and isn’t going anywhere. I have the vicious, cold, impenetrable heart of a withered old hag. It’s half of my appeal.

And ouchhhhh maybe that’s just why I love this author so much. She sees me. She hears me. She tells me I am okay as I am and that there is always room to let love in, let it grow, and let it become something more than bitterness and perhaps we could stand to let more light and love in.

Felix is feeling bad about himself because he didn’t give Marilou her dream wedding, so he’s poking holes in my love life, and I don’t want to hear it. I’ve rapidly grown protective of my sham relationship and our future sham marriage.

And ugh look at me being all sappy-I used to be nice, too, ya know. Just like young Bettie. Don’t you just looooove in-laws who corrupt your view of the world (the way that You Deserve Each Other sings to my soul, I tell you…)? Either way-YES. This book was crazy and I do hope the beginning is fine tuned a bit, but that’s okay because, frankly, in the end I felt. And not everyone will. That’s okay, too. I didn’t think this was going to work. I truly didn’t. But once Hall went to bat for Bettie, let the ‘good guy will take all your shit’ act step aside to defend the girl he was falling in love with….my heart melted. It became goo. And I liked seeing him find a real persona that didn’t emulate all things nutcracker and holiday spirit (since that is who he personifies) and seeing that he could be serious –and he was seriously in love with Bettie. I needed this levity. Without it I fear this book would have fallen in the cracks for me, yet it fought it’s way out and now I can look forward to a fun book to read in December-everyone needs a good dose of a great man like Hall.

I have plenty of good attributes, of course—I’m always down for a fun time, I can tie a cherry stem with my tongue, and I have a knack for finding hidden gems when traveling. But I’ll admit I’m probably a tad more self-involved than is decent and am fond of revenge schemes.

It shouldn’t have worked, for me, by rights-him being the literal holiday spirit (so weird lol), but, in the end, watching him guide Bettie through her journey for self-worth, finding what makes her glow…it was just absolutely beautiful to see both of their transformations. And when it finally got serious, when we got to see their clock winding down, true emotions having to be shown lest they are never said before he inevitably has to say goodbye, that’s when we truly begin to feel and see what this whole story was meant to be.

My genetic pool doesn’t rise early to admire the dawn. If we rise early, it’s because there’s a limited number of Krispy Kreme donuts.

And there is a moment where Bettie is ice-skating-alone-and I just…it fractured my heart as she discovered herself, as she let her sadness shine, let the idea that she needed someone else to make her complete go… I bawled, okay . Hogle can set. A damn. Scene. And that whole moment, the atmosphere, what happens, how it plays out, how she ~feels~ things…my heart. I don’t think I’ll get my heart back from that absolutely breathtaking moment.

Simultaneously, my conscience, which isn’t as much like Jiminy Cricket as it is like Scar from The Lion King, sits forward and raises an intrigued eyebrow.

So. Yes. I was not sold at first, and it will not be for everyone…and many will love it. That’s just how it goes. But I can firmly say, now that I have officially written a review and chosen a side (my true feelings always come out candidly when I write my reviews, because my immediate feelings have faded and I’ve had time to process) that I am proud to say I love this dumpster fire of a book, just as I did Twice Shy and You Deserve Each Other, and I am so happy I found my beautiful, chaotic, dumpster fire of an author (am I allowed to say this? I feel like she’d actually appreciate this) and I hope she never stops churning out my Naomis and Betties and chaos goblins alike. I will always try them, and I will always hold them tight. There aren’t enough neurotic, WELL DONE female MCs like Hogle creates-I just have to hope she never stops writing them, or I’d truly lose a piece of my crazy, surly, petty self.

FRAN SCALE:
Jen-As you are my light and joy and HOLIDAY SPIRIT PERSONIFIED FRIEND, yes
Arielle– I teeter back and forth, but I think you’d get a kick out of it
Cassie– You are an evil, corrupt soul like me, so yes. Maybe not a favorite, but you’ll enjoy the petty just as I did
Anna– Actually, maybe. But who knows.

****

I mean…IDK????? I have ZERO clue what to rate this. It was a two…for like…40%. Isn’t that just crazy? Then a tentative three. Then a four. Then my ass was bawling for twenty minutes (I do not think I feel well. I had a twig in my eye) straight and inconsolable with feels and wtf even.

