Review – The Accidental Life Swap by Jennifer Joyce #TheAccidentalLifeSwap

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Title: The Accidental Life Swap

Author: Jennifer Joyce

Publisher: HQ Digital

Pub Date: September 1, 2019

Rating: 3⭐️

     The Accidental Life Swap turned out to be quite the charming story. Rebecca works as a PA for Vanessa Whitely of Vanessa Whitely Events. Vanessa is a difficult boss. She’s brash and doesn’t value her employees. Rebecca has a degree in Events Management, but Vanessa only sees her for her organizational skills and ability to run her errands. Vanessa bought a home in a small town out in the country that  was in need of restoration. Rebecca is more of a people-pleaser and not used to sticking up for herself, so when Vanessa sends her to oversee the remainder of the remodeling there is no push back.

      The first day on site, Rebecca is mistaken for Vanessa among the work crew. She doesn’t correct the mistake since everyone is a little intimidated by Vanessa, and thus the accidental life swap is in full swing. Rebecca is able to be more assertive by hiding behind her borrowed identity. She didn’t foresee the falsehood causing any real trouble until she falls in love with the town and it’s people.

        This story really was charming. The pacing was a bit slow. It took a little while to fully get into it. It felt like a lot of the story was just following Rebecca and her inner monologue. I would have liked a little more interaction and dialogue with the community. The love story was cute, but I would have liked to have seen a bit more chemistry other than them just bantering over their fiercely competitive nature when it comes to board games. Overall, if you enjoy a cute non-steamy romance then this was a good one.

Thank you Netgalley and HQ Digital for my review copy. All opinions are my own.

Review – Caraval by Stephanie Garber #caraval #bookreview

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Title: Caraval

Author: Stephanie Garber

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Publishing Date: January 31, 2017

Rating: 3⭐️

Synopsis:

Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval—the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show—are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. Nevertheless she becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic

Review:

This series has garnered a lot of hype. I went in with high expectations, which can sometimes work against you. I wanted to love this one so much. It just didn’t deliver for me. Garber’s prose is really beautiful. I liked it, but I wasn’t blown away by it.

It started out really strong. I loved the prose, there was a big, suspenseful build up, and a lot of promise with building likeable, strong characters. It just didn’t deliver for me. If I had to have a book with a strong narrative or  strong characters, I would choose a story that has well developed characters. I need characters that I can be invested in.

This book made me feel like I couldn’t believe any of the characters or anything within the world. It made it hard to connect to. I liked it enough to try book two, Legendary, and I hope that I can enjoy that one a little more.

Review – Fix Her Up by Tessa Bailey #fixherup @tessabaileyisanauthor

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Title: Fix Her Up

Author: Tessa Bailey

Publisher: Avon Romance

Publishing Date: June 11, 2019
Rating: 5⭐️

 

I absolutely love Georgie and Travis’s story. Their chemistry is fantastic. They understand each other in ways that no one else has ever been able to understand them. They make each other better, stronger people. There is a lot of steamy romance, so if it’s not your thing, this may not be for you.

 

This book had me laughing out loud. I love how hilarious and down to earth Georgie is. She may be small, but she is mighty. Georgie is the little sister of Travis’s best friend. No one thinks of Georgie as a grownup, but Georgie doesn’t want to be thought of like that anymore.

 

Travis has been living the life of a professional baseball player, but an injury has him retiring before he was ready. He’s been wallowing and Georgie is determined not to let him lose himself. She’s exactly what he needs. Together they work to improve themselves.

This book was a quick, fun read! I highly recommend!

 

Review – Call Her Mine by Melissa Foster #callhermine @Melissafoster

43882463._UY2475_SS2475_Title: Call Her Mine

Author: Melissa Foster

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Montlake Romance

Publishing Date: August 13, 2019

Rating: 4 ⭐️

 

Call Her Mine was a wonderful friends-to-lovers story, but it was also more than that. Ben and Aurelia have been friends for over a decade. They both have feelings for each other and neither one has been willing to risk their relationship to try for more. Aurelia is resigned to life in the friend zone and just as she is determined to put a little space between her and Ben, they find a baby on his doorstep. Ben is the supposed father and he really needs Aurelia’s help.

This is the catalyst for their new, romantic relationship. They are now navigating so many new facets to their relationship. Their relationship as lovers and now as coparents. In this instance, their solid foundation of friendship allowed for easing some of the tension brought on by these new circumstances. They are searching for answers together and falling in love with each other in a whole new way and learning to love another little person.

Foster made this about more than just romance. It was about friendship, family, commitment, compassion, and forgiveness. It was a nice, quick read.

