Review: The Boy Toy by Nicola Marsh

The Boy Toy
by Nicola Marsh
Publisher: Berkley
Publication date: Nov. 17, 2020
Genre: Romance
Rating:

A woman ready to give up on love discovers that age is truly just a number in this heartwarming and steamy new romantic comedy by USA Today bestselling author Nicola Marsh.

For almost a decade, successful 37-year-old Samira Broderick has used her bustling LA practice as an excuse to avoid a trip home to Australia. She still resents her meddling Indian mother for arranging her marriage to a man who didn’t stick around when the going got tough, but now with a new job Down Under, she’s finally ready to reconnect with her. And while she’s there, a hot international fling might be just what she needs to get out of her recent funk.

Aussie stuntman, Rory Radcliffe, has been hiding his stutter for years by avoiding speaking roles. When a job he can’t refuse comes up as a reality show host, he knows he’ll need some help for the audition: a dialect coach. But he finds himself at a loss for words when he discovers it’s the same sexy woman with whom he just had a mind-blowing one-night stand…

Samira can think of many reasons why Rory is completely wrong for her: he’s ten years her junior, for one, and he’s not Indian–something Samira’s mother would never approve of. Even if things were to get serious, there’s no reason to tell her mother…is there?

 

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Sneak Peek Wednesday: Fate of Dragons by Alisha Klapheke

Fate of Dragons
(Dragons Rising #1)
by Alisha Klapheke
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication date: March 27, 2019
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy Romance

A flood is coming. The Sea Queen has a mad plan to drown the world.

Only the magic of the Earth Queen can stop her.

Vahly, the last human, was born to fill that role and wield the magic necessary to fight the rising oceans and save the dragons.

But Vahly is the world’s biggest disappointment. So far, she possesses no magic whatsoever.

When she finds an ancient scroll that mentions a human power ritual conducted deep in the homeland of the elves, she gathers her dragon allies and journeys to see the king of that forest-dwelling race.

Welcomed into a place more lovely than any dream, will Vahly find the truth about her people’s past and wake her magic or will a twisted and powerful elven lord destroy her chance at saving the world?

 

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Review: Bookish and the Beast by Ashley Poston

Bookish and the Beast
(Once Upon a Con #3)
by Ashley Poston
Publisher: Quirk Books
Publication date: Aug. 4, 2020
Genre: Young Adult Romance
Rating:

Rosie Thorne is feeling stuck—on her college application essays, in her small town, and on that mysterious General Sond cosplayer she met at ExcelsiCon. Most of all, she’s stuck in her grief over her mother’s death. Her only solace was her late mother’s library of rare Starfield novels, but even that disappeared when they sold it to pay off hospital bills.

On the other hand, Vance Reigns has been Hollywood royalty for as long as he can remember—with all the privilege and scrutiny that entails. When a tabloid scandal catches up to him, he’s forced to hide out somewhere the paparazzi would never expect to find him: Small Town USA. At least there’s a library in the house. Too bad he doesn’t read.

When Rosie and Vance’s paths collide and a rare book is accidentally destroyed, Rosie finds herself working to repay the debt. And while most Starfield superfans would jump at the chance to work in close proximity to the Vance Reigns, Rosie has discovered something about Vance: he’s a jerk, and she can’t stand him. The feeling is mutual.

But as Vance and Rosie begrudgingly get to know each other, their careful masks come off—and they may just find that there’s more risk in shutting each other out than in opening their hearts.

 

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The Darkest Year

 

So long 2020. I would say it was fun, but then I’d be lying. And if Dolores Umbridge taught me anything, it’s that I mustn’t tell lies.

Like so many, I struggled through the year. However, I don’t want to dwell on the bad because there were some good things that came from it. We adopted a kitten. Technically, we rescued her, tried to find her owners, realized she was feral born, tried to get her into the only no-kill shelter in the area, and then wound up falling in love with her before the shelter had space to take her in. Total foster fail, but worth it! I also rescued a pair of neglected hermit crabs from someone in my area. I saw the filth they were living in, and immediately responded to the listing. Did I know anything about hermit crabs? No, but I was not about to let those things suffer anymore. While they started out super shy, they are coming out earlier and earlier every day (they are nocturnal) and it’s been great seeing them enjoy their new digs. I also got a Cricut machine and decided to start crafting. Which has helped with my anxiety and depression because it gives me something to focus on, and gives me a sense of completion when I finish a project. So that machine has really saved my sanity.

One huge thing I did this year was quit my job. This is my first week not working, and it feels great. It was just becoming too much. We were seeing international people flying in from all over. American’s driving/flying across country. They were all carrying on like we aren’t in the middle of a pandemic. I had people tell me that the pandemic was over and therefor didn’t need to wear a mask because back home in Florida, Covid isn’t a thing. Seriously, some of the stuff I dealt with was absurd. So, since I started to feel extremely overwhelmed, and I honestly didn’t feel like my job was “essential” by any means, I decided enough was enough, and left. I’m looking forward to less stress in my life, and hopefully a lot more reading this year. My reading tanked badly this year between everything going on. I had set a goal of reading 65 books (which is super low for me) but I only got to 61 books read this year.  However, I’m hoping that I’ll get back into blogging and reading again. I’m honestly just ready to get myself mentally back on track.

 

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Review: Crazy Stupid Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams

Crazy Stupid Bromance
(Bromance Book Club #3)
by Lyssa Kay Adams
Publisher: Berkley
Publication date: Oct. 27, 2020
Genre: Romance
Rating:

Alexis Carlisle and her cat café, ToeBeans, have shot to fame after she came forward as a victim of a celebrity chef’s sexual harassment. When a new customer approaches to confide in her, the last thing Alexis expects is for the woman to claim they’re sisters. Unsure what to do, Alexis turns to the only man she trusts—her best friend, Noah Logan.