Something about Hogle-even when she starts with such a HUGE misstep and novel of absolute chaos that makes zero sense and pisses me off with her buddy the elf love interest-just speaks to my heart.

Maybe it’s that I, too, have lost my happiness and youth and the rose tinted glasses way I used to view the world because of circumstances that surround me and have changed me irrevocably. That I saw my bitterness in Bettie and saw how Hall brought all that wonder and willingness to try and be good and the way he fell for her was just so sweet and sincere.

Maybe it’s the way he defended her, went to bat when no one else would, with his whole heart because he knows who she is on the inside the way I crave to be supported and cherished. He literally CHERISHED her with hearts in his literal eyes and I aspire to make my husband find those love eyes again ha.

I don’t know. But I was a mess and, though this was a surefire dumpster of a book I don’t actually know will do well, I fell for it because I am weak and a sucker and even though I am of the toxic male variety as of late I found the LAST half with Hall so heartfelt and endearing with his adoration of Bettie that I cannot rate this low any longer.

Call me weak. Call me a sucker. But Hogle speaks to my bitter little heart and shoves my style of humor into every crevice (despite how cheesy the jokes COULD be and WERE for a very long time) and how she [maybe perhaps WAY too many this time] uses pop culture references in every story that crack me up but normally has the perfect amount for me.

So. Whatever. I guess a 5 for now??? LOL SHOCKER? I am weak.

REVIEW TO COME.

***********

OMGGGGG The way that getting this ARC made my DAYYYYYYY!!!

This. Author. Is. EVERYTHING.

Nicholas doesn’t like bangs? Perfect. I don’t like Nicholas.

Lolll I cannot WAIT.

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BOOK REVIEW: Love Lessons (Brooklyn #7) by Sarina Bowen

BOOK REVIEW: Love Lessons (Brooklyn #7) by Sarina BowenLove Lessons (Brooklyn #7)
by Sarina Bowen
Purchase on: AmazoniBooks
Book Depository
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

He needs an image makeover, she needs a mojo upgrade. A new lessons-in-seduction hockey romance from Wall Street Journal bestselling author Sarina Bowen.

After I'm arrested for throwing a raucous party, my hockey team says I have an image problem. And I need to fix it, stat.

Charity work? Check. Haircut? Sure. But I draw the line at hiring my neighbor to style me. In the first place "style" shouldn't be a verb. And I'm tired of people who'd judge me on appearances.

Vera and I don't see eye to eye on anything. She wants me to try on clothes, while I just want to remove hers. She's distractingly pretty, with soulful eyes and a sinful mouth that likes to argue with me.

But when management threatens my summer vacation, I grudgingly agree to Vera's unusual proposal: she'll give me an image makeover. But in return, she wants lessons in the art of seduction.

It sounds a little nutty, but I know a good opening when I hear it. Besides, it's not like I'll ever fall for her...

Review

I’m not tearing up/holding back from crying as I finish this book, NO I AM NOT. I was talking to a friend when I was getting towards the last chunk of the book and she said this book felt like an end of an era with a certain Captain retiring. I have to agree. I have been closely following along with Bowen’s work now for about four years and I know for a fact I have mentioned in multiple other reviews how much these characters feel like family to me. If this does in fact wind up being the last Bruisers book (no idea if this is the case or not), I will be satisfied.

When we first got a flash of Vera and Ian bickering in Charli and Neil’s book, I had been hoping for more of them together. My wish was certainly granted. What I did not expect was to read their story with the GORGEOUS backdrop of a villa in Italy. Perks of having a mega rich friend/teammate like Neil I suppose, lol. Gahh, what a luxurious setting. The thought of them connecting in this super beautiful and restful place for a few weeks during the summer was just very…nice. They didn’t have to worry about the pressures of a busy job or an insanely crazy hockey season, they were just able to get to know one another a little better and bicker all they wanted.

