Tag: Contemporary Romance (Page 1 of 78)

BOOK REVIEW: Just One of the Groomsmen (Getting Hitched #1) & Always a Bridesmaid (Getting Hitched #2) by Cindi Madsen

BOOK REVIEW: Just One of the Groomsmen (Getting Hitched #1) & Always a Bridesmaid (Getting Hitched #2) by Cindi MadsenJust One of the Groomsmen (Getting Hitched #1)
by Cindi Madsen
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Addison Murphy is the funny friend, the girl you grab a beer with―the girl voted most likely to start her own sweatshirt line. And now that one of her best guy friends is getting married, she’ll add “groomsman” to that list, too. She’ll get through this wedding if it’s the last thing she does. Just don’t ask her to dive for any bouquet.

When Tucker Crawford returns to his small hometown, he expects to see the same old people, feel comfort in the same old things. He certainly doesn’t expect to see the nice pair of bare legs sticking out from under the hood of a broken-down car. Certainly doesn’t expect to feel his heart beat faster when he realizes they belong to one of his best friends.

If he convinces Addie to give him a chance, they could be electric…or their breakup could split their tight-knit group in two.

Hiding the way he feels from the guys through bachelor parties, cake tastings, and rehearsals is one thing. But just as Tucker realizes that Addie truly could be the perfect woman for him―he was just too stupid to realize it―now she’s leaving to follow her own dreams. He’s going to need to do a lot of compromising if he’s going to convince her to take a shot at forever with him―on her terms this time.

Review:

Just One of the Groomsmen was a heartwarming, friends to lovers romance.  Set in a small town in the south, with characters that will make you smile, I absolutely adored this story!  There was spice.  Angst.  And all the feels!  Addie was a tomboy surrounded by her best friends, Tucker, Shep, Ford and Easton.  And when Tucker came back to town, sparks flew between them.  While they both tried their best to deny their feelings for each other, it was impossible!

The push and pull between them was intoxicating!  And when they did toe the line, their moments together were steamy!  Add in characters that will make you laugh, like Nona, and friendship that runs so deep and this story had everything I love about small town romances.  This was my first Cindi Madsen, and I listened to the audio which was phenomenal, so I can’t wait to binge read all of her other stories!

 

BOOK REVIEW: Just One of the Groomsmen (Getting Hitched #1) & Always a Bridesmaid (Getting Hitched #2) by Cindi MadsenAlways a Bridesmaid (Getting Hitched #2)
by Cindi Madsen
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Violet Abrams may have been a bridesmaid no less than seven times, but her wedding day was near—she could feel it. Until her longtime boyfriend left her for someone else. That’s just fine—she has her photography and a new project redesigning her sister’s bakery to keep her happy and fulfilled. Fast-forward to the day of his wedding, though, when Violet might have accidentally, totally not on purpose, started a fire. And... Officially the worst day ever.

Firefighter Ford Maguire thought he’d seen it all. Until he’s called out because someone tried to set the local bakery on fire…with a wedding magazine? The little arsonist might be the cutest woman he’s ever seen, but he’s too career-focused to consider something serious. Still, Violet seems like a great person to help him navigate his upcoming “man of honor” duties in his best friend’s wedding.

Pretty soon, not only is Violet giving him lessons on all things weddings, she’s helping him train his latest rescue-dog recruit puppies and weaving her way seamlessly into his lone-wolf lifestyle. But forever is the last thing on Ford’s mind, and if there’s one thing a perpetual bridesmaid knows, it’s the importance of a happily ever after.

Review:

Always a Bridesmaid took us back to the small town we love, and there were all the familiar faces.  Yet this one hit deeper.  It was emotional.  And heartfelt too.  Both Violet and Ford thought that they were not worthy of love.  Their pasts and families had created doubts in their minds.  So it was heartbreaking that they thought they weren’t good enough.  Watching them fight their way to their happily ever after, will have you cheering them on!

