A Romantic Comedy written the way they are meant to be written
I love Max Monroe, the dynamic writing duo that have, in recent years become a mainstay in the world of contemporary romantic comedies. They write funny, quirky characters who often get themselves into ridiculous situations that the reader can’t help but laugh at. Their writing is relatable and down to earth. I mean, they include references to Gilmore Girls and Titanic and all those girly things that make me want to be their best friends in real life. (Seriously MM, message me…) Their books are definitely my go-tos for when I need a pick-me-up. So I was definitely excited to read their newest book, Best Friends Don’t Kiss, which releases today! Thankfully, it didn’t disappoint - or that intro would have been awkward.
Best Friends Don’t Kiss is a mixture of the movies When Harry Met Sally, The Wedding Date and it also reminded me of Maid of Honor - all really fun Rom-Coms that I love. It is so nice to find authors that can take the best of those funny, sappy movies and put their own spin on it. And I am not saying sappy in a disparaging way. I love those types of movies - in fact, I feel the need for a binge watch coming on. In Best Friends Don’t Kiss (hereafter known as BFDK), we meet Ava and Luke, who had an adorable meet-cute in college and have been best friends ever since. But that’s all they are - Best Friends. That’s it, just friends. Right…of course we can see through that a mile away. But the question is, can they?
It all comes to a head when Ava, a people-pleaser to the nth degree, gets roped into helping to plan her high school reunion with her high school nemesis, a girl who made her life hell once upon a time. Not only does she have this reunion to look forward to, but she also has her little sister’s wedding - all within a couple of weeks. And, to save face, Ava kind of, sort of, lies about having a kind of, sort of serious boyfriend. So, she has just a few weeks to find this perfect guy so that she can hold her head up high at her reunion and keep her meddling family off her back. Can she find that special someone, or will Luke have to jump in and save the day as always? And if he does, how will they make sure not to blur the lines between couple and best friend?
What I loved about this book is that within a few pages, I was immediately invested in these characters and their futures. I found them charming and I loved their shared history. I saw a bit of myself in Ava, but I often found myself on Luke’s side. And speaking of Luke - all I can say is yum. I mean, he’s a pilot on his way to becoming an astronaut. That’s hot. But aside from the physical, he's such a great guy - definitely book boyfriend material. And for fans of Max Monroe, you’ll be happy to know that there are some fun cameos from their previous books - but you can definitely read this as a standalone. You may not get some of the inside jokes, but that’s okay, because after reading BFDK, you’re going to go pick up their entire catalogue - I’m sure. It was funny, sweet, charming, and exactly what is needed to finish off this disastrous year.
BFDK releases today and I know you’re on your way to download it as we speak. Thanks so much to Max Monroe and to @socialbutterflypr for giving me an ARC in exchange for an honest review. I really, truly loved it!
Great for fans of Julia Quinn's Bridgerton Series
With the upcoming Bridgerton series which will be airing on Netflix on December 25th, I was very much in the mood to read other Regency romances. This is one of Sarah MacLean's first books, published ten years ago, but is so worth going back to. I've read it once before several years ago, but this time I listened to the audiobook and just adored it. The reader's (Carolyn Morris) performance was fantastic. She delivered so much emotion for both leads, perhaps more than I could have done in my head alone. That's the beauty of an audiobook - if you find the right narrator, mixed with a great writer, you're in for a fantastic experience.
In Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake (great title by the way), we fall hard for Callie, an Earl's spinster sister. Callie is a wallflower of the highest order, and well on the shelf at 28 years old. When her younger sister gets engaged, and to a Duke no less, Callie starts really examining her life and she finds it quite lacking. She's tired of being the staid, passive wallflower. She craves adventure. Callie writes up a list of things that she wants to do - quite scandalous things - like smoking, gambling...and kissing - heaven forbid. All of the things on her list are quite forbidden to a highborn lady in English society. For her first kiss and in an attempt to cross off the first item on her list, Callie finds herself clandestinely visiting the Marquess of Ralston in the middle of the night. Callie has loved Ralston from afar for a decade and if she is going to kiss anyone, she wants it to be him. Ralston is a rake of the highest order - he could have taken advantage of Callie and ruined her completely. However, he finds himself curious about his midnight visitor. He also knows that Callie is the perfect person to help introduce his sister into society. The two strike a bargain to help each other, neither realizing just how much their lives have changed in that moment.