 

Thank you Netgalley and Montlake Romance for my review copy. All opinions are my own.

Review – Thirteen by Steve Cavanagh

Title: Thirteen

Author: Steve Cavanagh

Genre: Thriller

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Synopsis:

THE SERIAL KILLER ISN’T ON TRIAL.

HE’S ON THE JURY…

They were Hollywood’s hottest power couple. They had the world at their feet. Now one of them is dead and Hollywood star Robert Solomon is charged with the brutal murder of his beautiful wife.

This is the celebrity murder trial of the century and the defence want one man on their team: con artist turned lawyer Eddie Flynn.

All the evidence points to Robert’s guilt, but as the trial begins a series of sinister incidents in the court room start to raise doubts in Eddie’s mind.

What if there’s more than one actor in the courtroom?

What if the killer isn’t on trial? What if the killer is on the jury?

Review:

Thirteen was a great read. This book is part of the Eddie Flynn series. I have not read any of the previous books and this story stands well on its own.

 

Cavanagh instantly draws the reader into the mind of a serial killer – Kane. This perspective really made this story stand out for me. The shifting POV added to this story significantly. Kane is such a phenomenally developed character and Eddie Flynn moves the plot a long expertly.

 

Cavanagh’s descriptions and attention to detail are brilliant.  It was a very visceral reading experience. He had me cringing while simultaneously sitting on the edge of my seat.

 

There is so much description and that allowed for a thoroughly fleshed out character. Kane is very self aware. He knows that he is different, but very skilled at fitting in and portraying a normal, upstanding member of society.

 

This story is fast-paced. It flows well and Cavanagh builds excellent suspense. The author’s law background adds so much realism to his story. It’s not so heavy on the legal jargon that it is cumbersome to the reader, but it definitely lets you know that this author knows what he is talking about.

 

Thank you so much to Flatiron for reaching out to me to review this book. All opinions are my own. It was really a thrill to read.

Review – Discretion by Karina Halle

discretionTitle: Deception (Dumont #1)

Author: Karina Halle

Publisher: Montlake Romance

Publishing Date: August 6, 2019

Links: Goodreads, Amazon

Rating: 5 ⭐️

 

Sadie Reynolds is a college student that was previously traveling around Europe with her boyfriend. She found out he had been cheating on her. They part ways and she is on her own. On her way to catch a train to Barcelona she is mugged and a passing car stops to help her. Help comes in the form of a sexy, rich Frenchman, Olivier Dumonte. This pair has an instant connection.

 

These characters are layered and there are personal struggles that each character must work through. Sadie is not ready to take a chance on what they have. She is comfortable with where she is in life. Olivier has a lot of family dramas going on in his life. Some of it creates trouble for Sadie and Olivier.

 

There are some fantastic, steamy scenes. The story kept me entertained. I loved all of the secrets, drama, and intrigue. I kept trying to anticipate where the story was going and I couldn’t do it. It was a great read.

 

I can’t wait for more of the Dumont family. Karina Halle never disappoints.

 

Thank you to Social Butterfly PR and Netgalley for my advanced readers copy. All opinions are my own.

 

Top Ten Tuesday | Books That Made Me Swoon

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

The rules are simple:

  • Each Tuesday, Jana assigns a new topic. Create your own Top Ten list that fits that topic – putting your unique spin on it if you want.
  • Everyone is welcome to join but please link back to The Artsy Reader Girl in your own Top Ten Tuesday post.
  • Add your name to the Linky widget on that day’s post so that everyone can check out other bloggers’ lists.
  • Or if you don’t have a blog, just post your answers as a comment.

I love reading romance novels and I’ve been doing a good bit of it recently. I’ve felt a little embarrassed by that fact and have had a sort of revelation…who cares? I feel like I fell a  little into thinking that people may judge me based on that and maybe not see me as a real reader, but I enjoy them and I want to talk about them with people. So here goes my list of Romance novels I’ve enjoyed lately.

  1. The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
  2. Whiskey Chaser by Lucy Score and Claire Kingsley
  3. Sidecar Crash by Claire Kingsley and Lucy Score
  4. Marriage for One by Ella Maise
  5. Book Boyfriend by Claire Kingsley
  6. The Baby Bargain by Crystal Kaswell
  7. That Second Chance by Meghan Quinn
  8. Roomies by Christina Lauren
  9. Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren
  10. My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren

 

I’ve really taken to Christina Lauren’s books. They are all fantastic. Where are all my romance readers? What are some of your favorites? How do you feel about reading romance? Does reading romance make you less of a “real” reader?