Violet and Ford’s meet cute was beyond memorable!  And the cake testing, the bar, playing pool, to even the coffee house scene all slowly started to build a friendship between these two people.  Mix that all in with characters we love, friendships that run deep, and the most adorable puppies ever and this book was so easy and fun to listen to!  I loved how the story transported me to another world.  It was so vivid and colorful!  So if you adore small town romances with steam, then definitely put this one on your tbr!  I’m so happy I listened to it!

 

BOOK REVIEW: Wildfire (Maple Hills #2) by Hannah Grace

BOOK REVIEW: Wildfire (Maple Hills #2) by Hannah GraceWildfire (Maple Hills #2)
by Hannah Grace
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

Maple Hills students Russ Callaghan and Aurora Roberts cross paths at a party celebrating the end of the academic year, where a drinking game results in them having a passionate one-night stand. Never one to overstay her welcome (or expect much from a man), Aurora slips away before Russ even has the chance to ask for her full name.

Imagine their surprise when they bump into each other on the first day of the summer camp where they are both counselors, hoping to escape their complicated home lives by spending the summer working. Russ hopes if he gets far enough away from Maple Hills, he can avoid dealing with the repercussions of his father’s gambling addiction, while Aurora is tired of craving attention from everyone around her, and wants to go back to the last place she truly felt at home.

Russ knows breaking the camp’s strict “no staff fraternizing” rule will have him heading back to Maple Hills before the summer is over, but unfortunately for him, Aurora has never been very good at caring about the rules. Will the two learn to peacefully coexist? Or did their one night together start a fire they can’t put out?

Review:

While I adored Icebreaker, this book and I didn’t mesh as well.  One of my favorite things that was missing in this story was the group dynamic.  I adored that we got it in the beginning, with the Jenga scene.  And that it pushed Russ and Aurora together.  But once they left for camp, that component was gone.  Yes there were characters at camp I adored, but they didn’t give off that same feeling, or the banter.  I missed it.

Russ Callaghan can call me a good girl anytime.

While the camp scene wasn’t really my thing, what I did enjoy about this story was the characters.  I adored them and felt their struggles in my heart.  These characters were so fleshed out and their issues felt real to me.  Russ was the sweet, cinnamon roll guy that was so easy to fall for.  And Aurora felt like the girl next door you could easily be besties with.  And both of them were hurting because of their family.  People had always made both of them feel less than and they tried their best to hide their hurt deep.  His dad had a gambling addiction, and her dad just ignored her.  I knew that they could find happiness with each other, if they would just take that next big step!

“We could have just had a conversation. This is not the kind of main character moment I’m looking for in my life!” She groans loudly, peeking at me between her fingers.

Watching their friendship form was heartwarming.  I loved how they had to work for it.  How the camp forced them together, like in the team building activities.  And how they realized they were having miscommunication issues.  Yet the whole time, it felt like their story was low on the angst and tension.  So they were adorable and also had some steam too!  Their date in the back of the truck was beyond cute!  And the epilogue down the road left me closing this book with a smile.  But for me, this book was wayyyyy too long.  I would have been happier with a couple hundred less pages.  So if you’re looking for a forced proximity, miscommunication, NA romance with a cinnamon roll guy, then this book may just be what you were looking for!

“You are the brightest thing in my life, Aurora,” he says. “And you’re a living reminder of the good things that can happen when I allow myself to be happy.”

PS I adored Fish, Trout, and Salmon!

BOOK REVIEWS: Rosie and the Dreamboat (The Improbable Meet-Cute #3) by Sally Thorne & Drop, Cover, and Hold On (The Improbable Meet-Cute #4) by Jasmine Guillory

BOOK REVIEWS: Rosie and the Dreamboat (The Improbable Meet-Cute #3) by Sally Thorne & Drop, Cover, and Hold On (The Improbable Meet-Cute #4) by Jasmine GuilloryRosie and the Dreamboat (The Improbable Meet-Cute #3)
by Sally Thorne
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

For a hopeful and hopeless romantic, it’s love at first sight—with a little twist—in a hilarious short story about finding Mr. Right by the For a hopeful and hopeless romantic, it’s love at first sight—with a little twist—in a hilarious short story about finding Mr. Right by the USA Today bestselling author of The Hating Game.