Ralston is such a complex character. Seeing him change throughout the story is remarkable. Callie changes as well. She becomes braver, and she finds the person she was always meant to be. As in any good Regency romance, there are waltzes and hidden kisses in the alcoves of ballrooms. There are forbidden touches and heated glances. Beautiful dresses and perfectly styled cravats. But in Callie's search for adventure, we also find things that normal female characters would never do at this time. There is always the risk of being caught, and that makes the story that much more interesting. The love scenes are steamy, and the love story is beautiful.
If you are looking for a really good romance, with complex characters and a bit of rule breaking, then this is the book for you. I highly recommend it, and what a great way to get in the mood for the Bridgerton series.
Suspense and Romance and Feels - wrapped up in an attractive package
I was very excited to receive an ARC from NetGalley and Give Me Books Promotions in exchange for an honest review. I love Chantal Fernando. In fact, she’s the author that introduced me to the hot MC world with her Wind Dragons Motorcycle Club books. Let’s just say, since then, I’ve become a bit obsessed with the MC world.
In Fernando’s newest release, Custom Built, a spin off from her Knights of Fury MC series, we meet Bronte. Note, Custom Built can be read as a standalone. I haven’t yet read the Knights books and I didn’t feel lost. The book is from Bronte’s perspective, so when we are missing info, chances are, she is too. But, because there are so many characters from the Knights, I fully intend to go back and read those books next, just to expand my knowledge, and of course, to read about those hot MC boys she writes so well.
Bronte is having probably the worst year of her life. She’s having health problems, she just lost her job, and nothing seems to be going her way. She is lucky enough to get an admin job at a custom motorcycle shop. Sure, she knows nothing about motorcycles, but how hard can it be? The job itself is easy enough, but soon she finds herself at odds with Crow, her boss, and a member of the Knights of Fury MC. Crow, who is of course drop dead gorgeous, is also broody and standoffish - but only to Bronte it seems. She’s not sure what she did to get on his bad side, but it definitely rubs her the wrong way. Soon though, when Bronte finds herself in the centre of a murder conspiracy, much to her surprise, Crow is there for her, along with the rest of the Knights MC and the women who love them.
I really felt for Bronte and everything she goes through. She’s a strong and determined character. The romance between her and Crow was sweet and sexy. He’s such a great character - swoon-worthy for sure. If I was missing anything, I would say it was not seeing a bit from Crow’s perspective. I always like to get in the guy’s head. Unfortunately we only ever see things from Bronte’s point of view. In fact, she should have probably been on the book cover instead of Crow…but looking at it again, maybe I should stop complaining.
This book kept me interested and pulled me in quickly and I look forward to more in the Fury world. Fans of Veronica Mars will like it too since there is the mystery / PI aspect to it. Custom Built releases today - go download it now!
Take out the fans ladies - the sexy times in this book are explosive!
I was so excited to receive an ARC of Lani in exchange for an honest review. I’ve been waiting for this book since Lani and her men were introduced in her brother’s book Techy, and this book did not disappoint. It was so worth the wait. Lani is the 6th instalment of Ashers’ Devil Souls MC series. It can be read as a standalone, but my advice, if you really want to get the whole effect, is to read her books in order of publication date. They all exist in the same universe and there are a ton of cameos by previous characters, so it’s great to experience it the way the author intended. But, if you want to just start with Lani, that’s okay too.
Lani is a plus sized model in LA. She has some trouble with a stalker and so returns home to Texas where her parents live. She is through with modelling and wants to plan out her next step in life. Before she can really make any big decisions, she meets Trey and Vinny, two men in her brother Techy’s MC. It is definitely lust at first sight but there are also some deeper feelings that lead Lani to accept their offer to go home with them - and not just for the night. Hey, why not? Would you really say no if two extremely hot men asked you to be with them? What if they also offered you their protection - from stalkers, from fans, and from rabid religious folk who don’t like the idea of a thrupple? Yes, I used that term - deal with it.
Lani moves to Raleigh where Trey, Vinny and her brother live. What I loved about this book is that, although she faces some resentment and disgust by some of the people she meets who don’t like the idea of a woman with two men, men who also happen to be in a relationship together, Lani’s brother and parents and the other members of the MC are completely accepting. Her brother, who has always been protective of her, doesn’t even question the fact that she goes to live with two of his friends. It was so refreshing to see! I found the romance very sweet as well. It is not just about Lani being adored by two men. The three of them care about each other. We see how protective Trey is in regards to both Lani and Vinny. They are all three great characters. And although there is the element of Lani’s stalker to worry about, we also get into Vinny’s complicated past which causes problems and threats of its own.