In all seriousness though, the main trope of this book being ~teach me how to be sexy and how to seduce men~ IS ONE OF MY FAVORITES OF ALL TIME. I’ve read about it numerous times and loved it numerous times but I felt like this one was special because of Ian. Most of the time in those situations the guy is a HUGE playboy. I’m sure Ian did get around since he is an insanely hot and talented hockey player but playboy wasn’t ever the vibe I got from him. Instead he was open and playful in bed which coaxed Vera into trusting him quickly and brought out her own brave side. I absolutely loved it.

Besides that we do get into deeper issues too–Ian dealing with the aftermath of dealing a career ending blow to a kid last season and being told my management he needed to clean up his image. Vera of course was trying to figure out what to do in order to impress her ex at a gala he invited her to after the Italy trip and was also guilty for being the one to call in Ian’s noisy party that ended up getting him temporarily arrested. As expected though, by spending time together like they did, both of them were able to think about their problems through a different lens and take care of business for themselves accordingly.

Overall this book warmed my heart and I was obsessed with the steam level. It doesn’t matter what Bowen writes, I will read and I WILL love. That’s all there is to it. Do yourself a favor and start reading this series if you haven’t already. It’s 100% my favorite hockey romance series of all time.

Huge thanks to Tuxbury Publishing LLC for allowing me to read an eARC in exchange for my honest opinion!

BOOK REVIEW: Fauxmance by Cookie O’Gorman

BOOK REVIEW: Fauxmance by Cookie O’GormanFauxmance by Cookie O'Gorman
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Fauxmance (foh-mans): Term for a romantic relationship that is fake. Real feelings, like love, are strictly prohibited. See also: Why would anyone enter a fake relationship?

Eighteen-year-old Magnolia believes in true love.

Or she did.

When her boyfriend dumps her the day before her sister's wedding, Maggie is devastated—but her broken heart is only part of the problem. Maggie is the maid of honor, and her sister insists: Every member of the bridal party must have an escort. No exceptions.

Thank goodness for Hayden Davenport.

Sarcastic, cocky, a surprisingly good listener and self-professed player, when Maggie gets stuck in an elevator with the handsome stranger, she thinks she's found the perfect wedding date. Unfortunately, Hayden hates weddings. Like really hates them.

But one soul-shattering kiss changes everything.

Maggie needs a fake boyfriend. Hayden wants to prove he's changed his playboy ways. Faking it should be easy. The hard part?

Remembering it's all pretend and not falling in love for real.

This book features two opposites with sizzling chemistry, a sweet, hopeless romantic and a cynical bad boy who'll steal your heart. Elevators, fake romance, and weddings, oh my! Get ready to swoon, laugh, and say 'I do' to this heartfelt YA romance.

Review:

Fauxmance was absolutely adorable and so much fun!  With laugh out loud and sigh worthy moments, this heartwarming story became a quick favorite!  And with a fun and flirty vibe, this was YA at its best!  If you’re looking for a young adult romance that will keep you smiling and laughing, you definitely need this book in your life!

“Let me prove it to you.”
My brows pinched together. “How are you going to do that?”
“I’m going to kiss you,” he said.
Anything I was about to say left me. My brain went totally blank. What were words again?
“If you still think kissing’s overrated after that, okay. I’ll retire my player card for good.” Hayden’s eyes went to my lips, and they tingled in response. “That won’t happen, though.”
I swallowed to clear my throat.  “How can you be sure?”
“Because I’m going to do my best to please you.”

After Magnolia got dumped by her longtime boyfriend, the day before her sister’s wedding, she was lost without an escort.  And her sister was a stickler for how she wanted her wedding to run.  Thankfully fate intervened and Magnolia found herself stuck in an elevator with Hayden.  And while there was definitely a connection, and lots of chemistry with a swoon worthy kiss, Hayden was completely against weddings.  Except Hayden needed to prove he was no longer a player and Magnolia desperately needed a date.  What could be the harm of fake dating each other to get what they both wanted?

As he leaned back, Hayden gave me a soft smile. “Don’t sound so worried. I’m going to be the perfect fake boyfriend.”
I didn’t tell him then— but that was exactly what I was worried about.