Rosie Whittaker and her sister are up for some Galentine’s pampering at a day spa. Getting locked inside a flotation tank is so Rosie. Enter a firefighter hero determined to pry this luckless pearl out of her high-tech shell. All Rosie has to go on is a dreamy voice and a flirty sense of humor. Remain calm, Rosie. This could be what you’ve been waiting for. Is this the man she’s waited for her whole life?

Sally Thorne’s Rosie and the Dreamboat is part of The Improbable Meet-Cute, irresistibly romantic stories about finding love when and where you least expect it. They can be read or listened to in one sitting. Let’s make a date of it.

Review:

Once Rosie got locked in the flotation tank, I finally became interested in this story.  And then finished this book in one sitting.  I was obsessed when the firefighter showed up and hung on his every word!  Him and Rosie’s chemistry was so palpable, and their banter was so much fun.  I loved that he was her sanity.  And that they could joke while she was stuck in a precarious situation.  It was heartwarming watching their friendship form in a matter of hours.  And that last chapter I was grinning from ear to ear!  But the only thing is……I desperately needed one more chapter please.  My heart was happy where it ended but still, I want more please!

 

BOOK REVIEWS: Rosie and the Dreamboat (The Improbable Meet-Cute #3) by Sally Thorne & Drop, Cover, and Hold On (The Improbable Meet-Cute #4) by Jasmine GuilloryDrop, Cover, and Hold On (The Improbable Meet-Cute #4)

Synopsis:

It takes nothing less than a fateful natural disaster to throw two opposites together in a ground-shakingly charming short story by the New York Times bestselling author of Drunk on Love.

This Valentine’s Day, Daisy Murray has her heart set on binge-watching rom-coms. Instead, an earthquake traps her inside a bakery with its impossibly rude and insufferably handsome owner and head baker. They already have a history: she’s always smiled, he’s always scowled. Where better to finally get to know each other than amid the disaster? Then again, they have no choice. Besides, it could have its sweet, undeniable, and unpredictable perks.

Jasmine Guillory’s Drop, Cover, and Hold On is part of The Improbable Meet-Cute, irresistibly romantic stories about finding love when and where you least expect it. They can be read or listened to in one sitting. Let’s make a date of it.

Review:

Drop, Cover, and Hold On was a forced proximity, grumpy sunshine romance.  She thought he hated her.  He had wanted her from the moment he saw her.  And after an earthquake, they found themselves stuck together in his bakery.  Lots of yummy treats were described and I adored the narrator and how she made the story come to life.  And while this story wasn’t my favorite within this series, it still kept my interest and made me realize I need to try this author’s other books!

BOOK REVIEW: Same Time Next Year by Tessa Bailey

BOOK REVIEW: Same Time Next Year by Tessa BaileySame Time Next Year by Tessa Bailey
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

From New York Times bestselling author Tessa Bailey comes a steamy novella full of hope and humor tracking a couple’s fake marriage for a year after the wild New Year’s Eve when they first say “I do.”

Adored by all, Britta is an ambitious waitress working at Sluggers. The popular bar holds a special place in her heart and is a regular hangout for the Bridgeport Bandits, the local hockey club. With a half brother on the team, Britta has a strict no-dating policy for hockey boys. But she does have a soft spot for one particular player.

A beast on the ice, Sumner Mayfield is on the brink of breaking into the NHL. But time’s running out. With his work visa about to expire, Sumner’s only chance to stay in Bridgeport is to marry an American—and get a green card. Otherwise, it’s back to Canada for the defenseman.