Computer genius Noah left his rebellious teenage hacker past behind to become a computer security expert. Now he only uses his old skills for the right cause. But Noah’s got a secret: He’s madly in love with Alexis. When she asks for his help, he wonders if the timing will ever be right to confess his crush.

Noah’s pals in The Bromance Book Club are more than willing to share their beloved “manuals” to help him go from bud to boyfriend. But he must decide if telling the truth is worth risking the best friendship he’s ever had.

A hacktivist and a cat café owner decode the friend zone in this romantic comedy from the author of Undercover Bromance.

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Review: Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer

Eclipse
(The Twilight Saga #3)
by Stephenie Meyer
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: Aug. 7, 2007
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Romance
Raiting:

As Seattle is ravaged by a string of mysterious killings and a malicious vampire continues her quest for revenge, Bella once again finds herself surrounded by danger. In the midst of it all, she is forced to choose between her love for Edward and her friendship with Jacob – knowing that her decision has the potential to ignite the ageless struggle between vampire and werewolf. With her graduation quickly approaching, Bella has one more decision to make: life or death. But which is which?

 

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Review: Undercover Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams

Undercover Bromance
(Bromance Book Club #2)
by Lyssa Kay Adams
Publisher: Berkley
Publication date: March 10, 2020
Genre: Romance
Rating:

Braden Mack thinks reading romance novels makes him an expert in love, but he’ll soon discover that real life is better than fiction.

Liv Papandreas has a dream job as a sous chef at Nashville’s hottest restaurant. Too bad the celebrity chef owner is less than charming behind kitchen doors. After she catches him harassing a young hostess, she confronts him and gets fired. Liv vows revenge, but she’ll need assistance to take on the powerful chef.

Unfortunately, that means turning to Braden Mack. When Liv’s blackballed from the restaurant scene, the charismatic nightclub entrepreneur offers to help expose her ex-boss, but she is suspicious of his motives. He’ll need to call in reinforcements: the Bromance Book Club.

Inspired by the romantic suspense novel they’re reading, the book club assists Liv in setting up a sting operation to take down the chef. But they’re just as eager to help Mack figure out the way to Liv’s heart… even though she’s determined to squelch the sparks between them before she gets burned.

 

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Review: A Heart of Blood and Ashes by Milla Vane

A Heart of Blood and Ashes
(A Gathering of Dragons #1)
by Milla Vane
Publisher: Berkley
Publication date: Feb. 4, 2020
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Rating:

A generation past, the western realms were embroiled in endless war. Then the Destroyer came. From the blood and ashes he left behind, a tenuous alliance rose between the barbarian riders of Parsathe and the walled kingdoms of the south. That alliance is all that stands against the return of an ancient evil – until the barbarian king and queen are slain in an act of bloody betrayal.

Though forbidden by the alliance council to kill the corrupt king responsible for his parents’ murders, Maddek vows to avenge them, even if it costs him the Parsathean crown. But when he learns it was the king’s daughter who lured his parents to their deaths, the barbarian warrior is determined to make her pay.

Yet the woman Maddek captures is not what he expected. Though the last in a line of legendary warrior-queens, Yvenne is small and weak, and the sharpest weapons she wields are her mind and her tongue. Even more surprising is the marriage she proposes to unite them in their goals and to claim their thrones—because her desire for vengeance against her father burns even hotter than his own…

 

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Review: I’ll Be The One by Lyla Lee

I’ll Be the One
by Lyla Lee
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication date: June 16, 2020
Genre: Young Adult
Rating:

Skye Shin has heard it all. Fat girls shouldn’t dance. Wear bright colors. Shouldn’t call attention to themselves. But Skye dreams of joining the glittering world of K-Pop, and to do that, she’s about to break all the rules that society, the media, and even her own mother, have set for girls like her.

She’ll challenge thousands of other performers in an internationally televised competition looking for the next K-pop star, and she’ll do it better than anyone else.

When Skye nails her audition, she’s immediately swept into a whirlwind of countless practices, shocking performances, and the drama that comes with reality TV. What she doesn’t count on are the highly fat-phobic beauty standards of the Korean pop entertainment industry, her sudden media fame and scrutiny, or the sparks that soon fly with her fellow competitor, Henry Cho.

But Skye has her sights on becoming the world’s first plus-sized K-pop star, and that means winning the competition—without losing herself.

 

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Review: Simmer Down by Sarah Smith

Simmer Down
by Sarah Smith
Publisher: Berkley
Publication date: Oct. 13, 2020
Genre: Romance
Rating:

In this finger-licking good rom-com, two is the perfect number of cooks in the kitchen.

Nikki DiMarco knew life wouldn’t be all sunshine and coconuts when she quit her dream job to help her mom serve up mouthwatering Filipino dishes to hungry beach goers, but she didn’t expect the Maui food truck scene to be so eat-or-be-eaten—or the competition to be so smoking hot.

But Tiva’s Filipina Kusina has faced bigger road bumps than the arrival of Callum James. Nikki doesn’t care how delectable the British food truck owner is—he rudely set up shop next to her coveted beach parking spot. He’s stealing her customers and fanning the flames of a public feud that makes her see sparks.

The solution? Let the upcoming Maui Food Festival decide their fate. Winner keeps the spot. Loser pounds sand. But the longer their rivalry simmers, the more Nikki starts to see a different side of Callum…a sweet, protective side. Is she brave enough to call a truce? Or will trusting Callum with her heart mean jumping from the frying pan into the fire?

 

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