I found the book exciting to read - I could hardly put it down. And boy oh boy, is it steamy. As far as I know, this is LeAnn’s first foray into threesome territory and I really hope she writes more! I laughed, I cried, but most of all, I enjoyed this book. I really think you will too. Thank you to @leann_ashers and @heaprmore for the ARC. Lani is set to release on December 8th. Preorder your copy today!
Super Cute Romantsy Manga - What We All Need Right Now
If you like cute, romantic Manga, this is a great choice for you. As expected, the artwork was really cute and the story was sweet. But what really got me in the feels is that the love story is between two girls, and there is the question of misinterpreting friendship and adoration for romantic love. What do you do when you have feelings for someone, but it’s hard to tell if they like you back in the same way? Is it more difficult for two girls because it is more acceptable for girls to hang out and go on “dates” as friends? This Manga explores this question and pulls the reader right in.
In this first volume of Whisper Me a Love Song, we meet Himari, a first year in high school. Himari is cute, bubbly, and enthusiastic - maybe a bit too enthusiastic. She definitely shows her emotions clearly for the world to see. On the first day of school, she sees an older girl singing in a band and becomes enamoured with her. She meets the shy, loner singer, Yori, and basically goes all fangirl on her. Yori thinks that when Himari says she loves her, that she means romantic love. We discover that Yori feels the same way, but then she has to question whether she is mistaking Himari’s feelings.
I was drawn to Yori from the start. She is quiet, shy and nervous about her talent. Himari was a bit too much for me to take - but perhaps that is the point. I think this book is perfect for younger teens, and it may help them answer questions they might be asking themselves about love and friendship. I did find there were some Japanese cultural references that went over my head. Luckily there is a very helpful glossary in the back that explains certain unfamiliar terms. I look forward to continuing the story in the second volume, and I think anyone who reads this will feel the same. Thank you to NetGalley for allowing me to read a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Lions, and Wolves and Bears...Oh My! Yes...I went there.
I’m not usually one for paranormal romance. I’ve read a few, but I tend to prefer books that are more or less based in reality...even if most of the fictitious males I read are pure fantasy, haha. I decided to try this one out because it is written by LeAnn Ashers, under her pen name Teagan Wilde, and for the past three weeks, I’ve been obsessed with her books. Ashers writes excellent Alpha males and in Damon, we see her most Alpha hero yet. Ashers’ creates a Shifter world that is fascinating and well put together, filled with packs of humans who can turn into a specific animal. In it, shifters can be wolves, bears or feline, as well as coyotes and hyenas. They have a specific mate that is created for them, and only them. They cannot be touched by another without feeling pain. Essentially you’re looking at a bunch of hormonal virgins running around, waiting to be struck by Cupid’s bow so they can find their soulmate. This might not sound great, but the instalove and pheromonal aspect of it all is sexy AF. When they meet their mate, boom - that’s it. They are lost - or found, as it were.
In Damon, we meet Ferran, a shifter wolf who is threatened by a rogue shifter who used to belong to her pack. He wants to mate with her, even though they are not matches for each other. At a loss as to how to protect her, her alpha sends her to a new pack of strong males where her brother is beta, or second in command. Little does Ferran know, when she meets Damon, she will find her mate. Damon is everything that an alpha should be. He is protective and caring and strong and a fighter. He is very powerful and can control his pack completely- but he does it in a fair way. I loved seeing how he treated Ferran as his alpha female. They make a perfect pairing. He vows to protect her from the rogue shifter, and she vows to help him build his pack and bring them to the modern age. Together, they face threats to their pack, and threats specifically to Ferran. They bring others into the fold, and work towards making their pack the strongest it can be.
I really liked the romance of the story, and the action scenes were well done. I liked the inclusivity of the pack - they accept mixed breeds and gay couples which is really interesting. I’m hoping that we get to see more about this group and that Ashers writes more books in the series soon. I was left wanting more, which is exactly what an author strives for. I think I’ll go look deeper into the shifter genre now and see what else is out there. As long as I get to read about more hot alphas, I’m definitely game!