You will passionately fall in love with Hayden!  He was beyond sigh worthy.  With a bad boy, cynical vibe, I loved his cocky ways!  But he could also make me laugh so hard.  Messing up names, comparing Magnolia to his grandma, honestly there was so much uniqueness to Hayden that I loved learning everything there was about him! Especially his sweet side, like how he would stand up for Magnolia or say wonderful things about her. He could be such a good guy. Cookie O’Gorman created another book boyfriend that I was completely obsessed with!

“I couldn’t stop thinking about you,” he said, and my heart tried to  escape my chest— right up until he added, “Your strange fear of peeps  and how you refuse to eat without a napkin really made an impression.”
“Ha ha,” I said.

I loved Magnolia with my whole heart!  She was definitely someone you would want to be bff with.  She was so honest, but at the same time she cracked me up.  With always having her sister’s back and her heartfelt dreams of being a bridesmaid, Magnolia was so adorable!  I loved the relationship she had with her mom, I loved that she went to therapy and I loved what a good, kindhearted person she was!  So watching how far she grew from that first page to the last warmed my heart!

I caught myself staring at Hayden’s hands as he drove— the same hands  that had gripped my waist and tucked my hair behind my ear. My gaze moved to his lips, and I shivered. I could still feel the imprint of them on my skin.

Magnolia and Hayden were definitely opposites in quite a few ways. I loved how she tried her best to be positive whereas Hayden no problems putting it all out there and being realistic. But their interactions together had me laughing so hard at times I couldn’t breathe. So with gestures that were smile inducing, second hand embarrassment that made you feel everything, and moments that will make you gasp out loud, this is the type of book that you can easily devour in one sitting! And with fake dating laced throughout the pages, just try your hardest not to smile from beginning to end!

But what if it could’ve been more? my mind whispered.
Shaking the thought off, I got back to work.

Fauxmance was swoon worthy, giggle inducing and impossible to put down! I literally squeaked, gasped, laughed and screamed out loud while reading this story. It was entertaining, captivating and the epilogue was the cutest! If you adore young adult romance, or the fake dating trope, you definitely need to meet Magnolia and Hayden!

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

BOOK REVIEW: Reason to Believe (Legacy #1) by Rebecca Yarros

BOOK REVIEW: Reason to Believe (Legacy #1) by Rebecca Yarros

Reason to Believe easily landed on my favorites list! Check out my 5 Star Review below ♥.

BOOK REVIEW: Reason to Believe (Legacy #1) by Rebecca YarrosReason to Believe (Legacy #1)
by Rebecca Yarros
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Synopsis:

From USA Today bestselling author Rebecca Yarros comes a brand-new small town, older-brother’s best friend standalone romance.

“I’ll take them!”

That’s what I tell the social worker when my pre-k student and his baby brother need an emergency foster placement. I’ll do anything to keep the brothers from being split up. But my apartment’s flooded and there’s only one house I can take them to on such short notice…his.

Knox Daniels, my older brother’s best friend, offers his new place without hesitation. He’s not moving back to our tiny town until next month—that’s when all our hotshot firefighters are returning for their one and only chance to rebuild our fathers’ fallen, iconic crew.

It doesn’t matter that I’ve been silently in love with Knox since we were kids.
It can’t matter that we pretend that reckless prom night kiss never happened.
It won’t matter that my feelings for him could destroy his lifelong friendship with my brother and threaten the certification of their hotshot crew.
Because I’ll be out of his house long before he gets back.

Except Knox just walked in…a month early.
And the icing on this awkward cake?
He’s gorgeous as always and I’m covered in baby puke.
He takes one look at the boys and tells me we can make this work—
We can temporarily fake a relationship to keep them from being separated by the system.

Suddenly, everything matters.

Review:

Reason to Believe was an emotionally beautiful love story!  With tons of heart, this sexy romance completely consumed me.  It was impossible to put down. As heartbreaking and uplifting moments laced throughout the pages, this book soared right onto my favorites list!

“You’re not always an asshole, do you know that?”
I laughed. “Yeah, well, just don’t tell anyone.”
“I like this version of you.” Her arms tightened around my neck, and I flinched.
Like
was dangerous. It was everything I’d avoided these last seven years when it came to Harper.