On New Year’s Eve, the team begs Britta to marry Sumner that very night. Sum is embarrassed yet hopeful—he’s desperately in love. But Britta balks at first. Until something about Sumner’s soulful brown eyes and ripped physique makes her reconsider…

Review:

Same Time Next Year was a steamy, marriage of convenience sports novella.  I listened to the audiobook and not only adored the voices, but the story was so much fun too!  I couldn’t stop smiling!  I didn’t care how true to the facts this story was, or how over the top ridiculous it could be.  For me what mattered was that I was attached to the characters and their connection and passion felt real.  I easily got lost listening to their story!

He concedes this with a nod. “Maybe that’s true. But even if you’re strong alone, when someone wades into your lake and you feel something . . . if you choose to ignore it, maybe that strength is actually just something else in disguise.”
“Weakness?”
“Fear.”

Britta was so easy to listen to and like.  Her half brother Bryce was a player on the local college hockey team, and she worked at a bar that they always hung out at.  When she found out that Sumner was going to be sent back to Canada, she agreed to marry him since he was destined to go pro.  Yet Sumner had the hugest crush on her, and I was wondering how long Britta would be able to hold off before she jumped in the sheets with him!

My wife is possessive.
Part of me wants to laugh out loud because the very idea that I could even consider another woman is so far outside the realm of possibility, she has no idea. What women? Where? I’m blind to every last one of them. There’s only Britta.

Sumner was the sweetest cinnamon roll ever!  He was so kind and had it bad for Britta.  I was obsessed with listening to his thoughts.  They were hilarious and made me smile so much.  And I loved how dedicated he was to wanting a family and how own happily ever after.  It was refreshing.  Yet Britta was wary of love and marriage because of her past.  So as she started to open up to Sumner, it was heartwarming.  Especially since Sumner saw Britta for who she truly was.

Holy fuck, my wife is so hot.

Sumner and Britta’s moments together that didn’t even seem to go anywhere could be so hot.  The parking lot scene?!  How can just kissing and touching be so erotic?  Sigh.  So when they did go further, it was sensual, detailed and so spicy!  Tessa Bailey knows how to write steamy scenes!  Mix that in with moments that had me screaming in joy, like the magazine haha!  And this book was so easy to listen to.  But keep in mind that this book was definitely filled with all the cheese, and all the my wife’s.  It ended with a fabulous grand gesture and I can’t wait to read whatever Tessa Bailey releases next!

BOOK REVIEW: (The Improbable Meet-Cute #1) by Christina Lauren & Worst Wingman Ever (The Improbable Meet-Cute #2) by Abby Jimenez

BOOK REVIEW:  (The Improbable Meet-Cute #1) by Christina Lauren & Worst Wingman Ever (The Improbable Meet-Cute #2) by Abby JimenezThe Exception to the Rule (The Improbable Meet-Cute #1)
by Christina Lauren
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

On February 14, an accidental email to a stranger opens the door to an unexpected relationship in a captivating short story by the New York Times bestselling authors of The Unhoneymooners.

One typo, and a boy and girl connect by chance. Wishing each other a happy Valentine’s Day isn’t the end. In fact, it becomes a friendly annual tradition—with rules: no pics, no real names, nothing too personal. As years pass, the rules for their email “dates” are breaking, and they’re sharing more than they imagined—including the urge to ask…what if we actually met?

Christina Lauren’s The Exception to the Rule is part of The Improbable Meet-Cute, irresistibly romantic stories about finding love when and where you least expect it. They can be read or listened to in one sitting. Let’s make a date of it.

Review:

The Exception to the Rule was a friends to lovers, epistolary romance that was beyond adorable!  By accident, they started emailing each other in 2014.  And continued to send an email wishing the other a Happy Valentines Day every year.  And each year that followed, I loved their little happy messages to each other.  And the rules of secrecy they played by.  Yet as the years went by, real life started to slip in.  They would tell each other things they struggled with or what had shattered their hearts.  If they were dating someone.  To just sharing things that made the other person smile.  I loved watching a true friendship form!