With a mix of older brother’s best friend and fake dating, this story was done to perfection! We started out seven years in the past, and got to witness why Knox and Harper could never be together.  Even though the chemistry and connection between them was electrifying. When we jumped seven years in the future, Harper found herself in a situation to help foster two little boys, at Knox’s house while he was away. So when Knox came home a month early, he agreed to help Harper keep the boys from being separated. By pretending that they were together.

I was head-over-heels in love with that arrogant ass and had been since I was old enough to name the emotion.
But to him…well, I wasn’t anything, not even a blip on his sexual radar.
I was his best friend’s little sister.
And I hated that most of all.

I absolutely loved Harper! She was fierce, independent, intelligent and had the hugest heart! When she stepped up to help foster one of her students and his baby brother, after their mom had been killed, I loved seeing her resolve, strength and watching her try to do her best. Even though it was extremely challenging. So when Knox appeared in the picture, I held my breath. She had been in love with her older brother’s best friend since she was a kid. And when Knox stated that they were in a fake relationship, to keep the boys from being separated, it just reinforced why she had been in love with him forever.

“I’m so sorry I dragged you into this,” she whispered.
I dropped my chin to rest on the top of her head, avoiding where she had her hair piled in some kind of knot. “Harper, there is nowhere else I would rather be.”
Her breath hitched, and we both fell silent.

Knox pulled at my heart and it was so easy to fall for him. While he was jaded from the past, he would do anything for Harper. Yes she was his best friend’s little sister, but as we got to hear the story from his point of view also, we saw how desperately he secretly craved her.  She was the only thing in his life he truly wanted, but couldn’t ever have. That need burned him alive. So I loved the forbidden feel of them! As Knox stepped up and helped Harper every step of the way, their friendship showed how perfect they were for each other. And the sexual tension between them was so intense, it was like they were on fire every moment they were near each other!

My breath caught at the longing in his eyes, the need and heat that echoed my own.

This story brimmed with emotions that were raw and real. I already had tears by the second chapter and they just kept appearing as the story unfolded. I even found myself sobbing and couldn’t stop the tears from pouring down my face. While this book was an emotional powerhouse, there was also so much love, friendship, smiles and laughter throughout this story too. I loved their firefighting family! I loved Harper and Knox’s friends, who I had already fallen in love with in previous novellas (Point of Origin & Ignite which are currently FREE!). You don’t have to read them before picking up this book, but I highly recommend you do! Together they made this found family that was uplifting in their little town. And I loved how they had each other’s back. It was smile inducing and their lighter moments were heartwarming. Plus the two little boys in this story will absolutely capture your heart.

I poured all of my messy, unlabeled emotions into the caress of my lips, the stroke of my tongue, hoping she understood what I didn’t know how to say. Praying she knew what she meant to me when I couldn’t put words to it.

Romance lovers will passionately fall in love with Reason to Believe! Within the pages this story was emotional, intense, swoon worthy, intoxicating, heart wrenching and had so much passion! This was a story-line that will capture your heart and one you’ll remember forever. And the HEA at the end?! It was everything I could have ever wanted and more. If you’re looking for an adult romance to pick up, I can’t recommend this one enough!

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

 

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About Rebecca Yarros:

Rebecca Yarros is the Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author of over fifteen novels, including Great and Precious Things and The Last Letter. “A gifted storyteller” (Kirkus), she is also the recipient of the Colorado Romance Writer’s Award of Excellence for Eyes Turned Skyward from her Flight and Glory series.

Rebecca loves military heroes and has been blissfully married to hers for almost twenty years. She’s the mother of six children, ranging from kindergarten to law school, and is currently surviving the teenage years with three of her four hockey-playing sons. When she’s not writing, you can find her at the hockey rink or sneaking in some guitar time while guzzling coffee. She and her family live in Colorado with their stubborn English bulldogs, two feisty chinchillas, and a Maine Coon kitten named Artemis, who rules them all.

Having fostered then adopted their youngest daughter who is nonverbal and on the autism spectrum, Rebecca is passionate about helping children in the foster system through her nonprofit, One October, which she co-founded with her husband in 2019. To learn more about their mission to better the lives of kids in foster care, visit www.oneoctober.org.

To catch up on Rebecca’s latest releases and upcoming novels, including The Things We Leave Unfinished, which just received a starred review from Publishers Weekly, visit www.RebeccaYarros.com.


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