“Too soon?” he asks, breath minty, his lips only an inch from mine.
“I don’t normally kiss before the first date,” I tell him. “But you’re the exception to the rule.”

Yet I am so beyond glad I listened to this in audio format.  Since we spent over half of this book in email format, I was so glad I didn’t have to pay close attention to who was emailing who.  I could just listen if it was a male or female voice.  And when they finally met in person, I was dying!  Kindness, thoughtfulness, heart and what-ifs filled the pages!  I loved how that unfolded.  Plus we were given an epilogue that made my heart soar.  This novella was so much fun and I’m so glad I listened to this story!

 

BOOK REVIEW:  (The Improbable Meet-Cute #1) by Christina Lauren & Worst Wingman Ever (The Improbable Meet-Cute #2) by Abby JimenezWorst Wingman Ever (The Improbable Meet-Cute #2)
by Abby Jimenez
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads

Synopsis:

They’re falling in love, yet they’ve never met. Maybe fate can intervene in a heartwarming “what-if” short story about new beginnings by the New York Times bestselling author of Yours Truly.

Holly is dealing with the impending death of her grandmother and still reeling from a bad breakup. One bright spot: a Valentine’s Day card on Holly’s windshield—even if it wasn’t meant for her. An amusing mistake soon turns into a lovely exchange of anonymous notes, little acts of kindness, and a growing affection between two strangers. What happens when one of them has to say goodbye?

Abby Jimenez’s Worst Wingman Ever is part of The Improbable Meet-Cute, irresistibly romantic stories about finding love when and where you least expect it. They can be read or listened to in one sitting. Let’s make a date of it.

Review:

Worst Wingman Ever was an adult, epistolary romance that will tug at your heart.  For a novella, this story was so full of life.  It’ll make you smile, laugh and I even shed a few tears.   I found myself smiling long after that last page, and now I’m excited to binge all of Abby Jimenez’s previous books!

Time is such a precious thing. How you spend it, how you waste it. And it becomes even more valuable as the hourglass runs out, because you will never get more of it. I see it every day. The panic as the last grains of sand fall.

Holly was a hospice nurse whose current job was taking care of her grandma, as she slowly passed.  In the midst of her heart shattering each day, she found a funny Valentine’s card on her vehicle.  Even though it wasn’t meant for her, it led to her exchanging notes with a stranger.  And acts of kindness too that will make your heart soar.  

That’s the thing about kindness. You never know how big the ripple is. How one little selfless gesture can make all the difference for the person who receives it.

I loved Holly’s family so much!  Her sister Jillian was so kind, positive and made me laugh!  And she tied into the first book, The Exception to the Rule.  I loved that little easter egg!  Plus I adored her mom and aunt too.  So thank goodness for these women, because we desperately needed laughter when we were with Holly.  Watching her grandma slowly fade away hurt my heart.  I felt like I was there with my Grandma and Grandpa all over again, holding their hands during their final moments.  So I cried my eyes out.  Holly and her families’ pain felt so real to me.

She took my spot in the elevator, and I was still facing her, trying to get my puppy to move in the direction we were going, when her eyes dropped to my tool belt. “Red,” she said, almost to herself. Then the doors closed and she was gone.

This story alternated between Holly and John, and it was so easy to fall in love with John’s huge heart.  He was kind, thoughtful, generous and I loved how he helped Jillian out, even though he didn’t know who she was.  His rescue also solidified what an amazing man he was!  So when we learned about his jaded past, I just wanted to hug him.  He desperately needed some happiness in his life too, just like Holly!

“Take responsibility for your own unhappiness.
If you don’t love your life, change it.”

There were so many fun moments within these pages.  The red power tools had me screaming.  The reason behind a name was so freaking adorable.  And when they met in person I gobbled up every single moment they had together.  This story was the perfect mix of emotional and heartwarming, and is my favorite so far in this group of novellas!

 

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